ALC・FLC（Area Logistics Center / Front Logistics Center）
Development of next-generation of distribution systems
in support of pharmaceuticals for the future
Like electricity, gas, and water, pharmaceuticals are indispensable elements of people's healthy lives.
To ensure the safety and peace of mind of our customers, MEDIPAL takes great pains to offer high-level management and shipping for reliable delivery.
With the goal of optimizing the complete medical supply chain, from pharmaceutical manufacturers through medical institutions to patients, we strive for the complete elimination of waste.
To realize our goals, we have developed our own distribution center: ALC (Area Logistics Center).
We have urban centers, where ALCs are located, to be close to our customers. We have full-line product supply systems, stocking over 20,000 types of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and clinical diagnostics. These can be delivered directly to our customers, without going through branches. We also have FLCs (Front Logistics Centers), which work with ALCs as both sales and distribution bases. We can provide the same quality and functionality of services to customers who are not located near ALCs.
ALCs have greatly changed the past patterns of distribution for pharmaceutical products, and will do a lot to support the reliability and efficiency of medical care in the future.
(1) A full product lineup to avoid being out of stock
Our ALC inventory management systems have capacity for 20,000 different products or more, so we can offer a full lineup of needed products in every geographic area.
In order to effectively manage these rich and diverse inventories, we have developed our own methods for forecasting demand, based on our ALC shipping records. Our out-of-stock ratio is 1%, demonstrating that we almost never run out of the products we need.
(2) Accurately targeted shipping systems (error rate 0.0003% or less)
At our ALCs, we have instituted systems to ensure that anyone can pick products accurately at delivery times.
One of our innovations is the high-tech shopping cart SPIEC (Scan Piece Picking Cart).
This uses wireless data to display on a screen the information needed for shipping. Product picking is performed based on these instructions, and checked using bar-code scans and electronic metrics to prevent errors in both choices and amounts. Through these efforts, we are able to keep our error rate at 0.0003% or less.
Also, the automation of shipping work has been promoted significantly in the latest ALCs, and has realized high productivity.Because we use special containers that are completely sealed, no one can touch the products until they are received by the customer.
(3) Delivery style that is matched to needs
Like a bus service that is running on a regular schedule, our ALCs have a four-times-a-day delivery pattern, at set times of the day. Depending on our customers' needs, we can offer partial sales and Saturday deliveries.
(4) Creating time for our customers
Only scanning is needed for inspection of special boxes, which are completely sealed.
Inspections that took three whole minutes for 50 products in the past now take only 10 seconds. This is a dramatic time-saver for our customers.
In addition, our customers allow us to install drug shelving, and we pack pharmaceuticals in our special boxes using shelf-window locations. This makes post-inspection shelf placement more efficient.
In addition, EDI (electronic data interchange) is also possible, promoting paperless operations that contribute to further improvements in efficiency.
(5) Developing ALCs nationwide
The MEDIPAL Group is advancing its development of ALCs all over the country.