Computer Routing

Beaumont Hospital increases pickups through SaTech Inc.

By Joel J. Smith
The Detroit News
Friday, March 31, 2000

When Beaumont Hospital officials in Royal Oak reached their maximum capacity for picking up laboratory specimens from local doctor's offices, they turned to a small, software developer for advice.

SaTech Inc., using computer routing technology, was able to show the hospital how to increase pickups by 40 percent without adding a single driver or vehicle.

"It allowed us to grow our business which we though had reached its capacity," said Thomas M. Brisse, now assistant hospital director at Beaumont Hospital in Troy. "we did it by using some routing technology that showed us a better way of picking up our specimens. Never in a million years would we have arrived at it on our own." Brisse credits SaTech with saving the two hospital operation hundreds of thousands of dollars.

St. John Health Care System in Detroit said SaTech has reduced the slack time of its drivers by 70 percent and eliminated overtime by 50 percent. SaTech, a three-person operation in Bloomfield Township, was founded by Joseph R. Sadler in 1996. Its mission is to help companies find better routing procedures for picking up and delivering items.

Through the use of computers, SaTech can map out better strategies for routing, taking into consideration such things as traffic patterns, time of day and weather conditions. The software and consulting service has seen its client list grow to 150 companies and expects revenue to triple over the next two years.

"What we do is create efficient solutions to best utilize delivery employees and vehicles," said Sadler. "It eliminates the unproductive time behind the wheel." Sadler's company will actually map out delivery routes and include a detailed description of the route for the driver. There is no time lost looking for an address.

At the same time, the computer considers the individual needs of the customer such as what time the package must be delivered or picked up. Currently, SaTech handles the routing systems for 35 medical laboratories around the country, saving them anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of their delivery costs.

SaTech now is working with Beaumont Hospital on a more efficient way for nurses to make some 20,000 home visits each month. "We want to take the crisis out of their day," said Sadler. The computer program is so sophisticated, that it can readjust routes to handle a changing weather situation or a flu bug which results in drivers calling in sick. "We give them a doable solution," said Sadler.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS
"The program that has rung the loudest for me and is blowing my competition away when it comes to efficiencies in routing is the one that is offered by SaTech Logistics.
"...after better than two years of experience with SaTech, the benefits have been ten fold at a miniumum."
Director of Operations
Midwest Dairy Distributor
"A 14% reduction in just 6 months..."
"Efficiencies aside, we have also taken a manual task that used to take up to 90 minutes to perform down to a task of no more than 5-10 minutes."
Director, Materials Distribution
East Coast Utility Company