A DAY IN A LIFE OF …COREX Procurement Department

“A day in a life of…” is a series of interviews, which briefly describes the inner life of COREX departments. This article is the first one of this kind and initiates a series of small publications. Today we are going to speak with our Key Account Manager of Clinical Supply, Elena Kadkina. Elena is the main contact person in medicinal products procurement for clinical trials and she tells us about a day in a life of COREX Procurement Department.

10:00-11:00         Morning Coffee & Checking emails   

11:00–11:30        Department TC

11:30–14:00        Clients’ requests processing

14:00–15:00        Dinner

15:00–17:00         Negotiations with key manufacturers and suppliers

 17:00–17:15        Coffee break

17:15–18:00         TCs and Phone Calls with Clients

18:00–18:30        CRM updating

18:30–19:00        Closing Department TC

- Elena, first of all, tell us about your job functions?

In brief, I am responsible for clinical trials supply. It is a complex process (from a request receipt to the drug shipment). It includes various types of procurement: comparators supply for clinical studies, biosimilar and analytical studies, named patient programs and others. My main task is information support of our clients. I work with COREX key clients and mainly I am engaged in processing of their requests, bid formations, shipment status tracking, regulatory and customs clearance coordination because such questions are numerous in our specificity.  

- So, What is a typical morning for you?   

There’s a remarkable saying of Elbert Hubbard: “To fulfill a big and important task you need two things: a clear plan and limited time”. That’s why our working days start and end with planning. We have everyday teleconferences (TCs) within our department where we first try to set priorities among received requests according to their cost and informational volume and attribute concrete tasks to responsible managers. Then we analyze the market tendencies for specific clinical trials medicinal products of current requests, decide on price formation, batch reservation, try to minimize the risks of drugs absence or stock-out. At the end of each conference we form a detailed action plan which is the basis of our working process.

- And what about the other part of your working day?  

On the one hand, our working day includes routine work with documentation, databases and reports, but on the other hand the major part of my working day I am engaged in negotiations, TCs and business meetings with comparator sourcing companies, clinical research organizations and other clients. Taking into account that our clients often live in different time zones, I try to plan documentation work for morning hours and meetings together with TCs – after lunch. But often we work non-stop intervals and for timely medicinal products supply of patients you need to call the distributors and form purchase orders simultaneously.  

- So, you can divide your working day into two halves. When do you think you are most productive?  

In the morning, I suppose, I am more concentrated and have many ideas. But in the evenings one can and should be productive. I try to look at all the work done from the outside, estimate the results achieved, and make necessary conclusions during our closing TC. But still, in the evenings we also manage to solve current questions because sometimes we receive the most important and urgent information at the end of the working day. At such moments you should pull yourself together and do all the necessary things properly.  

-What are the major difficulties you have to cope with?  

One of the main difficulties during the clinical trials supply process is a time lag, I mean the period from request receipt to purchase decision. The point is that very often our clients require information about products stock and prices, and send their POs only after 2-3 months, when the drug can disappear from the market and the price or currency rates can change. Such requests need to be thoroughly analyzed and risks assessed.     

- And how do you treat the difficulties?  

The amount of information we receive every day is huge but it is very interesting for me to learn new things daily. These difficulties form my interest to the working process, make me develop myself and grow together with the company, where it is also important to “keep fit”, because the speed of work is also very important.  

- And if we speak about the interest, can you tell us what thing is the most valuable for you in the company?  

The most valuable thing is our team and possibilities for development. Communication, conversations, cooperation during decision making process – one can only dream of the work atmosphere as we have here at COREX. Also, our truly professional colleagues in different areas of pharmaceutical business for example, comparators sourcing, customs and regulatory sphere, warehouse management, cold-chain logistics, etc. are happy to share their priceless experience with the others. I do believe our atmosphere affects our clients and customers. Now we are at the final stage of the optimization project aimed at business supply processes with the help of an online ordering platform. It will allow us to work even faster and more effective helping our customers to solve their problems with comparator sourcing, but that’s the topic for another discussion.  

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