PwC helps Pfizer transform its customer service activities for the future
In preparing its business for the future, the Intercompany Operations division of Pfizer, one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies that applies science and its global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives, realised it required external support to fully implement its plans and achieve its aims.
With prior experience working with PwC, it knew that we were the additional resource that could help it succeed. "We'd already had a good experience with PwC in the past and when you’ve had good experiences, you want to build further on them," says Danny Hendrikse, VP Intercompany Operations, Pfizer.
One of the key reasons that Pfizer appreciates PwC is our ability to "think beyond the boundaries of the critical scope, to think out of the box and to think along and ahead with us to make sure we’re able to execute what we’re looking to achieve," Danny Hendrikse explains.
"When the team believes we could attain better results by doing things differently, they’re not shy about mentioning it, always backed up by data and a sound argument," he adds. In this case - one of many projects with which we support the firm-, Pfizer’s outsourcing its transactional customer service activities to a third party in India and offshoring other operations to a Pfizer company in the same country, an initiative in which, according to Danny Hendrikse, "PwC plays an instrumental role in terms of PMO (project management office) support and actual project management."
Moving these back-office activities to India allows Pfizer to free up staff time in other locations to work on more value-adding activities and drive greater value for patients.
"We're taking an innovative approach in terms of outsourcing the end-to-end activities of a part of the process, which entails modifying our SAP system to allow for standardised work. PwC delivered full support to our partners in India during not just the implementation, but ramp up period too," Danny Hendrikse explains. "And they were available on site to coach staff, without a formal request to do so," he adds.
"The PwC team truly embraced our culture and fully blended in."
One of the reasons the project’s been such a success, Danny Hendrikse believes, is the ability of the PwC team to integrate seamlessly into that of Pfizer. "It was hard to distinguish who was from which firm. The PwC team truly embraced our culture and fully blended in, while of course not losing their own PwC values" he notes.
The client also appreciates that the many different PwC experts on site at Pfizer in Belgium talk to each other to make sure everyone’s in the know about what’s happening with the client firm. "They all have different roles and are at different levels, but it’s noticeable that they connect, bounce ideas around and help one another. It’s very beneficial to us as the client that they’re exploring different angles and making sure they’re internally aligned," Danny Hendrikse says.
Knowing the client intimately means that we’re better able to make sure we fully understand what Pfizer’s trying to achieve and help it fulfil its ambitions. Danny Hendrikse especially appreciates the trust and professional relationship he enjoys with PwC. "They know my agenda and I know theirs which means we can better work toward common goals. I think the values of the two firms are similar which breeds the same sort of spirit within staff," Danny Hendrikse notes.
The two firms also share a common goal of being more digital. Two years ago, Pfizer built a now award-winning app - Trackit - to improve the traceability and efficiency of products through the supply chain, and better ensure on-time delivery of medicine to patients. It's continually looking to see how it can benefit from new technologies within the firm.
Enjoying the efficiency offered by the digital whiteboards that PwC introduced as part of an initial phase of project implementation, Pfizer’s internal specialists have since enhanced them further for even greater benefit.
"As a global organisation, our ability to consult the boards in real time from anywhere in the world’s crucial, digitisation of the dashboards is essential in this," Danny Hendrikse notes. "When you work with a partner, it’s important that they bring new ideas and concepts to the table. Producing a vast number of global thought-leadership pieces relevant to our business, PwC continually helps us pick up on the latest trends. And it’s doing some ground-breaking work in the areas of data & analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), which could potentially add real value to Pfizer in the future," he adds.