New DC technology stops the bleeding for hospital
October 22, 2011 - MMH Editorial
Recently, an Ottawa, Ontario, healthcare facility recognized potential efficiencies in its supply chain. With a mix of warehousing automation, integration and streamlined material flow, the facility increased the speed and accuracy of material deliveries to medical staff. The changes allowed staff to remain focused on helping patients instead of chasing supplies, while savings went toward improving patient health.
In late 2010, the facility commissioned a complete update of its paper-based picking and putaway system. Rebuilt horizontal carousel systems were used as the materials handling backbone for the in-hospital DC. Project planning in advance of physical implementation included systematic material slotting, optimized floor plan layouts and software integration.
The installation created minimal material flow disruption to the hospital floors. For instance, the installation of racking replacement and carousel were scheduled for a single weekend. Temporary material staging was designed using mobile cart systems, ensuring all product was tracked during the move.
When the system went live, any doubt or anxiety quickly diminished as associates realized the ease and simplicity of the carousel operation. The facility now enjoys faster order fulfillment, improved material accuracy and reduced costs.
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