4 Ways R&D Procurement Has Evolved Amid the Pandemic

4 Ways R&D Procurement Has Evolved Amid the Pandemic

  • COVID-19 has disrupted R&D procurement operations worldwide across sectors
  • R&D procurement teams are now seen as strategic business partners
  • Innovation, collaboration, and a data-driven approach are some of the aspects of modern-day R&D procurement
March 17, 2022 | Procurement Software Blogs

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted R&D supply chain and procurement operations across sectors and industries. However, the procurement industry is evolving again in ways, more than one.

R&D procurement teams have leveraged innovative strategies to counter supply chain disruptions and other challenges that have surfaced in the pandemic-hit landscape.

In a recent podcast, GEP’s Paul Rathke, Jigar Mehta and Bhawna Satija shared many insights on the evolution of R&D procurement after the onset of COVID-19.

1. More Involvement

Earlier, R&D procurement teams were just seen as gatekeepers of near purchasing functions. Today, they are positioned as strategic business partners who help companies meet their objectives from the start. They are involved in many aspects that help the company drive more savings and earn more profits. For instance, they are key contributors to developing and launching new products that are best suited for the market. Early involvement of R&D procurement helps in cost reduction as well as brings an overall procurement transformation.

2. Better Collaboration

There is more collaboration with suppliers in R&D procurement. Increasing collaboration creates a win-win situation. The kind of suppliers R&D procurement teams choose not only helps businesses save money but also makes the entire procurement process more productive, risk-free and innovation oriented. Modern-day R&D procurement has broader considerations of innovation and efficiency unlike traditional procurement that only focused on buying at the lowest rate.

3. Digitization

The pandemic has brought about digitization to spaces that were not planning to take the digital route any time soon and increased the digital efforts of businesses that had partially digitized their procurement operations.

Pharma companies, for example, have leveraged artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, internet of things and other advances to fuel growth – be it deploying in-home clinical services or offering remote monitoring through IoT devices, or predicting virus outbreaks.

Digitization has transformed traditional R&D operations, which required the physical presence of both patients and researchers under the same roof. Moreover, procurement professionals today rely on supply chain management tools that can provide forecasts to plan sourcing events at the right time, driven by real-time market events and points-of-sale data.

4. Reimagining and re-optimizing

Procurement professionals are re-evaluating their process pipeline after the disruptions faced during the pandemic. In addition, they are also assessing existing contracts and budgets. For this, procurement teams must work closely with other functions across the organization to ask questions like ‘where can we mitigate risk potential?’, ‘where can we save cost overheads?’, ‘how to ensure suppliers associate with us for the long-term?’, and ‘how to identify new vendors who will offer utmost value to the business?’.

To learn more about the risks R&D procurement leaders face and the top priorities for R&D procurement success, listen to the full podcast.

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