Supply Chain Peace of Mind for Buffalo Hospital Supply
To operate effectively and always be ready to execute in the omni-channel age, it’s critical that organizations have a nimble, flexible supply chain solution. But it’s not just about gaining greater inventory visibility or reducing costs—companies also must ensure business continuity during a natural disaster or other unforeseen event. To that end, Manhattan Associates recently helped Buffalo Hospital Supply, a New York-based distributor of surgical equipment and other medical supplies, implement an innovative solution that allows the company to continue operating under virtually any circumstance.
BHS delivers vital medical products to nursing homes and hospitals throughout the Buffalo region, and its customers rely on the company for timely delivery. In fact, according to Jim Casselman, BHS’ CIO, it’s not uncommon for a hospital to place an order in the morning for a product that is required in the operating room that afternoon. Manhattan’s SCALE platform ensures that BHS’ distribution network can meet these challenging demands but, given their timely nature, the company wanted to reduce the risk associated with a solely on-premises supply chain solution.
Rather than extending the on-premises infrastructure to another physical location, Manhattan suggested that BHS connect to the cloud on the Windows Azure platform. The organization now runs Manhattan SCALE on-premises with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 with disaster recovery in the cloud on the Windows Azure platform. The former’s AlwaysOn feature keeps data synchronized between the on-premises databases and those maintained in Windows Azure. With AlwaysOn, applications automatically connect to the database replicas stored off-premises during an emergency, while Manhattan SCALE continues running in the cloud. The disaster recovery solution also includes a virtual private network, which connects on-premises infrastructure and radio frequency devices used throughout the supply chain to Windows Azure.
The solution provides Jim and his team with peace of mind, knowing that BHS’ supply chain solution can withstand any kind of disaster—manmade or otherwise. It’s also enabled the company to compete more effectively with larger healthcare systems that have extensive delivery networks. According to Jim:
“We’re facing competitors with global operations, and, as a smaller, independent company, one of the first questions that we’re asked…is how we ensure that we can move product in the event of a disaster. Now, we can confidently answer that question with a solution from Microsoft and Manhattan Associates.”
The disaster recovery solution is just the first step for BHS. In the future, the company plans to deploy its entire Manhattan SCALE solution in the cloud on Windows Azure.
Manhattan looks forward to working closely with BHS as its supply chain transformation continues and helping more organizations ensure that they are always ready to execute—even in the most unpredictable of circumstances.