Elevating the customer experience with innovative DC technology

Henry Schein, with a history spanning nine decades, serves over one million global customers, including dental and medical practitioners, specialists, labs, government and institutional healthcare clinics, and alternative care sites. In the United States, Henry Schein’s core distribution network encompasses five distribution centers spanning nearly 2 million square feet.

Each day, they dispatch 36,000 orders, 98,000 cartons, and 156,000 line items, ensuring next-day delivery with a remarkable 98% fill rate. According to Ed Igrisan, Vice President of U.S. Distribution for the West, South, and Canada, Henry Schein’s mission revolves around partnership and delivering excellence to every customer. “Customers get exactly what they want, exactly when they need it,” he said.

Aligned partners driving customer success and growth

warehouse worker using console management systemIn pursuit of consistently fulfilling their customer commitment, Henry Schein forged a partnership with Lucas Systems in 2006. For more than 25 years, Lucas Systems has helped companies transform their distribution centers by dramatically increasing worker productivity, operational agility, and customer and worker satisfaction using voice and AI optimization technologies.

Lucas’ voice-directed software was originally implemented in Henry Schein’s Jacksonville mega center, with the goal of enhancing high accuracy in item picking and quantity while the company maintained a steadfast focus on growing its customer base across the U.S., providing next day ground delivery to 95% of their customer base. Henry Schein was already picking in the 99% accuracy range, but the Lucas Optimization Suite propelled them to 99.94%+ accuracy, reaching ROI in under 18 months.

Since then, the partnership has grown to encompass all five of the U.S. distribution centers and delivered additional benefits including productivity gains, training time reductions, and a strong, reliable partnership in customer support from Lucas.

“We’ve grown the company to over $12 billion dollars and Lucas has been the platform to allow the volume to grow.”

Ed Igrisan, VP of U.S. Distribution West, South, and Canada

Key benefits



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reduction in training time


next day ground delivery

Game changing training gains propel worker engagement

Lucas Systems industry-leading voice recognition software, embodied in Jennifer™, the brains, orchestration engine and voice of the solution, makes for faster distribution worker training, especially in the case of multiple languages, accents and dialects present on the warehouse floor. “Jennifer is a comforting presence to workers as they step through their training. We’ve seen a 20-30% reduction in training time for our new workers,” said Arnie Roberts, Sr. Director of Distribution for Henry Schein.

Lucas technology has proven to be “flexible and nimble,” and has been accepted by the younger generation and tenured Team Schein employees alike, providing more control for workers and helping them do their jobs more efficiently. Also the language options have been game changers in comfort, training and morale.

Explained Igrisan, “We have several team members picking in Spanish now, which is a first for Henry Schein. In addition, the new gear we’re using is lightweight. Team members really like it. The Bluetooth headsets are exceptional. They’re cord free and they give our team members a new range of motion. It’s been a home run.”

Picking accuracy and management insight enhance productivity

multiple warehouse workers using Lucas headset to pick by voice

As a healthcare distributor, Henry Schein must integrate precise requirements and regulatory standards into its products and processes to enhance quality and customer delivery. These include strict compliance with lot number checking, expiration date verification, serial number capture for regulatory purposes, and other specialized instructions. Voice picking ensures a consistent workflow and necessitates specific validation points during picking, such as checkstring or scanning validation. “We provide many prescription items,” said Igrisan. “Jennifer will give the team member the expiration date we need to confirm, and once we confirm the dating is good, we then pick the product and send it on to the customer.”

Finally, the real-time distribution center management capabilities through the Lucas Management Console are a critical key to refining processes, providing an excellent real-time tracking tool – making sure all tasks are assigned, matching up any exceptions and getting orders fully completed. “The real time data is fantastic. I always know who’s working on what, what part they have, what batch they have, and what time it should be finished,” said Production Supervisor Sarah Zepeda. “I can look everything up on this computer and manage everything on the efficiency front. I don’t need to go walk the loop.”

To underscore Henry Schein’s dedication to next-day delivery, supervisor Wes Harris pointed out that many of its customers depend on the company not only for swift deliveries but also as their primary storage solution due to limited space. “It’s extremely important to our customers’ daily operations and patient care,” he said.

“People’s lives rely on the work we do here every day. We take that responsibility very seriously and Lucas helps us get it done.”

Wes Harris, Production Supervisor, Your Content Goes Here