Behind the Scenes: Details on McKesson’s Newest Distribution Center

A look at McKesson's new state-of-the-art distribution center.

By: McKesson Health Systems Editorial Team

Read time: 3 minutes

Behind the Scenes: Details on McKesson’s Newest Distribution Center

This fall, McKesson announced the opening of a new distribution center in Holt, Mich. Set on approximately 23 acres, the 174,000-square-foot facility is strategically located to serve customers across the state. The site features the latest in distribution technology including state-of-the-art automation that will optimize efficiency and productivity to serve customers. Chris Van Norman, VP, Network Operations-Distribution Experience, provides additional background on the new facility.

Q: Can you share more about the new facility model and what makes it different?

A: Can you share more about the new facility model and what makes it different? A: The new distribution center is primarily an Rx servicing location, where Rx products are stored, however only select over-the-counter (OTC) items are stocked. For this distribution model, other OTC items come from the neighboring distribution centers in Aurora, Ill., and New Castle, Pa. Those OTC items are delivered to the Michigan site’s cross-docks where they are married up with the Rx order and then delivered with the Rx products. This is only the second distribution center of its kind at McKesson.

One of the key benefits of this specific model stems from the enhanced benefits of automation. Between 70-80% of the order lines are filled through automation via two A-frames, automated dispensers that use technology specifically designed to buffer and pick inventory at a high rate. These two A-frames are each able to process up to 6,000 lines per hour. Additionally, there’s a single super vault to store all controlled pharmaceuticals, creating more security.

Michigan DC
New distribution center in Holt, Mich.


Q: What does it mean to customers in Michigan, and for people specifically in the Lansing region?

A: For customers we partner with in Michigan, being more centrally located allows us to service the entire state more efficiently. Michigan is a unique, peninsula state that is essentially covered by water on three sides, which makes it difficult to service when not located strategically within the state. The new distribution center is located to help us to cover all customers across the state with better delivery service including the quickly growing greater Lansing and Grand Rapids areas. For the community, this distribution center will bring more than 80 full-time jobs and add to economic growth to Holt and south Lansing suburbs.

Q: The facility prioritizes energy reduction. Can you tell us why that’s important?

A: At McKesson, we believe in taking initiative on sustainability in the short and long term. We have a responsibility to do our part when building new distribution centers. This site has low voltage conveyors, high-efficiency HVAC systems with a sophisticated energy management system, a heat reflective roof, and motion sensors to reduce water and electricity usage. These are examples of how we are taking sustainability into account.

Q: How does this differentiate us from the competition?

A: Having a highly automated facility located in the center of a populated state with growing cities across the state provides an advantage well into the future and helps us stand out from others in the industry that have a presence in the state. We are very excited about all the possibilities this new distribution center brings to the market.

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