4 Huge Benefits of NonSterile Supply Chain Automation for the Ortho Device Industry

Scanning at point of use solves enormous cost and efficiency problems that currently plague the healthcare and medical device industry, specifically with regard to non sterile implants.

Between consigned sets to providers, trunk stock, metro center stock, and loaner set programs the device industry has literally billions of dollars of inventory in the field. It’s one of the big reasons why direct part marking of non sterile implants, even if technically possible, is such an enormous cost proposition, as well as being logistically incredibly disruptive. Imagine telling whole health systems they need to stop doing surgery for days at a time while implants are swapped out. And who pays the bill?


Set mapping is at its root, an inventory function. By mapping set contents to a central database, it give an accurate snapshot of inventory levels. Scanning of set inventory at point of use during surgery keeps a rolling and accurate inventory account. Current inventory levels are available with keystrokes, and are accurate to the penny.

Asset Allocation

The orthopedic implant industry runs on a consignment model - that is, sets and trays that are kept onsite at the provider are provided at no cost to the facility. Implants are billed for as they are used in surgery. As one might imagine, there is a scarcity of assets with regard to demand for these consigned trays, as the trays and instruments are very expensive. Set mapping and scanning at point of use provides OEM device makers a fantastic tool to measure set turns and asset utilization with dead nuts accuracy, in real time, so that assets can be placed where they are needed most.

Product Ease of Use

With thousands of sometimes tiny unmarked implants in sets and trays, hospital staff struggles to keep track of implants being handed back and forth between the trays and the surgeon. To make matters worse, information quickly dashed out on a mayo stand or a back table has to manually be entered into the patient record. If you have been to Home Depot or WalMart, you know how easy scanning at point of use is. And scanning at point of use and automation will make orthopedic sets and trays much more easily used and handled by O.R. staff.

Manufacturing Efficiency

Long, manual supply chains are all subject to what is called The Bullwhip Effect. In short, it creates false demand signals which can spiral out of control and cause havoc for manufacturing. Automating a supply chain eliminates false demand signals, and provides order fulfillment efficiency and mitigate backorder problems which can be toxic for business.

Set mapping with the Summate scanning solution provides almost all the benefits of scanning at point of use, with virtually none of the technology challenges, implementation costs and process disruptions of traditional direct part marking. Almost every industry in uber efficient consumer retail markets use a similar process called shelf tagging.

It's time that the orthopedic industry look at set mapping as a solution for the $20 billion non sterile orthopedic implant market. It's time to put Scan in the Plan with Summate Technologies.

For more info, contact:

Phil Sayles

Summate Technologies, Inc.


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