One Good Turn (sponsored by SmartTurn)
Every business wants to grow, but rapid expansion presents challenges as flourishing companies struggle with more complex inventory and warehouse management operations.
Osteogenics Biomedical recently faced this situation as it coped with breakneck growth, a small 2,500-square-foot warehouse, and an outdated management system.
The Lubbock, Texas-based company is a leader in the development of innovative guided tissue regeneration (GTR) products, used by oral and maxillofacial surgeons, periodontists, and other clinicians involved in regenerative or implant dentistry.
"We develop sutures and membranes, mostly in house," says Wesley Goldwater, Osteogenics’s senior operations manager. "The dental market has experienced significant growth during the last several years, as have other medical fields."
An obsolete and underpowered Excel-based management technology that offered only limited insight was dragging down daily operations at the 30-employee company.
"As we become larger, we have to obtain more real-time information," he observes. "The old system worked well for awhile, but it just could not handle our growth."
A Turn for the Better
To acquire management software as advanced as the medical devices it produces, Osteogenics looked to SmartTurn, a leader in on-demand inventory and warehouse solutions.
The SmartTurn Inventory and Warehouse Management System handles purchasing, receiving/putaway, inventory, order fulfillment, and shipping data with features designed for fast implementation, ease of use, and real-time inventory accuracy.
The software gives Osteogenics’ managers insight into every aspect of the company’s warehouse operations.
"SmartTurn allows us to see inventory by location, so we know exactly what shelf a product is on," Goldwater reports. "Before, we just did total inventory counts."
Lot tracking is another SmartTurn capability that Osteogenics utilizes to full advantage.
"Instead of just ordering an item picked, our production manager can now request a specific lot, off a specific shelf," Goldwater says. "Lot tracking helps us operate more proactively."
The software also allows Osteogenics to use economic order quantity values for the first time.
"We can use calculations to decide when to increase production and what quantity to produce in order to be most cost-efficient," Goldwater explains. He describes the feature as a powerful and sophisticated planning tool. "Knowing what quantity to make lets us avoid under- or over-producing," he notes.
SmartTurn also makes it easier for Osteogenics workers to retrieve the raw materials they require to fabricate the company’s various medical devices.
"When our production team needs raw materials for an item, they can easily find what they need. All they have to do is check with SmartTurn," Goldwater says.
SmartTurn’s on-demand model meshes well with Osteogenics’ fast growth. "SmartTurn doesn’t charge us for additional users or support. We continue to grow, but our cost stays the same," Goldwater says.
Goldwater appreciates SmartTurn’s inherent flexibility. "It complements and integrates into our current processes, so we don’t have to change our methods or retrain employees," he says.
Now that Osteogenics’ warehouse operations are under control and running smoothly, the company can begin planning for future growth.
"We’re looking at adding another 10,000-square-foot facility beside our current one," Goldwater says.
He notes that the company will use SmartTurn at the new facility as soon as it comes online. "We believe SmartTurn will help us as much in the future as it does today," he says.