Emergency Response Distribution System Debuts

IWS ships mobile warehouse solution to aid in fast response to disasters; designed to support CDC's emergency plans

IWS ships mobile warehouse solution to aid in fast response to disasters; designed to support CDC's emergency plans

Downers Grove, IL — Integrated Warehousing Solutions (IWS) has debuted the what it is calling the industry's first commercial-grade "out-of-the-box" system for mobile emergency response, a compact, easy-to-activate and operate warehouse and inventory control system for use by federal, state and local agencies in the event of an emergency.

IWS, a provider of supply chain, warehouse and distribution management solutions, said that the solution, dubbed the IRMS Mobile Emergency Response System ("Go-Kit"), builds on the company's expertise in designing scalable distribution systems to support real-time response.

Packed in a custom-designed case to ensure secure storage, the "Go-Kit" includes rugged commercial grade laptops pre-configured with the application, mobile wireless access points, handheld wireless devices and scanners for recording distribution and patient information, printers and satellite telephone.

Visibility Up and Down the Supply Chain

The "Go-Kit" was initially designed to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) efforts, which call for up to 50 tons of pre-prepped pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to be distributed to affected areas to ensure that assistance reached those in need as soon as possible.

Allowing distribution and treatment centers to be operational in as little as 12 minutes, the "Go-Kit" would form the backbone of a statewide or local distribution strategy critical to maintaining a coordinated response to large-scale bioterrorism or pandemic events. By ensuring complete visibility both upstream — to command centers — and downstream — to field operations — the system is intended to allow crisis teams to focus on the most important priorities, IWS said.

Monitoring Distribution

"We've seen this reality played out over and over again in the past year: even the most responsible plans can quickly be rendered obsolete when disaster does actually strike," said Carl Brewer, president of IWS. "What's needed is a new approach — one that incorporates flexibility and adaptability — so that alternatives can be developed on the fly, victims get help quickly and respondents can maintain responsible oversight."

Incorporating emergency response decision support wizards to control and monitor medical and pharmaceutical supplies, the "Go-Kit" allows command and control personnel to monitor distribution of supplies in real-time without the need to call field personnel and shift resources.

IWS said it designed the application to support both a multi-tiered distribution model for managing large-scale events over a vast geographic area or, with a point-and-click configure option, to handle mobile clinic scenarios such as flu vaccinations. In either case the "Go-Kit" maintains control of supplies, with options to record critical medical information such as lot control and patient level information, according to IWS.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Best practices in returns management can help you overcome the "black hole" of the returns process. Read more in "More Than an Afterthought: Moving Aftermarket Services Forward through Intelligent Returns Management," an SDCExec.com exclusive.

— The world may or may not be flat, but supply chains must still stretch around the globe. Read about one high-tech manufacturer's quest to deliver near-perfect fills rates across its global service organization in "Managing a Global Supply Chain in a 'Flat' World," only on SDCExec.com.