Customer Case Study
Medical & Surgical Products Supplier Migrates to the CloudFirst Cloud to Save Time, Money and Lives
The Claflin Company is a full-line distributor of medical and surgical products sourced from over 500 regional, national and international suppliers. One of Rhode Island’s oldest companies, Claflin considers its leadership in supply chain management and logistics to be a key competitive advantage in servicing healthcare providers.
Founded in 1817, Claflin has been in the healthcare industry for over 200 years. But that doesn’t mean they use yesterday’s technology. In fact, Claflin is considered a pioneer in the adaptation of Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory techniques to acute care providers, and has a long history of innovation in serving the healthcare supply market. With sister company CME Corp., a leading supplier of medical equipment, together they operate facilities in Rhode Island, New York and California. A nation-wide network of affiliated sales companies, strategically located warehouses, and field-based sales reps ensure crucial medical supplies and equipment are promptly delivered to healthcare providers across the country. All these different locations and employees would connect to Claflin’s central System for their core business activities including generating sales quotes, order entry and tracking, checking inventory status, etc., and to access the company’s ERP software application.
Mike Oliver, Claflin CIO, understood back in 2014 that migrating to the cloud would solve most of their performance issues and would improve connectivity, resource allocation and redundancy over the current system. However, at the time the company was growing so fast that allocating the resources for the project was difficult. Mike proposed using two different cloud providers, CloudFirst for the IBM i/ AS400, and a secondary location for Claflin’s Intel/VM environment.
The initial onboarding and migration of the ERP system to CloudFirst went well. Any minor speedbumps were taken care of by CloudFirst promptly. CloudFirst went above and beyond to endure a smooth transition to a IBM i Virtual Cloud Server. Claflin continued to use both CloudFirst for its IBM i needs and the secondary cloud provider for the Intel/VM hosting for the next few years. In 2018 they decided to test the hosting of several VMs that communicated directly with the IBM i in CloudFirst’s infrastructure. This transition also went very well and allowed Claflin to consolidate to a single cloud provider, streamlining communications and support while eliminating vendor overlap. Claflin has continued to add more and more VMs using DCS and will continue to do so. CloudFirst continues to deliver outstanding service and support daily. Claflin recently reported an after-hours issue with a server to which it did not have access. A support ticket was generated around 7 PM and within 30 minutes the problem was resolved. As Lisa Golia, Claflin project manager, stated, “You have to love cloud services!”