The Middle East’s first Automated Pharmaceutical Distribution Centre facility established in the Kingdom
SSI Schaeffer, the world’s leading provider of modular warehousing and planning solutions, in cooperation with Nahdi Medical Company, Saudi Arabia’s largest pharmaceutical retail chain, announced the implementation of the country’s first world-class pharmaceutical system in March 2022.
In the heart of Jeddah’s industrial zone, the new facility significantly increases the country’s logistics capacity and preparedness for safe and reliable pharmaceutical distribution.
Nahdi Distribution Centre (IMDAD) in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, is the Kingdom’s first-ever automated pharmaceutical facility and falls in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative, which aims to turn the Kingdom into a global logistics hub and create a long-term investment environment in the industrial and logistics sector.
Covering an area of 250,000sqm, the facility features temperature-controlled logistics, flexible distribution center and automated order fulfillment using cutting-edge technology and systems to support Nahdi to guarantee medical security in accordance with the latest international standards and SFDA (Saudi Food & Drug Authority) best practices regulations.
Powered by SSI Schaefer technology, the facility was developed in cooperation with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones (MODON) as the first smart distribution center in the retail sector for Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
IMDAD is designed to handle an annual 200 million units of medical products alone. This is an unprecedented feat and is made possible by SSI Schaefer’s state-of-the-art SSI Cuby shuttle technology in combination with conventional Pick-by-Light picking consolidated by an intelligent system infrastructure.
With automation, IMDAD can move up to 600 shipping totes containing more than 10,000 order lines per hour of operation. The SSI Schaefer scope of supply comprises an impressive range of subsystems from receiving and product decanting, SSI Cuby supported Goods-to-Person and Pick-by-Light Picking, conveyor technology, automatic tote closing, labelling, and strapping to sortation and presentation for shipping. The whole solution is controlled and managed by SSI Schaefer’s logistics software WAMAS.
In addition to the storage capacity of the SSI Cuby Goods-to-Person and Pick-by-Light areas of 37,260 and 25,600 tote locations to support the picking of slow and fast moving products respectively, the SSI Schaefer scope also included extensive pallet storage to support the storage and picking of medical appliances, returns handling and other related processes.
These areas also involve extensive pallet storage and picking for big & bulky items and medical appliances zones, return handling and other processes. These storage areas incorporate a special channel system using an automatic SSI Orbiter system with specific picking tunnels to enhance the performance, selective racking system, pallet flow racking system, shelving, multi-tier shelving system with high standard steel structure and carton live storage system.
High efficiency standards
“Through the understanding of operations and processes, complete data, performance analysis and design consultancy, the technology and innovation provided by SSI Schaefer allows Nahdi to assure high efficiency standards, accurate reporting, and quality customer service,” affirmed Ayman Al Ammar, GM, SSI Schaefer Saudi Arabia.
“In a climate which has a lot of uncertainty, modern automated material handling solutions are becoming the trend and way to move forward for many businesses. In the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, we see the benefits being amplified throughout the supply chain,” he added.
Apart from the hardware, the SSI Schaefer supplied WAMAS Warehouse Management System provides real-time tracking of the goods. Aside from fulfilling Nahdi’s vision to provide world-class services, it moreover allows them to efficiently track, trace and move their goods batch controlled and FEFO (First Expiry, First Out), to assure integrity, productivity, and performance effectiveness and to have accurate records that ensure all goods are accounted for and deter pilferage.
Saudi Vision 2030
“The vision of IMDAD stems from Nahdi’s unyielding commitment towards achieving Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development Programme’s targets of creating and improving the performance of logistics hubs across the Kingdom,” asserted Eng. Yasser Joharji, CEO, Nahdi Medical Company.
SSI Schaefer has played an integral role in bringing this vision to life through equipping IMDAD with the latest technologies that would not only support us in providing world-class services but would also assure higher efficiency standards, accurate reporting, and quality customer service.
“With SSI Schaefer’s vast experience in the region, on-the-ground engineering and after sales capabilities to provide complete solutions, adding value to its customer’s specific needs and benefits, Nahdi Medical Company can make this grand vision a reality,” stressed Eng. Raed Monagel, Chief Supply Chain Officer (GSCO), Nahdi Medical Company.
IMDAD will be the largest logistics Distribution Centre in the Middle East in the pharmaceutical industry designed to guarantee medical security in accordance with the latest international systems and to reflect Nahdi’s role as an effective partner in supporting Vision 2030. Neunkirchen, Germany headquartered SSI Schaefer Group is the world’s leading provider of modular warehousing and logistics solutions. Across six continents, SSI Schaefer develops and implements innovative industry-specific answers to its customers’ unique challenges. As a result, it plays a key role in shaping the future of material handling, a corporate press communique concluded.