The double-digit growth in the pharmaceutical market in 2020 and the new logistics challenges

Warehouse logistics in the pharmaceutical sector is changing constantly. Markets require a new approach in logistics management and faster storage and distribution of all types of pharmaceutical products.

According to the report, provided at the end of March, 2021 by IQVIA and mentioned by Capital, market growth is reaching 11% in 2020. Distribution channels, having the highest contribution to this growth are direct sales to hospitals and online sales. Product categories bringing faster growth are mostly anticoagulants and food supplements.

Online sales are multiplying. According to Luka Chichkov, general manager of IQVIA for Bulgaria, more and more pharmacies are introducing online shopping platforms and home delivery.

According to Mr. Luka Chichkov, "During the initial pandemic spring peak, online sales grew so fast, that retailers found it difficult to satisfy and fulfill all orders on time,". Online orders are expected to continue growing!

This leads to some major challenges in warehouse logistics, especially regarding the pharmaceutical sector.

  • the need for sufficient space and appropriate storage conditions for medical products;
  • a growing product range;
  • less time to execute and deliver each order;
  • more single units per order;
  • orders preparation for distribution – packaging, labeling etc.


Logistics needs in the pharmaceutical sector

Pharmaceutical and medical industries, need to make the most of the available space, control the ambient temperature, humidity or even the amount of particles in the air (clean rooms). These are essential conditions for the proper preservation of pharmaceutical products!

Consider, for example, pharmaceutical companies or laboratories: these companies need storage systems with specific applications, able to guarantee the above-mentioned conditions!

Nowadays, there are already very specific solutions:

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems with temperature and humidity control, ensuring also perfect products tracking. These systems prevent any interruption of the logistics cold chain. Climate Control technology is a storage solution integrated in some Vertical Lift Machines, fitting perfectly into this scenario.

Vertical Lift Machines are conveniently designed to provide efficient storage, faster picking, as well as temperature and humidity control. These machines are able to operate perfectly in the temperature range between + 2 ° C and + 25 ° C (± 1 ° C), preventing relative humidity values ​​above 5%!

Dry systems, integrated into Vertical Lift Solutions guarantee relative humidity below 5%. They are specially designed to store humidity-sensitive products, maintaining relative humidity below a preset value!

On the other hand, Clean Room technologies, integrated in Vertcial Lift Machines, prevent stored material contamination. This is a perfect solution, not only for medicines but also when sterile instruments need to be stored, meeting ISO 14644 standard, class 7 and 8.

Аutomatic doors, integrated into the Vertical Lift Machines are designed specially to stop dust and dirt access to the stored items.

Compact solutions for compact rooms

Again, according to data provided by IQVIA, the number of pharmacies in Bulgaria exceeds 3 000.

An interesting storage solution for pharmacies, pharmacies in hospitals and para pharmaceuticals stores is the Compact Automatic Machine for Vertical Storage - SLIM.

STAMH is already implementing modular, compact and flexible Vertical Storage Machines, fitting in extremely small areas and even pharmacies, with increased storage density: in fact, the total storage capacity of the Vertical SLIM Machine is 25,000 kg. It can be 2.4 to 7 meters heights and only 1.6 meters deep. Reduced dimensions make it perfect for the narrow spaces.

The Vertical Lift Machines - SLIM is perfect for storage and fast and precise retrieval of goods in various shapes and sizes, from singual items to containers with boxes, bottles, diapers or pharmaceutical creams. In addition, Vertical Lift Machines SLIM, simplifie inventory control, speeds up picking operations and minimizes errors possibilities.


Standard and temperature controlled Vertical Lift Machines for the pharmaceutical sector

The combination of standard and temperature-controlled Automatic Vertical Lift Machines use to be the perfect e-commerce solution in the pharmaceutical sector - they provide a storage environment with controlled temperature and humidity (specific conditions required by strict regulations), and increase the speed of all intralogistics operations.

Automated Storage Systems offer additional options, such as visual assistance for accelerated picking, meeting the need for easy and quick access to a large number of different products.

Like all Automated Vertical Storage Systems, the Climate Control version of the machine facilitates access to each SKU code, using the increased productivity options, speeding up picking operations and increasing accuracy, to minimize errors. All these aspects are critical for both - logistics and e-commerce.


Automatic Storage Systems: Integration between WMS and ERP systems

In the pharmaceutical sector, efficiency and precision are very important! The Warehouse Software is able to organize and optimize logistics flows, ensuring high productivity. This software can be easily integrated with existing information systems.

The WMS or Warehouse Management System coordinates and improves operational and logistics processes, receiving logistics data, improving products mapping and ensuring efficient management of each SKU.

WMS software can be easily and quickly integrated with any ERP, thanks to the widely tested and applicable data exchange protocols. In fact, there are already over 10 000 successful software integrations in a wide variety of industrial sectors!


Advantages of these storage systems in the pharmaceutical sector

The new line of Automated Vertical Storage Solutions, includes climate control systems - Clean Room and Dry technologies. Together with standard and Compact Vertical Lift Machines, they represent the best in terms of technology and innovation:

  • maximum storage density and vertical space utilization is essential;
  • picking times optimization for each order;
  • tracking all picking operations, monitoring each individual access;
  • fast access to each item;
  • always up-to-date and well-controlled inventory;
  • temperature and humidity control, for the proper preservation of certain types of products, including condensation prevention;
  • modularity and flexibility for different sized and shaped goods – learn more about the different options for tray configuration;
  • remote monitoring of the storage systems;
  • high standards and quality;

STAMH implements and designs modular and flexible Automatic Vertical and Horizontal Carousel Machines, able to ensure adequate logistics management solutions in any context of use.