Project Case Studies

Greenville Hospital

The Greenville Hospital System.

Project Overview

Complete Logistics Upgrade Program, Order Fulfillment, AGVS, Receiving Docks, Pneumatic Tube, Central Sterile Supply and an Innovative System Central Materials Distribution Center.

The Greenville Hospital System (GHS), comprised of five (5) separate hospital campuses and a number of outpatient facilities, MOB’s and clinics is the largest health system in South Carolina.

The Greenville Memorial Hospital University Medical Center is the flagstone facility with 735 beds and 28 OR’s. 


The Schachinger Group (TSG) was engaged to: study, Master Plan; program, design, bid and implement: A Remote Materials Service Center, new GMH Docks and Receiving, Central Sterile Supply Department, and Automated and Manual Materials Handling Systems including the modernization of the 6” pneumatic tube and replacement of the robotic automated guided vehicle (AGVS) with dedicated lifts and cart washing.

Remote Materials Distribution Center.

During the early part of this engagement, TSG was commissioned to perform an expanded and detailed study of the supply chain for the entire Greenville Hospital System. The result indicated many cost and operational advantages for a self operated Materials Distribution Center (MDC) to service the current and future health care system. The facility design will service the entire Hospital System expanded up to ~2,500 beds. TSG completed the visioning, programming and designs to provide GHS with a facility with a state of the art order fulfillment system fully integrated with the System’s MIS. 

When compared to the costs for equal services from a commercial enterprise, the new MDC provides an ongoing cost savings of over 15% annually, with an initial reduction of “system” inventories of ~ 35%.

Additionally, the time spent on the supply chain functions by Nursing and other departmental staff is substantially reduced. MDC staffing approximates the number of FTE’s previously needed to support the GMH campus alone.

The new MDC facility, which opened in the late winter of 2006, was designed to support state of the art materials management technologies such as pick‐to‐light, WMS, barcodes and eventually RFID. The MDC will have an ability to expand in place to support GHS through 2025 while the other facilities in the system will no longer require any increases in materials related spaces even as GHS adds beds and services.

Automated Guided Vehicle System.

The new AGVS is estimated to reduce operating costs at the Greenville Memorial Hospital by over $2,000,000 annually. This new 46 Vehicle Automated Guided Vehicle System, installed in existing buildings and using existing and new elevators, will provide over 2,100 cart transports on an average day, including: supplies, equipment, clean and soiled linens, hot patient food, retail goods, case carts, wastes and other materials. Integrated cartwashers process over 250 soiled carts daily.

Central Sterile Supply Department.

A distinct and vital part of the revitalization plan for the Greenville Memorial Hospital was the need to modernize and expand the capabilities of Surgical and Invasive Services and the related support functions, including Central Sterile Supply.

TSG provided the visioning, programming and design for the new 16,000 ft2 department, supported by the remote distribution center and the AGVS. The new CSSD provides support for more than 130 surgeries/day.

Receiving Docks Materials And Waster Management Support Areas.

An integral part of the logistics upgrades included the modernization of Greenville Memorial Hospital’s receiving docks and the other materials support departments such as Nutrition Services, Linens and Waste Management. TSG programmed and designed the interim and the permanent loading docks that increased receiving efficiencies by over 40%. The new docks and receiving areas are designed to interface with the physical and operational characteristics of the new Materials Distribution Center to maximize efficiencies.

TSG also provided the studies, programming and designs for the ground floor materials, linens, waste management and other revisions that modernized existing operations and added new capabilities and functions such as automated AGVS cart washing, automated waste cart management and new elevators for the AGVS.

Pneumatic Tube System Modernization And Expansion.

The existing 6” pneumatic tube systems at both the GMH and Patewood GHS hospitals required both modernization to correct existing design and installation deficiencies and expansions to handle facility expansions and renovations. TSG provided the technical evaluations of the existing systems and the studies needed to determine the actual needs of the facilities in question. TSG then provided the concepts, designs and specifications for the work to be accomplished.

The revisions to the system at GMH will handle over 200% of the capacity of the existing PTS not including the traffic generated by the system expansions.

Repurposed Space.

TSG’s Logistics Planning opened more than 40,000 sf for expanding and adding other functions within the Greenville Memorial Hospital, Patewood Hospital and Greer Facility.

Contact The Schachinger Group. (703) 608-2263
Our experience in providing services for more than 800 clients worldwide over 35 years has revealed the benefits of treating these important disciplines as interdependent functions, planned in a coordinated way with the assistance of one experienced and qualified firm.