Its plants in Philadelphia in the US, Bolton in the UK, and Schorndorf, Germany, are those earmarked for the upgrade.
Cardinal Health expects to complete a global expansion of approximately 12,645 square metres by early 2005, in a bid to improve inventory management, increase warehousing capacity, and enhance its clinical packaging capabilities.
"Many clinical trials rely on testing medication that is manufactured for individual patients and requires almost immediate delivery," commented Richard Yarwood, president of Cardinal Health's Pharmaceutical Technologies and Services Europe division. "We are expanding our global shipping solutions in response to customer requests," he added.
In Philadelphia, a 400-pallet refrigerator is currently being installed and will be operational by December 2004. The new facility increases the site's previous clinical supply warehouse capacity six fold, supporting increased business volume particularly in clinical distribution services. Another significant upgrade in Philadelphia is a new global Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERPS), which has been implemented to help the clinical supply services group better serve its expanding customer base.
The ERPS was designed to meet the increasing demand for control overinventory, allowing full traceability of incoming and outgoing supplies.This system has billing and reporting capabilities, which allows fullcontrol from receipt to dispatch.
Meanwhile, in Bolton, Cardinal Health has increased its packaging capacity by 50 per cent through increased storage and distribution space. And due to the growing need for refrigerated storage and distribution, further investment is being made to expand the existing capacity. A state-of-the art, automated, vertical storage system has been commissioned and is currently being installed. The system will be validated and fully operational before the end of September.
"This unique system is the first of its type in the UK, and will provide flexible, increased storage efficiencies for products requiring 2 to 8 degrees Celsius conditions, and complements the facility's expertise in cold chain distribution," said the company.
Finally, in June construction began on a new 5,000 square metre distribution centre in Schorndorf. The project will create 2,000 pallet spaces and an additional three-story consignment area, and will be fully operational by early 2005.