Chief Procurement Officer John Dickson’s initial ambition upon his arrival at AstraZeneca in 2018 was to move the procurement function “out of the shadows” at the global, science-led biopharmaceutical enterprise. But just over a year into his tenure, AstraZeneca became one of the most talked about companies on earth. Suddenly, procurement was an integral part of a solution for an enterprise fighting on the frontline of a global pandemic.
The challenges facing many procurement strategists right now have never been more multifarious with enterprises battling rising inflation, fuel, and resource costs as the move towards sustainability and diversity gathers pace – and then there was the disruption of COVID-19. Of course, AstraZeneca could add a few more concerns to that list as it raced to respond to the pandemic. In Dickson, however, AstraZeneca could rely on a CPO with a rich experience in spearheading procurement strategies at some of the world’s biggest companies across a number of different sectors.
AstraZeneca is a fast-growing global enterprise that spends approximately $14bn a year with third parties and employs around 450 people in procurement working across a complex geographic landscape. “We’re an enterprise-wide procurement function, supporting the total breadth of the company,” Dickson explains, from AstraZeneca’s London office. “We support R&D, Commercial, the Operations business (manufacturing), as well as the enabling functions of Legal, HR, and Finance. It’s a very broad and deep remit with a lot of money being spent externally.”
Elsewhere, we have exciting news from DPW regarding the NEXT100, fascinating procurement transformation insights from Globality and a great sustainability piece from O2 Telefónica and climate tech startup The Climate Choice…