Lisa Martin does not shy away from big opportunities, and she is enjoying one now as senior vice president, chief procurement officer of the Israel-based company Teva Pharmaceuticals. Her work is driving value creation, cost reduction, and improvements in the procurement process—all in alignment with the company’s business strategy. In turn, she is changing perceptions about procurement.
Teva is a leading global pharmaceuticals company that delivers high-quality, patient-centric healthcare solutions used by millions of patients every day. It is also the world’s largest generic medicines producer, leveraging a portfolio of more than one thousand molecules to produce a wide range of generic products in nearly every therapeutic area. In specialty medicines, Teva has a world-leading position in innovative treatments for disorders of the central nervous system, including pain, and it has a strong portfolio of respiratory products, too.
It’s Martin’s job to partner with Teva’s various units to drive improvement in the overall business. Overall, her group manages about $11 billion in expenditures annually, which are split between indirect procurement and manufacturing-related procurement.
“We have implemented strategic category management, launched formal supplier relationship management and supplier diversity programs, and we are rolling out our new technology platform for a more efficient end-to-end procurement process,” Martin says.
Martin joined Teva in April 2013. Prior to that, she served as a senior vice president at Pfizer, where she led worldwide procurement, real estate, corporate services, and facilities management for the commercial research and development portfolio. A big reason she was drawn to Teva was the chance to build a world-class procurement team.
Martin says there were already great employees in place when she arrived, but she has proceeded to bring in new talent to fill gaps in the organization.
Martin now manages approximately 550 employees scattered across thirty-five countries. That means she is always on the clock somewhere in the world.
“We have an intensive manufacturing and commercial network that drives the dispersal of talent,” Martin says. “The diversity of my team is important. Because of our geographic footprint, this is the most culturally diverse team I’ve ever worked with, and we have been able to leverage the culture differences and experiences.”
To ensure everyone on her procurement team works as efficiently and effectively as possible, Martin has instituted global standardized practices and an inclusive culture that gives everyone a sense of direction and purpose. Before, small teams that operated independently of one another handled procurement.
“There was no integrated, cohesive organization aligned around goals, ways of working, or culture that we’re now trying to drive,” Martin explains. “That’s the difference.”
Martin enjoys many parts of her job, including putting employees on paths to success and growth.
“I think part of the benefit of having a globally integrated organization is being able to provide colleagues with lots of opportunity for growth,” she says. “For someone who is a packaging person but wants to do business process work, having that globally integrated workforce gives us the ability to move people around more. I’m all for doing that.”
Martin also has a passion for supply management and enjoys being involved with all different departments and functions in one way or another. She has helped Teva’s procurement organization evolve from a transaction focus to a more holistic approach to efficiency and value creation.
Martin’s skill at tweaking the company’s infrastructure at the right time has been a big catalyst for her success. She has made the right changes to her department as regulatory and political expectations have risen and the market has continued to consolidate. Martin has also adjusted to
risk management’s larger role in supply chain management.
“If you don’t change, you get left behind,” Martin says. “I’m not sure I’m ever satisfied. I’m always making sure we are as efficient and productive as we need to be and that we’re developing people and leveraging talent. I have to be. Teva has been a dynamic company for a long time and will continue to be.”
Much of that change has been driven by mergers-and-acquisitions activity. In August 2016, for instance, Teva announced it completed its acquisition of Allergan’s generics business, Actavis Generics, which improved international commercial opportunities and significantly enhanced the global scale of its sales and R&D platforms. Also, in August 2016, Teva announced its acquisition of Allergan’s Anda Inc., the fourth-largest distributor of generic pharmaceuticals in the United States.
“In my thirty-plus-year career, I don’t think I’ve been at a company that hasn’t been bought or sold,” she says. “Having a lot of personal experience helps. I know if you’re on the buying side, it’s a good opportunity to infuse talent and best practices into the organization. You have to stay open during that process.”
Martin has been part of acquired companies as well, which she says gives her empathy for employees who are new to Teva. She understands the anxiety they feel and knows that clear and constant communication can help minimize those fears.
“From a value-creation perspective, I can write a book on rapid renegotiations and how to make sure you organize yourself so when the deal closes, you can prioritize work and put money in the bank quickly,” she says.
Again, Martin’s ability to change her approach based on the unique aspect of each deal has helped her excel.
“You have to understand the context of the deal and use procurement strategies that follow the constructs of the deal,” Martin says.
The broad impact of Martin’s approach to procurement throughout her career has been a paradigm shift in each position she’s held. She counts that as a sign of her success.
“When you see colleagues across the company look at your team as equal business partners—relying on you to bring solutions—and not just three bids and a cloud of dust, that’s when the tide shifts and the organization begins to value the function,” she explains.
Fostering that paradigm shift at Teva just might be her biggest accomplishment yet. Now, Martin and her team are positioned to be vital players in Teva’s future.
Accenture is helping companies like Teva Pharmaceuticals that wish to undergo a fundamental shift in the role of their procurement departments, a growing trend that sees them transform from the traditional role of cost optimization to a business partner focused on total value ownership and supporting the implementation of the overall business strategy.
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