SSI SCHAEFER and Geekplus Provide Innovative Logistics Solution for Dr. Max

  • Pharmacy giant opens first warehouse in Italy in Telgate, Bergamo  

  • SSI SCHAEFER and Geekplus implement a forward-looking logistics concept in just a few weeks

  • Modern e-commerce warehouse with flexible automation options covers over 14,000 m2

Around 3,000 pharmacies, an online platform with more than one million customers per month and over two million items sold per day – the Dr. Max Group is one of Europe’s leading pharmaceutical chains. The company is active in 17 countries and is now continuing their success story: As of February 2024, the new distribution center has been supplying the entire Italian market.

New Markets Need New Solutions

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Dr. Max not only sells medication, but also has an enormous selection of health and cosmetic products for their customers, ranging from nutritional supplements to beauty products. This extensive range alone poses major challenges for logistics. But that’s not all: Demand is increasing rapidly in the online shop. In 2023, Dr. Max achieved a remarkable 55% year-over-year increase in e-commerce revenue.

With the aim to ensure the fastest possible delivery to end customers throughout Italy – either via home delivery or via click-and-collect pickup in pharmacies – and in order to meet the diverse requirements, Dr. Max decided to build a warehouse in Telgate specialising in pharmaceutical and cosmetics e-commerce fulfillment. This should not only ensure efficient processes and a seamless supply chain, but also pave the way for future growth: With the acquisition of Neo Apotek SpA, the number of pharmacies that Dr. Max supplies in Italy has grown to over 210 branches. With the help of future expansions, the new warehouse will gradually handle pharmacy deliveries in addition to e-commerce orders.

A project for which the pharmaceutical retailer turned to two of the world’s largest and most experienced intralogistics experts.

Together Toward Success

Dr. Max chose SSI SCHAEFER as the general contractor and Geekplus as robot technology partner, combining maximum logistics expertise in the new warehouse in Italy to create a unique, high-level solution. In this way, even the sheer quantity of items with different order patterns for multiple channels can be stored, picked and dispatched smoothly. The shortest lead times guarantee fast delivery, sometimes even on the same day.

From automatic order start and picking directly into cartons to automated shipping preparation, including volume reduction and carton sealing, the integration of a wide range of components meets all the requirements of high-performance e-commerce fulfillment. This overall concept has not only convinced Dr. Max in Italy – SSI SCHAEFER and Geekplus have already implemented their smart logistics solution in several of the pharmaceutical chain’s European sites to the customer’s complete satisfaction.

Dr. Max’s Miguel Martins da Silva, Group Chief Supply Chain Officer, is impressed: “We needed a warehouse that could both handle the increasing quantity of online orders, but also keep up with our growth on the Italian market. SSI SCHAEFER and Geekplus’ holistic solution enables us to do just that – it is scalable, innovative, and flexible.”

Single-Source Solution: SSI SCHAEFER’s Smart Logistics Concept

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As a leading global solution provider for all areas of intralogistics, SSI SCHAEFER is also a specialist in the field of individual warehouse automation. Thanks to this expertise, a customised end-to-end concept was developed for Dr. Max and implemented in practice within a matter of weeks. In addition to pallet racks, conveying systems, handling systems and other hardware, the software for controlling all components and processes in the new warehouse also comes from the intralogistics expert.

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SSI SCHAEFER’s integrated warehouse management system (WMS) effectively supports Dr. Max in the optimisation of complex logistics activities. Among other things, it enables real-time control, the automation of repetitive processes and more efficient transport routes through the dynamic management of storage location allocations. The result: Fewer errors, a better use of resources and significantly higher productivity overall.

“It is important to us to flexibly tailor our solutions to the requirements of our customers. Thanks to the cooperation with Geekplus, we were able to implement a sustainable concept for Dr. Max that sets industry-wide standards and can be flexibly implemented at other sites,” says Oleg Rak, Project Manager, SSI SCHAEFER.

Efficient Picking Using Geekplus Mobile Robots

The Tote-to-Person solution from Geekplus, the global leader in autonomous mobile robot (AMR) technologies, combines a shuttle robot achieving 8 meters height for double-deep container storage for maximum use of vertical storage space with a fulfillment robot for fast order processing based on the tote-to-person principle at the Telgate site. “This warehouse is a good example of how we can grow with our customers. We have offered our wide and comprehensive portfolio of mobile robots and expanded it with additional solution elements according to the customer requirements. The combination of our robots with SSI SCHAEFER’s components offers Dr. Max a variety of possibilities. Should the requirements change, the system can be customised at any time,” explains Wayne Tai, Channel Partner Manager for EMEA, Geekplus.

Step by Step to Omnichannel Fulfillment

With a seamless network of pharmacies, Dr. Max aims to reliably supply their customers with a wide range of medicines and cosmetic products, both online and in stores. In Italy – and beyond. The logistics solution from SSI SCHAEFER and Geekplus implemented in Telgate provides the perfect foundation for this and has already been successfully established at several Dr. Max sites in Europe. The cooperation will also continue in the newly opened Italian warehouse: Shortly after the system went live, additional automation steps and future expansions are already being planned.

Images: © Dr. Max

Contact Person

Anastasiia Benko Head of Marketing for Northern Region Phone No.: +44 7471 038 260 Mail: