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A short article by Anna TRUNAS JOSA, Head of Procurement at Roche Diagnostics.

We live in a context where everything is changing fast, where companies are not investing anymore in creating new needs, instead they are just investing in optimising what we have, make more with less.
Furthermore, there is a new reality. Product’s lifetime is increasingly shorter, and this trend is here to stay.
Due to these two facts, companies are continuously changing, making uncertainty the new normality.
That is why transforming from the Waterfall to the Agile process has helped many companies for some years already, to keep selling products and not to perish. This illustration helps to understand what Agile means.

This mindset and a way of working is quite new in the pharmaceutical world and even newer in procurement departments. This journey is challenging for all of us.
If we want to adapt ourselves to this new way of thinking, to be inside this Agile mindset, it is necessary to have strong digitalisation in our departments. Some years ago, we were buying a number of references and we were planning from one year to another. Now, sometimes we do not even know the product or service that we will be buying in the next quarter.
We need this digitalisation to start doing different things. It does not make sense anymore to be thinking in PO’s, invoices, signing contracts or RFP in Excel files. We should understand the market and help our top line to define the business needs. And we have to move away from waiting for the needs towards co-creating them.
But are we prepared? Do we have the right profiles to do it? Are we ready to leave our old job?
I do not think that it is an option – as I said, it is a must. We have to reinvent ourselves and keep doing it because the old procurement does not exist anymore, although we are still the ones that have to provide cash, innovation and technical solutions to our companies.

3 Questions For Anna Trunas Josa

How to achieve Agile procurement? How to improve process efficiency and keep pace with accelerating change?

With training. We need to again study what we know, as ways of working are not valid anymore. The only way to move to these new ways of working and accelerate the change is by being humble, learning and not working in silos. If we do this, we will have to make much fewer steps before we make a decision compared to today.

Why is it important to invest in new talent and capabilities for the procurement function? How to attract new talent into procurement and retain it?

We need to invest in new capabilities because we do not know how to work in this environment, it is completely new for us. We need new capabilities in hard skills like Agile methodology or the new Digital solutions that are coming but also soft skills in order to learn how to work with less hierarchy and with more humbleness.

If we want to attract and retain the talent, important things are the purpose, the project and the visibility that we will offer. As a millennial I can assure you that the logo of the company is not important anymore but if this company is helping a little bit to change the world, my work is exciting and evolving and I have enough visibility to choose my next step – these are the drivers that will make me stay.

What will procurement and sourcing look like in 2030?

I do not think that procurement will exist in 2030, maybe the name but not the function. We will be much more integrated in the business chain compared to today. We will be specialists helping our business areas to be better, faster and cheaper.

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