Johnson & Johnson: Supply chain inefficiency is costing you more than you realize

By focusing on three critical areas of inefficiency, supply chain leaders can drastically increase cash flow and throughput

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Pharma IQ


“We all want to be more efficient with our systems,” admitted Ruben Dario Taborda, senior director of supply chain solutions at Johnson & Johnson, during the Temperature Controlled Logistics online forum. This objective, however, is complicated by the fact that supply chains are littered with many complex, moving parts with processes ripe for inefficiency. This leads to reduced cash flow and limited throughput.

With many supply chain leaders facing rising pressure to reduce costs, Taborda sees potential for significant operational and financial improvement if the right tactics are applied.

In his work, Taborda found three critical areas where optimized processes can correct inefficiency: procurement, inventory management and procedure visibility. Although these areas present many opportunity for streamlining activity, it is beneficial to set a clear focus and start with small projects. As Taborda explained: “When you start to deliver quick wins on something small, you build trust in the process.” To understand where to improve operations, sit down with stakeholders across the supply chain to uncover painpoints and opportunities to increase efficiency. Cross-checking this with performance analytics can shed light on which project will lead to impactful efficiency gains. As Taborda advised, “anchor on one thing… the implied opportunity isn’t always the real opportunity”.

As improvements help people gain back time and resource, the subsequent momentum can be leveraged to create further change across the supply chain. The pharmaceutical supply chain operates a number of manual, paper-based processes and systems that are not often led with real-time information. There is a growing opportunity for companies to benefit from digital systems, streamlined processes and automation.

However, a full overhaul of the process is not always necessary to see improvement. In this iterative process, Taborda suggested making small, data-led changes which can be monitored and measured. This should also be supported by capacity building within the supply chain to ensure changes to the system are executed effectively.

To hear more from Taborda, watch his full presentation from the Temperature Controlled Logistics online forum.