Straumann USA was looking for an automated inventory management system that would decrease their costs, maximize efficiencies, establish unique sales channels, provide real-time visibility of all inventory, ensure product integrity, and ultimately provide customers with the best possible experience. It was becoming increasingly difficult for Straumann to continue managing inventory with traditional stocking methods, which included manual processes and an abundance of administrative overhead. The goal of this project was to minimize carrying costs and the burden of a manual inventory process, while creating better market share and capture usage data for better product monitoring. To achieve a successful inventory workflow, Straumann partnered with Terso Solutions to develop a solution that includes large and small RAIN RFID-enabled ambient cabinets for storing high value items in a flexible and secure fashion. These RFID-enabled enclosures are fully integrated into Straumann’s SAP software system. This integration takes place immediately at the site of inventory tagging when the customer places the product into the enclosures. Straumann gained full visibility and functionality of their ERP business processes like billing, replenishment, and customer account captures. This paired with the project’s proactive monitoring and 24/7 support enabled Straumann to eliminate risks associated with manually monitoring inventory while providing extreme value to their business, staff, and customers. To date, Straumann has implemented the RFID-enabled automated inventory solution at 31 locations.
Straumann faced the tribulation of managing consignment inventory as well as billing and replenishment of dental implants and associated components on a daily basis. Their implants were stored at a number of different customer locations across the country, and with a growing business, having real-time knowledge of where inventory was and who was using it was a major challenge. Straumann was managing their consignment inventory via manual processes and found that this method was costly, and made it impossible to achieve 100% charge capture with customer accounts. Straumann’s staff was becoming burdened with the manual inventory process. Internally, Straumann saw a shrinkage in inventory, write-offs, and a delay in billed revenue.
With a manual supply chain management workflow in place, Straumann was not able to automatically track inventory usage or accurately assign usage to customer accounts. With inventory in multiple locations, they were finding it difficult to track who took what, and when. Leading to stock-outs, discrepancies, and inaccurate data being pulled from their SAP reports. Without access to the supply chain in real-time, Straumann was not able to access information about their inventory distributed. And they were not able to fully automate their processes due to a lack of technical data.
Terso’s RAIN RFID-enabled solutions proved the best method for achieving Straumann’s determined business goals. Terso’s technology is ultra-high frequency, generation 2, passive RFID. This means that Straumann can now read up to 1,350 dental implants at a time. This is a very dense and accurate rate which they were not able to achieve with manual processes. In the end, this allowed Straumann 99.6 – 99.9% readability with Terso’s technology. This technology solution also allows Straumann to build custom applications that integrate directly to their SAP. The web-based interface is easy to use and requires zero downloads, which is a key for Straumann to be able to provide quick access to information that all staff can utilize.
Terso’s hosted software offers complete visibility into Straumann’s supply chain. With this solution, Straumann can see each piece of inventory at every location, at any time. The software is web-based and doesn’t require any downloading. No matter where Straumann places inventory, it is easily traceable. Straumann is able to use this solution in a way that works best for them. We provide the platform and Straumann can develop custom applications that produce actions and information to best manage their supply chain.
With this integration, Straumann was able to automate their billing, replenishment, custom reporting alert notifications and reconcile with their customer’s purchasing on a daily basis. To achieve the best customer service, this technical solution also afforded Straumann the ability to data mine and provide the right products to the right accounts based on usage. It also helped target new products. Now, Straumann can pull reports on expiring products and produce reorders automatically, at any time.
Straumann’s business users asked for real time visibility through RFID. They were eager to begin using a more automated inventory management process. This enabled them to spend more time with patients, versus time spent tracking inventory.