Transport and logistics giant UPS Inc. said today it has introduced a field inventory tracking platform through a collaboration with technology providers WebOps LLC and Baxter Planning Systems that ensures that surgical kits and implantable medical devices arrive at the right location and time.
The cloud-based software is intended to help medical device manufacturers hone their supply chains to comply with strict patient safety standards, Atlanta-based UPS said.
The solution relies on features from two technology partners, UPS said. Roswell, Ga.-based WebOps, a medical device logistics and analytics provider, will enable tracking of surgery schedules, physician preferences, inventory availability, and the movement of surgical kits and implants.
The second partner is Austin, Texas-based Baxter Planning, which defines itself as an inventory planning and optimization solutions provider, and whose contribution will allow users to plan for the dispersal of consigned inventory across hospitals and forward stocking locations, while both improving order fulfillment and reducing inventory and transportation costs, UPS said.
Together, those combined tools address the common industry challenge that the majority of medical device inventory vacillates between field representatives and hospitals, both lying outside a manufacturer's direct control, UPS said. That scenario can lead manufacturers to create redundant inventories within local markets, increasing their inventory carrying costs, UPS said.
The product is UPS' latest effort to offer specialized transportation and logistics services and solutions for the health care market. UPS acquired the pharmaceutical logistics specialist Marken in 2016 to provide shipping services for international clinical trials and drug research. It has since expanded Marken's network and integrated its operations with UPS' air transport system.