Updated on 1 August 2016
Greater uncertainty in the global macroeconomic environment is prompting companies around the world, including life sciences firms, to take a closer look at their operations in a bid to improve operational processes and derive greater cost savings. One of the means of doing so is through outsourcing, which has been going on for a long time, though it was done previously in a fragmented and decentralised manner.
Now, companies - particularly those with operations in many different jurisdictions - are adopting a more holistic approach in how they deliver services like IT, finance, accounting, human resources, procurement and other business services across an organisation. As international life sciences companies seek ways to transform their operations in the midst of wrenching change, they are establishing global business services (GBS), which is a cross-functional, globe-spanning model that integrates resources, capabilities and systems throughout the entire enterprise. GBS includes centres of excellence, shared services centres and outsourcing, extending operational improvements considerably further into every corner of the organisation.
A key element of GBS is the focus on processes that span the entire enterprise. The orientation of end-to-end processes as part of GBS can enable the enterprise to adopt new technologies more rapidly and benefit from them faster. An example of this is cognitive automation, a continuum of technologies that companies can use to automate business processes and operations.
For instance, cognitive automation can help to monitor the supply chain continually to ensure that a pharmaceutical company and its suppliers comply with the anti-bribery and corruption regulations around the world, by combining databases to look for outliers.
There are many other benefits of GBS, which are outlined in a report by KPMG International, Global Business Services in Life Sciences: A Window to the Future. The report is based on years of advisory work by KPMG subject matter experts who advise companies on how to implement GBS to transform their operations.