Behind the Scenes of Praxisdienst
Over the last 10 years, Praxisdienst has become one of the leading online retailers for medical products in Europe. Due to the tenfold increase in shipped goods, the storage areas needed to be expanded and modernised. Between 2013 and 2019, the old buildings were demolished in several phases and a total of 3 new warehouses were put into operation.
In the main warehouse in Longuich, which now covers a total area of 7,000m², approx. 35,000 products are stored in 40,000 storage spaces, 35,000 of which are fully automated. The main warehouse is supplemented by external warehouses with additional storage spaces in the surrounding area. These warehouses allow frequently ordered products to be stored temporarily on a larger scale to be retrieved if needed.
We Care about Sustainability
In 2019 the photovoltaic system on the roof of the new logistics building was put into operation. Under perfect conditions, this system generates enough energy to supply the entire logistics infrastructure. Technical preparations to expand the system have already been made and can be carried out if required.
To keep our ecological footprint as low as possible, we rely on solar power, air heat pumps, energy-efficient LED illumination and CO2-neutral shipping by the shipping service provider DPD.
Amazingly, despite the enormous expansion of our storage areas, the energy consumption of our logistics centre is now lower than 10 years ago.
Launch of the Fully Automated Storage System AutoStore
Increased Capacity & Efficiency
In order to adapt the capacity of our logistics centre to the rapidly growing demand, we put our AutoStore into operation in summer 2020. The fully automated system works with moving robots and makes optimal use of the height of our logistics building. It has created no less than 35,000 additional storage spaces since 2022.
The multiple award winning AutoStore system offers unsurpassed operational reliability and is significantly more efficient than manual work. Its energy consumption is fully covered by the photovoltaic system on the roof of the warehouse.
Excellent Reliability & Transparency
The AutoStore supports the members of our logistics team, who operate the system in two shifts. Manual order picking is no longer necessary, as the smart robots carry the storage boxes directly to the operator’s workstation.
Due to the complete automation, errors and mistakes have become virtually impossible. In addition, the AutoStore allows the consistent implementation of the legal requirements for batch management as well as the principle “First In, First Out”. The first practical experiences have convinced us: an extension of the fully automated logistics system is already being planned.
Low Error Potential & Maximum Speed
Barcode scanners have been used in our logistics since the beginning of 2023. These are used to scan all items that arrive in our warehouse. The data recorded in the process, such as expiry dates, batch and LOT numbers, are not only printed on the package documents, but are also transferred digitally to the respective customer account at the same time. In the event of possible recalls by manufacturers, we are able to automatically notify all recipients of affected articles. If a consignment consists of several parcels, our customers receive a practical contents overview for each individual parcel, which simplifies the storage of the goods in surgeries and hospitals.
Furthermore, the recorded items are additionally checked based on dimensions and weight. Items with special storage and shipping requirements, such as refrigerated goods, are recognised and automatically treated accordingly. This virtually eliminates the possibility of mistakes.
Working Around the Clock
Due to the corona pandemic, and the resulting, significantly increased order volume, the workers in our shipping department have been working day and night shifts since the beginning of March 2020. This allows us to dispatch several thousand parcels a day. The two shifts also ensure that the warehouse keeps operating if an employee is infected with SARS-CoV-2 and the contact persons have to quarantine. This way, we can ensure a smooth shipping process and maintain our ability to deliver.