The pandemic has underscored the importance of enhancing supply chain resilience in response to global disruptions and erratic shifts in consumer demand. Kenvue, previously a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, experienced surges in demand during the pandemic, prompting strategic shifts in their supply chain management. Their approach involved three key areas of investment:
- Surge Capacity: Kenvue built internal excess capacity to respond quickly to fluctuating demand, enabling them to scale production closer to where demand originated.
- Partnership Investments: Collaborative relationships with retailers, third-party suppliers, and government agencies ensured a coordinated response to meet increased demand. Open communication with regulators allowed for flexibility and expedited approval processes.
- Data and Process Investments: Leveraging data analytics and real-time insights, Kenvue improved production planning, demand sensing, and forecasting. Machine learning and AI were employed to reduce forecast errors.
These investments in surge capacity, partnerships, and data-driven processes reflect a shift towards responsiveness and resiliency, away from a singular focus on cost-efficiency in supply chain management. Kenvue’s experiences serve as a valuable lesson in adapting to unpredictable and fluctuating market conditions.