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STADA Procurement Academy – Developed by our team for our team

Zorana Subasic joined Hemofarm in 2018 as Indirect Procurement Manager. Zorana has over ten years of experience in Procurement. She likes to spend time with family, friends, and doing sports to unwind from work. As one of our top talents, Zorana is a participant of the STADA Emerging Leaders Framework and launched the “Procurement Academy” together with her colleagues Vesna Jungic and Jelena Stojanovic, at STADA affiliate Hemofarm in Serbia. Zorana talked to Simone Berger, EVP Global Human Resources of STADA Group, about the initiative that is in line with STADA’s learning agility approach.

Simone: You have launched the Procurement Academy at Hemofarm recently. What was the motivation for this initiative, what challenges do you want to address with it?

Zorana: The idea for the STADA Procurement Academy arised from various internal meetings with my colleagues Vesna Jungic and Jelena Stojanovic. One of the main reasons to establish this Academy was our intention to share knowledge within the team, upscale the capabilities of our high potentials, and fill the knowledge gaps we identified. It was also important for us to continuously improve in understanding business needs to provide best possible support. The program consists of two modules that are divided into five 3-day courses. We only choose up to twelve participants per group to ensure their engagement and achieve best possible results. We got amazing support from Alan Rankin, Senior Vice President Global Procurement at STADA Group, in realizing this idea and implementing it in STADA’s biggest markets and sites in Germany, UK, Russia and Serbia.

Simone: What are your personal experiences with CIPS and why do you think it is beneficial for STADA?

Zorana: The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) is a global provider of training courses for all industries that supports businesses around the world and gives insights into best practices across many different organizations. Being a member of CIPS allows us to have access to tools and materials that we can use in order to improve our own ways of working. My colleague Jelena is a certified CIPS trainer and I am currently in the process of completing the diploma level of the certification. We are both really inspired by our experience with CIPS and want to share our knowledge within the organization. This is why we created the custom-made program. STADA will benefit from the implementation of guidelines and practices, as these will help us deliver better results, improve the decision-making process, and ensure that what we are not only following but outperforming global best practices.

Simone: What were the key criteria you had in mind while creating the program?

Zorana: The most important factor are the benefits for our team members in terms of knowledge and better understanding of Procurement itself and the needs of the business. Studies have found that companies with excellent Procurement can generate up to 133 percent greater return and are able to cut costs by up to 20 percent.

Secondly, we wanted all procurement teams at STADA to have the same level of knowledge, understanding of their role and being able to support the business in the best possible way while adding value. We are sure that this program promotes all STADA values: Integrity and Agility through teaching principles and best practices; OneSTADA by building a highly efficient team and collaborating cross-nationally; Entrepreneurship by making use of shared knowledge and stimulating innovation and growth.

Simone: What were the first reactions of the Procurement organization to the program?

Zorana: We started the program at Hemofarm in Serbia, where we successfully conducted the courses “Improving purchasing performance” and “Effective negotiation”. The overall feedback was amazing; all participants really liked the contents, results and are already implementing the learnings in their everyday work. What was interesting, as the word spread of what we are doing, other organizational units in Serbia have shown interest in our Academy. We had the pleasure of organizing the “Effective negotiation” course for our colleagues from Hemofarm Foundation as well. Their feedback was great and they found it very beneficial and applicable in their day-to-day work.

Simone: What are your next steps? 

Zorana: The plan was to continue the courses in other markets, but unfortunately, the global Covid-19 pandemic made us put that on hold. Our plan is to reschedule the courses, so that the first one can take place in Germany within in the next months, UK and Russia will follow. We are very enthusiastic about the whole project, and we are thankful to all who supported this. Additionally, we will implement a company-wide online platform that will enable us to share contents, materials and build a global STADA Procurement network. This does not only benefit the current team but will also make it easier to integrate new joiners all over the world in the future.