Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 86

healthcare biogen
Walter Charles III has found that
as Biogen gathers more market
intelligence, it has a greater
understanding of cost drivers for
what it buys.

Technology and the United States
Merchant Marine Academy, "I've
worked for a couple of decades in
big pharma/biotech," he says. His
experience includes work with
Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers
Squibb Co. and Merck & Co. Inc.
He also was the chief procurement officer at Kellogg's and Kraft
Foods Group Inc. where he led and
materially contributed to supply
chain productivity improvements.
"I've been in a bunch of different
sectors all with the same procurement problems," Charles
says, adding that he has shared
his expertise through speaking
engagements as far away as China
and Australia.

Better Tools
When Biogen hired Charles, the
company wanted him to materially
ramp up Procurement's savings
similar to the results he registered
as the leader at both Kellogg's and
Kraft. "On day one when I joined
Biogen, the first thing I did was
diagnose where we were in our
people, processes and technologies in a procurement function,"
he recalls.
Charles used his own staff and
proprietary methods during this
process. "We found that while we
were doing some stuff really well

Quality Medicine
Biogen's manufacturing operations are guided by its
focus on improving patients' lives. "We take our responsibility of making and delivering quality medicine
very seriously," the company says.
"We have been successfully manufacturing large
molecule therapies for over two decades," Biogen
says. "In recent years, we have extended our expertise
into the production of small molecule therapies and
have fully integrated an oral solid dose facility into our
manufacturing infrastructure."

86

Supply Chain World FALL 2017

and we still had a lot of opportunities," he recalls. Charles then
suggested that Biogen implement
a "Constraint-Less Bidding Methodology" and a 60/60 framework
to improve early engagement on
large spend opportunities.
He also wanted to add a big data
analytics engine for bid data, adopt
a cleansheeting framework to better understand its cost drivers and
strive to consultatively improve
the quality of decision-making
of Biogen's business. No one had
heard of "Constraint-Less Bidding" before, Charles says.
"It is a term I coined to consider
rethinking every procurement
process as if we did not have the
constraints of spreadsheet-based
analytics," he explains. "If you
could source more of your spend
more granularly, understand the
cost drivers, [and] include as many
suppliers as you wanted in every

bid while radically collapsing the
analytics-cycle times to get to
actionable insights, this is the both
the promise and aspiration of what
is possible with big data analytics
in the practice of procurement."
These included his 60/60
platform approach for sourcing
products. Often, he says, companies accept sub-optimal deals
from suppliers because they have
to fulfill last-minute requests from
internal requestors/clients. "The
60/60 approach says that if you ask
the requestor to take 60 seconds
fill out a webform - 60 days in
advance of needing a contract -
Procurement will be able to save
more money by competitively
evaluating every major purchase
for the business," he says. "Typically, the number of transactions
requiring this process change is
only between five to nine percent."
Charles explains, "The 60/60



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supply Chain World - Fall 2017

Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 3
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