The Role Of The Purchasing Department Commerce Essay


Prior to merger in Aventis-pharma purchasing department no more than an administrative unit .The department was responsible for ensuring that whatever was ordered by company department were executed department have free reign in term of who they ordered and who from and how often .Aventis Pharma use of agents when ordering added to over head cost .

The primary focus was cost saving. As a result purchasing department had focus on new objectives. They expected to be key player of procurement Furthermore, department must involve purchasing when they need to make purchases and purchasing responsibility to source from more cost effective suppliers . The involvement is referred to as coverage and currently their coverage is standing 80% as opposed to 0% coverage during aventis pharma management. The department has also instructed not to work through agents and middleman as far as possible. They need to cut cost and negotiate directly through suppliers; sites are expected to submit report on the progress of initiative. The sanofi -aventis culture is such that should particular practice is found effective is one of sister company of worldwide. Especially if it results in cost saving, this practice enforced to another sites regardless of different environment and economic factor of a particular site. The purchasing two people the manager and senior buyer. Although there is significant increase in role of purchasing and workload of the department and staff compliment has been reduced.

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The impact of change in purchasing department culminating in

1. Frustration to the end users, internal customers and item that need to be ordered need to be authorized by purchasing

2. Delivery delays experienced by end users due to drawn out process that must be followed

3. More competitive pricing structure from suppliers as they are now aware they tendering against other potential suppliers

Unhappiness from supplier as they previously enjoyed the status of being preferred suppliers for many years during Aventis era and do not have contract security they once enjoyed. The failure to manage this transition has resulted in resistance in end users to accept procedural change in procurement

The quality department

The role of quality department post the merger between Aventis pharma and Sanofi Aventis pharma has changed considerably. The high quality standard in aventis pharma

Ad object of quality department was to work toward compliance. Compliance with local quality requirement took procedure over company standard / This mean company tended to place emphasis on requirement of medicine control centre which set minimum requirement in order for drugs and pharmaceutical available for public

Sanofi Aventis refer to quality standard as directives. These prescribe directives must be complied with all times. Local requirement are secondary to the company directives. Where local requirement is main focus of aventis, he comapn directives are crucial in the sanofi aventis environment.

The impact in change in quality department has been :

An increased workload

Better understanding of directives thereby enabling clearly define role and responsibility within organization

Creativity and independence has been discourage , due to the fact that global office encourage equality . The impact in external customers has been extremely positive. Not only end users of the company medication guaranteed drugs comply with local requirement and global European standard as prescribe in head office in paris ( pelser 2007)

Regulatory department

The transition from Aventis to Sanofi aventis in a regulatory context has not been smooth transition. The function of regulatory division is to ensure that company adheres to minimum requirement as stipulated by local authorities, medicine control council in South Africa. During the Aventis pharma era, responsibilities of regulatory department were clearly demarcated and non ambiguous There was a strong emphasis, perhaps even an over emphasis on quality. The regulatory leader ship was decentralized, allowing more freedom to achieve objectives defined this lead to more accountability by said department goals were globally and communicated to each site.

Within the sanofi aventis environment , the roles and responsibilities are not clearly define resulting in delay action . As the two departments workload and accountability are have been significently increased. The Waltloo site and regulatory department also act as liaison between site and third party. The quality standard are not stringent before largely because sanofi aventis is cost driven company . The centralized relationship not encourage creative thought or initiative by employees

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The impact of change of regulatory department has been :

As significant mindset change by department staff from aventis pharma to sanofi Aventis

the external customers , third party is bearing a brunt of decreased resource .perceived service levels have declined

The staff complement decreased from three people to two people although workload increased

Operational plant logistics

The operational plant logistics department within Aventis pharma operated on a make to stock method. This involves stock coverage for packing material, raw material and finished packs. Waltloo palnt logistics had direct and close involvement with marketing and sales with regard to forecasting.

In the Sanofi Aventis environment plant logistics is strictly an industrial affairs site function and supply chain responsible for commercial operation. Under the new dispensation, operational plant logistics department has no longer has input into marketing and sales wit regards to forecasting.

For the business purpose the sanofi aventis South Africa group has been divided into two business unit namely Winthrop pharmaceutical which encompasses the Waltloo site, generic division and state product business. This division consists of over counter product and ethical pharmaceutical. The waltloo manufacturer site manufacturer and packs both with shop product and Sanofi-Aventis product

The impact of the change from Aventis pharma to sanofi aventis has been following:

Staff at watloo was not well to train to cope with new process came about with introduction of two businesses.

As experienced in many department reduce human resources has had impoact on efficiency of the unit

The termination of SAP access for some operation has result delayed within waltloo plant

Many with in the plant feel that they planning blindly as reduced SAP access meant they are not able to view stock level of distribution cetre . in the past , this ability enabled swift action , were batches could be planned based on the minimum stock level ( Araujo 2007 )

Human resources

Aventis pharma method of operation was one of non interference in the day to day running of the site. Basic procedures existed and were guideline for local human resources (HR) department to use.

Aventis pharma Africa had it’s own HIV aids policy and own management system. The site has HR objectives which were agreed upon through consultation with local HR management. It was left to the site HR to decide on method of achieving the set objectives. Nothing was prescribed globally. The HR globally did not have much attraction with the site HR. The site HR manager met only once HR global director and this was not a planned meeting, but rather quite coincidental .This lack of contact clearly illustrated the type of loof and non interfacing management style used by aventis pharma Sanofi-Aventis firmly believes in the equality throughout its plant worldwide , structure of provident fund ,medical aid minimum requirement equal to all sites . What is also encouraging to note direct involvement in global operation have its HIV aids policies, A senior managerial position was created and filled in Paris, to overlook management to all sites globally.

Skill management has been introduces to sites by implementation of people development interview system to management levels in the form of annual training need analysis keeping another department at sanofi aventis , there is stringent reporting to overseas HR. headcount within the site is important HR objectives , which managed by HR. For the year 2007, one of the global objectives is to focusing on absenteeism at the sites. HR is expected to report on monthly basis the number of days of unscheduled absence is greater than or equal to three days.

The company also lives its value system. The value of sanofi aventis include:







The changed recruitment process has had negative impact on the waltloo site. Since the recruitment process controlled by HR, prospective candidate have been lost to the company due to delay in the global approval. This has caused lot of frustration for the department seeking to fill position as well as local HR as they are powerless as result. The company as whole loses out, as first choice candidates are taken by local pharmaceutical companies. Department are expected to operate indefinitely without the full staff compliment due to them which play strain on employees.

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HR were responsible for publish a line communication brief during aventis dispensation , which was form of communicating what was happing in the company , generally keeping employees abreast of company issue ,achievement and challenges . This was considered a best practice . In the sanofi aventis environment lack of time played important role in this practice not being continued .This has resulted the employees sometimes feeling uninformed or management not willing to share the information that could impact on them


The chemical, energy, paper, wood and allied worker union

The worker plays an important role within the life of Aventis pharma . There was consultation of union on any decision or proposal impacting n union membership. Aventis management involve the union on any changes necessary to policies, procedure and proposal new way of working, The relationship between the union leadership and management was healthy and transparent .

Since the transition to sanofi Aventis, the relationship between the union and management is really strained, Whereas the past, the union was consulted and involved with n\any changes , of late changes have come in the form instruction from paris . There is distinct element of untrustworthiness of management by workers union. The union believes that global company enforcing rules and regulation without taking into consideration the differing political, social and economic environment of different countries and sites. The union has not wholly supported some of the initiatives of global company who endeavors to provide equality amongst all sites. Due to union not able to interact and meet with global decision making parties, they are unable to change decision . They have been reducing to accepting decision which may not be line with their mandate.

The challenges faced by worker union include:

Difficulty in influencing their position to management regarding critical issue

The “ take it or leave it â€Â attitude to decision affecting them

Literacy level of union member is particularly low , meaning ability of member to think out of the box

Member perceive the union leadership to be succumbing to management pressure too easily, the union membership lost confidence in there ability of the union leadership protect their interest.

Although the union leadership may understand the underlying reason for some changes, the challenges faced by them is communicate understanding to general membership without losing face.

The objective of this section to provide a holistic perspective of Aventis pharma by providing insight into the change dynamics with some of key department and describing the impact of change on the company, internally and externally