Today, BSC is a Fortune 500 company with $11.9 billion in sales, seven operating divisions, and 17,000-plus products that serve about 30 million patients per year. It invests about $1 billion annually in research and development. In 2021, the company rolled out 90 new products and secured 18,000 patents globally. BSC has 41,000 employees (50,000 including contractors) at 164 sites, including 16 principal manufacturing facilities worldwide. It has commercial representation in 115 countries, and 42 percent of its net sales occurred outside of the U.S. in 2021.
A New Urgency Around Supply Chain Risk
Jennifer Park joined Boston Scientific Corporation as Manager of Business Continuity, following roles in business continuity at Hanover Insurance and the Gemological Institute of America. BSC had recently decided to implement the Fusion Framework® System™, a platform which aligns a company’s strategic objectives to key risk management techniques through flexible and agile tools. Park was easily able to configure the Fusion Framework System in-house to meet BSC’s specific needs. Like many large growth-focused companies, BSC’s previous business continuity efforts were largely decentralized and archived in documents and spreadsheets.
The BSC business continuity plan (BCP) is designed to ensure that operations will continue to function with little or no disruption and at a high quality of service delivery regardless of the scope of the situation or event. The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of such an event.
Like most manufacturers, BSC experienced supply chain challenges as the pandemic persisted through 2020 and 2021. Understanding supply chains and loss of suppliers took on new urgency, as well as managing risks from suppliers who were coping with the pandemic. Within this new age of disruption, the Fusion Framework System is becoming the central repository for the company to score and assess all supplier and vendor risks.
Working with technology teams at BSC, Park used the Fusion Framework’s data libraries to build out applications that are needed on BSC’s many manufacturing lines. The teams used data from all applications across the company – including finance, payroll, taxes, and more – in order to understand the resilience and disaster recovery challenges that the company could face in the world changed by the pandemic.
Interviewing for Success
Park uses an “interview style” when she meets with department heads to further build out Boston Scientific Corporation’s BCPs. She helps them determine which processes are critical to ongoing operations and which processes could be put on hold in an emergency. Different departments have varying views on risk, but the Fusion Framework provides a view that helps create an understanding of application interdependencies. Top management and department heads can see the overall impact of the loss of specific processes or applications on the entire company and use that to set priority levels according to risks of business disruptions.
One single application outage may cause a business disruption. “Wait for application” as a recovery strategy may cause variable levels of operational impact. But waiting might bring a line down, a site down, or an entire manufacturing division down. If department heads and manufacturing line managers can see the overall risk to the company, they can get ahead of a situation and share important information or make resiliency decisions to avert outages.
BCP as a Change Agent
Park says: “Because we make medical devices, it’s harder to source from a wide number of vendors. It’s not like with auto parts.”
All of BSC’s goods and materials need FDA approval – thus, replacing disrupted suppliers and vendors can take a significant amount of time. But the Fusion Framework System gives BSC a view of its vendors and suppliers and is helping the company identify potential risks and mitigate them early. The BCP process drives conversations around developing workarounds or improving other dependencies.
According to Park, “Fusion’s unique look at our process-application dependencies highlights known and unknown risks around specific applications and operations and brings to light critical business dependencies upon non-class A apps. Fusion allows us to create true end-to-end mapping of individual product families and identify risks in key categories such as tech, suppliers, equipment, and more. This is helping us take a cross-functional approach and bring silos of data together in one place to better understand our current gaps and risks and develop mitigation strategies through reporting, dashboards, and workflows.”
More Than Just “Checking the Boxes”
Park had worked with the Fusion Framework System prior to BSC and shared the competitive advantage that experience with the Fusion Framework can provide. “Fusion helps me frame and think about business continuity as providing value to a company, not just checking the business continuity box. Fusion gives us a chance to develop meaningful data for our company as we continue building a culture of resilience.”