The Smart Cube’s intelligence and analytics solutions support life sciences global biopharmaceutical company’s procurement transformation

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Business challenge

A global biopharmaceutical company – with over $5 billion spend under management across 50 direct and indirect categories – embarked on a pharma procurement transformation programme.

As part of this programme, the client identified that its current category management process lacked consistency and rigour. Though the internal category teams were very experienced and experts in their domain, they did not have time or resources to proactively look for external trends and best practices, or work on new ideas that could satiate the evolving demands from internal business stakeholders.

The increase in the number of planned product launches added further pressure on procurement to deliver on targets.

The client sought an external partner who could provide the specialist skills and intelligence experience across its spend categories. After a thorough examination of service providers, The Smart Cube was chosen as the procurement intelligence and analytics partner to work with the client’s global category teams on the transformation journey.

The Smart Cube solution

The Smart Cube conducted diagnostic workshops with category teams and senior leadership to understand long-term vision and goals, assess the current situation and identify gaps. These insights formed the basis of a collaborative process to design a bespoke solution and engagement structure.

Due to the involvement of multiple business units, and a decentralised organisation structure, an agile and flexible approach was adopted to come up with custom solutions and models for different teams, albeit delivered and managed centrally.

The solutions incorporate a mix of skill-sets across primary and secondary research, advanced data analytics and patent insights, delivered seamlessly through our cloud-based technology platforms. A combination of on-site and off-site category specialists are aligned to the client to navigate through disparate data systems and ensure rigour in the category management and sourcing processes.

The Smart Cube works as an extended arm of the client’s entire procurement function globally, with support targeted towards multiple stakeholder groups delivering an array of solutions:

Category and Commodity Intelligence
  • Category Spend and Demand Assessment
  • External Supply Market Insights
  • Sourcing Best Practices
  • Commodity/Feedstock Tracking
  • Cost Driver Analysis
  • Category and Supplier Risk Monitoring
Procurement Analytics
  • Spend Coding
  • Savings Validation
  • Product Cost Modelling
Strategic Sourcing
  • Supplier Identification
  • RfX Execution Support
  • RfX Analytics
  • Supplier Scorecards
Centre of Excellence
  • Supplier Performance and KPI Dashboards
  • Supplier Relationship Management
  • Risk Management


The Smart Cube’s experience with many other life sciences companies and a vast array of category knowledge assets has enabled acceleration of insight delivery and in turn, helped the client meet its transformation goals.

Tangible outcomes from across the procurement operations include:

  • 40-50% savings in time and effort on overall research, compared with in-house team
  • 7-10% savings in the travel and fleet category
  • $50m savings in demand reduction opportunities through accurate reporting

Value delivered

The Smart Cube’s continuous innovation programme involves regular workshops and meetings with the CPO, category leads, and country heads to review the performance, identify short-term goals, and re-align the support to meet longer-term objectives.

Specific areas of business value highlighted by the client include:

  • Rigour in the category management process
  • Actionable spend insights
  • Business stability through proactive supplier monitoring
  • Better opportunity assessment
  • Greater supplier performance visibility
  • Competitive advantage through innovation
  • Alternative supplier discovery
  • Tail-end and maverick spend management