Case study


Changes in our company’s logistics are currently one of the most crucial corporate projects. That is why we attached a lot of importance to the developer’s flexibility, reliability and credibility, admits Rafał Szydłowski, the Director of D.C. Warehouse Logistics.

What did you pay particular attention to, when choosing distribution centres?

In such a specific industry as pharmaceutical distribution, the location of a warehouse and the possibility of adapting the building to the rigorous requirements of such products is very important to the company’s success on the market. We have just implemented a new logistics system in the NEUCA Group. One of its key assumptions is the increase of transport efficiency. We dispatch drugs by cars, therefore it was very important to have warehouses close to major transport routes. The distance from our customers, as well as local warehouses also played an important role. To assure our staff’s comfort we also wanted to have access to the facility by means of public transport. The distribution centre obviously had to meet our high requirements regarding quality and possibility of applying the most modern technological solutions. We are not interested in existing warehouses having universal features and therefore we chose on a build-to-suit option. Changes in our company logistics are presently one of the crucial projects, therefore, we attached a lot of importance to the partner’s flexibility, reliability and credibility. There was no room for experimenting in this project.

Why did you decide to cooperate with Panattoni?

Panattoni’s experience in implementing this type of projects and its readiness to fulfil the majority of our conditions – both technical aspects and the timeframe – was a key factor to our cooperation. And I must admit that both schedule and the technical specification of the buildings were inflated enough…

You selected locations near Poznań and Ożarów.

We did not consider any other locations and these are the outcome of an in-depth analysis, which has been carried out. Only Poznań and Warsaw were taken into consideration for central hubs. The selection of a specific address in those two regions was the result of a detailed comparison of options being offered. Although none of those two locations is ideal, we managed to find a satisfactory solution.

Rafał Szydłowski

Our competitive advantage is built on relationships with independent pharmacies, which have been established over many years. Our position on the market is determined by our partners’ results – this has been a difficult, but a very satisfactory way of running business and it is conducive to constant improvement – also in logistics.”

Rafał Szydłowski, director of D.C. Warehouse Logistics

What requirements do buildings dedicated to storing pharmaceuticals have to fulfil?

The basic requirement is the compliance of the investment with the Regulation of the Ministry of Health from 2002 defining the Procedures of Good Distribution Practice for Pharmaceutical Products. It is required for storage areas to have thermal control and ventilation systems; they must also effectively secure the stored products against any external effects. Walls, ceiling and the floor should be easy to clean and should have smooth surfaces which do not allow dust to gather. Additionally to all the legal requirements we also must adapt our warehouses to other requirements resulting from the application of specific technological and transport solutions. The warehouses had to be designed for maximum efficiency.

How does the warehouse space vary in terms of organization of the area?

The diversity of isolated areas ensues from their various functions and legal requirements, as well as from the conditions in which the products must be stored. There are rooms adapted for storage in various temperature ranges, separate zones for products withdrawn from sales and suspended. T he warehouses also have special areas for products, which must be stored at a specific temperature or which require special supervision, e.g. psychotropic drugs. We also store particularly dangerous pharmaceuticals, e.g. cytostatic agents, in separate places. The distribution centre management also takes functional divisions into account (as in any warehouse). Products are stored depending on their overall dimensions, package endurance and frequency of dispatch.

Is it difficult for companies from the pharmaceutical industry to find appropriate warehouse space in Poland?

It depends on the specific, individual needs of companies. On the Polish warehouse market there is an abundance of available areas, but it is difficult to find properties combining a perfect location with advanced technology and possibility of introducing some customized solutions. If a manufacturer or a distributor does not have any specific needs, he will easily find a warehouse for himself. However, we had a lot of problems with that.

The company has been present on the market for more than two decades. How has the domestic pharmaceutical market changed over the span of those years? What is its present situation?

Indeed, the market has really changed during this period. After 1989 many pharmaceutical wholesalers were established. There were more than 1000 in the peak period and many of them were distributing products of only one company. Over the span of years the least effective companies went bankrupt and smaller wholesalers were taken over by larger ones. After the market transformation period, about ten years ago, we have gradually become one of the largest businesses – we operated under the name of Torfarm at that time. Nowadays the market is stabilized, but more difficult. Concentration of the pharmaceuticals wholesale trade is accompanied by decreasing distributors’ margins and by consolidation on the pharmacies market. Therefore, cost efficiency and perfection of business processes are so important nowadays. We must achieve business perfection in every field where there are: low margins, strong competition and a powerful tender position of the customers.