Why shop-in-shop is the future: Grieshaber Logistics Group explains the advantages of a multi-user site over a dedicated warehouse as a crucial part of your supply chain.
Having in-house logistics operated by your own personnel near the production site is the traditional approach to logistics when growth allows for smaller capacities and foreseeable investments. As soon as operations increase and demands of governmental regulations and clients reach a new level, in-house management of logistics becomes a problem. Recruitment and qualification of new personnel, the risk of renting or investing at a substantial level to extend warehouse space, as well as the build-up of demanding quality systems and licences will sooner or later lead to the consideration of an external service provider. The more complex these issues become, the faster crucial expert knowledge of a third-party logistics provider will come into play.
As in most industries, outsourced specialists will almost always operate more efficiently than your own personnel. Drawing from our own experience, outsourcing to an external logistics provider can reduce personnel costs by up to 30% and, above all, increase flexibility dramatically. Since experts are required to develop their knowledge and training at a higher rate, this will improve in a multi-user environment. Serving clients in a multi-user site means that operating procedures, learning curves and exchange in personnel and equipment lead to reduced cost and increased flexibility - crucial issues in scenarios featuring rapid growth and complexity.
The benefits of a multi-user warehouse site are supported by the innovative concept of shop-in-shop value-added services. Crucial services like repackaging in a clean room environment, and customer service options like inbound call centres, invoicing and debt collection, to name a few, will take seamless supply chain operations to a new level if they are all offered and operated under one roof.
By integrating the above-mentioned services in one warehouse building, numerous benefits will result for all clients. Fast response times due to call centre agents who operate on site, short distances between storage units and clean rooms, as well as reduced transportation between sites will have huge effects on time and cost for the pharmaceutical producer - valuable criteria for the increasing need for repackaging and sampling. In this domain, the German Pharmaceutical Products Act requires a manufacturing licence for the packaging and labelling of medicinal products, because, under German regulation, these are defined as stages of production. Again, higher speed and greater flexibility are achieved if a service provider can act as an on-site partner, offering this kind of value-added service, too.
Likewise, a seamless cold chain is more cost-efficient and easier to monitor when services such as cool storage and repackaging are handled under one roof. This concept of a one-stop shop in a multi-user site serves the client's increasing demand for holistic 'order-to-cash' processes that contain everything from inbound logistics to money collection.
Higher demands regarding process control and quality systems often originate from a single client, but mean an advantage for all projects under the one roof. For example, management audits, housekeeping audits and quality self-inspections will have an effect on all products and processes in a warehouse. Moreover, improvements and measures resulting from quality circles with clients will benefit all projects as they often concern common issues like administrative processes or IT interfaces.
The scenario of shop-in-shop services in a multi-user site also suits the concept of a European warehouse, which has grown dramatically over the last three years. Due to reinforced mergers and acquisitions of pharmaceutical licences and entire company units, so-called EU hubs are a current trend and will take full advantage of extensive services being offered under one roof.
All of the above has the potential to improve the transparency of a supply chain. In other words, supply chain visibility will be enhanced. And a shop-in-shop approach integrated in a multi-user site will be a key element of that in the future.