Improving Strategic Supplier Discovery Through Technology: A Procurepharma White Paper

Summary:
This white paper will explore current trends related to procurement and sourcing is evolving role in the supplier discovery process and current practices for accessing supplier information. It will explore the ability of new technology to enable procurement and sourcing professionals to reduce the time spent identifying qualified suppliers prior to initiating the RFP process. Finally, it will provide recommendations to support procurement and sourcing professionals as they provide immediate value to internal stakeholders, build stronger internal partnerships, and contribute to operational health by quickly providing the strongest supplier options available to internal stakeholders.

Overview:
Procurement and sourcing are rapidly evolving to become much more strategic, with greater ability to significantly impact operational health. In response to this growing opportunity, existing processes must be reviewed and, if necessary, streamlined. Processes that are too time-consuming or inefficient could delay the creation of value for internal stakeholders seeking strong supplier options.

A survey of 40 executives who attended the ProcureCon Pharma conference in November of 2015, along with a series of supporting interviews conducted by ProcureCon, provides a close look at procurement and sourcing in Biotech and Pharma companies, specifically focused on the supplier discovery process.

The survey results indicate that significant challenges exist in the current market. For example, it takes one to six weeks just to identify qualified suppliers; which means that the subsequent proposal or bidding process can last for months. Results also indicate that part of the reason for this is that procurement and sourcing professionals must consult multiple supplier intelligence resources to learn which suppliers are in the marketplace. They must then collect contact information, capabilities, and experience and learn about internal peer and partner experience with suppliers.

Most technology has not evolved to the point where it can efficiently collect supplier information and make it easy to identify suppliers for specific needs. Some supplier discovery resources are inexpensive and widely available (email, Internet searches), while others are more expensive (conferences, trade publications, databases). Currently, no resource collects and aggregates supplier information from internal and external peers, and yet 70% of procurement and sourcing professionals report that the most credible source of supplier intelligence comes from their internal peers. Often this information is collected during natural hallway conversations and simple email exchanges, but making it accessible and useful to other internal peers or sourcing and procurement is a challenge, and technology has not yet addressed this need.

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