When it comes to supplying urban areas, Central Apotheke Frankfurt is truly a visionary. The new Healthcare Campus combines the advantages of a local pharmacy with the comfort of online shopping. Medicines and health products are delivered not only to pharmacies, but also to office buildings, hospitals and private customers within a few hours. Healthcare logistics expert KNAPP supplies the technological solution that makes this outstanding feat of logistics possible.
“In the last few years, it has become apparent that for essential medicines, international supply chains are not stable enough for our patients. We had to come back to keeping stock that we can control locally, even if this drives the costs up for pharmacies,” explains Marc Schrott, proprietor of Central Apotheke Frankfurt. He adds: “In order to optimize these costs, we have decided on a high degree of automation.”
However, the impact of the pandemic on the supply chains is only the tip of the iceberg as far as Marc Schrott is concerned: “Unfortunately, the structural problems in medicine supply are getting worse every year. This is why we decided to return to keeping stock locally, as it was the norm before the globalization of the pharmaceutical markets. But of course we don’t want to return to the 80s. We’ll shape this new decade with our own ideas and improvements, and deliver to our patients and customers with the greatest level of reliability. Together with KNAPP and Noventi, our plan for this project was for each pharmacist to implement it in their region to best effect. This way, we create a platform for our experts to pool their individual strengths, making us fit to compete with international online pharmacies.”
Logistics centre for B2B and B2C
Mixing B2B and B2C creates logistical challenges. While the product structure is the same for both business models, the order structure is completely different. Consequently, different pack sizes are needed when assembling shipments in the warehouse: A full case heading to a hospital, a pack unit going to a pharmacy, and a single pack making its way to an individual customer. “Gathering different business models together in one central logistics centre is the key to success in efficient urban logistics. And KNAPP was able to provide the technological backbone for that,” stresses Johannes Kompek, Senior Sales Engineer, Healthcare Solutions, KNAPP AG.
Healthcare Campus – fast, urban, green
Marc Schrott is all about sustainability: “Delivering in a few days is not enough, we want to deliver within a few hours. It takes an intralogistics solution with extremely short order transit times to achieve this. Our deliveries use electric vehicles and e-bikes. It was especially important to us that the solution can be expanded. Our supply network provides a number of options for delivering to locations within the city, in cooperation with other local shops.”
The entire Healthcare Campus runs on solar power, collected by way of roof panels and active façades. Central Apotheke uses the maximum solar charging power for their delivery fleet. The building is designed to be as energy-efficient and eco-friendly as possible, utilizing geothermal heating and cooling for the warehouse and picking areas.
The last mile – a particular challenge
Not only is the last mile one of the most cost-intensive processes, it’s also the source of the most frustration for customers, as when deliveries are inflexible or late. The Healthcare Campus, an urban logistics centre, increases efficiency, reduces costs and makes it possible to offer a higher service level. With the integrated KNAPP software solution, the product availability is always in view.
KNAPP provides the latest technology for the Healthcare Campus: A warehouse with pallet storage and a shuttle system, fully automatic central belt systems, ergonomic goods-to-person work stations and a shipping solution that takes security regulations specific to pharmacies into account. The automation and software solutions are ready for various expansion scenarios. Technology and software modules can easily be added to suit the needs of the expanding business.
New Urban Logistics
When designing the supply networks of the future, the prime objectives are to add nodes at the right locations, to use synergies and to create new potential. Current insight shows that nodes related to the end customer and last mile are becoming more important overall and are also providing synergies with brick and mortar retail. This is why KNAPP is launching the initiative New Urban Logistics with a comprehensive solution portfolio.
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