Pallet racks with carton flow sections for picking in the Admenta facility
Pharmaceutical distributor Admenta expands its omnichannel warehouse in Italy
Admenta installs Mecalux storage systems to dispatch 90,000 order lines a day.
Pharmaceutical distributor Admenta has expanded its warehouse in Gorgonzola (Milan) to cope with increased activity and adapt to omnichannel. Mecalux has installed pallet racking with live storage for pigking sections, and picking shelves for small products.
Admenta: commitment to quality and excellence
When Admenta started out, it managed pharmacies in Bologna and the surrounding area. Nowadays, it is part of the McKesson Europe holding company, a leader in retail and intermediate pharmaceutical distribution. Through its subsidiary FarmAlvarion, Admenta currently distributes medicine to over 2,500 customers — including private pharmacies, hospitals and nursing homes — from its warehouses in Bentivoglio and Gorgonzola.
- Founded in: 1999
- No. of employees: 1,400+
- Points of sale: 260+
- Annual turnover: €600 million+
As a pharmaceutical distributor, one of Admenta’s priorities is to manage stock safely and efficiently to provide its customers with good service. The company supplies customers throughout Italy from its facility in Gorgonzola, designed to house 30,000 SKUs. With the rise in activity, Admenta had to expand its warehouse to adapt to market demands and to an omnichannel strategy. The Gorgonzola warehouse is the nerve centre for the company’s omnichannel logistics operations: here, it receives and manages the orders sent by the multiple sales channels that it makes available to its customers.
“We needed to expand our existing warehouse and equip the 7,000 m² area next to it with a racking system that would adjust to any type of product and ensure the stability of the goods,” says Enrico De Stefani, Director of Logistics and Business Operations.
“The group’s policy doesn’t allow us to choose a supplier directly, so Mecalux was selected as our storage system provider through a bidding process. Mecalux presented the best proposal in terms of both price and the solution that would best modernise our logistics operations,” says De Stefani.
Admenta’s warehouse has been designed and equipped with solutions that support the picking of 90,000 order lines a day. The pharmaceutical company has installed 9.5-metre-tall pallet racking, sections with live storage for picking, and picking shelves for small products.
Earthquake-proof storage for 30,000 SKUs
“The Mecalux pallet racking has met our expectations regarding performance as well as functionality,” says De Stefani. Offering direct access, the racks streamline storage and order picking tasks while enabling quick, error-free stock control. The aisles were designed to facilitate operator manoeuvring when storing or removing goods from their locations.
Mecalux was also charged with ensuring the safety of the facility as a whole. The Admenta warehouse is located in a seismic zone, so the storage solution had to be configured to meet the highest safety standards.
In this regard, the racking was calculated taking into account the indications of Italian standard NTC 2018 and European standard EN 16681. This means that they were reinforced to support any possible ground motion that could occur.
In addition to agility and safety, Admenta required a robust, versatile and resistant storage system capable of accommodating a wide variety of goods of different sizes, weights and shapes. “We use the pallet racking to store pharmaceuticals and medical supplies that are bulky or transported in large quantities,” says De Stefani.
90,000 order lines picked daily
The design of the entire warehouse was centred on streamlining its main operation: the picking of 90,000 order lines a day. The operators work in zones with specific aisles assigned to them, collecting the SKUs that make up each order.
On the lower levels of the pallet racking, live storage for picking has been set up to facilitate management of boxes. This solution increases the number of order lines that can be picked and reduces operator travel. Live storage for picking is a gravity-driven system with slightly inclined platforms: the first products are deposited on the higher end and slide forward by gravity, becoming the first to exit on the opposite side.
Operators pick from two different systems: the live storage for picking sections below the pallet racking and the picking shelves reserved for smaller SKUs. “We use the picking shelves to store small boxes that can be directly handled by operators during picking,” says De Stefani.
Safe, agile omnichannel logistics
Logistics is essential for guaranteeing that companies can satisfy their customers’ needs in the shortest time possible. With its new warehouse, Admenta can provide better service to hundreds of pharmacies and medical centres in Italy and boost its growth rate.
“At this moment, we can say that we have the largest pharmaceutical distribution centre in Italy. It can efficiently supply all sales channels where our company is present: pharmacies, hospitals and e-commerce customers,” says De Stefani.
The Mecalux pallet racking not only provides enough storage capacity for all Admenta’s products but also safeguards the medications and medical supplies.
We’re really pleased with Mecalux as a supplier because it’s provided us with top-notch service. Thanks to our efficient logistics operations, we can supply all our customers, from pharmacies and chemists’ to nursing homes and online customers.