Challenges for Pharma CFO

Pharma CFO’s have a tightrope walking in present situation and will be more challenging Post COVID. They have to balance by maintaining Profit Maximization, manage supply chain & other business challenges. The fast changing technology adoption is still unable to deliver expected results. Company’s maturity to adopt business processes & technology changes is an important factor. Few challenges are discussed.

  • Generics market is large & increasing globally. However there is a competition. Generics pharma is broadly looked in two operational areas like Manufacturing, Sales & Distribution. Manufacturing performance can be optimized by managing inventories better with close integration of Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP). Process Improvements will support the objective. Sales & Distribution can bring profit improvement by adoption of Digital Supply Chain. Digitisation will improve customer centricity by compiling & analyzing present & earlier data with Artificial Intelligence. This can be done by targeting customers, educate, message, form a group, offer schemes & develop relationships.
  • Adoption of Emerging Technologies – Today technology upgrades are available very fast, than those can be implemented. Adoption of digitization can bring better results, however this is moving slowly in pharma, compared with other industry verticals. This may be because of stringent regulatory requirements. The holistic approach including People, Processes & Technology can achieve better results.
  • Investing in Talents – This is a challenge for all industries today. As business processes, technologies are changing, there is a need for skilled employees, who are familiar with both. This is more important in mid-size companies, where one employee is managing more than one process. Also allocation of employee’s time for training has limitations. Technologies can add value here, as many e-learning courses are developed, employees can learn at their own free time to develop additional skills. Company must offer incentives & motivate such employees to bridge a gap.
  • Regulatory Requirements – Pharma industry has very stringent regulatory requirements in Quality, Manufacturing & Distribution. The documentation requirements are high & employees spend up to 30% of the productive time available. Companies must adopt for automation to improve productivity. This requires creating a dedicated team with strong systems interest in designing solution and implement with change management with transformation. This will develop skills & improve documentation for regulatory requirements.
  • Adoption of Digital Transformation & New Business Models – Post COVID, all companies will have different business processes compared with Pre COVID. Adoption of Cloud, Mobility, Analytics & Blockchain will assist in Digitisation. Digitisation if supported by Innovation & Collaboration, will achieve better results across the company. The allocation of desired resources to this project will achieve great results.