Life Sciences procurement SDL

Optimizing Your Life Sciences Procurement Model—Driving Operational Effectiveness

For our recent webinar, ‘Optimizing Your Life Sciences Procurement Model, Centralized, Decentralized or Hybrid?,’ we invited industry experts to discuss a number of topics including how organizations are adapting business operations to drive operational effectiveness—if you missed this session, you can access the recording here.
Many companies today are opting for better procurement management in an effort to drive value and remain competitive in their markets. Innovative procurement models are being adopted—and adapted—to support these needs. In recent years, organizations have shifted to highly centralized models to gain visibility of spend with third party vendors, drive further efficiencies and enhance vendor management processes.

It’s not a one size fits all

When it comes to Life Sciences procurement models, organizations carefully orchestrate the best approach for business partners and internal stakeholders to drive optimization. Right-sizing models to drive operational effectiveness is unique for each business. At IQVIA, Rob von Alten, Sr. Director Strategic Sourcing, takes a more centralized approach. “IQVIA conducts clinical trials in 60 countries, with a centralized procurement model, our costs are known, predictable and measureable, and we can set our turn-around times with global SOPs.” From a translation vendor standpoint, centralization leads to efficiencies that reduce the number of vendors, and increase cost effectiveness.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jaime Stanley, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Cochlear explains, “Many of our HQ offices are in the U.S. or Europe, so a decentralized model makes sense to allow countries to do what is right for within their country.” A hybrid model takes advantage of cost savings where specifications are uniform as with IT or Travel where centralization complements the business.

Partnering for success within your organization

Operating at peak efficiency may start by looking within your organization. As procurement shifts from focusing on cost reduction to being a strategic partner to the business and driving value across the entire supply chain, procurement teams must align to build strong partnerships cross-functionally. We asked our panel to share some insights.
At Cochlear, the focus is on improving the procurement brand. By getting back to basics, listening to internal stakeholders and establishing a fact base to measure against, the procurement team shifts the conversation from “it would be great if” to sussing out what the underlying ask is. “Once you have those tactical wins in place it really gets us on that level as trusted partner and advisor,” according to Jaime Stanley.

Empowering project teams with a tool set on the front end through a self-service model for purchasing has streamlined operations at IQVIA. A qualified list of contracted providers makes the process seamless. The vendor management team is doing further work with a new program that establishes a network of strategic providers, where increased value is gained when choosing “in network” providers.

Innovating to improve efficiencies

Innovation has been integrated as a central requirement for any business to stay competitive and continue to observe revenue growth. Procurement organizations may rely on strategic providers to introduce innovation. IQVIA is driving innovation with a strong focus on self-service models to make things easier. As the company grows organically and through acquisition, navigating multiple systems and consolidating them has been a priority. “By combining different procurement systems, adopting common spend tools that look at history and spending practices, we’re doing a lot of work to drive a common view of suppliers, making it easier for our stakeholders to purchase goods and services,” said Rob von Alten, IQVIA.

Cochlear is taking an outside-in approach, conducting Innovation Sessions with suppliers and partners on industry trends while gathering feedback on their own procurement process. “Getting people to come in and talk about what they are doing has been the catalyst for innovation,” said Jaime Stanley, Cochlear. “We’re taking those innovations then applying them to our business, with what’s right for customers and the business.” 

These are just some of the insights that our industry practitioners shared during the webinar. To hear more advice from the frontline, why not visit our web page, or watch the full session on our webinar replay?

How can SDL help?

SDL provides a secure, end-to-end solution for language services to support global Life Sciences organizations. SDL has the therapeutic expertise, in-house resources, and integrated technology that can scale to meet your project needs.

If you would like to find out more about our language services and technology, click here.