When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, pharmaceutical titan Pfizer, like many companies around the world, faced significant productivity, supply chain, and safety concerns. A key to its success in navigating the challenges brought about by global shutdowns was the development of the Pfizer Global Supply – Digital Operations Center (DOC) project.
DOC is a patent-pending solution that acts as the cockpit for Pfizer operations, providing a shared view of end-to-end manufacturing and supply operational performance data. Data from DOC has helped Pfizer identify opportunities to reduce up to 10% of cycle-time in some manufacturing areas. It has been critical to Pfizer’s ability to manufacture and supply the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine around the world. The project has earned Pfizer a CIO 100 Award in IT Excellence.
“This solution has transformed how manufacturing colleagues collaborate and make decisions, providing tools to enable them to predict an issue before it happens and adjust in real time,” says Lidia Fonseca, executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer at Pfizer. “The DOC allows teams to mine data to provide analysis on variations compared to previously estimate standard lead-times, enabling further improvement opportunities.”
Accelerating digital adoption
Pfizer was already undergoing digital transformation when the pandemic hit, but managing day-to-day operations grew significantly more challenging as lockdowns sent many on-site employees to work remotely. To ensure Pfizer colleagues around the globe stayed connected and to maintain critical supply continuity for patients reliant on Pfizer pharmaceuticals, Pfizer formed the DOC Rapid Deployment Program to accelerate DOC deployment across hundreds of manufacturing operations within weeks. Fonseca says the pandemic acted as a catalyst to accelerate Pfizer’s digital adoption by five years.