Medline strengthens domestic healthcare supply chain with $1.5 billion investment

May 5, 2021  –  Medline has announced the results of a three-year national capital expenditure campaign to support the long-term needs of healthcare providers which included $1.5 billion in new distribution centers, manufacturing capabilities and IT upgrades for an improved ecommerce experience.

The Medline Healthcare Resilience Initiative (HRI) spanned dozens of Medline divisions over the course of 2018-2020, culminating in approximately 8,500 new jobs, eight new distribution centers, nearly 150 manufacturing expansion projects and a new global digital customer ordering platform.

The company opened eight newly constructed distribution centers over the past three years that created more than 6,500 jobs in construction and nearly 2,000 jobs in distribution which includes operations and product delivery, knwon as MedTrans.

In the next four years, the company plans to add more than 10 million square feet in warehouse space. Medline says that, with seven of the medical-grade distribution centers strategically set to open this year in key markets, it is on track to be a leading healthcare partner in the new construction landscape in the United States, with all buildings designed to meet LEED standards.

The new location in Grayslake, Ill. is estimated to be the largest medical-grade distribution center in the world, the company says. Other distribution centers on track to complete in 2021 are:

  • Hammond, Louisiana
  • Mebane, North Carolina
  • Montgomery, New York
  • Richmond Hill, Georgia
  • Southaven, Mississippi.
  • St. Peters, Montana

The company also says that, by continuing to further control the delivery to customers with Goods-to-Person technologies and expanding its private fleet to more than 1,200 MedTrans trucks, Medline enabled better overall building utilization; Pick/pack/ship nearly 2-3 times faster than manual method; 24-hour turnarounds from order receipt to customer delivery; Improved accuracy of deliveries to customers by over 20%; and Increased resilience with proprietary technology solutions and cybersecurity.

Over the past three years, Medline has also expanded manufacturing capabilities across North America. Most recently, Medline expanded its manufacturing facility in Lithia Springs, Georgia, as part of its North American Manufacturing Expansion (NAME) initiative to produce face masks with a mix of foreign and domestic materials, its first time manufacturing them in the United States.

In 2021, the company plans to install a second line and ultimately anticipates producing more than 36 million face masks per month. Other HRI investment highlights through 2018-2020 include:

  • New manufacturing of hand sanitizer in Hartland, Wisc.
  • Expansion of manufacturing of hand sanitizer gel packets during the height of pandemic in Meriden, Conn.
  • NAMIC brand of fluid management systems upgrades
  • Expansion of Medline ReNewal medical device reprocessing

Medline also says it has made investments to simplify and strengthen how the company works with customers, suppliers and employees. The company reported a 102% increase in IT jobs over the past three years with a focus on data integrity. Additionally, teams supported stages of a comprehensive system overhaul to consolidate manufacturing plant systems.

Medline says it is investing in renewable energy to offset its carbon footprint. In 2018, the company installed more than 3,100 solar panels at its Tracy, Calif. distribution center to generate power equivalent to 74% of the one million square foot facility’s usage. In 2020, Medline invested more than $1.6 million to install solar panels on the rooftop of its 680,000-square-foot headquarters in Northfield, Illinois.

The company plans to invest an additional $500 million in 2021 as part of HRI, which includes work on nine new distribution center projects underway, supply-and-demand planning technology, and additional manufacturing expansions and upgrades.

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