These days, no matter how the economy is faring, it seems like there’s always new industries ready to expand – and these expanding industries often need the help of a good warehouse for storage.

Take medical storage and pharmaceutical storage, for example. Studies have shown that pharmaceutical storage is going to be one of the most quickly expanding market segments in warehousing, due to recent advancements in medical technology and more widespread availability of needed medication to patients who may not have had access to the medicine they needed in the past.

And while any growth in the warehousing industry is good for those who work in it – a rising tide raises all ships, after all – getting involved in medical storage when your warehouse hasn’t been prepared for the various challenges and requirements can be a tricky process.

To no one’s surprise, there’s a lot of specifications that come with pharmaceutical storage. The first thing you may need to make yourself aware of are the regulations around medical storage. The FDA provides specific guidelines regarding pharmaceutical warehouses including cleanliness, security, and even building size in some cases. Before entering into the medical storage business, make sure you’re familiar with these requirements and regulations to prevent bigger headaches down the road.

If your warehouse is ready to get involved in the medical product storage game, the next few steps you should take will all revolve around optimizing your storage capacity. First of all, you’ll want to see how many channels your warehouse has. All the medical storage shelves won’t do a lot of good if you don’t have a solid plan in place – how many distinct channels do products pass through in your warehouse? Will you be able to give individual pallet racking over to each type of good to prevent accidental cross-contamination between medical products that shouldn’t touch each other? Try to arrange your industrial shelving in such a way that minimizes cross-purpose work and doesn’t let products touch other goods they shouldn’t come in contact with.

The conditions of the warehouse extend beyond making sure you have enough shelving, however. Managing temperature zones is a crucial part of pharmaceutical warehousing, as many different product types will require different temperatures to ensure product safety & longevity. Make sure you can provide safe cold storage as well as room temperature storage to help store products that can’t be exposed to the elements. If you need to move products quickly from one temperature zone to the next, you may want to use gravity conveyors to help your team move the goods quickly to the shipping area to prevent thaw or damage.

Speaking of shipping, the last (but certainly not least) area you’ll want to focus on is security through the warehouse and docking stations. Your warehouse surely has some degree of security measures already in place, but with the sort of controlled substances that you’ll surely be trading in with your new medical storage facility, you’ll need to be more careful than ever. Use security partitions at various points in both the shipping and receiving processes to ensure nothing walks away or goes unaccounted for, and make sure everyone who comes into or leaves the warehouse is tracked and acknowledged so you have an idea of who has interacted with your products and when.

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