2018 Winner Profile

Merck Manufacturing IT

Project Description:
Merck handles approximately 700 product requests each year and the key driver for managing the portfolio is tracking their performance. After an analysis, Merck found that 80 percent of the company's revenue was tied to less than 2 percent of the product SKUs (stock keeping units). Additionally, nearly half of the existing SKUs were not even being marketed. Despite the low performance of many of the SKUs, considerable resources were still required to simply maintain them in Merck's portfolio. Consequently, Merck launched the Product/SKU Optimization Project, using modern data warehousing capabilities along with advanced analytics, to save money and enable business teams to eliminate underperforming and resource-draining SKUs from the portfolio more quickly. The Product/SKU Optimization Project also allowed business teams to achieve their optimization goals faster. The Product SKU Optimization project was executed throughout 2017 and structured into sprints (quick, time-bound phases). The project focused on delivering tangible outcomes and benefits throughout, in an incremental fashion, rather than all at the end of the project. The project has saved the company $130 million.
Business Goal:
Strategic Impact
Michele D'Alessandro, Vice President and CIO, Manufacturing IT at Merck
Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Healthcare (e.g. Medical Services, Pharmaceutical, Biotech)
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