Field inventory management with STOK
Intelligent solutions for the management of healthcare products at the point of care
By offering STOK’s tailored services for medical equipment and pharmaceutical companies, Arvato is providing efficient logistics and inventory management solutions in and en route to hospitals. These services create transparency regarding stock levels, product usage and product availability, while also saving manufacturers time and money. In this way, Arvato also reduces the workload of external sales forces and hospital staff so that they have more time for their core tasks.
With its many years of experience in the healthcare market, especially in the area of supplying clinics with medical products, Arvato’s STOK team is the ideal partner for effective logistics and transparent inventory management processes – throughout Europe. STOK employees perform regular inventory inspections and reporting tasks, which means that hospital staff have more time for what matters most – patient wellbeing. Improvements in product availability also strengthen the partnership between hospitals and medical technology manufacturers.
STOK solutions at a glance
- The leading European service system for the inventory management of high-value healthcare products at hospitals
- Guarantees constant product availability while also optimising process costs
- Specialists in high-value medical and pharmaceutical products – all of the statutory requirements are fulfilled
- Partnerships with leading medical technology manufacturers
- Our team of specialists has unrivalled expertise in the field of medical devices and is familiar with the specific demands of the cardiology and orthopaedics industries, for example. It also knows each hospital’s individual requirements and preferences – throughout Europe
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Our business solution!
Learn how to make your logistics for medical technology even more efficient! Read more about our inventory management solutions in and en route to the hospital.
Outsourcing isn’t about what you can substract from a business, it’s about what you can add.Paul Wilkinson, Founder and Directing Manager, STOK UK
An integrated, modular long term consignment concept
STOK partners with numerous medical technology manufacturers and its solutions are based on a client-specific, modular service concept. The solutions range from stocktaking on the ward and site-specific usage analyses and recommendations regarding the optimum stock level, right through to comprehensive inventory management solutions – our Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) service. In addition to recording and replenishing stocks, the VMI service also includes the reordering, management and redistribution of products that are close to their expiry date. To this end, our STOK employees pay regular, comprehensive visits to hospitals throughout Europe.
Cycle Counting forms the basis of STOK´s inventory management solutions which is used to record inventories on the ward.
Inventory Management supplements the Cycle Counting service by identifying and collecting products that are close to their expiry dates.
Short term consignment: Implant kits
Implant kits help manufacturers to significantly reduce stock levels at their consignment warehouses. STOK creates kits by collating all products and consumables needed for an implantation. The kits are delivered to the ward at the hospital as required for the operation, after which they are collected again.
Having a designated contact person reduces complexity
Behind the scenes, the customer service team takes care of all of the administrative tasks associated with STOK’s services. These include documentation, the accurate and timely settlement with manufacturers, invoicing and the whole area of order processing. We support every client with our comprehensive reporting system and we actively make recommendations regarding stock levels and the frequency of deliveries. In addition to this, each hospital has one of our STOK employees as a permanent point of contact. This employee records stock levels, restocks and collects products.
Cycle Counting forms the basis of STOK’s inventory management solutions. It involves our employees visiting hospitals to reliably record and document stock levels and, where applicable, to clarify any discrepancies immediately on site. In this way, the manufacturer obtains a detailed picture of product usage and the remaining stock on an article by article basis. The frequency of the cycle can be agreed on an individual basis, for example it could be every two weeks, once a month or once a quarter. There is also flexibility regarding the systematic on-site stocktaking process. Either STOK’s own scanner-based stocktaking system can be used or the manufacturer’s own IT solutions can be integrated into the process.
Inventory Management supplements the Cycle Counting service by identifying and collecting products that are close to their expiry dates. The objective is to make appropriate use of these products and thus to avoid destruction costs. One way in which STOK helps to ensure that the identified products are used first is by displaying a ‘Use me first’ sticker in a clearly visible place on the packaging. Articles that have expired or are too close to expiry are returned to the manufacturer by STOK. If requested by the client, such returns can also trigger an appropriate subsequent delivery. STOK can also assume responsibility for the thorough monitoring of expiry dates, which ensures the proactive supervision of this process.
Vendor Managed Inventory
The Inventory Management service can be supplemented by adding our comprehensive VMI solutions, whereby STOK also triggers subsequent reordering, performs on-site checks of products from subsequent deliveries and transfers them to the consignment warehouse. This replenishment process usually takes place on the following working day, in line with client-specific requirements. If requested, regional warehouses (forward stocking locations) can be used in order to provide same-day deliveries. Alternatively, deliveries can be shipped from our European central warehouse. It is possible for STOK’s own forward stocking locations, the manufacturer’s central warehouse or our international logistics and distribution centres to be seamlessly integrated into any solution.
Forward Stocking Location
STOK’s own forward stocking locations (FSLs) are enabling Arvato to bridge the gap between European central warehouses and local stock availability at hospitals.
Arvato is using a European FSL network initially spanning eight countries that have been identified as important. The way that the FSLs are distributed within these countries makes it possible for products to be delivered to hospital wards very quickly in emergencies. By 2019, more than ten of these client-specific external warehouses will be established in Germany alone. The warehouses will be temperature controlled and comply with healthcare standards.
A particularly important aspect is the quick and secure delivery of emergency shipments and implant kits. The size of hospital inventories can consequently be reduced because, with Arvato, products can be delivered within a few hours. So there is no longer any need for excessively high medical technology product stocks to be held in reserve. Trained drivers will be using STOK’s own vehicles to make deliveries, so there is no need to pay high prices for express delivery services from central warehouses.
The FSLs are, of course, integrated into the European warehouse management system and the quality management system. This means that clients have a comprehensive overview and full control of their inventories and products beyond the central warehouse. At the same time, they benefit from the just-in-time distribution of urgent deliveries.
Product availability at hospitals within just a few hours
In addition to our portfolio of services, which includes Cycle Counting, Inventory Management and VMI, our implant kits also help manufacturers to significantly reduce stock levels at their consignment warehouses. STOK creates kits by collating all products and consumables needed for an implantation. The kits are delivered to the ward at the hospital as required for the operation, after which they are collected again. STOK has its own fleet of vehicles, which we use to provide prompt deliveries directly to the hospital wards – in emergencies these deliveries arrive within just a few hours. Afterwards, STOK employees check to see which products were used so that the hospital is only invoiced for the articles actually used.
The advantage of these implant kits is that all of the products needed for the operation are in the right place at the right time. It also relieves hospital staff of the associated administrative tasks so that they have more time for patients. Implant kits are already being used for cardiovascular medical equipment and orthopaedics and it is always possible to expand the solution to include additional product groups.
Reverse logistics and exchanging products
STOK offers a comprehensive returns management service for hospitals, which also includes product exchange by way of inter-hospital deliveries. Offering this service involves us being in direct contact with hospitals, which accelerates the processes and significantly reduces the number of errors made with collections. Notified returns are collected by our own employees. They are then checked in accordance with SOP at our STOK sites, after which they are warehoused again – or sent for destruction. We also offer manufacturers a special service for product recalls, whereby STOK employees identify specific serial numbers at hospitals and recall the relevant products.
Bio bins (UN3373) simplify the collection and disposal of explanted pacemakers. The bio bins are collected directly from the operating theatre. The devices they contain are then catalogued and the device serial numbers are reported back to the manufacturer. If required, this solution can be extended to include additional products.