Hurricanes, earthquakes, now a pandemic: Amgen

July 03, 2020

BSMA leadership conversations regarding COVID-19 crisis

Som Chattopadhyay

Amgen’s Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Som Chattopadhyay, has seen it all.  Throughout these events, he reports, “Amgen has not faced any shortages.  It’s every patient, every time.”

The COVID-19 crisis tested the company’s agility as it required the ability to make quick decisions.  However, due to years of work on a supply chain management system, Amgen enjoyed end-to-end visibility.   This helped the company understand its inventory in real time, which has, in turn, enabled it to respond to the dynamic environment.

The company applied lessons learned from managing in the aftermath of hurricanes in Puerto Rico in managing shipments around the world.  “We reserved air cargo positions ahead of time, assuming cancellations in commercial flights,”  Chattopadhyay said.

The company has also invested for years in a global risk mitigation program to keep its manufacturing footprint resilient even in the face of a black swan event such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chattopadhyay and his team now work from home.  Some best practices for this model include frequent and open communication in real time.  Also, he says it’s important that the pace of work is manageable.

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