A crucial partnership

7 June 2011
Over the past 10 years, procurement at BD has moved from a decentralised organisation of site buyers led by manufacturing to a more holistic hybrid of centrally led teams supporting the business as a whole. This centralised function is now regarded as an integrated partner by the manufacturing function at BD. In its infancy, the focus of procurement was to balance supply problems against the challenges of cost and quality. Now BD has a group of professionals that is equipped to handle risk, contingency, sustainability, influencing budgetary costs and supplier management. Working with our supply base to understand and implement lean principles, as well as those of the six sigma model, we have improved the quality of our process outputs and delivered more value from our suppliers back into the business. This centralised organisation is able to leverage global commercial deals across sites and across the entire business. Alignment with the right supply chain is critical to manufacturing high-speed precision devices; any deviation in quality or service can result in a costly line stoppage. In this respect, manufacturing is a key decision maker on supply choices. And, in light of the cost of redevelopment of products or raw materials in the manufacture of medical devices, we have to ensure that we’re making the right choices first time. This means early engagement with procurement is essential. A sophisticated procurement function doesn’t just deliver optimal quality at lowest cost. A collaborative approach ensures that the full range of strategic options is defined at the outset, and that the key elements of service, risk mitigation and contingency planning are reviewed, with the needs of manufacturing taken into full account. BD’s success rests on innovation and growth, and these elements rely on the effectiveness of our processes. We must remain both competitive and innovative, while adhering to our sustainability strategy. A partnership between manufacturing and procurement can only improve our response to these business needs, working together to improve what we do and how we do it. How procurement works at BD 1. BD is a global technology firm manufacturing medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. It employs about 29,000 people in 50 countries. 2. Procurement operates a five-stage sourcing programme, from category initiation to situation analysis, strategy selection, defining and implementing a chosen supply base, and supplier management. 3. Stakeholder teams are comprised of associates from every function that can be affected by a sourcing decision or strategy. Typically, teams have representation from manufacturing, quality, R&D, engineering, supply chain, marketing and from the business. 4. Teams determine the business requirements for each category spend using the AQSCIR model (Assurance, Quality, Service, Cost, Innovation and Regulatory needs). 5. Once a strategy is determined, a supply base is defined and supplier(s) selected based on those pre-determined business needs. ☛ Kevin Kelly is vice-president, operations, at BD   Got good relations with your internal customers? We want to hear from you. Email rebecca.ellinor@supplymanagement.com
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