McKesson VP reveals secret to meeting distribution challenges

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The ballots have been cast and the winner is...Don Walker, senior VP for distribution operations at Big 3 wholesaler McKesson Pharmaceutical. He's been named one of DC Velocity's 15 Rainmakers for 2011.

A three-decade drug distribution vet (23 years with McKesson), Walker oversees a U.S. network of 30 distribution centers. But a supply chain re-engineering effort is now under way, says Walker in a DC Velocity interview. "We are building new facilities and incorporating new levels of automation inside some of these new, larger distribution centers." His goals are additional throughput and efficiency improvements.

Walker says McKesson has succeeded in meeting pharma supply chain challenges by "concentrating on one transaction at a time. As simple as that may sound, we really look daily and reconcile our inventory in terms of any variances that we have. We have a tremendous focus on our order quality."

He notes that some of the current challenges are more external than internal, as federal and state governments drive supply chain enhancements for security and product safety.

- here's the interview

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