Medical supply-chain management is a complicated process that can only be managed effectively with new advances in big data. Companies are using big data to ensure reliable delivery and strategic resource allocation. One of the leading companies in this space is Data Systems International, a 40-year old company that has proven to be a remarkable innovator in the data analytics sphere.
DSI Paves the Way for Data-Driven Advances in Medical Supply-Chain Management
Data Systems International (DSI®), an industry leader in supply chain software, has been able to highlight the importance of visibility throughout every step of the supply chain process. They cover everything from manufacturing to distribution. Their goal is to maximize efficiency for every supply chain provider to the last mile. They serve many customers, including those transporting medical supplies and medical devices as well as pharmaceuticals. Their data-driven solutions keep track of products and ensure its delivery can have a significant impact on people’s lives, even during life-or-death scenarios.
When medical supplies sales representatives travel to hospitals, they often keep track of their inventory through trunk stock. The term trunk stock refers to the inventory that those representatives have in their possession, typically stored in the trunk of their vehicle, in order to travel from place to place and have their products immediately on-hand for sales, replacement, or restocking. A broader term used across supply chain systems is keeping track of inventory or assets in the field, or simply field inventory. This is a complicated concept for many laypersons. It simply refers to instances whenever and wherever inventory is stored outside of the warehouse walls. DSI’s Cloud Inventory® platform is a breakthrough technology that allows visibility of field inventory at all times, including trunk stock.
Companies can develop a unique fulfillment process for assisting medical supplies representatives that need to hold inventory for customers and fulfill orders with surgeons at the point of care, especially when specific medical devices are needed. In many scenarios, there will be a sales representative inside of the surgery room. The doctor will decide whether to work with the representative and which device or item they will end up using. Before they go into the surgery, it is important for the sales representative to know how much inventory is in their briefcase and how much inventory they have available. The representatives are required to start working on all scheduled procedures weeks before, and they need to know if their inventory is literally in their trunk, if it is within the walls of that hospital, or if it is at a different facility.
This can be problematic if paper processes are involved, which may cause disputes to arise in the process and could delay the billing process. In some situations, the limited visibility is so severe that there can be millions of dollars’ worth of inventory out in the field. DSI’s technology helps remedy these problems by digitizing the inventory and cutting the paper process out of the equation. The inventory is then optimized for accessibility and all supply chain information is updated in real-time. This enables immediate proof of fulfillment as a surgeon makes their selection during a procedure. This real-time consumption data is also able to support demand planning and manufacturing execution. Representatives are able to see each other’s schedule and communicate with one another to manage commitments to customers effectively.
Another common problem is consignment inventory which refers to company-owned inventory that needs to be stocked at hospitals. Representatives will go in and check the inventory, however, the hospitals will not get charged until that item or inventory is restocked. Once those items such as bandages or surgical equipment are restocked, then an invoice is sent to the hospital or customer.
After implementing DSI’s software to keep track of medical supplies or device inventory, customers see many benefits. These optimized processes result in a higher inventory accuracy and improved time to receiving an invoice. This leads to improved planning with data such as time on hand and reveals the fastest movers. Even as companies grow, the scalability of DSI’s software ensures that supply chain visibility remains reliable and expands alongside those companies. By integrating these technologies such as DSI’s Cloud Inventory®, companies will be able to increase their revenue by cutting costs on less-effective traceability efforts.
Two of the revolutionary aspects of DSI’s technology is that the platform is mobile-first and the inventory can be accessed both on and offline. Having mobile-first technology means companies can access their supply chain data using a range of mobile devices, from an iOS or iPad device, to an Android device, or even an HTML5 device. With the device of choice, DSI can then tailor their application to fit any use case and business application to ultimately increase productivity. DSI is able to ensure inventory accuracy when offline by taking a snapshot of inventory in a region, then downloading that snapshot to a device, queuing up all the work that takes place, and then updating and synchronizing that supply information when Wi-Fi or cellphone reception is accessed again.
Another advantage that sets DSI apart is its recent strategic partnership with DocuSign. This partnership is the first of its kind in the supply chain industry. Together, the companies are able to automate contracts to fulfillment and compliance. This integration and automation work whether the inventory is on the inbound of procurement or on the outbound delivery. If there is a contract and that contract is executed in DocuSign, DSI’s platform integrates all information using a company’s workflow. Not only can the contract be edited, but all of the data in that contract and all of the service level agreement terms will be automatically populated into DSI’s supply chain solution.
DSI Provides Remarkable Breakthroughs with Data Solutions in Medical Supply-Chain Management
DSI’s customers across the board rely on the Cloud Inventory® solutions year-round to meet compliance and regulatory mandates for their products. Today, many customers in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries are delivering life-saving health care products. In order to eliminate counterfeiting and to ensure that the consumer or the business received exactly what was ordered, DSI provides proof of delivery solutions. Those proof of delivery solutions are tied all way back to the origination of the products in the manufacturing stage, which lies at the thesis of DSI’s unique business: DSI specializes in inventory management as a complete horizontal process, from manufacturing, to distribution, to the final mile, and they have been able to serve over 3,000 customers in more than 50 countries. With millions of dollars of inventories sitting in trunks of sales representatives, DSI’s platform extends access to inventory out in the field perpetually further increasing supply chain visibility which results in increased profitability for DSI’s customers.