COVID-19: Lessons from supply chain disruption

Date: 2020-03-25

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What You Need to Know About How Johnson & Johnson's Supply Chain Is Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic

The company's Chief Global Supply Chain Officer shares the measures the company has taken to maintain its supply chain operations during the current novel coronavirus outbreak.

The effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic are undeniable.

As the world rapidly learns to adapt to an ever-changing landscape, Johnson & Johnson's supply chain, which produces everything from contact lenses to prescription medications to fever reducers, is currently holding steady and meeting patient needs.

Thanks to dedicated employees around the globe and robust business continuity plans, Johnson & Johnson is able to deliver for the one billion customers and patients who rely on its products during this unprecedented time.

Kathy Wengel, Executive Vice President & Chief Global Supply Chain Officer, Johnson & Johnson, shares the steps the company is taking to ensure its supply chain stays strong.

Q: The Covid-19 outbreak is impacting supply chains around the world. Has Johnson & Johnson been affected by any supply chain disruption?

A: Covid-19 is a very dynamic situation, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our supply chain teams around the world, as of today we have sufficient inventory for patient needs and are working diligently to minimize impact.

We are also monitoring closely both our supply levels and product demand in order to ensure adequate and effective distribution of our products and services.

Q: What steps is the company's supply chain taking during this Covid-19 pandemic?

A:Most critical is having robust business continuity plans in place across our global supply chain network to prepare for unforeseen events and to meet the needs of the patients, customers and consumers who depend on our products. These steps include maintaining key inventory at major distribution centers away from high-risk areas and working with external suppliers to support our preparedness plans.

Q: How have similar crises in the past helped prepare the Johnson & Johnson supply chain for Covid-19?

A: Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have needed to mobilize quickly in response to a crisis. It’s part of our 134-year heritage to step forward to help where we can. For example, when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, our company quickly resumed full operations of our supply chain facilities on the island. We also leveraged our global manufacturing network, activating backup production sites and supply channels to help meet demand. When Ebola struck West Africa in 2014, we activated to support research & development and then the scale-up of a new vaccine.

How Johnson & Johnson Is Supporting Puerto Rico in the Wake of Hurricane Maria While today’s situation is different from those two, many of the challenges we face are similar, and we already see how the value of learnings from those previous challenges are making us stronger this time. We’ll also learn from Covid-19 and apply those lessons to future outbreaks or natural disasters.