Coverinterview with Susanne Hundsbæk-Pedersen from Novo Nordisk

“I would rather that people stretch themselves than play safe”

Until a few years ago the global health care company, Novo Nordisk, had a fragmented global supply chain. That changed when Susanne Hundsbæk-Pedersen broke down the silos and integrated the necessary corporate functions into a centralised supply chain set-up. The Senior VP of Devices & Supply Chain Management says adjusting her management style to ensure that digital natives entering the workforce have the freedom to fulfill their talents is necessary to drive optimisation further. “If we only take the traditional linear approach to optimisations and there is no space for mushrooming and experimentation, then at the end of day you build a culture where predictability takes priority and that does not always stimulate innovation.” She was recently voted Denmark’s Best Supply Chain Executive 2017.

Coverinterview conducted by Martijn Lofvers and Edwin Tuyn, written by Helen Armstrong

Novo Nordisk has been producing insulin and helping people cope with diabetes for more than 90 years. Today it supplies half of the world’s insulin and serves 28 million patients in around 170 countries. It also offers treatments for other serious chronic diseases such as haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity and is at the forefront of designing proteins and innovative prefilled injection pens and needles. Headquartered in Bagsværd, Denmark, the company employs approximately 41,400 people globally. Susanne Hundsbæk-Pedersen has played a central role in orchestrating a centralised supply chain which includes a single global release centre for critical raw materials, standardization of the planning platform and harmonizing process and policies. Her responsibility reaches across the value chain from sourcing to manufacturing and distribution of these high quality products. A good dose of selfawareness and collaboration with colleagues to design the supply chain up front is helping ensure that it does not become a victim of circumstance.

What is your role and responsibilities?

“In a nutshell, plan, source and deliver the full portfolio of Novo Nordisk products and manage part of the manufacturing operation – if outsourced or if related to devices. Central supply chain reaches from upstream – so that means strategic sourcing of any material used in any of our products and ensuring the contractual frames for collaboration. The Supply Chain organisation manages the ERP platform and establishes planning principles and overlooks the flow of products. We drive the S&OP and orchestrate product launches. Moreover, we take the lead in supply chain design for new products and new capacity investments. The manufacturing set-up is a mixture of internal factories and external contract manufacturers. My organisation looks after the design of mechanical processes and packaging process in the company. The manufacturing of the pharmaceutical drug is managed by my peers at Novo Nordisk and the products are then integrated into the device for convenience of patients. I am responsible for factories in Denmark, Japan, Russia, Algeria and Iran in addition to the many external manufacturers across the world. Distribution, until recently, was cut off after primary distribution in countries. We are currently looking at how we can consolidate and optimise secondary distribution.”

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Read the full article in Supply Chain Movement 26 | Q3 – 2017

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