Johnson & Johnson
Presented to a consumer goods company that has exhibited excellence in undertaking improvements to supply or demand planning, warehouse management, transportation management, S&OP processes or supply chain network design.
The complexities of Johnson & Johnson’s business portfolio require a global supply chain that can handle extensive operations in the consumer, medical device and pharmaceutical markets. That forces the company to constantly balance the need for efficiency and cost savings with the unique demands of each sector.
"We’ve standardized the things that are most important, such as quality systems, operational improvement methodologies, procurement, IT systems and our approach to talent, while allowing our businesses to maintain those operational aspects that are most important to their customers," said Kathy Wengel, worldwide vice president and chief supply chain officer, in an internal interview. "This transformation over the last three years has given our supply chain a real competitive advantage."
Those efforts have been recognized through "top supplier" awards that J&J has earned recently from such A-list retail partners as Walmart, Watsons, CVS/pharmacy and Rite Aid. They also were evident when Gartner unveiled its annual "Top 25 Supply Chain Index" in May 2017: J&J moved up eight slots on the list to 13, the company's highest-ever ranking and the biggest jump of any enterprise on this year's list. Gartner attributed the move upward to higher opinion poll votes and an improved "Corporate Social Responsibility" score. J&J itself said the achievement "marked another step on [our] journey to build the best supply chain in the world."
In a release trumpeting the results, J&J noted that Gartner had praised the company's "steady improvement in delivering high-quality metrics, customer satisfaction and cost efficiencies" as well as the way it "leveraged technology to drive innovation."
"This latest ranking is a strong testament to the great work done by all of our supply chain associates around the world every day to meet the needs of the customers, patients and consumers we are privileged to serve,” Wengel said in the release. “We will keep pushing ourselves to continually set the new standard in healthcare as we transform the customer experience and advance our operational capabilities to strengthen our competitive edge."
The stronger CSR score is a particular source of pride for J&J, which in fall 2016 implemented a long-term commitment to addressing several of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The company also supports the UN's Global Pandemic Supply Chain Network, which works to alleviate global inefficiencies that can hinder disaster relief.
"The bar is always rising, and we will need to make sure our workforce is equipped to deliver," said Wengel. "As much as we’ve changed in recent years, it pales in comparison to what we anticipate in the next three years."
One current initiative is the implementation of IoT technology like sensors and robotics to monitor operational data in real-time and better address both the actions of suppliers and the demands of customers. Another is the adoption of 3D printing to manufacture customized products.
"We have to continue to build our processes from the lens of our customers’ evolving needs," said Wengel. "We must improve our ability to pivot quickly in response to changing market needs and expectations, making quick sprints in technology in a different way to get results that add value now, rather than large long-term projects."
2017 supply chain award finalists