We have robust business continuity plans in place across our global supply chain network, prioritizing our response efforts across two key dimensions—potential impact to public health, followed by level of impact to critical lifesaving products.
Ensuring Supply Chain Continuity
Throughout the pandemic we have worked closely with suppliers, distributors, local governments and regulators and have continued to provide critical medicines, products and services, while protecting the health and safety of our more than 136,000 employees around the world.
As a Company, we have maintained robust business continuity plans 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 critical inventory at major distribution centers away from high-risk areas around the world and working with external suppliers to support our preparedness plans. See our Position on Business Continuity Management.
A key component of assuring business continuity is our employees. We have instituted a variety of workplace enhancements for the one-third of our people who have remained on-site, while the other two-thirds have adapted to remote work arrangements. The next phase of our journey involves the continuation of gradually and thoughtfully returning more of our people to the many places we work. See COVID-19: Protecting Employees.
Our technology ecosystem in action: Through our Johnson & Johnson Technology teams, we supported a wide range of activities within the scope of our COVID-19 response with several technology innovations and data science-driven tools. For example, we created a COVID-19 Visibility Dashboard to help understand near-real-time product availability for fact-based decisions regarding planning, distribution and business continuity as a result of emerging demand impacted by COVID-19. We also developed an End-to-End Network Scenario Impact Simulation tool to help minimize supply disruptions using highly automated scenario risk simulation technology. In Consumer Health and Medical Devices, we have been able to predict the impact of raw material supply fluctuations on our capacity to better sustain supply and meet demand surges. At Janssen, we can predict the impact of changes to external supplier capacity on our inventories and service levels. These and many more initiatives have enabled business continuity and ongoing supply for our patients, consumers and customers.
Expanding vaccine manufacturing capacity: We launched unprecedented efforts to develop and scale a COVID-19 vaccine to address the global pandemic. We are establishing new vaccine production capabilities through collaborations with external manufacturers in the United States and various other countries, while also scaling up our in-house manufacturing. Importantly, we expect these efforts will enable us to deliver our vaccine at scale worldwide. Our Supply Chain teams worked closely with our external manufacturing collaborators to help them gain the knowledge and government approvals required to receive, manufacture, package and transport our Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. We will continue to invest in collaborations so we can bring our full resources and best scientific minds to combat this pandemic.
Achieving end-to-end supply chain readiness on a global level takes the effort of thousands of people—all of whom are committed to putting the patient first. We are setting up a global supply chain network that we expect will enable us to deliver at a rate of more than one billion doses per year.
Navigating regulatory processes: In a rapidly changing regulatory environment, our Quality and Regulatory Affairs teams navigated multi-country regulatory regimes, interpreting regulations and reviewing manufacturing processes to facilitate EUA EUA Emergency Use Authorization strategies and readiness to support the delivery of critical existing and new products needed to fight the pandemic. This included regulatory approvals for our innovative VESper™ Ventilator Expansion Splitter, TYLENOL production ramp-up, hand sanitizer line conversion, and most notably, our COVID-19 rapid vaccine development program.
Preparing delivery capabilities: To further enhance our global delivery capabilities while meeting Johnson & Johnson’s high quality and safety standards, we took several new measures. These included adding cold chain capacity by building new freezer storage and distribution capabilities in under four months; and working extensively with transportation partners to ensure suitable logistics capabilities, including temperature monitoring and track and trace technologies for transactions across the supply chain. The use of innovative technology solutions and increased collaboration across the supply chain assisted in supporting these new requirements. Watch the journey of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate below.
Johnson & Johnson (text)
For months, teams worked across Johnson & Johnson and as one end-to-end Supply Chain to make our COVID-19 vaccine a reality. (text)
January 2021 (text)
Video of truck pulling into distribution center at night.
Truck backing up with two men wearing face masks unlocking back of truck
Johnson & Johnson banner inside distribution center.
Arial view of employee typing on laptop in distribution center
As the first vaccine shipment arrived, our frontline superheroes were ready. (text)
Employee in orange sweatshirt opening distribution center door.
Male employee in safety vest and face mask moving through distribution center on forklift and enters shipping container to lift vaccine shipments.
The team moved quickly, with purpose and with pride to ensure the vaccine is safely stored until it received emergency use authorization to combat this health crisis. (text)
Male employee in safety vest and face mask transports boxes of vaccine shipment through distribution center.
Additional male employees in safety vests and face masks inspect boxes of shipment in distribution center.
And to bring hope and smiles to the world. (text)
Visual of boxes of vaccine shipment in the distribution center.
Male employee in safety vest and face mask says, “I’m very honored to be part of this.”
Another male employee in safety vest and face mask says, “This vaccine its got every bit of everything we do in J&J on it.”
Another male employee in safety vest and face mask says, “This is just a highlight to what we do everyday”
Female employee in safety vest and face mask says, “When we do what we do, we do it from the heart.”
It’s a great day to be part of Johnson & Johnson as we celebrate this vaccine milestone. (text)
Series of individual employee shots in safety vests and face masks walking, smiling, raising arms or thumbs up with pride in distribution center with Johnson & Johnson banner in background.
Together we are changing the trajectory of health for humanity. (text)
Johnson & Johnson
Partnering with our suppliers: Through the pandemic, the strength of our longstanding partnerships with suppliers and service providers was demonstrated through the many initiatives led by our Procurement organization to meet critically urgent needs arising from the disruption caused by COVID-19. Such initiatives included:
- using data science to identify high-risk individuals to shorten clinical trial recruitment times and increase representation of diverse populations;
- expanding our supplier financing program to protect small and diverse businesses during the pandemic;
- establishing dual sourcing channels where necessary and reserving capacity for materials and equipment;
- implementing efficient and robust selection and onboarding procedures for external manufacturing;
- developing product and materials testing procedures by engaging with new testing facilities;
- tailoring a solution to accelerate contractor hiring to support elevated resourcing needs;
- identifying scalable temperature-controlled logistics options to meet specific new demands; and
- partnering to develop a globally managed contact center for medical information to support customer engagement demands.
Enabling virtual auditing and manufacturing: In response to stay-at-home orders around the world, our Quality & Compliance organization expanded its “See What I See” (SWIS) Smart Glasses internal program. SWIS is currently used to support virtual auditing and clean room sterilization, allowing us to conduct elements of various processes and inspections virtually, eliminating health risks to employees for on-site inspections. We are expanding use of the SWIS program, allowing more employees to reduce physical contact points wherever possible. At many Johnson & Johnson locations, the combination of smart glass technology and privileged remote access to essential data has enabled manufacturing to continue without interruption.