Case Study

SomnoMed

SomnoMed takes its device manufacturing to the cloud

SomnoMed is a world leader in developing medical devices that treat obstructive sleep apnea by keeping a patient’s airway continually open while they sleep. Their devices have already been used by over 45,000 Australians and 350,000 people worldwide.

Their product, the SomnoDent® is a device custom-made for patient comfort and is available from specialist dentists. The range of devices offered follow their “Continuous Open Airway Therapy” brand, COAT™.

While working with Brennan IT, the first part of the supply chain process for the SomnoDent® COAT device was fairly labour intensive. Dentists were required to create 3D moulds, which were digitally converted by local SomnoMed designers and then sent to an overseas production facility. This meant that patients were often waiting a considerable time for their device.

From an operational perspective, SomnoMed was also experiencing some typical technology challenges. They were relying upon an outdated, on-premise infrastructure which often failed. This was preventing the business from taking full advantage of opportunities to digitise and fast-track elements of its supply chain. Staff were also continually frustrated by their underperforming technology, which was affecting the business’ ability to retain quality employees.

The Challenges

1. Poor system performance
The greatest challenge for SomnoMed was the inferior quality of its dated, on-premise infrastructure. For some time, they had been experiencing system outages and downtime. This was impeding the overall efficiency and productivity of the business. In addition, their organisational data transfer was slow and cumbersome. Even just reliably sending and receiving emails, and uploading and downloading files, was a challenge.

2. Ineffective collaboration and communication
As all of SomnoMed’s infrastructure was on-premise, rather than in the cloud, there was also very little opportunity for staff to work remotely, and information-sharing between its forty global hubs, and the Manilla production facility, was also somewhat limited.

3. Lack of digitisation across the supply chain
Most importantly, as well as restricting day-to-day communication and collaboration, SomnoMed’s technology was preventing the full digitisation of its supply chain. Just like many of its global competitors, SomnoMed realised there was an enormous opportunity to streamline its supply chain by enabling dentists to send computer-generated images of a patient’s teeth and bite registration straight to SomnoMed’s hubs, rather than creating a 3D mould which then needed to be quality checked, and re-created.

With Brennan IT’s help, SomnoMed was able to reduce the time to produce an individual SomnoDent® COAT device by three or four days.

The Solution
SomnoMed engaged Brennan IT to scope, design and implement a completely new, cloud-based digital infrastructure; a process that took around four months from start to finish.

As a first priority, Brennan IT recommended that SomnoMed migrate their email to Microsoft Office 365. This delivered some immediate efficiencies in terms of communication, and the speed with which employees could share information.

Brennan IT then moved SomnoMed’s entire infrastructure across to a cloud-based infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution, which has provided much-improved stability and reliability. The solution means Brennan IT is now responsible, as a managed service provider, for coordinating all of SomnoMed’s email, infrastructure, network connectivity, security and disaster recovery. Brennan IT also provides day-to-day IT support for SomnoMed’s employees via an online portal or phone, and local support is also provided, internally, by SomnoMed’s hubs.

SomTrack is a bespoke, proprietary core business app that is now hosted in the Brennan IT-managed IaaS environment, and all orders are placed and managed via this application.

Brennan IT also manages all of the company’s data links; providing a secure data network that connects SomnoMed’s various hubs and end users to the cloud, so people and offices can enjoy very secure and robust network connections.

By outsourcing their technology to an expert provider, SomnoMed’s employees are now free to focus on innovating their supply chain and improving their products, rather than worrying about their technology. In addition, by digitising the process through which the SomnoDent® COAT device is produced, and managing the entire process via the SomTrack app, the business has been able to save enormous amounts of time, remove duplication and ensure greater precision with their modelling.

SomnoMed also now uses Skype for Business to collaborate and share screens, to quickly get answers to questions and deliver superior devices for patients.

Results
The results from a cloud-based solution have been rapid and significant.

Most importantly, the business now enjoys 100 per cent uptime, which means staff are far less frustrated by their infrastructure.

They are also able to have any technical issues resolved quickly and effectively, thanks to Brennan IT’s support and fixed service level agreement for response times. Plus, they have the peace of mind of knowing that if a disaster occurs, they can have their data back up and running within hours.

As a global business, being able to communicate via digital channels using video calls has been extremely valuable. The business now has monthly team meetings with representatives from their global team, hubs and the Manilla production facility.

Brennan IT keeps SomnoMed fully informed regarding the progress of their network at every stage, with regular service and compliance reports.

By digitising key elements of their supply chain, the business has also enjoyed enormous cost savings. There is no duplication in terms of creating CAD diagrams for each individual mould, and there is also no longer a need to employ people, at each hub, to unpack moulds and collate patient details. Now, the CAD designers simply access the accurate images they need via the SomTrack app.

SomnoMed estimates that the business has cut an average of three or four days from the production of each individual mould, which means enormous productivity benefits, as well as faster delivery for end patients. The quality of the end product has also increased significantly, and is now more precise than ever before.

Find out more
To learn more about how Brennan IT could help you revolutionise your manufacturing supply chain, get in touch on 1300 500 000 or click here to find out more. 

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