This project represents a dynamic collaboration between two industry leaders: a cutting-edge medical technology company and one of the world’s foremost third-party logistics (3PL) providers. The medical technology company offers an extensive array of medical devices including surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and insulin pumps across numerous countries. The 3PL company offers inventory storage and retrieval services for the medical technology firm and has continually ranked among the preeminent global leaders in the logistics industry.
Managing order fulfillment operations of medical devices presents unique challenges due to the critical nature and stringent regulation of these products. A substantial portion of these products demand meticulous end-to-end tracking via unique serial numbers, ensuring complete visibility from storage to the final delivery stage. This is particularly crucial given the limited shelf life of many medical products, further necessitating strict tracking and an adherence to the first-in-first-out (FIFO) principle to prevent risk of expiration.
The implementation of such a system calls for an exceptionally efficient automated storage and retrieval system. Key challenges also involved maintaining a high level of accuracy while meticulously managing inventory, a mission-critical aspect in the world of medical device order fulfillment. Simultaneously, a high degree of flexibility was needed to seamlessly accommodate future growth as the medical device company actively pursues acquisition opportunities.
During the Skypod system installation it became apparent that capacity needed to be expanded to accommodate specific medical products, addressed in the solution details below.
- Operator safeguards guarantee unique inventory IDs are scanned when applicable and tracked by Skypod system software, providing customer with direct visibility into current location of each item
- Smart warehouse software enables prioritization of ordered goods being sent to stations based on unique IDs to ensure accurate first-in-first-out
- Ability to access any SKU in the system within two minutes without damaging fragile goods
- System expanded to an additional 34 robots, six stations, and 21,040 bins with minimal impact to ongoing operations