Case study

How Distica gained visibility and streamlined logistics through the last mile in Iceland using a cloud-based cold chain visibility solution

  • Industry: Transportation and logistics
  • Company size: 75 employees
  • Location: Iceland
  • Controlant solutions used: Facility Monitoring, Vehicle and Route Monitoring

Distica monitors thousands of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical and life sciences shipments throughout Iceland every year using Controlant

Distica is an established logistics, warehousing, and distribution company that specializes in the handling of pharmaceuticals, medical, and life sciences products to hospitals, pharmacies, health clinics, and clinical sites located throughout Iceland. Leading global companies, including Actavis, Merck, Teva, Pfizer, and Bristol-Myers-Squibb have partnered with Distica to ensure the transport, storage, and delivery of their clinical products for safe consumption by patients and consumers.

Distica’s values of reliability, candor, progressiveness are reflected in its mission to be the leading service company in importation, logistics and distribution to the healthcare market in Iceland. From business operations managers, to quality managers and customer service employees, Distica uses Controlant solutions to work together across teams, track asset location and temperature conditions in real-time, and ensure quality service that delights their customers.

A need to ensure compliance and safety of delivered products

Environmental fluctuations can damage or spoil condition-sensitive products that require temperature monitoring, the handling of which Distica manages. If variations occur and remain unknown, medical products, including shipped vaccines, can lose their efficacy, or worse, become dangerous for human consumption. Product damage and waste can lead to exposure to liability as well as shortages in needed medical supplies, particularly within secluded locations throughout Iceland.

In 2010, Distica used a variety of tools to track and manage their inventory and assets. However, the solutions did not provide adequate visibility and control, including the ability to proactively prevent damage or waste. As the company works with the Icelandic Post Office as its transportation partner for shipments throughout Iceland, Distica needed to closely monitor shipments through the last mile of their journey. At the rate their business was growing, it was clear that a better solution was needed — one that provided a simpler way to maintain access to shipments across its entire supply chain. As an ISO certified company, Distica also needed to maintain accurate records and shipment event logs for compliance purposes, as well as for audits from their customers and partners.

The decision to adopt Controlant was inspired by the solution’s ability to proactively collect data and real-time notifications, providing their team with the flexibility needed, the ability to actively monitor shipments, and to communicate any updates with their customers.

Accurate shipment tracking and traceability

Since implementing Controlant’s wireless solutions for vehicle and asset tracking, as well as facility monitoring, Distica has been able to actively intercept several at-risk shipments before assets spoiled. For example, in early December, Controlant received alerts sent via the Controlant web platform, indicating that temperature deviations from pre-set shipment parameters had occurred in outbound shipments that were heading to pharmacies throughout Iceland. The shipments had Controlant’s wireless IoT monitoring loggers attached to track shipment condition and location in real-time.

After investigating, Distica discovered that assets had been placed in extra trolleys attached to their transportation partner’s vehicles due to a heavy volume of outbound shipments due to the holiday season. Cold external temperatures resulted in significant temperature droppages within the trolleys, placing pharmaceutical products at risk. While some assets were damaged, Distica was able to intercept a number of remaining shipments by contacting their partner and correcting the placement of assets.

Transparent collaboration and service — a platform that empowers people

With so many different roles using Controlant, Distica has been able to adopt better processes company-wide. Customer service is just one team using Controlant. Vally Helgadottir, Customer Service Manager explained, “Controlant’s platform allows the Customer Service Department at Distica to seamlessly monitor shipments to our customers.The visual representation of data is easily readable and allows us to react immediately to each deviation. Most importantly, we’re able to ensure to our customers that products have been transported within the specified temperature ranges, ensuring quality and safety.”

Separately, the quality management team uses Controlant to collect reports on shipment data, and to verify that shipments have been delivered according to established requirements. When customers and partners ask for specific shipment information, or seek to audit the company’s shipment records, they can easily provide them with the requested shipment reports.

Business and operations use the Controlant platform to obtain high-level and drill-down shipment views to track any product damage and loss, and calculate liability, as well as money saved from proactive interventions. By collectively accessing real-time and previous shipment information through a single platform, teams throughout the company are empowered with the relevant data they need to perform their job better.

How Distica integrates with Controlant

Using Controlant’s API, Distica has integrated the cloud-based software platform with their existing systems, gaining a more comprehensive overview of their inventory, orders, and outbound shipments.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP): By integrating Controlant with the ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Distica can connect outbound shipment information with customer orders.

Warehouse management: By integrating with the Warehouse Management System, Manhattan Scale, Distica can monitor product inventory and identify which customer shipments require Controlant’s temperature loggers.

“With Controlant, Distica can actively monitor every shipment to our customers, which was previously not possible. The solution has been fully integrated into our packaging and ordering procedures. Including a wireless Controlant logger in a shipment is now as standard as picking a medicine box.” – Sigurður Traustason, Quality Manager, Distica

What will be your story? Try a pilot of Controlant’s solutions. Contact us at