Operations and Management: Schein’s New DC to Speed Up Service

When Melville, NY-based medical and dental supplies cataloger Henry Schein went shopping for a location for its fifth distribution center, it adhered to real estate’s first rule: location, location, location.

In July, Schein opened its 135,000-sq.-ft distribution center in Jacksonville, FL. Stan Bergman, the $2.6 billion company’s chairman/president/CEO, says the location will enable Schein to offer next-day delivery to most of its more than 62,000 customers in the southeastern U.S. Bergman estimates that Schein’s next-day delivery rate on more than 26,000 SKUs for all its dental, dental laboratory, medical and veterinary customers in the Southeast will increase from 26% to more than 90%. When Schein had split Southeast fulfillment among its DCs in Denver, PA; Grapevine, TX; Reno, NV; and Indianapolis, most orders were received within two days.

The southeastern U.S. represents one of its largest areas of growth in the country for Schein; customers there currently account for about 15% of its domestic business. And with rivals Westbury, NY-based Darby Group and New Britain, CT-based Moore Medical battling for catalog and online business, Schein felt the need for a competitive edge. Speedier delivery in the Southeast should help.

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