Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 87

biogen healthcare

platform approach allows the business to make better
decisions, based on insights gleaned from the competition among suppliers. When a Biogen employee needs
help making a purchase, he or she will use the platform
and fill out a form telling details such as whom they are,
how much they have to spend and what they are trying to
buy. This allows for procurement teams to dynamically
prioritize their resources to focus on the largest spend
opportunities first, in contrast to the current practice of
responding the loudest requestor first."
It is critical that the process of filling out the form
is quick, so the goal is for is it to take only 60 seconds.
Afterward, it is directed "to the right procurement
person that understands the needs and nuances of the
purchase," Charles says.
Thanks to the extra time and the limited change management required by the business, Biogen can evaluate
and consider more competing suppliers that can give
the company better deals. "All of the companies that I've
worked for have [had] this Late Procurement Engagement problem," he says. "Most procurement professionals have simply accepted this problem not knowing that
they can simply pivot to an emerging raft of tools and a
constraint-less bidding framework to mitigate it."

are set to revolutionize the industry, Charles says. He
asserts that keeping Biogen's finger on the pulse of innovation is critical.
The supplier landscape is radically changing and these
changes must drive a corresponding shift in long-standing practices of procurement, Charles says. In 2001, he
notes, the five largest publicly traded companies included such non-tech firms as GE, Exxon, Citi and Walmart.
Last year, all five were innovative technology companies, including Apple Inc., Alphabet, Amazon.com Inc.
and Facebook.
"The era of digital, machine-learning, big data analytics and artificial intelligence is going to disrupt how
the practice of procurement is conducted," he says.
"Additionally, the average tenure of S&P 500 companies
was 90 years in 1935 and only 15 years in 2016; 52 percent
of Fortune 500 companies have gone bankrupt, been
acquired or ceased to exist since 2000 due to digital
disruption; and greater than 855 artificial intelligence

Growing the Pool
Biogen uses big data analytics to help it expand the pool
of suppliers it evaluates. Biogen is using breakthrough
new supplier discovery engines designed to make finding
suppliers easier for upcoming bids. "The process of casting a wide net of suppliers is a term that I call 'funnel-less
bidding,'" Charles says. "Today, most procurement
professionals purposefully limit the number of suppliers
they include in their bids, often eliminating from greater
than 100 supplier options to the low single digits.
"Big Data Analytics says if I no longer had the constraint of spreadsheet analytics, I could consider the
entire population of suppliers and down-select only with
real facts from actual RFP submissions," Charles continues. "But the company is looking for more than just a
good deal.
"I'm purposely looking for disruptors and suppliers
that are reinventing the landscape that we're buying
in," he explains. "It's a meaningful pivot from the
historical [approach], which is that I would want to get
fewer suppliers."
This allows Biogen to find the "Uber-like players" that
FALL 2017 Supply Chain World

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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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Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover3
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