New app boosts Pfizer’s global supply chain visibility


For a biopharmaceutical company as large as Pfizer, achieving truly comprehensive supply chain visibility is a mammoth undertaking. Despite the company’s extremely complex supply chain, the End-to-End In-Transit Visibility (E2E ITV) project now makes it possible to track a shipment in real time.

Biopharma manufacturer Pfizer is active in more than 175 countries and has a product line of more than 24,000 SKUs. In 2016 the company launched the Highly Orchestrated Supply Network (HOSuN): a network tasked with strengthening supply chain operations among all customers, both internal and external. HOSuN’s Intercompany Operations (IO) group consists of colleagues from around the world who manage more than 17,000 air, 1,700-plus ocean and in excess of 34,000 surface shipments each year. The IO team plans, monitors and follows up on shipments so customer expectations can be fulfilled.

The IO team determined it needed a mobile app to combine existing information and modern communication technology to enable all stakeholders to proactively access relevant data in an innovative, digital and user-friendly way – and in 2016 the E2E ITV project team was formed to achieve that. A hackathon was organized, which resulted in the main deliverables being established: to share information via a mobile app; highly flexible and personalized dashboards for viewing data; design tools for internal and external performance measurement and workload anticipation; and to create one central data repository.

Proactively informing users

Those deliverables formed the basis for the new tool. For shipments flagged as ‘critical/urgent’, the tool proactively informs users about changes by sending notifications. The same functionality is also available for ‘non-critical’ shipments, which the user can flag as a ‘favourite’ to turn on this proactive information feed. All stakeholders in the supply chain are aligned on the definition of ‘criticality’ of a shipment and how all parties should execute these shipments with a ‘right first time’ mindset, eliminating rework and unplanned delays. Furthermore, by leveraging the data accumulated in the central repository over time, it is possible to perform data trending analysis to identify improvement areas that would bring the most benefit to the overall supply chain.

As a result, the tool gives Pfizer visibility and changes how supply chain teams work. Each team now has access to the same single source of truth about in-transit shipments and acts in synchronization with other teams to execute these shipments without delays and rework.

Source: SupplyChainBrain