Sebastian Balz, CPO of the College of California, on utilizing expertise to get forward of provide chain disruptions

Sebastian Balz, UCLA Chair of Procurement, sits down with Procurement Pioneer David Ray to share some ideas on his job’s response to the continuing multinational disaster. Amongst different matters, Bals reveals how the buying staff on the Anderlecht-based world pharmaceutical firm leveraged machine studying expertise to create a digital twin of its provide chain to disclose beforehand hidden vulnerabilities, in addition to the steps consumers take to pre-qualify suppliers. To cut back the impression of potential threat occasions earlier than they happen.

Watch the complete video interview or learn the summaries beneath:


Use data-driven insights to visualise your provide base

Once we have been hit two years in the past by the onset of the pandemic, we instantly acknowledged the dependency we had deep inside, and so one of many initiatives that we began early on was to construct an actual understanding of the completely different ranges in our provide chain. , in addition to ensuring that we draw it in digital type. So, we’re creating — and we have already created for a few of our main manufacturers — a digital twin to our provide chain, so we actually perceive the place we’re shopping for from, how the product flows are going, so we will harness the ability of AI and machine studying embedded within the expertise to provide us proactive insights into any Doable safety holes we might have.

We assess suppliers’ monetary dangers, after all, however we additionally monitor local weather dangers or potential disruptions that happen by nation, area and even within the firm we work with. Finally, in a majority of these conditions, it’s pace that permits us to behave. Thus, the extra perception now we have into what’s going on, the extra it permits us to make that logic. Nevertheless, the largest problem stays getting deeper into your provide chain.

The altering provide chain at UCB

Now we have a ranking that goes past whether or not a useful resource is strategic or not. We additionally take a look at the interchangeability of, for instance, the merchandise we purchase from. So one of many issues it permits is being extra proactive, the place previously we have in all probability been extra reactive to a few of the challenges or disruptions that now we have, now, we attempt to anticipate potential modifications by means of the Supply Governance Committee.

In the event you take a present instance – like China or Asia typically, relying on that area – as an alternative of ready for one thing to materialize, we already perceive what a few of the potential options are. We begin pre-qualifying suppliers, for instance, in order that the environment will be extra dynamic.

One other factor we noticed is that though at first look it’d seem like, for instance, we dual-sourced sure supplies, once we regarded additional into our provide chain, we realized that these suppliers have been shopping for from the identical sub-suppliers. That is the place we’re having a extra energetic dialog throughout the group, and even speaking to our growth people to see how we will embed threat administration into our product growth, and it is with sustainability as effectively.

Agility program

Now we have created a file Flexibility and agility programAnd Which consists of various issues — from having a holistic view of our inventories and our wants in manufacturing and planning and gross sales planning, and understanding how that interprets from a threat perspective quite than a manufacturing viewpoint.

This permits us to grasp the trade-offs. Typically we are saying there isn’t any various accessible when the choice might merely not be probably the most price efficient. It is understanding the potential trade-offs we’d make from redesigning our provide chain.