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Sourcing hand sanitizer… through analytics? A supply chain and data success story

COVID-19 hotspots

June 2020 – Our Supply Chain Management (SCM) team faced a double challenge during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: they needed to ensure we could still get our hands on critical items we regularly need for our operations – everything from construction materials to food for our camps. But virtually overnight, they also required many things we don’t typically stock in our warehouses in large quantities – like hand sanitizer, thermometers and masks – to support our COVID-19 response. They quickly had to figure out alternate supplies without impacting deliveries to hospitals, front-line responders and care facilities.

This is where our Corporate Data Office came in. To help solve the double challenge, our analysts built a customized dashboard with heatmaps and graphics that allow SCM staff to visualize the state of our global supply chain system. It lets them keep tabs on what supplies there are, more quickly gauge how much inventory is needed and assess whether items in transit may be delayed. The dashboard also acts as a warning system to potential supply chain barriers or bottlenecks, meaning we are in a better position to find alternative sources or transportation routes, where necessary.

“Our data systems are providing us with new valuable insights, and that’s changing how we do business at Cenovus,” said Don Munroe, Chief Data Officer. “Part of our work is to help our teams become better informed through data, and I’m very proud of the way they worked collaboratively to develop this powerful tool.”

The new system overlays information we’ve collected about suppliers potentially affected by COVID-19 with publicly available data about the impact of the pandemic on transportation networks and our borders.

“This excellent new tool is helping our team get the best results for our procurement decisions and supports other groups within Cenovus with their COVID-19 related planning,” said Stephanie Rolseth, Manager, Supply Chain Management Enablement.