SAP Ariba and Johnson & Johnson’s Future Includes New Technology, Better Health for Everyone

As one of the largest companies in North America, Johnson & Johnson has a keen grasp of the corporate social responsibilities often expected from companies its size.

Whether it’s child healthcare or sourcing more from women-owned businesses, the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant is always looking for ways to leave a more positive impact on communities around the world, according to Chief Procurement Officer Len DeCandia.

As part of its “Health for Humanity 2020” project, Johnson & Johnson has earmarked a number of improvements to reach, including investments to help develop healthier people, places and business practices. That includes a target goal of ensuring that 80 percent of its spend occurs with suppliers enrolled in its Sustainable Procurement Program and to double the number of countries with established supplier diversity and inclusion programs.

“One of the hopes we have as a very large organization is how do we use what we bring to world to be able to benefit minority-, women-, and veteran-owned suppliers around the world,” DeCandia told Alex Atzberger, former president of SAP Ariba, now president of SAP Hybris, in this video. A recent implementation of SAP Ariba is helping the company reach those targets, DeCandia said.

Selecting a new platform to improve its supplier procurement strategy was an important decision because the technology needed to fit Johnson & Johnson’s culture as well — which meant getting support from the company’s procurement, human resources, finance, IT, and other departments. No easy task to get that many companies to agree on anything, but SAP Ariba fit the bill, he said.

“This now gives us the platform to be able to provide greater access and fundamentally engage our 130,000 employees to be part of that journey,” DeCandia said. “We believe in [social responsibility] very strongly and we know [SAP] believes in it as well.

About 80 percent of Johnson & Johnson’s spend now flows through SAP Ariba and the company has processed more than 250,000 purchase orders on the platform. The implementation allows a 130-year-old company to change the trajectory of healthcare, DeCandia said, touching 1 billion people a day.

“This gives us more connected, deeper relationships with our supplier base,” DeCandia said. “[We are able] to use innovation to be insightful through digitization and making the right decisions with the right information to be more responsive to the needs of patients and customers. It’s been an enjoyable experience because the technology has worked and it has to work every day.”

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