McKesson warehouse conveyor
McKesson warehouse conveyor

When you think about hospitals, the emergency ward is the mission critical point. But for pharmaceutical companies, the distribution center is the most critical point. McKesson, the world’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler, was concerned about serving the needs of the growing population out of their existing distribution facility in Florida. The perfect prescription was the design of the new Lakeland, Fla., facility. The goal was to ship rapidly, accurately and economically, and the facility is exceeding expectations.

Florida’s population is growing at a rapid rate, and many of its residents are senior citizens, who take an average of seven medications per day. McKesson ships prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs, and health and beauty aids for hospitals, drug stores and retail chains. The new Lakeland, Fla., system needed to be designed for maximum throughput and provide flexibility for growth to address the growing population.

The facility is unique and not just a run-of-the-mill design. In addition to having the normal full case, piece picking and full pallet requirements, the McKesson facility also has drugs that need to be refrigerated, security drugs that need to be in a locked cage, and secure items required by the FDA to be in a vault. When order picking in the facility’s various pick areas is complete, all the pieces of a specific order must converge. This was accomplished with a Honeywell Intelligrated® automated material handling system. The orders are combined at the shipping dock where the labels are scanned and orders are consolidated.

Read the entire case study to discover how Honeywell Intelligrated worked with the McKesson team to improve customer satisfaction, speed, accuracy and throughput.