Casebook 2011: Logistics provider prescribes inventory management
For some companies, growth is a steady upward trend where customers are added one at a time. When growth hits all at once, a company must make the most of new customers or face severe consequences. When Lynden International Logistics needed to add hundreds of new customers in 2009, the company relied on an end-to-end warehouse management system (WMS) to make the transition efficient and effective (Cambar Solutions, 800-756-4402, http://www.cambarsolutions.com).
The company was already a vital supply chain link in the Canadian healthcare system when it took on the logistics needs of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Distribution Network (CPDN) program. The CPDN consists of more than 20 leading pharmaceutical companies serving more than 600 Canadian hospitals.
The new WMS now manages the entire fulfillment cycle, from order receipt through order processing to final collections, in three distribution centers in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. This collaboration maximizes efficiency in pharmaceutical distribution, enabling hospital clients to focus on their core business activities.
When the CPDN transitioned its logistics operations to Lynden in 2009, they knew precise inventory management was vital. One critical area was the validation system, which required a complete audit to verify accuracy of transactions and ensure the correct product and quantity were delivered. The WMS enabled the company to meet Canada’s strict governmental and corporate healthcare requirements while offering tools essential to a growing company.
These tasks include locating and managing inventory, performing physical cycle counts, picking product for shipment, and preparing products for delivery.
After implementing the system, the company now has full visibility to inventory on a real-time basis, facilitating proper product rotation and supporting customer requirements if there is a need for recalls. The WMS helps ensure that as the company expands, its warehouses and distribution facilities remain equipped with the latest technology to maintain precise inventory management, control and optimization.