At Pfizer Australia it’s believed that vision and direction is essential to supply chain success.
“Continual and ongoing alignment of supply chain to corporate strategy began in earnest at Pfizer Australia a decade ago and is on-going,” Pfizer direct manager Sofie Williams tells Logistics Magazine.
“In addition, identification of realistic supply chain improvement initiatives and the scoping of projects with the aim of getting closer to the corporate vision is vital, along with successful implementation of projects that deliver real results to the business.”
“Overall, management must be dedicated to the promotion of supply chain projects to obtain the necessary funding and time allocation for their execution,” says integrated business planning & inventory manager Andrea Squire.
She points to the company’s global plant network optimisation program as an example of a project that ensures the company’s manufacturing facilities are aligned with current and future product needs.
“We also work collaboratively with customers to manage demand by optimising stock levels, exchange market intelligence to assist with forecasting process, and utilise scheduled ordering to ensure responsiveness,” adds customer service manager Kim Hocevar.
“By investing in a partnership with an outsourced 3PL warehousing and distribution provider DHL Exel Supply Chain, who we view as a strategic contributor to our success, we’ve been able to concentrate on our core business.”
According to Pfizer, managing and capitalising on pharmaceutical industry trends is paramount.
“We need to prepare for the loss of product exclusivity, as the industry moves away from the blockbuster model we’ve been used to, to more specialised niche products, and the rapid growth of generic drugs,” Hocevar observes.
“Other factors include the emphasis on the well-being sector, dramatic changes to consumer expectations through instant access to information, and the implications of our environmental footprint.”
Pfizer has a focus on delivering its business away from traditional sustainable procurement through the development of a strategic platform.
“The development of sustainable agreements and relationships delivers bottom line savings, incrementally impacting our public profile through delivery of ecologically sustainable solutions and ensures end user operational autonomy and alignment,” says procuremant manager Nicole Tajc.
“Understanding and optimising our processes enables Pfizer’s agility in business partnerships,” she says.
“Continually reviewing and questioning our commodities and the traditional methods of purchasing drives the development of our strategy for operational and commercial efficiencies.”
Through working with supply chain partners, Pfizer says all business processes are transparent, commercial, risk effective and operationally efficient.
“Importantly, through these relationships we enable both parties flexibility so we can realign if required to add the optimum value to the end process,” Nicole Tajc says.
With ever evolving customer needs and expectations, forecasting demand is always one of the biggest challenges companies face.
“Pfizer’s approach has been to develop a Demand Management Capability by considering three areas,” explains the Andrea Squire.
“First, we tackled technology, by implementing a standardised forecasting tool.”
“Secondly, the role of people was considered by developing the demand management skills of Pfizer Australia’s demand analysts, marketing, sales and customer service colleagues and supply analysts.”
“Thirdly we developed a disciplined demand forecast review process as part of our corporate integrated business planning process, which allows for more effective communication and collaboration across the organisation.”
Squire says the establishment of a Demand Management Capability has improved the company’s business intelligence, enabling calculated risks to be taken that optimise Pfizer’s product portfolio and return on investment.
According to Squire, RFID provides a mechanism with which Pfizer can ensure the integrity of its products through use of e-pedigress to guarantee patient safety.
“Adoption of Global industry standards will provide efficiencies across international supply chains and leverage relationships,” she says.
“Our investment in technology to manage E-business, Data Synchronisation, vendor management and customer management enables better alignment inter and intra organisation and improves efficiencies as well as contributing to higher levels of customer satisfaction.”
With the evolving and dynamic nature of the Healthcare / Pharmaceutical industry, Pfizer says a major opportunity is to improve the agility of its supply chain.
“A truly adaptive supply chain will enable us to respond quickly to external changes and support company strategic initiatives with minimal fuss,” says Sofie Williams.
“To achieve this operational flexibility we need to explore options outside of the traditional distribution model.”
“We’ll achieve this goal by continuing to work with supply chain partners to pursue common synergies such as consolidated freight, and to develop a closer understanding of pharmacies in order to provide them with customised solutions.”