In 2006, Stryker deployed TradeBeam’s i-Supply solution among three production sites, two in Germany and one in Switzerland. These production sites started together with Stryker’s distribution center in Japan, enabling the DC to use just one VMI tool to collaborate with the three production sites. Stryker went live with i-Supply with its first supplier in 2007 and added two more suppliers by the year’s end.
After implementing i-Supply among two more suppliers in 2008, Stryker decided to spend the following year consolidating the work with its existing partners to help them optimize process efficiencies. Currently, i-Supply is being used among two suppliers in Germany as well as one in each of the United States, Sweden and Switzerland (Figure 1).
Using TradeBeam’s i-Supply solution, Stryker has decreased its inventory levels by up to 50 percent. Some supplier sites were able to stabilize their inventory while experiencing a 20 percent increase in demand (Figure 2). For some of the company’s products, i-Supply is being used throughout the entire supply chain; certain parts are managed all the way from the supplier, to Stryker’s sales staff, to the distribution center. This allows Stryker to purchase parts from the supplier and directly send the same parts via its DCs, resulting in decreased inventory levels and improved service levels along the supply chain, as well as the elimination of stockouts.
By running i-Supply over its entire supply chain coming from Europe for one customer distribution center in Japan, Stryker has strengthened supplier collaboration, improved support among partners and optimized operations along the supply chain. Essentially, using a single, one-language tool has enabled suppliers and customers to have the same basic principles and ultimately simplify supply chain management.
Looking ahead, Stryker plans to focus on its strategic suppliers, double the number of suppliers using i-Supply throughout 2010, and increase the number of products running over i-Supply to more than 75 percent.
TradeBeam’s i-Supply solution proved to be exactly what Stryker needed to successfully meet its goals. Since implementing i-Supply, Stryker has increased its service levels among affiliates and end users, reduced inventory levels and improved work flow. Moreover, the company has achieved its overarching goal of realizing cost savings via less obsolescence and planning work as well as fewer administration costs.