Planning and Building Storage Facilities. (MDS-3: Managing Access to Medicines and Health Technologies, Chapter 42)
(2012; 19 pages)


This chapter describes methods for developing effective storage facilities, a process in which supply system managers play a key role.

Storage facilities are of three basic types -

  • Mechanized warehouses rely on the use of mechanical handling equipment. They are appropriate where most goods are stored in bulk on pallets.
  • Manual warehouses are appropriate where goods are stored in smaller quantities, mostly on shelves.
  • Storerooms are fitted with shelves, refrigerators, and a secure cupboard or safe. Every facility needs a location where medicines and medical supplies can be stored safely.

Satisfactory storage accommodation may be obtained by reorganization or renovation of an existing facility, lease or purchase of a commercial warehouse, or putting in a new building. A new building may involve ground-up construction or the erection of a prefabricated building that is purchased and assembled on the preferred site. Most of the chapter focuses on managing traditional construction.

There are six stages in the procurement and construction process -

  1. Inception: conducting a needs assessment; setting up a project team; appointing consultants
  2. Feasibility: carrying out a feasibility study; obtaining a budget allocation
  3. Site selection and acquisition: selecting a site or building; obtaining the site or building
  4. Design: preparing a detailed design brief; selecting storage methods and choosing materials-handling equipment; planning space; designing the building
  5. Tender and project planning: selecting a procurement method; drawing up a contract; conducting the tender process; planning the project
  6. Construction and commissioning: managing the construction contract; commissioning the facility

Following procurement and construction, building and equipment maintenance adds an ongoing stage to the process.

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