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Keeping Johnson & Johnson’s Critical Supply Chains Strong

Timely, actionable data is vital for maintaining a global supply chain network, especially during a pandemic. We helped J&J’s supply chain managers have the analytics and capabilities they need to continue delivering critical pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer products.

The Challenge

Johnson & Johnson relies on complex global supply chains to ensure its vital pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and medical devices reliably get to the consumers who depend on them. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, keeping these supply chains strong has been more important – and more challenging – than ever.

Timely, actionable data is vital for maintaining a global supply chain network. Johnson & Johnson’s suite of data applications included a number of mission-critical features that allowed

supply-chain managers to triage problems across the complex chain’s stages. They were able to combine analytical data from many different first-party and third-party systems, and provide historical analytics and trends against targets, highlighting anomalies that needed to be investigated and addressed.

While they had effective tools that let supply-chain managers proactively remediate critical issues through integrations with internal systems, they decided to modernize their business intelligence (BI) platform to overcome several shortcomings. First, their legacy BI applications did not let managers flexibly develop new analytics through interactive dashboards and reports. Changing applications was also slow and expensive, and data extracts with legacy tools weren’t providing supply-chain managers with real-time data.

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Our Solution

Johnson & Johnson’s data engineering and visualization teams asked DAS42 to help build a new, lightweight, and powerful tool that delivered the flexibility supply-chain managers needed. But they wanted to retain the same look and feel and integration in existing application workflows that supply-chain managers were familiar with.

Building the modern platform Johnson & Johnson needed involved addressing three broad components:

  • OTIF (on-time, in-full) measures if a customer received all of the units in their order across all of their lines in the fulfillment window promised to them. It’s critical for supply chains and customer satisfaction.
  • The Delivery Control Tower is a connected, personalized dashboard of data, key business metrics, and events across the supply chain that enables organizations to more fully understand, prioritize, and resolve critical issues in real time.
  • The QBR (quarterly business review) application provides performance management, reliability, and customer experience insights.

As we worked with Johnson & Johnson and came to understand their needs and expectations, it was obvious that Looker, part of the Google Cloud Platform, was the clear choice for the modernization effort. Looker has unique characteristics and advantages for a project like this, and Looker’s extensions framework made it possible to build a customized modern data platform that looked and felt like the legacy system Johnson & Johnson’s supply chain managers were used to.

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How Did It Turn Out?

The modernization initiative had a lot of moving parts, but the transition from the legacy system to Looker was relatively fast, smooth, and painless.

We migrated four existing applications and built one new application using the Looker Embed SDK and an extension framework in just a few months. The extension framework let Johnson & Johnson developers quickly leverage standard visualizations and features out of the box with Looker while providing a completely customized user interface look and feel. Their new agile, scalable development framework lets Johnson & Johnson’s team accommodate frequent requests to incorporate new requirements, while the customized interface designed with the same look and feel of the legacy system minimized the need for staff training and change management.

Most important, supply-chain managers have the analytics and capabilities they need to keep Johnson & Johnson’s supply chains strong at a challenging time when many companies’ supply chains have been under strain. That has been a major factor in their success at advancing their mission of keeping their pharmaceutical and other products moving uninterrupted across the world.

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