People all over the world have come to depend on Smith & Nephew to address their pressing health care needs and improve their quality of life. Smith & Nephew focuses on repairing the human body with its innovative, cost-effective health care products and holds leading global market positions in Orthopaedics, Wound Management (WM) and Endoscopy. Founded in 1856, Smith & Nephew now operates in 34 countries, employs 7,500 people and generates annual sales of over US $2 billion.


With so much on the line, the company places great importance on ensuring that the right products get to patients and medical providers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Today, Smith & Nephew WM, Largo, Florida ships $800,000 worth of vital medical supplies and equipment all over the world every day. With volumes increasing, Smith & Nephew WM, Largo quickly outgrew its distribution process and set out to find a total solution that could grow with the business.


Initially, the company shipped its orders with one parcel carrier using many of the same carrier-supplied systems. The fragmented free systems left many gaps for the company to fill. Smith & Nephew WM, Largo needed to optimize its shipping process with a total solution that included pack verification capabilities as well as shipping optimization features like rate shopping and zone skipping. In addition, the system needed to seamlessly integrate with its host AS400 ERP system, without sacrificing processing speed. There are a lot of manifest systems out there, but we wanted something that actually talked as one system, recalls Susan Simpkins, logistics coordinator for Smith & Nephew WM, Largo. Our top priority was pack verification support, and not a lot of solutions offer that, especially for the needs of a medical company regulated by the FDA.


Kewill had everything we were looking for in a system, including the ability to customize the solution to address all of our FDA regulated needs, says Simpkins. Kewill.Ship Enterprise is a browser-enabled application for organizations seeking an enterprise-wide multi-carrier transportation management system, managed through centralized administration tools. With one server to manage, administrators gain more flexibility and control over systems maintenance and thereby eliminate the need to perform software updates from multiple locations. Kewill.Ship Enterprise manages compliance for most major carriers including the U.S. Postal Service and less-than-truckload carriers. Hosted on a Windows/NT server, front-office users can submit shipments from any enterprise-wide location. The solution provides customer service representatives with immediate access to all order and shipping information in one database, across the enterprise. This browser-based technology supports deployment over a wide variety of technologies such as LAN, WAN and intranet.


Today, Smith & Nephew WM, Largo operates 10 integrated Kewill.Ship workstations. Each dedicated workstation has a scanner, scales and document and label printers. The enterprise solution, which integrates seamlessly with the AS400 ERP system, allows them to swiftly process shipments, access shipment information and provide assistance if needed across locations. The solution also integrates with Kewill Compliance Partner, a Microsoft.NET-based, browser-accessible application providing a seamless transition from packing to shipping. The solution enables Smith & Nephew WM, Largo to pack cartons while verifying contents against actual orders in its host system. This gives the company the ability to build carton level detail data with simplicity and accuracy. Kewill Compliance Partner provides protection against short-shipped orders and overpacks insuring a higher level of order accuracy.


Within six months of going live, the company saved over $150,000 due to bill of lading functionality, rate shopping and 100-weight consolidation support, notes Simpkins. With processes running so smoothly, the company next plans to implement the Kewill solution at its Clearwater, Florida and LaJolla, California facilities.


Brian Hodgson is vice president of Marketing at Kewill. For more information, please visit