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Global supply chain implementation


When a top 10 pharmaceutical company needed support with the global implementation of a DRP system, they asked 3Peaks Solutions to support their three year programme. A multi-phase approach was agreed to ensure fast implementation. The objective was to deliver a global, integrated solution for managing the supply chain across markets and supply sites worldwide.

The challenge

Worldwide manufacturing and marketing operations needed common ways of working and an integrated system to effectively manage demand and supply.
The critical requirements of the solution were to:

  • Provide global visibility of inventory, sales forecasts and supply plans.
  • Implement a standard forecasting process in all markets.
  • Build and deploy processes for Customer and Vendor Managed Inventory (CMI & VMI).
  • Deploy consistently across all markets and supply sites worldwide.


The solution

Manugistics was chosen as it provided both the demand and the supply planning requirements in a single, centralised system. The demand planning module provided a standard, statistical forecasting method to the markets and supported a common demand planning cycle. The supply planning module provided the capability to run both CMI and VMI processes allowing management of supply plans to and from the manufacturing sites and the markets. A major benefit of an integrated process and systems was the global visibility of inventory in a single system.

Local operations and systems were interfaced with Manugistics to support this way of working, providing timely and accurate supply chain information for planning and decision making.

Following a successful pilot in Europe, the solution was rolled out worldwide.

The key principles for the roll out were:

  • Implement in regional waves, supply sites first followed by markets.
  • Focus the implementation team on delivering the standard solution. Include fixes and enhancements in future implementations. Use a separate team for updates to previous implementations to ensure adherence to the implementation schedule.
  • Hold regional conferences and user training sessions before, during and after implementation to promote collaboration, communication and shared learning between market and supply sites.


Implementation in over 50 sites took place over a three year period using two standard models, one for manufacturing sites and one for marketing sites. Generic plans were customised to suit any specific local requirements.

The implementation work was split into eight streams:

  • Process and information flow.
  • Education and training for process and systems.
  • Project management including communications and stake holder management.
  • Benefits case development and tracking.
  • IT infrastructure and interfaces.
  • System, volume and user acceptance testing.
  • Data collection, migration and loading.
  • Cut over and stabilisation.


The benefits

Each market and supply site compiled and monitored a benefits case that was aggregated into the project summary.

Major benefits were:

  • Inventory and efficiency savings of £30m and rising.
  • Forecast accuracy up from 40% to 80%.
  • Global inventory visibility allowing lower average inventory holding.
  • Stable supply plans improving factory productivity.
  • Reduction in stock outs.
  • Supply lead times cut by 2 weeks.
  • Decrease in data errors.
  • Fast, accurate information for decision making.
  • Better supplier / customer communication and collaboration.
  • Continual improvement in methodology reducing roll-out time from 26 to 14 weeks

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