View from ProcureCon Pharma 2018 – Day One

View from ProcureCon Pharma 2018 – Day One

Matt Crawcour is Vice President of Sales in EMEA for Kelly Services. Matt shares his first impressions of ProcureCon Pharma 2018, key talking points and the ideas that grabbed him from day one.

'It’s great to be at ProcureCon Pharma and judging from the buzz around the conference this year, a lot of delegates feel the same way. Already, I have connected with old faces and new, as well as hearing (and debating) some of the most exciting and important issues facing procurement and the wider pharma industry. It looks set to be a great few days and I can’t wait to see what else ProcureCon Pharma has in store for 2018.

The War on Talent

One of the interesting talking points on day one was perceptions of access to talent in the pharma industry. While many pharma companies are aware of a ‘war on talent’, for some this isn’t where their focus lies. Instead, organisations are putting their energy into digitization and technology trends as well as the collection and implications of big data. While all of these are key issues, I think it’s important to remember that great talent drives every step an organisation takes. So, understanding growing talent shortages and understanding how to leverage resources to access the best talent should be an issue that is front and centre for everyone.

The High Cost of Great Research

Another increasingly important issue under discussion is the declining return on investment for the industry, which, alongside the increasing costs of research and development is causing a real headache for many pharma organisations. Some predictions show that this return on investment will slip into negative numbers by 2020. This is a huge problem and one that must be tackled now to ensure the vitally important work the pharma industry undertakes continues along with its ongoing success.

The Power of Data

Data was also causing a buzz at this year’s ProcureCon Pharma. Big data is big news across the world of work and it’s vital that the pharma industry harnesses this important tool. Companies must not only collect data, they must analyse and apply this data in a meaningful way. These processes are still in their early stages for many and investing time and resources into understanding and successfully implementing data strategies will be a key differentiator in the next few years.

I’m sure the next two days will bring plenty more to talk about. If you are part of ProcureCon Pharma 2018 please do come and say hello. Visit Kelly Services at stand seven to connect, chat about your ProcureCon Pharma experience and find out more about the services we offer.'

You can contact Matt by emailing