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Like its peers in the pharmaceutical industry, this company faces many challenges to its business. Rising R&D costs, fewer products reaching the commercialization stage, longer time to market, and the imminent expiration of patent protection for blockbuster drugs are just some of the realities of the pharmaceutical business that create huge pressure on pharmaceutical companies to look for ways to improve top-line and bottom-line performance.
The client is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, with a diversified global health care portfolio that includes human and animal biologic and small molecule medicines and vaccines, as well as nutritional products and many of the world’s best-known consumer products.
One of the company’s responses to the challenges it faced was to standardize its business on a new SAP platform. Only 14 percent of the company’s businesses were running on SAP, and company executives wanted to extend that to 60 percent in six years. The company recognized that by using SAP as a common platform for all its operations, it could significantly streamline its processes and eliminate many of the inconsistencies that it believed added time, cost and complexity to critical areas of the business.
The company also believed, however, that new software on its own would not enable the company to achieve its business goals. It believed that the SAP solution would be most effective if the company also deployed SAP in a process-oriented way. This meant that the company wanted to have the right processes in place, that those processes were operating at peak efficiency, and that the company had a formal way for managing those processes. Executives believed that this particular aspect of the SAP initiative could benefit from external help in two ways: by leveraging business processes management (BPM) best practices that other leading organizations were using, and by augmenting the company’s existing BPM skills with additional capacity to complete the project in the desired time frame.
The core aspects of Accenture’s work in this initiative were twofold—helping the company define and roll out a comprehensive BPM governance model, and supporting the company’s efforts in developing and implementing a process repository.
Accenture and the company collaborated to create a governance organization designed to help the company make timely, well-informed decisions about specific process issues and quickly execute on those decisions to resolve the issues at hand.
Another key element of effective BPM is a process repository. Working closely with Accenture professionals, the pharmaceutical company developed a repository, based on the ARIS platform from Software AG that would house all of the company’s target processes. It leveraged Accenture’s proprietary BPM reference models that are based on experience with hundreds of companies across more than 70 industries. Accenture’s work extended beyond helping to establish the governance model and process repository, it worked with the company to define a framework for a formal Process Monitoring and Control capability that can help provide even greater transparency on how processes are performing and how well they are complying with the global model, as well as support continuous adjustment and improvement activities.
Accenture also identified areas within the BPM organization that could be centralized under a BPM center of excellence organization as managed service, to further standardize operations and reduce operating costs.
By collaborating with Accenture on this comprehensive BPM initiative, the pharmaceutical company has taken major strides toward achieving its goal of process standardization and overall operational cost reduction. The BPM governance organization the company established with Accenture’s help is operating smoothly and providing the crucial support for process improvement activities and decision making, while the process repository has driven increased compliance and internal process controls, it supports the training of employees on new process changes, and reduces risk in process execution.
As future BPM initiatives are undertaken, the company anticipates achieving even greater benefits. For instance, Process Monitoring and Control capability that can further boost process efficiency and transparency; a BPM managed services function that can enable faster turnaround of operations utilizing work across global time zones; and Process Value Analysis that can help the company undertake future BPM-related initiatives that have the highest value with a direct bearing on the company’s strategic objectives and goals, including cost reduction, global standardization, and performance improvement.
While the pharmaceutical industry has never been more challenging, they have at their disposal ever-more powerful solutions such as BPM that can help them respond to the challenges they face. Indeed, by working with Accenture this company is positioning itself to compete more effectively today and in the future while making greater strides toward high performance.
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