Safety and sustainability in the storage of medicine

Safety and sustainability in the storage of medicine

Bomi Group's racks comply with Italian standard NTC 2008 and European standard EN 16681

Bomi Group

Bomi Group, a 3PL provider for medical and pharmaceutical products, has set up its new headquarters in Spino d’Adda (northern Italy) as a starting point for the group’s growth and sustainable development strategy. There, it has brought together goods belonging to its various customers in a single 18,500 m2 warehouse. Mecalux has equipped this facility with earthquake-proof racks that ensure the management of around 15,500 pallets under strict safety measures.

Sustainable 3PL logistics

Since 1985, Bomi Group has specialised in offering integrated logistics solutions for the healthcare industry. The company is responsible for the storage and transport of drugs, medical devices, diagnostic kits and surgical instruments, among other items.

With a presence in 20 countries around the world, Bomi Group supplies its goods to hospitals, clinics and laboratories as well as directly to patients’ homes safely and in line with product preservation requirements.

Centralising logistics

Currently, the company is expanding and modernising its installations with the aim of making them more efficient as well as sustainable. One of the firm’s main requirements was to centralise its operations. “We wanted to bring together under one roof all the products we had spread out among various facilities,” explains Marco Mandelli, Global Operations Excellence & PMO Director at Bomi Group.

To do so, it opted to build a new head office in the town of Spino d’Adda, very close to Milan, where it could store the approximately 7,000 SKUs belonging to its customers (renowned Italian multinationals in the pharmaceutical and hospitality sectors) at different temperatures.

Consolidating the various operations and all the goods in a single space not only reduces logistics costs, but also saves roughly 60 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year that, in the past, were produced by the many lorries that had to travel from one facility to another. This is undoubtedly one example of Bomi Group’s commitment to sustainability.

The company was adamant that its new 18,500 m2 should be equipped with storage systems that, in the words of Marco Mandelli, “provided order and capacity. They needed to accommodate all the products, streamline order prep and, above all, to be extremely safe.” With these conditions in mind, Bomi Group chose pallet racks and picking shelves from Mecalux.

Both solutions allow for direct access to the goods, which facilitates stock management and makes for more agile product handling in storage and order prep tasks. Furthermore, these systems guarantee the stability and protection of the products, which is essential when dealing with medical and pharmaceutical supplies.

The racks were calculated according to the indications of Italian standard NTC 2008 and European standard EN 16681, so they are specifically reinforced to withstand any seismic movement produced in the region.

Additionally, the warehouse has been divided into different zones in order to group products with similar attributes together in the same area (flammable, reactive, etc.). As each area operates at a specific temperature, the drugs are stored as per their intrinsic characteristics.

Racking characteristics

Mecalux fitted out almost the entire surface area of Bomi Group’s distribution centre with single-deep pallet racks. With a maximum of six storage levels, these racks stand 11.5 m tall and offer a total storage capacity of close to 15,500 pallets.

Mecalux has also installed picking shelves with similar characteristics to those of the pallet racking. The difference lies in that the picking shelves are specifically designed to house smaller items, mainly surgical instruments. They also incorporate accessories to adjust the shelves to the sizes of each of the products.

“These two storage systems stand out for their versatility and capacity to adapt to all types of load, weight and volume. This was a priority for us, since we manage over 7,000 SKUs,” notes Marco Mandelli.

Every day, Bomi Group’s customers send their goods to this warehouse. Operators then store the items by customer, product type, size and demand level. Optimal organisation of the goods results in more efficiency and agility in storage and order prep tasks.

Products with a lower demand level (which are picked less frequently) are deposited on the upper levels of the racks. Meanwhile, high-consumption merchandise is stored on the lower levels so that it is more accessible.

Furthermore, several of the lower pallet rack levels are equipped with mesh shelves that prevent material from falling; thus, they are used to store smaller items. Operators pick the products directly from inside the boxes.

”With these two types of racks, not only have we gained in storage capacity, but we can also prepare more orders than before. Likewise, the racks have safety devices to ensure that the operators and the goods are fully protected,” highlights Marco Mandelli.

A safe, sustainable warehouse

Bomi Group’s new facility stands out for its safety in the storage of medical and pharmaceutical materials, primarily. On the one hand, the racks were designed taking into account the seismic activity in the area. On the other hand, the division of the installation into various zones makes it possible to properly preserve each drug at a suitable temperature.

The pallet racks, for their part, offer a large storage capacity and ensure agile, efficient operations and extremely punctual deliveries of products to customers. And all of this is accomplished in the context of sustainable and environmentally-friendly logistics practices.

Our business is growing in Italy and Europe, and we’re planning on expanding further. By opening this new warehouse in Spino d’Adda, we’ve met our goal of centralising all our logistics activity in a single space. This will allow us to consolidate the growth we’ve seen. We’re more than satisfied with Mecalux’s storage systems because they’re specifically designed to provide the largest possible storage capacity and, at the same time, facilitate order prep.

Marco Mandelli, Global Operations Excellence & PMO Director at Bomi Group Italy

Advantages for Bomi Group

  • Increased storage capacity: the pallet racks can store approximately 15,500 pallets containing extremely varied goods.
  • High productivity: the direct access afforded by the racks facilitates the management of the 7,000 available SKUs.
  • Safe system: the storage systems are designed to guarantee the utmost safety and protection of the loads, which is essential when handling medical and pharmaceutical supplies.
Warehouse of Bomi Group
Storage capacity: 15,322 pallets
Pallet size: 800 x 1,200 mm
Max. pallet weight: 800 kg
Max. rack height: 11,4 m
Max. No. of storage levels: 6

Products used in this project