Business Insider reports that the pharma giant, Pfizer, and tech colossus, Intel are implementing new digital solutions to improve supply chain visibility. Procurement practitioners are charged with many tasks to achieve maximum efficiency for their organisations, from cost reduction to tail spend management to sourcing savings, but a lack of visibility into the supply chain beyond direct suppliers has the potential to hinder these.
According to research by Deloitte, 65% of procurement executives share this serious limitation to supply chain visibility, making it virtually impossible to track shipments throughout their journey and posing difficulties vis-à-vis determining a product’s origin, authenticity, and condition. Enter Pfizer and Intel, both of which are leveraging digital technologies to achieve end-to-end visibility across the supply chain. Pfizer’s supply chain is complex and extensive, sustaining a product line of more than 24,000 SKUs and more than 200 contract manufacturer partners spanning 175 countries. The pharma giant not only has to engage in an immense supply relationship management endeavour, but it must also ensure that its end users receive verified safe products. In developing countries, World Health Organisation figures reveal that thousands of deaths are caused by counterfeit or substandard medicines.
To tackle this, Pfizer began what it calls its ‘End-to-End In-Transit Visibility’ (E2E ITV) project, providing stakeholders with a single source of truth on the status and real-time location of their global shipments. A mobile app has now been developed by the project, offering users a personalised dashboard to access crucial data, such as supply risks and in-transit data, as well as enabling them to share information.
Intel has harnessed IoT technology to grant users real-time visibility as well as monitoring the condition of their products via temperature information and shock measurements – vital for companies shipping fragile items or products with climate restrictions. Digital tech like this may not be a panacea, but it can lift a burden off the shoulders of hardworking procurement pros.