How Intuitive Surgical, Inc. implemented a flexible and scalable supply chain solution for rapid growth


Intuitive Surgical, Inc. is an American corporation that develops, manufactures, and markets robotic products designed to improve clinical outcomes of patients through minimally invasive surgery, most notably with the da Vinci Surgical System.


Since Intuitive Surgical is manufacturing robotic parts, the technology they use is rapidly evolving. They are always changing the inside of their cleanroom based on what the needs and demands of the industry are. They were looking for a VMI solution at a lower cost from a smaller company without the high level of commitment larger VMI companies require. They wanted a company that was willing to meet the same level of flexibility that was needed.


They wanted a company that would be adaptable to their evolving needs, as well as, a team that could provide a personalized experience. While competitive pricing was a secondary goal of Intuitive Surgical,  our TIMS solution was still able to meet the requirements of Intuitive Surgical at a lower cost than other VMI programs. Our VMI service was able to offer a more tailored solution than the larger distribution companies.

System Implementation

Our VMI solutions started at one location and supplied Intuitive Surgical with their cleanroom supplies. We stocked twice a week, based on preset mid-max levels and their historical usage data. As their organization expanded, TIMS was able to scale with their needs. By using a dedicated inside customer support team member, a sales representative, and a dedicated truck and driver system. We started with a very precise inventory control system, delivery system, and an easy-to-contact system that allowed themselves and TIMS employees to communicate more effectively. We now service four locations three times per week.

Looking Forward

As Intuitive Surgical continues to grow, we are excited to be able to able to change with them. We are adding additional product categories to their services including, chemicals, and safety. We are currently supplying three locations and they are in the process of building a larger cleanroom facility that TIMS will soon be servicing. Intuitive Surgical has started to take supplies over to the new building but it has not fullyoperational yet. Their locations are ascending from VMI level 2, to level 3 and level 4.

Final Results

We give Intuitive Surgical peace of mind when it comes to ensuring their lines are up and running with zero stock-outs. They are not worrying about lines going down, we have added a level of security that is trusted to keep them moving at all times. We have become an extension of their organization and became part of their DNA. We are a trusted advisor and part of their product planning team.



Serving the scientific community for over 120 years, we put our customers first!

Thomas Scientific has partnered with hundreds of customers to provide best-in-class vendor managed inventory programs with you in mind. We have a proven track record to manage customer inventory freeing you up to manage your business.




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