West International: Smart Turn for Pharmaceuticals

January 23, 2017

Pharmaceuticals

"SmartTurn is our competitive advantage and has
helped us overcome the burden of state regulations.
We can deliver the same day to our customers, while
our nearest competitors are 5,000 miles away."

-Mark Galluzzo, Vice President
West International Medical Supplies, LLC


Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, West International Medical Supplies, LLC, is a venture launched by London-based medical supplier L.E. West Ltd., who has been providing medical supply solutions to the maritime industry for more than 50 years.  West International is an offshore and remote medical supply specialist that is dedicated to getting supplies to its customers when they need them, with a specific focus on the cruise ship industry.

COMPANY
West International Medical Supplies, LLC

INDUSTRY
Pharmaceuticals

HEADQUARTERS
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

THE CHALLENGE
● A real-time tracking system that provided
inventory visibility and infromation-sharing
to meet state compliance regulations

● Needed a flexible WMS that integrated
with back-office application

● Easy to use and deploy by less tech
savvy employees

THE SOLUTION
SmartTurnTM Inventory and Warehouse
Management System

THE RESULTS
● Inventory visibility and compliance with
state regulations

● Short implementation time and ease in
integration

● Competitive advantage through faster
delivery time and accuracy

The Situation

West International operates a wholesale pharmacy facility in Florida where pharmaceutical products are stored, tracked, and ultimately shipped to its customers.  Being located in the state of Florida, West International faces stringent regulations where every item entering
the facility must be accounted for by origin and expiration date.  The information must then be provided to its customers and reported to the Florida Department of Health (DOH).

A typical order can have more than 100 unique items, often with split batches and split expiry, thus making it time-consuming and difficult to record the quantity along with corresponding drug pedigree information on an invoice.  Typically, an inventory tracking system that performs these types of tasks is expensive due to the resources needed for an implementation.  Because Florida’s DOH has one of the strictest sets of pharmaceutical standards in the U.S., failure to accurately capture and store this information and then pass it along to the customer can result in massive fines, if not closure of the business.  Furthermore, integrating with third-party applications to ensure secure and proper data transfer is burdensome, requiring a high level of IT expertise.

SmartTurn is our competitive
advantage and has helped
us overcome the burden
of state regulations. We can
deliver the same day to
our customers, while our
nearest competitors are
5,000 miles away.

 

-Mark Galluzzo, Vice President
West International Medical
Supplies, LLC

West International needed to streamline its inventory control and warehouse management processes, while also deploying a warehouse management system (WMS) that would tightly integrate with its existing QuickBooks accounting system, as well as the DOH pedigree supplier.

Unique Selling Point = Competitive Advantage

Winning distribution business in today’s competitive marketplace requires adaptability and agility.  From a practical sense, companies need to demonstrate to potential clients that they have the right product and will deliver it within the time frame needed.  Accurate inventory levels and fulfillment are no longer proven after the fact.  They are a precursor to winning new business.

West International serves the cruise line industry by supplying medications that are dispensed to thousands of ship patrons.  With the headquarters of all the major cruise lines based in south Florida, location in the area is essential. But, the state’s high level of regulation has forced medical suppliers to locate out of state, except for one—West International—with the help of SmartTurn.

“Our ability to remain compliant in one of the toughest, most highly regulated states combined with our geographic location near the major cruise lines give us a unique selling point,” said Mark Galluzzo, Vice President, West International Medical Supplies,
LLC.  “SmartTurn is our competitive advantage and has helped us overcome the burden of those regulations, and we are constantly amazed by value for the money with its SaaS WMS. Our advantage boils down to this—we can deliver the same day to our customers, while our nearest competitors are 5,000 miles away.”

SmartTurn was
operational in about
a month, and from
there, we had minimal
issues. That alone
makes SmartTurn an
easy decision because
the start-up costs are so
attractive.

 

-Mark Galluzzo, Vice President
West International Medical
Supplies, LLC

SmartTurn’s easy-to-use, Web-based WMS breaks the traditional enterprise WMS software mold of expensive upfront license and consulting fees, long deployment times, and ongoing maintenance costs. More importantly, the company’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model provides a modern, secure Internet architecture that promotes connectivity to other systems (e.g., ERP and CRM), and pushing/pulling inventory from the warehouse.

Achieving compliance with the state of Florida Department of Health was a significant challenge. West International has to accurately capture and store a variety of data including expiration dates, and batch and NCD (serial) numbers. The information must then be transmitted to a number of applications including their accounting and compliance-tracking
systems.

“SmartTurn offers a good degree of flexibility so we can create custom fields, for example, to better capture data we need for compliance,” said Galluzzo.

Fast Implementation and Less Complexity

Besides an affordable price, SmartTurn offers quicker implementation time when compared to traditional installed software.

“SmartTurn was operational in about a month, and from there, we have had minimal issues,” continued Galluzzo.  “That alone makes SmartTurn an easy decision because the start-up costs are so attractive.”

On average a paper-based system is 90% accurate, but this figure jumps to 99% accuracy with an automated system.  Improving shipping accuracy can lower labor costs, reduce time spent re-creating shipping documents due to errors, and present consolidation opportunities saving time and fuel.

SmartTurn’s flexibility
is a tremendous benefit
for us so we had it
operational at the ‘flip
of a switch’ without
worrying about
significant IT investments.

 

-Mark Galluzzo, Vice President
West International Medical
Supplies, LLC

Adopting a traditional system would have required a minimum of six months for the basic implementation, plus the time needed for customizing fields and adding functionality to support the compliance requirements.  SmartTurn’s inherent flexibility allows new fields to
be created and for those fields to be used in workflow and reporting.  The on-demand approach to creating supply chain solutions ensure that complexity is hidden from users, lowering ramp-up and training time, and increasing day-to-day usage of the system. Additionally, all maintenance, support, upgrades and updates of West International’s WMS are handled with no extra charge or effort.

“SmartTurn’s flexibility is a tremendous benefit for us so that we easily had it operational at the ‘flip of a switch’ without worrying about significant IT investments,” said Galluzzo.  “As we expand our operations, incorporating SmartTurn in our overseas facilities should be straightforward and relatively painless.”

Real-world Experience

SmartTurn implementations are led by Customer Experience Managers. They provide guidance with implementation, training and on-going support. SmartTurn Customer Experience Managers have extensive real-world, warehouse experience, providing a level of expertise uncommon to most softwarecompanies.  “One word sums up my experience with SmartTurn’s customer support—excellent,“ said Galluzzo.

“The people at SmartTurn helped us figure out what we needed to do, and we were up and running faster than we could have hoped for,” continued Galluzzo.  “I pick up the phone or simply send an email to my SmartTurn CEM who responds and takes care of what needs to be taken care of.  That is one of the reasons I love having a web-based system.”

About SmartTurn

SmartTurn™ Inventory and Warehouse Management System and the SmartTurn Inventory Grid™ are the first true on-demand warehouse management systems to provide enterprise class functionality at a fraction of the cost of traditional license and install software. Designed for quick implementation, ease-of-use, real-time inventory accuracy and warehouses performance, the SmartTurn system provides visibility on every item across single or multiple warehouses. Founded on the premise that software should be smart, simple and safe, SmartTurn’s customers span the value chain of most industries to include manufacturers, wholesalers as well as 3PLs. SmartTurn is privately held and backed by leading investors, NEA and Emergence Capital Partners.

START TODAY
1-281-218-4892

LEARN MORE
www.smartturn.com

 

Previous Article
Babyswede Simplifies Supply Chain Processes  With DiIntegrator Multi-User
Babyswede Simplifies Supply Chain Processes With DiIntegrator Multi-User

“With its dynamic shipment, order, and process management, as well as its capability to integrate with Sage...

Next Article
AAdvantage northAmerican: Increased Inventory Accuracy
AAdvantage northAmerican: Increased Inventory Accuracy

AAdvantage northAmerican was able to increase inventory accuracy by a factor of 10, going from 91% to over ...