Pfizer - Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer Project Information

In 2012, Pfizer Inc. was the world’s largest pharmaceuticals company. From the Karlsruhe RDC (Regional Distribution Centre), Pfizer Deutschland GmbH distributes its own products, products from its subsidiaries, and products from third-party manufacturers for the German and Austria markets.

The Challenges

The processes at the Karlsruhe distribution centre are characterised by an extreme range of order quantities with regard to

  • The Respective Products (e.g. refrigerated goods, hazardous goods, high-quality items)
  • Client Groups (e.g. pharmacies, hospitals, wholesalers)
  • Markets (Germany, Austria)
  • The Individual Companies (= clients) standing behind the Pfizer brand

What’s more, the pharmaceutical industry demands validation of the complete system in accordance with GxP requirements.


DR. THOMAS + PARTNER implemented the original version of a warehouse management/forklift guidance and picking system based on SUN/Solaris in conjunction with an Oracle database for Pfizer in 1996. Since then, the system has been continuously altered and expanded to suit ever-changing requirements.

The Wide Range Of Requirements Stated Is Covered By Variety Of Picking Types:

  • Whole And Partial Pallets For Bulk-Buyers
  • Goods-To-Person Picking For Purchase Quantities In Whole Boxes
  • Pick-By-Light Facility For The Picking Of Medium-Sized Quantities (tray conveyor system with empty boxes placed on it)
  • Division Of The Plant In Three Zones For Products With Different Throughput
  • Order Picking With WLAN Mobile Data Collectors From Cycle Channels, Lower Shelves And Pallets
  • Special Fast-Seller Picking For Direct Provision To Pharmacies

The forklift guidance system coordinates a fleet of different forklift types so that the routes are minimised, and the different priorities of the waiting transports are taken into account. All transport processes are protected against operating errors and mix-ups by scanning barcodes on pallet labels and special labels.

The user interface with a total of 150 dialogues was tailored to the ergonomic requirements of the individual processes. This means for example that there are workstations in the warehouse at which the user generally exclusively works with the barcode scanner and does not use a keyboard (or even a mouse). A very detailed authorisation concept ensures that only authorised employees can run through the sensitive process steps. The high requirements in terms of availability are met using hardware and software.



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