Catalyst delivers SAP mobile application to hospital

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Catalyst, a business unit of CDC Global Services, has announced that Kingston General Hospital in Ontario, Canada, has implemented a mobile warehouse and inventory control system based on Web Dynpro technology, part of the development environment of SAP NetWeaver.

The solution, which has been live since early January 2008, is part of the hospitals overall SAP upgrade and currently provides seven key transactions that integrate handheld Motorola Radio Frequency (RF) devices with the core SAP supply chain and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

As part of Kingston General Hospitals update to SAP ECC 6.0, the organisation also reviewed the peripheral systems that interfaced to the core ERP. According to Derrick Morey, business technologies manager for material management at Kingston General Hospital, this highlighted some important areas for improvement. Our review showed that our existing bar coding system was rather antiquated and unable to meet the materials management demands of the hospital going forward. We decided to look for a partner that could provide the specialist skills needed to design, develop and support an advanced RF solution that integrated seamlessly with the SAP ERP.

Kingston General Hospital identified Catalyst as the most suitable partner for this project. Derrick Morey explains, Catalyst demonstrated its knowledge, capabilities and experience as a full service provider of fully integrated supply chain solutions in the SAP environment. We wanted to work with a company as a true partner, developing a mutually beneficial long-term relationship and Catalyst responded very positively to this. They were able to look at our requirement and recommend a solution that was best suited to our needs and based on the very latest SAP technology. They were also able to work closely with our own development team, sharing resources and expertise to design and deliver an excellent solution based on the Web Dynpro application.

Mobile Web Dynpro is a flexible technology for developing mobile SAP transactions, designed to be executed on handheld terminals. It includes a Java-based toolkit that greatly reduces development time and provides flexibility in solution design.

Catalyst and Kingston General Hospital have developed a series of seven transactions using mobile Web Dynpro that enable a range of key activities within the warehouse to be managed by handheld devices, fully integrated with the core SAP system. These transactions enable the efficient management of goods receipt processes and much greater management and visibility of inventory levels and stock movement. Further transactions add greater speed, accuracy and visibility to picking processes and cycle counting requirements.

Derrick Morey adds, Even during the first few weeks since implementation we are seeing substantial benefits from having technicians connected to SAP through wireless networks. It allows them to stay out in the field, wirelessly uploading and receiving information, rather than having to return to a terminal to physically connect the devices to the network. This provides a lot more accurate, real-time information to be communicated directly to the users and allows them to handle goods receipts, picking and dispatch much more efficiently.

Barry Blaskie, manager for material planning and distribution at Kingston General Hospital and the business process owner comments, The increased visibility of realtime data also gives supervisors and managers much greater control over all aspects of warehouse and supply chain management. We can see the status of every order and stock line going through the system and can base re-order quantities and reservations on live, accurate information. This helps us to keep stock levels to an optimum level, which is an important benefit to us because space is at a real premium.

Brian Thorn, vice president of sales and operations for Catalyst, comments, We are pleased to be helping Kingston General Hospital realize its vision of utilizing and extending the functional reach of SAP at a world class medical facility. Catalyst specializes in working very closely with clients own IT resources. We aim to provide technical expertise and experience, to ensure our solutions and services deliver good value as well as advanced and specialized SAP implementation skills.

Kingston General Hospital is continuing to develop the system and is working with Catalyst to identify and deliver further enhancements. Catalyst has been an excellent partner from day one. We wanted a partner that brought real expertise to the table, but would also work in tandem with our own capabilities and resources to ensure maximum value from the relationship. We have worked really well together to develop a solution based on new technology that really delivers on all the benefits we expected, Derrick Morey concludes.

About Catalyst

Catalyst, Inc. is an SAP services company specializing in building and implementing business solutions for enterprise requirements in supply chain execution, planning, and management. Catalyst excels at helping organizations with complex distribution networks in the retail, manufacturing, life sciences, process, and consumer packaged good sectors; as well as parts distribution for the automotive, aerospace, and electronics industries. Catalyst serves hundreds of customers around the world from its headquarters in Newtown, PA, USA and its European headquarters in London, England.

About CDC Global Services

CDC Global Services provides IT consulting services, including platform-specific services for Microsoft and SAP, as well as project management, staff augmentation, managed help desk solutions and a full range of outsourced service offerings.  We can also provide hardware for data collection and RFID, through partnerships with some of the industrys most reputable vendors.  CDC Global Services embraces a customer-first approach, which means we are able to draw upon a wide range of expert resources to address each customers unique business needs, while keeping their best interest as a top priority. CDC Global Services customers benefit from streamlined vendor management and the ability to control project costs, while being able to access the right IT resources through a singular point of contact. 

About Kingston General Hospital

Affiliated with Queens University, Kingston General Hospital is a 456-bed specialized teaching and research hospital that serves more than 500,000 people in southeastern Ontario and is the community hospital for the Kingston area. Kingston General Hospital provides an array of specialized acute and ambulatory clinical services including trauma, cardiac, stroke, pediatric, perinatal, end stage renal and stem cell transplants. Home to the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario, Kingston General Hospital is dedicated to compassionate, high quality health care in a dynamic academic research environment. It features a robust research program and provides hands-on skill training for close to 1,900 health-care students annually. 

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