This week's Product Story showcases Tulip's cloud-based platform to help MasksOn ship 5x the amount of product in a day.
MasksOn is comprised of clinicians, technologists and other organizations who are working together to solve the shortage of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to protect the front-line workers in all industries. The high demand for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) created a supply chain issue and left many without protection. MasksOn has taken on this challenge and developed a new type of PPE by attaching an air filter to a scuba mask with the help of a 3D printed adapter. They have successfully shipped thousands of masks which provided over 12 million added days of clinical protection.
MasksOn is operating with a distributed workforce and complex supply chain which was originally all scaled with a manual spreadsheet. This process was time consuming and derailing the mission to supply masks faster to those in need. It was apparent that they were facing a supply chain issue internally too. They teamed up with Lightspeed Manufacturing, who had the capacity to increase production, but the manual process to fulfill orders, combined with the distributed communication systems hindered them from keeping up with demand.
“In the early days of the MasksOn project, I knew immediately that we needed a more scalable, sustainable process,” recalled Bradley Sauln of MasksOn, “We were hand taking in inventory, marking everything, hand creating tracking numbers for the parts, and even creating shipping labels manually.”
Tulip was able to take in all the variables of MasksOn's current process, including being a distributed organization that is geographically dispersed, and develop a customized platform that would provide a much more efficient process for both the customer and MasksOn's manufacturers. Traditionally, it could take years to customize a system to aid in internal logistics across a dispersed set of manufacturers and months to implement it. The Tulip platform is cloud-based which means they could easily implement Tulip for their distributed workforce across multiple locations, simultaneously, with little effort or interruption to fulfillment due to the platforms ability to be utilized on any type of desktop or mobile device without coding or expert installation. Tulip was able to develop a customized platform and implement it in only four days across all locations.
“There’s an environment that’s constantly changing … This software, because it’s cloud based, allows us to form these operations really quickly.”- Aaron Haines, LightSpeed MFG.
The customized Tulip platform increased MasksOn's process from 200 units per day to over 1,000 units. This included ordering applications for healthcare workers to place demands directly on the supply chain, applications to help suppliers reserve inventory for those demands, shipping management and mobile applications to allow people to volunteer to deliver inventory. They are no longer running out of inventory and manually tracking everything. Tulip's platform allows them to focus on the original mission, getting PPE equipment into the hands of those who need it most.