Clinical Professionals Industry Analytics Report: Procurement
The Clinical Professionals group aim to be aware of the latest industry events and news whilst also aspiring to be at the forefront of the latest analytics and reporting.
As a result we have collaborated with Vacancysoft to create monthly reports that provide an in-depth analysis of vacancies across various sectors, countries and companies.
The latest CPIA report features analysis and data from the Procurement sector within the pharmaceutical industry for UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
Yvette Cleland, Clinical Professionals Group CEO comments:
“51% of CPO’s (Chief Procurement Officers) felt current teams did not have the skills to deliver the Procurement Strategy.
However, this has not translated into new vacancies opening up looking for different skill sets! In fact, since 2017 there has been a slow decline of procurement vacancies in the UK (the only exception to this being Biotech, where we have seen a rise in vacancies). So what is going on out there currently and will Brexit bring a raft of new opportunity?
Primarily and traditionally, Procurement teams are expected to drive revenue generating innovation and, in the majority of large pharmaceutical companies, these teams are no longer a purely transactional function. In forward thinking organisations procurement teams are key to bridging the gap between business and suppliers and through skills and capability, enable the strategies and innovation to capture and drive these revenue generating ideas.
In fact, it could now be stated that Life Science companies influence top-line growth by focusing more time and energy in deeper collaboration with suppliers and internal business partners as the ecosystem expands to support innovation. However, would this be your “traditional procurement professional”? If 51% of CPO’s doubt the skills and capabilities of their current teams, where is the skill deficit?
One core area is without doubt digital technology expertise. However, recent research demonstrates that companies are least likely to use analytics in procurement, relative to other business areas; only 40 percent, versus 59 percent in finance, and 55 percent who use analytics in customer service. Providing procurement decision makers with advanced digital technologies could facilitate significant new value and generate dramatic top-line growth.
An impasse to developing these skills in procurement teams could be due to current and accepted structures internally. The Life Science industry is not renowned for being strategic enablers, more often we see the domino effect where a few very dynamic businesses make fundamental changes and then the larger, less agile companies follow.
If procurement is to be truly more strategic, the majority of current organisations would need to undergo fairly rapid restructuring. Outsourcing back-office activities, or merging them with other shared services centres could drive standardisation and efficiency. There could be great lessons to learn from other industries such as financial services who regularly outsource their middle office operations leaving a more nimble front leadership seam of top-talent and strategic thinkers. This potentially critical layer could be hired from a variety of backgrounds. Consider an R&D procurement leader, with a track record of innovation expertise as the former head of a CRO sitting on a Life Science company’s R&D leadership team. This leader would be a strategic enabler to the business which is now supported by a team of procurement professionals capable of delivering expert R&D supplier market intelligence and procurement skills.
If you could imagine a world where these key strategists could be functionally aligned to commercial, corporate, R&D along with supply chain business areas, by internal business partnering and externally collaborating with key suppliers, more time could be spent with better outcomes in strategies which foster innovation and growth. Using such open innovation models, leading Life Science businesses could go globetrotting for new insights or ideas that could advance internal thinking.
We must therefore align procurement’s objectives with those of other business areas focusing on identifying and enabling growth, innovation and cost reduction. In knowing this, you must analyse the skills and competencies needed and implement a talent development program that embeds business partnering and strategy development expertise in each business area. Crucial to success is the ability to define a digital procurement roadmap that leverages supplier analytics and collaboration platforms. If you can then integrate key suppliers with a mutually beneficial value proposition into the business you could see your internal infrastructure transform and the benefits that come with this. Ultimately, strategic and collaborative procurement organisations are an urgent necessity for the Life Science industry because these organisations can connect a business and its suppliers, and generate revenue from novel product ideas. Developing these skills, teams and departments is a large job and on the backdrop of Brexit, the UK’s teams could have their own unique challenges as well.”
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