Core Planning: Planning and Procurement Processes

Thirty minutes before the bimonthly stock tracking meeting, the ADP project team member went to the office door of each attendee to remind them of the meeting. This was only the second stock tracking meeting and everyone was still wondering whether this additional meeting in their already full schedules was going to be just another consultant exercise or a fruitful discussion to reduce stock outs. To be effective, each participant had to come prepared. Each department was to report on the status of the twenty fastest moving supplies and medicines.  Procurement was to provide expected delivery dates, clearing was to provide status of shipments' progress clearing customs, sales was to provide an updated forecast for facility demand, and finance was to advice on MSD’s budgetary constraints, including potential delays in payments from the government or donors.  Armed with this information, the Inventory Analyst was to organize the meeting and distribute the stock tracking status sheet, highlighting current and anticipated stock outs.

The Core Planning and Procurement work stream was designed to instill a regular process of proactive supply chain management and an improved ability to assess and meet customer demand down to the health facility level through regular sales and operations planning meetings (S&OP). 

Prior to the initiation of these interdepartmental meetings, each of the MSD divisions worked independently, frantically addressing central stock outs from within its own silo. Faced with constant public criticism for chronic stock outs, many MSD workers found themselves believing the problem must lie in someone else’s department at the organization. However, a mapping exercise clearing showed that the departments were dependent upon each other for high performance and, without interdepartmental collaboration, little progress would be made.

Sometimes you might find yourself stuck and there’s this internal organizational politics--you are like, look at that department, they are just sitting and roaming around and doing nothing, right? But when we were doing this process of need identification, that’s when you know: oh my goodness, my colleague has got this much workload, and they depend on my input correctly, so that they can do A/B/C/D to support me correctly.” - Member of the Medical Stores Department

MSD staff attended S&OP meetings at Coca-Cola Kwanza where bottlers emphasized the need for improved time-lines, attendance and preparation to augment coordination of supply and demand processed within MSD. The Coca-Cola Kwanza leadership and ADP consultants played a crucial role in supporting preparation of these meetings each month, ensuring attendance of MSD in these meetings as described above, developing supporting tools and templates, as well as promoting effective meeting management. 

We brought them here and showed them the Power Point presentations of what we do. How we set up our system, the impact of that in our business, what benefits we have reaped out of having a smooth process that works. We gave them examples of the processes that we have, showed them the people that are involved as part of these processes. We stressed involvement of senior management…. Then we went to their place and we asked them to set up their own meetings. Gave them the tools that they needed; the kind of structure they needed. And, after some time they did.” Coca-Cola Kwanza Official 

In addition to these meetings, MSD redesigned their organizational structure based on the Coca-Cola Kwanza structure to incorporate a planning function that allowed for these process improvements to be sustained effectively. 

Photos: MSD warehouse in Dar es Salaam

Photo credits: Hannah Wheatley

 Background Resources

Phase II Discussion Document: Click below to read more about Phase II planning 

Operations and Sales Planning Process Document: Read the Phase II ADP report about embedding pro-active processes into MSD's organization.

Tanzania Public Procurement Act 2004: Read the legal regulations MSD follows for procuring medicines and supplies.

 Partners' Perspectives 


Click here to view transcripts of the audio clips.

The level of flow of information that happens from even [Coca-Cola’s] most remote sales point, how they’ve managed to devise a system that on a regular basis feeds the supply chain of information, it goes all the way up to the high levels of management and the decisions are made, to me that’s the most impressive thing I’ve seen. They are really in touch with their market.” - MSD Direct General