How a Global Healthcare Technology Leader Enhanced Their Supply Chain Mapping & Risk Management With Z2Data

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Industry

Healthcare & Medical Devices

Company Size

10,000+

Location

United States

The Background

This leading global medical device OEM is headquartered in the U.S. and designs and manufactures some of the most cutting-edge healthcare technology in the world. After decades of innovation, the company is now a multinational firm with global reach, and its annual revenue runs into the tens of billions of dollars. 

Challenge

Anthony began working at the company in 2021 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally hired as a category sourcing manager, his core responsibilities included managing the electronic components for the medical device manufacturer’s wireless connectivity and logic integrated circuits.

But COVID-19 presented an array of novel challenges for the healthcare technology leader, and the firm wanted Anthony to expand his focus and start spending more time understanding the company’s supply chain. The pandemic was dramatically increasing the number of disruptions among the OEM’s suppliers and sub-tiers, and the company felt that if it could build more strategic relationships with its supply chain, it could anticipate and mitigate these threats far more effectively. 

Anthony would be responsible for helping the organization see beyond its direct suppliers and into its sub-tiers, and he would carry out this new assignment through supply chain mapping. 

“If COVID taught anyone anything, it’s that you need to have a better handle on your supply chain,” he remarked. “Having a more up-to-date look at the data helps you be more proactive rather than reactive.” Anthony’s new role would be critical to help the company adapt to a business environment roiled by the pandemic: supply chain mapping could yield significant insights into the company’s risk profile, specific country dependencies, and any looming vulnerabilities arising from manufacturers that relied on single-sourcing practices.

“If COVID taught anyone anything, it’s that you need to have a better handle on your supply chain... Having a more up-to-date look at the data helps you be more proactive rather than reactive.”

The healthcare technology leader also had an additional objective in mind: if the company became more engaged with its contract manufacturers, it could assume a more dynamic, assertive role in the manufacturing and engineering processes for its range of medical products. By cultivating more collaborative relationships, Anthony and his colleagues could play a larger role in selecting electronic parts that were still early in their lifecycles and were being sourced by preferred suppliers. Objectives like these “fit into a bigger picture of being proactive,” he said. 

To execute the supply chain mapping and gather information on components and sub-tiers, Anthony reached out to the company’s direct suppliers. “We would get contract manufacturing data from our suppliers and typically just reference old data or ask them for information about sub-tier or tier-two spend,” he recalled. While Anthony was able to retrieve certain types of data in this fashion—including lifecycle status and some of the required manufacturing location data—it often took “a lot of emails” and wasn’t always delivered or documented in an ideal format. “There were Excel line limits and things like that, especially when we’re dealing with thousands and thousands of parts,” he noted. 

While Anthony was able to retrieve certain types of data in this fashion—including lifecycle status and some of the required manufacturing location data—it often took “a lot of emails” and wasn’t always delivered or documented in an ideal format. “There were Excel line limits and things like that, especially when we’re dealing with thousands and thousands of parts,”

Though Anthony was able to obtain some component data and other critical supplier information through sheer perseverance, he eventually discovered a larger problem—one that appeared all but insurmountable. Despite all the tools and resources he currently had at his disposal, much of the geographical information so critical to thorough supply chain mapping was largely inaccessible. “There was no way to get that fab and assembly and packaging data on a mass scale,” Anthony pointed out. Because of the obstacles standing in the way of his reconnaissance efforts, he was spending an inordinate amount of time reaching out to manufacturers to create what was ultimately an incomplete picture of the organization’s supply chain. 

If the company wanted to begin building closer, more strategic relationships with suppliers, Anthony would have to find a way to put all the puzzle pieces together by executing truly comprehensive supply chain mapping. Only then would he be able to grasp where all their suppliers and sub-tiers were located. In order to do that, though, he would have to identify a new supply chain risk management (SCRM) tool with more reach, more visibility, and a more expansive repertoire of capabilities. 

Solution

Anthony first identified Z2Data in 2022 when he partnered with a colleague who was using the tool for an engineering project at the company. Intrigued by the platform and its potential for his own work at the medical device OEM, he scheduled a demo. 

While demoing the software, Anthony was immediately impressed with Z2Data’s Supply Chain Watch. The tool empowers users to easily map all their electronic components to their respective manufacturing sites, including factories, semiconductor fabs, and assembly plants. Additionally, it allows them to monitor those sites for events that impact them. As he navigated through Supply Chain Watch and started thinking through exactly how it could bolster his efforts and unlock a whole new level of supply chain visibility, he felt certain that this was the tool his team needed. “We were looking for something that could help us map the supply chain that really affected us during COVID,” he said. “So, the Supply Chain Watch was the big selling point.”

“We were looking for something that could help us map the supply chain that really affected us during COVID,” he said. “So, the Supply Chain Watch was the big selling point.”

Result

Once Anthony began utilizing Z2Data’s SCRM platform, his work mapping the company’s supplier network transformed. He obtained geographical data on components, suppliers, and sub-tiers far more effectively, and he was putting together all the pieces of the company’s supply chain much faster than before. Prior to incorporating Z2Data, “that information would get to us via funneling through the supply chain, which can sometimes take weeks,” he observed. Now, with Supply Chain Watch, Anthony and his team receive the same type of information in “one to two days.”

Prior to incorporating Z2Data, “that information would get to us via funneling through the supply chain, which can sometimes take weeks,” he observed. Now, with Supply Chain Watch, Anthony and his team receive the same type of information in “one to two days.”

In addition to the ways it threw light on new corners of the supply chain for Anthony and deepened his visibility into sub-tiers, Z2Data also gave the healthcare technology leader’s risk management strategies new life. Now, Anthony and other strategic sourcing professionals at the firm can discern and quantify categories of risk that were previously inaccessible to them by utilizing the platform’s extensive visualizations of supplier networks. “Now that we have that data, we’re able to use the manufacturing site locations to help us with our risk assessments,” he said. “This gives us that visibility toward everything.”

“Now that we have that data, we’re able to use the manufacturing site locations to help us with our risk assessments,” he said. “This gives us that visibility toward everything.”

With Z2Data, category managers like Anthony, who are responsible for developing official strategies that detail risks, roadmaps, and future projections for specific electronic categories, can analyze and interpret their data with greater efficacy. “It gives us official classifications of data and helps us better separate our spend to develop category strategies around,” he noted. Finally, Z2Data has proved indispensable to Anthony’s efforts to understand and rapidly respond to one of the most significant risks facing the electronics category he oversees: geographical threats. “Z2Data was critical during the Japanese earthquake during the new year, as well as the recent earthquake in Taiwan,” he said. “We were able to quickly identify any potential parts or factories that were affected.”

“Z2Data was critical during the Japanese earthquake during the new year, as well as the recent earthquake in Taiwan,” he said. “We were able to quickly identify any potential parts or factories that were affected.”

On the whole, the tool has helped Anthony map out his suppliers more thoroughly, procure critical data more efficiently, and develop category strategies informed by superior organization and analysis. Z2Data has made him a more effective category sourcing manager, and Anthony actively recommends the tool to colleagues throughout the medical device OEM’s various departments. “Anyone within the supply chain who’s trying to get a handle on their electronic component spend portfolio to better understand where it's coming from—the life cycle, the parts, as well as to help categorize it to provide better strategies–would benefit from Z2Data,” he said. 

Increased Efficiency

Enhanced Mapping

Enhanced Supplier Visibility

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