When the country started to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, all personal and on-ground activities shifted to virtual, and those who were in the service industry were not spared. Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. (J&J Philippines), wired to their goal of making care available to all, continuously stepped up and launched innovations in digital technology to continue uplifting the lives of Filipinos.
These innovations cover different areas such as advancement in operations making hybrid work for employees smoother and the continuous development of e-commerce that opened new doors for the healthcare giant to expand care provided to Filipinos with its consumer products to name a few. Such programs paved the way for a stronger J&J Philippines in the post-pandemic world.
For Therence “Tet” Lim, head of technology of J&J Philippines, there were three key areas where the company focused to ensure digital preparedness for the pandemic.
Even before the world was even faced with the pandemic, J&J Philippines already started modernizing base technologies that include shifting all company data to the cloud, creating data lakes, and optimizing technologies for mobile usage. “We upgraded our bases technologies to enable remote work during the pandemic and to ensure we continue being in touch with our consumers and customers. We had to recalibrate our business approach through technology to be in touch with our consumers in the virtual setting when the pandemic hit and that needed to be a fast pivot for us to suddenly shift everything to virtual engagements.” according to Lim.
Organizing our data estate
Another challenge that a lot of companies faced during the pandemic is shifting and organizing their data from manual copies to digital copies that can be readily available for employees. For J&J Philippines, the massive effort to consolidate and organize its data estate coming from different sources became a must. This also includes capturing external data to bring more insights and learnings for the company, as well as understanding the needs of its consumers and customers. “We made sure to consolidate all of our available data together and be able to get insights out of it with the goal to understand more our consumers & customers and be able to address their needs timely. From having visibility on their current needs to ensuring that our products are always available on the shelves, there is so much that data can help us do, provided we use it correctly.”
Full organization upskilling
Lastly, J&J Philippines recognizes that all these digital innovations and pivots entail organization readiness. There were investments made to upskill people across the organization in the digital and technology space to ensure that employees embrace technology in the transformation journey. This enables them to optimize technology use in whatever roles they play in the business to better serve our customers and consumers. “In onboarding everyone in the digital transformation journey, the company needed to ensure that the people are able to learn the new technologies at whatever stage they are in the learning curve they are in.”
J&J Philippines’ organization upskilling also started from their top leadership. This allows the company to execute plans that are aligned with its long-term business in mind. “A big part of how we upskill this organization is by starting with our leaders, by embedding digital strategy in every step of their work so that when we roll this out to the bigger organization, there is not only support given to the employees but also a better understanding of why we are doing it—this gives purpose to the digital transformation we are all doing in J&J Philippines.”
All these training sessions happened virtually over the pandemic which made it extra challenging. However, J&J Philippines found it essential for employees to learn, so the work can be more effective and efficient even when it is done online.