Subscribe to the blog

Get the latest Procurement insights from our experts

2020 procurement challenges for pharma companies

by | November 5, 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for many people and businesses. The pharmaceutical industry, even with upward trending share prices, didn’t escape unscathed as it too was hit with supply chain disruptions and uncertainties.

Pharma companies that had already digitally transformed their end-to-end sourcing and procurement processes achieved much better performance, they managed supplier irregularities with ease which ultimately helped them to navigate through the crisis in good shape.

What can those pharma companies who haven’t yet digitised their back-office expect from an improved procurement function?


One of the major procurement challenges, regardless of industry, is digitalisation. One of the areas where digital technologies have a big impact within finance is the automation of purchase to pay processes. With a ‘best in breed’ P2P system in place, organisations can transform and improve the overall procurement function. When the purchase to pay system becomes automated it can serve a decent amount of procurement’s needs with no human touch.

Digitising your supply chain can help you gain visibility and knowledge of your suppliers across the board in an increasing global environment. Because of the algorithms they are built on, digital tools can ensure compliance with policies and procedures and can help you better manage and reduce risk throughout your supply chain.

Driving innovation and collaboration across business functions

Innovation in procurement departments greatly helps businesses to create savings opportunities. Change needs to happen from top management down to the newest intern. Your business community needs to be informed, reassured and engaged. Stakeholders need to hear a clear and consistent message from the procurement function, one that will ultimately help them achieve their objectives and profit.

Corona virus outbreak

Across Europe pharmaceutical companies were worried about drug supply and supply chain disruptions especially companies being so dependent on the deliveries from Asia Pacific region and in particular China.

While the pandemic is unlikely to shift pharmaceutical supply lines in a fundamental way any time soon, pharma executives agree that Covid-19 marks a turning point in public understanding of supply risks and will fuel efforts to establish local supplies of chemicals and APIs as a matter of national security.

The strict regulatory environment in which the pharma industry operates makes this doubly difficult for key suppliers of categories such as APIs and primary packaging, so it is a good idea to have a pool of suppliers in place that have been fully audited and qualified in advance for necessary compliance.
If you want to know more about how we can help you transform your procurement function even in these uncertain times, don’t hesitate to get in touch!