Peter Sheppard, Genpact, explains how reimagining operations helps pharmaceutical companies refocus resources
According to Peter Sheppard, Genpact, R&D needs to build a pipeline that delivers new therapeutic options
Today’s pharmaceutical companies face mounting pressures across several fronts that dictate a need to reimagine business models and transform operations.
Research and development (R&D) needs build a pipeline that delivers new therapeutic options. The emergence of clinical-grade self-serve applications not only allow patients to manage their own medical conditions but also increase the amount of real-time data available to evaluate when developing new drugs.
Commercial needs to build new capabilities to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace of healthcare options, as digital technologies are transforming the way companies interact with healthcare professionals and patients.
The cost of meeting regulatory compliance is growing in double digits as companies respond to new requirements across whole value chain, including product identification and traceability through to healthcare professional transparency.
To respond to these pressures and take advantage of the opportunities, C-suite executives need to identify how to redirect resources to invest in strategic capabilities while creating an enterprise that is fundamentally less complex and better able to compete in a rapidly evolving industry.
Pharmaceutical companies need to evolve their business models and technology architecture quickly and efficiently, linking the strategies of both to deliver transformative change without compromising execution. One area often not explored effectively is how restructuring finance and accounting (F&A) processes can deliver not only cost savings but also bring greater operational efficiencies for the enterprise as a whole. By using advanced technologies that can sense, act, and learn, companies can achieve intelligent F&A operations that simplify processes and reduce non-value-added steps, optimise working capital, and increase productivity.
Genpact’s work with UCB is an innovative example or how a global pharmaceutical company can transform its F&A processes to reallocate resources to more strategic growth areas, while improving the effectiveness of the Finance function. We reimagined operations and introduced new automation technology in such areas as source to pay (S2P), record to report (R2R), and order to cash (O2C) delivering efficiencies while providing senior management with better quality information on which to base key decisions. The end results led to increased customer satisfaction, greater efficiencies, and cost savings.
Collaboration is paramount when embarking on restructuring F&A, both among internal corporate groups and with an external strategic service provider. Various company stakeholders must learn to put aside their inherent biases that may have favoured disparate processes due to departmental silos. They need to agree on a common framework, learning to leverage strengths and best practices across the enterprise. An effective approach is to start the transformation initiative with a well-defined structural organisation. Teams work together to co-design projects, and team leaders agree on precise, transparent goals, and own responsibility for certain tasks. It also is vitally important that all teams set achievable and measurable metrics and monitor the projects’ effectiveness throughout the transformation.
Partnering closely together, UCB and Genpact designed and implemented a transformation roadmap with three mutual goals: drive efficiencies, enhance compliance, and improve customer satisfaction, all of which we successfully achieved together as a team. We introduced Value Stream Leads (Global Process Owners) who were responsible for the end-to-end S2P, R2R, and O2C operations, including both retained and offshored processes in UCB’s locations around the world. This approach enabled excellent coordination built on shared experience and best practices. We also established a strong governance team with clear targets, timelines, roles, and responsibilities. As a result, we implemented more than 20 projects across 25 countries in less than 12 months.
Businesses must spend time and focus carefully to identify the right strategic partners and internal mechanisms to achieve their desired results. With more effective collaboration – similar to how the Genpact-UCB team worked – pharmaceutical companies can successfully transform processes and implement intelligent operations that can help redirect resources to strengthen R&D as well as increase profitability.
In addition to back-office opportunities, advanced operating models are increasingly relevant to core business processes. Companies also must drive change across marketing and sales, medical, and supply chain operations. This comes with a number of challenges such as breaking down additional barriers among internal functions, requiring tighter integration, and an overhaul of other existing processes. Yet by achieving such enterprise-wide transformation, pharmaceutical companies can compete more effectively and strategically in an ever-evolving dynamic marketplace, while continuing to keep quality patient outcomes and increased satisfaction as their top priority.