Gyrus ACMI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of medical visualization and energy systems for surgical procedures.
With major distribution operations located in Maple Grove, Minn., the company supports its customers via its network of facilities in Bartlett, Tenn.; Norwalk, Ohio and Stamford, Conn., with international distribution centers in Germany, Canada, Australia and Japan. The company also ships directly to customers in Latin America and Asia.
Like many other companies, Gyrus ACMI (Olympus) had automated its domestic shipping process, but export shipping was still largely a manual process.
- International orders were diverted from the general workflow to be handled by the international team.
- The team picked, packed and staged orders and produced the export documents by manually entering order details into document templates. Decisions regarding
- Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers to be used and document preparation were subject to staff interpretation.
- Shipments that required Automated Export System (AES) filing were keyed into AESDirect.gov manually.
“We were using compliance data from several manual sources, which made the risk of noncompliance too severe,” said Aric Dols, Senior Manager of Logistics and Repair at the company’s headquarters, “After consolidating and validating all of our data on thousands of exported items into one secure database, we began looking for an automated solution for export documentation that would enable us to eliminate that risk.”
SOLUTION: SHIP-IT INTERNATIONAL
The Logistyx Ship-IT™ solution was customized for Olympus to allow current compliance data to be included on every line item for every shipped order. Olympus was already using the Logistyx Ship-IT multi-carrier shipping system to automate domestic shipping in its U.S. facilities. Dols knew that it could also rate and route international shipments.
Dols asked Logistyx if Ship-IT could be configured to produce a broader set of export documents and handle the AES filing process. Together, Logistyx and Olympus developed a completely automated approach:
- Ship-IT is integrated to receive international orders from the host enterprise resource
- planning (ERP) system.
- The ERP system passes a barcoded pick ticket to the international team. The team scans the bar code to pick and pack the order, using a handheld computer to verify details.
- Ship-IT also passes the team the information it needs to consolidate export orders.
- Ship-IT analyzes each order according to a database that includes HTS codes, NAFTA and other international data. Ship-IT produces the Commercial Invoice, Shipper’s Letter of Instruction, NAFTA Certificate, Certificate of Origin and more.
- Ship-IT also files the Shipper’s Export Declaration with AESDirect.
- Details such as tracking numbers, weights, freight charges and service levels are uploaded to the ERP system for customer service and invoicing.
Dols noted several benefits:
- Greater accuracy. “We computerized our business rules and embedded them into the system to ensure that we’re meeting export regulations on every product shipped. This eliminates our risk of fines related to filing errors,” said Dols. The system ensures that the right documents are produced for every customer, product and country profile.
- Elimination of manual keying. Rekeying of data into templates has been eliminated, saving time and reducing the risk of keying errors.
- Time and labor savings. “We’ve reduced document production from 30-40 minutes to 5 minutes per shipment,” said Dols.
- Professional export documentation. The new system has introduced a high level of consistency and professionalism across all documents.
- AES filing. Filing is automatically managed by Ship-IT, requiring no staff intervention.
- Freight management improvements. Consolidations are much easier to manage, enabling the company to benefit from better freight rates.
- Streamlined Customs clearance. Consolidating shipments has also helped to simplify clearance at Custom