Teva supply chain gets a boost from social media

Teva Canada is on the cusp of exceeding a 95% service level (orders fulfilled on time) and its manufacturing cycle time has halved, to 35 to 40 days. The drugmaker owes these operations accomplishments to the 2010 acquisition of Ratiopharm, which brought with it some innovative supply chain management techniques based on social media tools.

In an upward migration, VP for supply chain Antonio Martins introduced collaboration tools to the pre-Teva Ratiopharm supply chain, beginning with Microsoft SharePoint, then Strategy-Nets, and finally Moxie Software. Collaboration tools fixed the communication problems, Martins said in Computerworld; improved communication fixed Ratiopharm's supply chain problem.

Via SharePoint, workers having operations problems would post them to the software's message board. Other employees would reply with solutions, producing the double benefit of solution and problem notification. Two- to four-month reaction times to manufacturing interruptions were cut to two to four weeks. Martin said, "It's easier to get people to chime in on something like a collaboration tool. It's harder to get them to attend and participate in meetings," according to the article.

For the next efficiency upgrade, Martins moved to Strategy-Nets software to extend collaboration beyond the supply chain to customer service, sales and marketing. Doing so gave the supply chain a better sense of what to expect. From Strategy-Nets, Ratiopharm moved to Moxie Software, which includes tools for real-time conversations, blogs, wikis and sharing documents.

When Teva bought Ratiopharm last year, the generics-maker rated a service level below 90% and manufacturing time of about 80 days, according to article. Martins applied Moxie's collaboration software to Teva's operations, boosting its service level and lowering manufacturing cycle time, with further improvements expected.

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