The Integrated Distribution Center, located at 401Grumman Road West, has a workforce of 65 employees - 23 of them new hires - and will operate seven days a week, 20 hours a day. Developed at a cost of about $2 million, the leased facility will be responsible for receiving and distributing 5,500 product lines to 14 North Shore-LIJ hospitals and other facilities throughout the New York metropolitan area.
Pinak Shah, senior director of system, supply chain operations for the health system, who has been leading planning efforts for the project over the past four years, said, “This unique supply chain model in healthcare allows North Shore-LIJ to implement a world-class distribution model that will streamline supply sourcing, reduce inventory touch points, and provide a cost effective supply chain to clinical end users allowing for sustainability and future growth.”
Donna Drummond, North Shore-LIJ's chief administrative officer, said the new distribution facility and process also enable the health system to significantly reduce the use of cardboard boxes to store hospital goods. “All supplies will be removed from corrugated boxes and shipped from the distribution center in plastic containers, so we eliminate cardboard in our hospitals, which reduces the spread of germs and the risks of infections in North Shore-LIJ's patient care areas,” she said.
The technology solutions incorporated at the new facility also allows for a paperless warehouse management system that improves efficiency, tracking and accountability, Ms. Drummond said. The massive center, developed with the support of Cardinal Health Inc., is temperature-controlled and equipped with a full back-up generator. It includes eight loading docks, so there are no delays in getting trucks in and out of the facility.
“We utilized best practices to develop the optimum supply chain model,” Eugene Tangney, senior vice president and regional executive director at the health system, said at a Nov. 29 reception to celebrate the opening of the center. “The ultimate beneficiaries are the patients.”