South Dakota Department of Health | Advancing Inventory Management & Ensuring Better Public Health


Necessity has a tendency to drive decision making, and while the need to improve and automate inventory processes was becoming increasingly clear for the South Dakota Department of Health, Public Health (SD DoH) the Covid-19 Pandemic was the force which drove this need to the top of the list.

One pillar problem was that those who carry the enormous responsibility of protecting the public, had no definitive and efficient way to answer one simple question: how prepared are we in the event of another wave, outbreak, or mass casualty event? This gap was ultimately costing SD DoH unnecessary manhours, energy, and money.

The above problem made it glaringly clear to SD DoH that it was time to take their Inventory Management Processes digital, and that’s where Shipcom came into the picture.

The above problem made it glaringly clear to SD DoH that it was time to take their Inventory Management Processes digital, and that’s where Shipcom came into the picture.

Status of the SD DoH facility before Shipcom’s IMS Solution


Starting in November 2021, Shipcom and the SD DoH teamed up to plan, develop and implement a digitized and automated inventory management solution (IMS). The system sends real-time alerts regarding product calibration / inspection status, inventory transfer requests, and when materials will soon expire. The automated IMS ensures there is inventory of critical public safety items such as consumable medical supplies and life-saving medical equipment are always available.

The process for keeping track of supplies moving from location to location within the SD DoH was now fully digitized and automated using a combination of barcoding labeling, hand-held readers and the Shipcom Catamaran NextGen™ Inventory Management Solution (software) which processes, organizes and presents all of the medical asset data to optimize inventory management and controls.

Key functions of Inventory Management that were digitized through Shipcom’s Catamaran NextGen™ Inventory Management Platform

Shipcom’s solution helped to answer these key management questions for SD DoH:

What do I have?
How much do I have?
Where is it?


The hand-held barcode readers are manufactured by Zebra, and were procured, implemented and managed by Shipcom on behalf of the SD DoH. The barcode printers were sourced by Shipcom, but were purchased directly by South Dakota Department of Health.

Zebra Barcode Printer
Zebra Hand-held Scanner


Laptop Screen: Shipcom’s Catamarn NextGen™ Inventory Management Application

With just the click of the button, operational teams now enjoyed real-time, reliable and accurate inventory reports across all of their facilities – adding extreme confidence to the decision-making process – which in turn allowed the necessary supplies to be procured at an accelerated pace, with a reduced effort.

Mobile Screen: Perform inventory processes on mobile devices augmented by QR/RFID scanning.

Inventory Management Solution Benefits

Real-Time Visibility:
Increased visibility on materials from the moment they arrive at a facility to when they are shipped out, and every step in between.
Dashboards & Reports:
SD DoH is now able to instantly view several out-of-the-box, customizable, reports and dashboards, which are exportable in various formats.
Alerting – Alarms & Notifications:
With custom alerting rules specific to their business practices, SD DoH is now notified well in advance of assets that need to be calibrated / inspected, and materials that are soon-to-expire.
Increased Efficiency & Productivity:
By shifting the end-to-end inventory processes from paper & pencil to cloudbased digital software, the time and effort invested in the management of inventory has dramatically reduced for SD DoH.
System of Record:
A digitized IMS platform is now digitized and automated, allowing for better management of transfer order requests and a trail of movement on all materials establishing a true system of record.
Enhanced Supply Readiness:
SD DoH is now able to gain insights on categories of materials such as PP&E, enabling them to be proactive rather than reactive.


SD DoH has indicated that Shipcom’s Inventory Management Solution (IMS) has been a significant game-changer. Critical life-saving equipment and supplies are now always maintained well above minimum levels without labor-intensive management. The system has automated so much manual effort into a seamless process, enabling confident reporting and decision-making. The Shipcom Catamaran NextGenTM platform has enabled the smarter management of multiple hours of time-saving for the Department of Health staff and data-driven insights reducing overhead costs.

State Stockpile Warehouses
Public Health Lab
Correctional Facilities
0 +
Hospitals, Clinics, Nursing Homes, etc.

Smarter Management of

$ 0 M+
of variable material costs

enabled through Shipcom’s Catamaran NextGen™
driving multi-millions of annual savings

South Dakota Department of Health has

0 %

with inventory figures – Without the need to hoard and waste expensive consumables, while ensuring public health readiness

Shipcom Delivers Remarkable Value & Savings

75% of healthcare supply chains reorganized their structure in the past couple of years. A one-time investment in an automated tool for inventory control can help you keep ahead of your competitors and meet customer demands.

Emily Kiel

Director of Healthcare Access

This application is simple enough for my 9-year-old to learn, but it’s got all of the power behind the curtain too.

Healthcare • Inventory Management

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