Allstream signs agreement with Hospital Logistics for RFID solution

Toronto 30 May 2005Allstream, one of Canada's national business communication solutions providers, has signed an agreement with Hospital Logistics Inc. (HLI) to provide a supply chain management solution using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Hospital Logistics Inc. is a Toronto, Ontario-based company that provides supply chain management solutions to hospitals across the Greater Toronto Area.

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As part of the agreement, in the first phase, Allstream will provide a Web-hosted RFID solution for HLI's supply chain management system for real-time access and use within their warehouse facilities. The solution will enable Hospital Logistics Inc. to review scanned RFID tag information and be alerted to order discrepancies before products leave the warehouse. Allstream will program RFID tags that will be associated with each order to ensure that the medical and surgical supply inventory has been accurately delivered to HLI's customers, as well as providing real-time information to warehouse staff for any discrepancies. In the next phase, the solution will be expanded to include an inventory management tracking system for HLI's external suppliers.

"We are very excited to work with HLI in implementing this new RFID solution", stated Ron McKenzie, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Business Development. "This alliance marks the first phase roll-out of Allstream's portfolio of RFID solutions that will improve customers' inventory and supply chain management processes. Today's announcement further strengthens Allstream's position as a solutions innovator focused on delivering application enhancing network services that offer a competitive advantage for our customer's business."

"As a leader in our industry, Hospital Logistics Inc. is always looking to implement best practice and adopt new technologies like RFID to improve our supply chain management execution", stated David Yundt, President and COO, Hospital Logistics Inc. "Through this solution, our goal is to deliver improved quality of service in the order management process. This will ensure accurate and real-time information that is required to achieve the high service levels essential in the health care field. Allstream's hosted RFID application will increase the speed and quality with which we can deploy our just-in-time solution, and requires far less investment of capital than alternate solutions."

Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a barcode replacement technology that allows for remotely storing and retrieving data using devices called RFID tags/transponders and readers. An RFID tag has both a microchip and antenna that can be attached to or incorporated into a product and its packaging. Tags are used to identify and track physical objects and provide real-time, accurate inventory control and supply chain management information.

"RFID tagging stands to revolutionize the way many businesses choose to optimize their operations", stated Ron McKenzie. "Businesses can capture in-depth product data and use this data as key business intelligence to reduce stock-outs and increase inventory efficiency. Additional benefits to businesses include increased item security, lower labour costs and an increase in item throughput. For many businesses, these benefits will translate into a substantial return on investment."

Allstream is a communication solutions provider with a world-class portfolio of Connectivity, Managed Services and Professional Services. Focused on the business market, Allstream collaborates with customers to create tailored solutions that meet their unique needs and help them compete more effectively. Allstream is a division of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (MTS), Canada's third largest communications provider with approximately 6600 dedicated employees focused on delivering outstanding value to its customers. MTS has an extensive broadband fibre-optic network spanning more than 24.300 kilometres, and provides international connections through strategic partnerships and interconnection agreements with other international service providers.

Hospital Logistics Inc. is a provider of supply chain management solutions to hospitals, delivering value by reducing costs and increasing service levels in support of patient care. Through its facility in Oakville, Ontario, HLI provides a technically state-of-the-art and cost-effective solution so that its hospital customers can improve management of their supply chain and streamline inventory, ordering, and distribution of medical surgical supplies.

HLI is owned by the University Health Network (UHN), the umbrella organisation that supports three teaching and research hospitals in Toronto: Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, and Toronto Western Hospital. Two other Toronto hospitals have also signed on as customers, which include Mt. Sinai Hospital and Sunnybrook & Women's Health Sciences Centre (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Women's College Hospital, and Orthopedic & Arthritic Institute).


Leslie Versweyveld

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