Last week marked a highly successful ProcureCon Pharma 2015 hosted by Worldwide Business Research. The main conference took place over two days consisting of all things pharma sourcing related. Day One, themed Structuring Relationships for Maximum Competitiveness, consisted of a loaded agenda focused on strategies for developing strategic cross-functional relationships between procurement and other stakeholders. Reinforcing that theme, Source One’s VP of Professional Services, Joe Payne presented an Innovation Spotlight: Procurement Reality Check.

During the presentation, Payne challenged traditional measures by which Procurement demonstrates value, and how they structure their teams to deliver that value. While many pharma companies choose to outsource certain procurement responsibilities, such as accounts payable and IT functions to boost daily in-house efficiencies, managing and ensuring that outsources functions are managed properly can be challenging. With the constant pressure for pharma procurement departments to adhere to regulatory and compliance guidelines effectively and efficiently, now and in the future there will be a constant push to drive the most value from outsourced functions. Meaning, now more than ever, there is a need to develop strong protocol around outsourced responsibilities and manage outsourced procurement teams in alignment with internal goals and timelines. The solution, Payne explains, starts with understanding your procurement department maturity and selecting a partner that suits your needs, keeping in mind both short-term needs and long-term goals.

Procurement departments are shifting, gearing away from historically tactical roles and serving companies at a strategic level. With that said, achieving cost savings is no longer the sole goal of these critical organizations. Instead, procurement departments are bringing together cross-functional teams to achieve company-wide goals. As such, there are countless other metrics aside from savings that procurement can be measured on; for example retention, training and CE. Measuring your procurement organization on items outside of savings creates motivation and ability to better track how these departments are impacting your organization beyond just cost avoidance. Just as important as setting new metrics is getting the right talent.

Progressive procurement leaders realize that to truly become trusted advisors, their value proposition must be clearly stated, understood, and executed across the enterprise.A 2015 Panel of CPOs, said that organizations must have not only top-notch negotiators and commodity experts, but also the right amount of technical resources to effectively and proactively manage work with engineering, suppliers, R&D, and other key cross-functional teams to deliver the best supplier value.

All these elements considered, knowing the maturity level of your procurement organization is the first step to determining the right course of action for your outsourcing needs. And, while traditional molds of outsourcing dictate tactical tasks be handed over to third parties, more and more organizations are realizing the benefits of alternative options, such as seeking the support of category experts and strategic thinkers to drive further value from procurement initiatives.

In addition to the presentation, Source One engaged countless industry leaders from pharmaceutical companies such as Celgene, Janssen, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Roche to discuss industry trends and insights. Source One’s experts enjoyed the opportunity to network with other procurement professionals, participate in workshops, and listen to guest speakers. The informative event helped shed further light into the challenges pharma procurement professionals face, as well as provided strategies for navigating these difficulties to enhance strategic sourcing and procurement departments’ impact.
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