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MTS Blog: A Revolutionary Solution to Field Inventory Management

We’re going to get a little personal in this blog post.  The Medical Tracking Solutions (MTS) blog, for several years, has been a place where we expound upon the ineffectiveness of sales reps managing medical device inventory in hospital storage rooms and from the trunks of their cars.  We’ve poked fun at manufacturers still using spreadsheets and whiteboards to track inventory.  And, we’ve expressed our horror at the inefficiency of the antiquated methods used for processes from reordering to replenishment.  We’re switching gears now, because we have the answer.

MTS has long offered a comprehensive software system to govern the complexities of managing medical device inventory.  Recently, we developed a partnership with Owens & Minor to bring to market a turnkey solution for case scheduling and medical inventory management.  This revolutionary solution delivers an enormous impact on the bottom line without requiring a painful and time-consuming overhaul to internal systems.   

How It Works

Through Owens & Minor, medical device inventory is inspected, stocked, and distributed through localized warehousing and fulfillment centers and is professionally delivered deep inside hospitals, right to central processing.  iTraycer, the proprietary MTS software, enables case scheduling and advanced medical device inventory tracking, ordering, and replenishment through a robust combination of a mobile app and web-based platform.  As a complete service, the field inventory management solution delivers end-to-end reliability, 100% visibility across the enterprise, and seamless customer care for manufacturers, hospitals, and sales representatives.

The Benefits

Increased revenue – The field inventory management solution enables substantial increased sales revenue.  The burdens of inventory management are removed from sales reps, which frees them to spend less time chasing kits and parts and more time selling.  Relieved of the expense of warehousing and distribution and supported by innovative technology, manufacturers can devote more resources to research and development.  And, with valuable storage space regained, hospitals are positioned to serve additional patients.

Reduced capital investment and operating expenses – Reduced investment in inventory begins with enhanced visibility and data capture, which allow manufacturers to more efficiently deploy inventory, avoid shrink, and reduce reserves.  Real-time tracking, ordering, and reporting functions as well as warehousing and distribution expertise enable additional inventory reductions from increased inventory turns and utilization.  More cost-savings comes from shared warehousing, distribution, and personnel expenses.  Finally, greater efficiencies lead to competitive effectiveness in all functions.

Enhanced quality control – With this new way of working, medical inventory management returns to the hands of experts.  Technology, developed by medical device professionals, tracks medical devices and biologics down to the part, lot, and serial number to address traceability requirements of Unique Device Identification (UDI) regulations.  Improved inspection processes deliver increased accuracy, eliminate expired inventory, and ease reconciliation.  “White glove” delivery to the point of care ensures immediate resolution of any discrepancies.

All these benefits can be had without tremendous business disruption.  MTS initiates the physical and technological changes needed to establish efficient processes.  Moreover, MTS leverages the expertise of thought leaders to integrate case and medical inventory management, two separate streams, in a way that is tailored to meet the specific needs of the medical device industry. 

Proving It

The results coming from the field inventory management solution are stellar.

  • Enhanced sales force effectiveness – 75% of sales reps report that the “service saves me time.”  Sales are up by 26% for all active sales professionals in the territories we support.
  • Reduced working capital expenditures – Surgical loaner kit cycle times improved from 14 days to less than five days, and 56% of rep consignment was identified as “excess.”
  • Improved operating expense efficiency – Expedited parcel freight costs decreased as did the Next Flight Out shipping costs.
  • Increased quality compliance – All sets were inspected after each use, and the number of sets complete to Bill of Materials (BOM) level went from 38% to 91%.
  • Upgraded customer experience – Deliveries were 99% on time, and 95% were completed with white-glove, carry-in service.

In the end, we believe that the field inventory management solution offered by MTS and Owens & Minor provides the supply chain of the future, today.   Now sales people sell, medical device inventory is managed by supply chain professionals, inventory in hospitals is minimal, and software systems deliver end-to-end connectivity.  We weren’t kidding all those times we talked about the need for the medical device industry to embrace new processes, and now we have the industry knowledge, the technology, and the partner in one total solution that leads manufacturers into a brave new world.