Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited – an Achilles Experience case study

Article by Achilles

Takeda needed a way to centralise their contractor management and prequalification process in their legacy Shire organisation. With different processes and levels of supervision being employed over 11 separate sites in seven countries, Achilles unified the contractor qualification experience to give each site a complete, up to date list of its high-risk contractors.

Takeda is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, with sites all over the world, thousands of contractors and suppliers and around 30,000 employees.

The company brought Achilles in to help centralise their data, process and prequalification into a single, standardised model that could be used across all 11 of the Shire legacy sites (Takeda bought Shire at the beginning of 2019).

Challenge
With over 7,000 contractors listed across the 11 legacy sites, Takeda faced a big challenge in ensuring that everyone working on their sites was qualified, certified and properly supervised. Each site was responsible for managing and pre-qualifying their contractors, meaning a range of standards, systems and methodologies were being used.

There was also a great deal of uncertainty around the figure of 7,000 contractors. Due to large amounts of inaccurate, data none of the Shire legacy sites could confidently say that they had a complete and up-to-date list of their high-risk contractors. This made it difficult to maintain central oversight on whether the company’s high safety and supervision standards were being met across the diverse range of activities happening daily on the sites.

Takeda chose Achilles as a UK-based partner who could offer flexible solutions. They also valued Achilles’ deep and proven experience and insight with prequalification, helping companies break down data silos and bring together disparate systems into a standardised, effective whole. This experience would prove to be invaluable when starting the project.

Process
The new prequalification process would be made up of two stages. Stage one would be a mandatory requirement for all contractors working on any of the legacy sites, while the second stage would need to be completed by only those that were classified as high risk. The first priority was making sure that the stage one questions were in place and effective. Stage two would be more of a challenge as it would need the involvement of the service community and getting buy-in from other buyers. But an agreement was reached relatively quickly.

The team also needed to introduce a range of new commodity codes that contractors would need to match to their activities. The flexibility and adaptability of the Achilles system means that Takeda never have to settle for limited options and can continue to evolve the system.

Achilles also needed to get all of the contractor data from the sites. The diversity of contractor and data management methodologies being used across the 11 sites meant that staff at some sites were able to quickly respond with well-organised data while others struggled.

The system was ready to begin rolling out after 5 months. Going forward, the main task will be getting all contractors registered and on the system. The different engagement rates of each site, high rates of contractor turnover and resistance among some to being required to pay a subscription to Achilles will continue to present challenges.

Results
After the initial phase of the solution rollout, the Takeda team can identify a number of early successes.

For the first time, all 11 of the Shire legacy sites are starting to develop a list of their high-risk contractors. This is allowing them to operate with confidence knowing that the people working on their sites have the capability, experience and certification needed to work in a safe and effective way. This kind of concrete data was not previously available to them.

Having a standardised prequalification system across all sites is another big change, and one that promises to make the job of managing contractors less complex. With every contractor going through stage one of the Achilles prequalification process, and high-risk contractors also being required to go through stage two, the company can be sure that everyone on their sites should be there. The process has also allowed the team to remove over 300 contractors from the system, either because they should not have been there, or the data was inaccurate.

“Thanks to the flexibility offered by the Achilles solutions, and the commitment of their teams, we were able to go from having disparate processes over 11 sites and 7 countries, to having consistent, accurate and complete contractor information. We launched to over 1,300 contractors, and we’re really pleased to see that information on 70% of our contractors is now available via Achilles. With Achilles as our committed partner, I’m sure the system we have put in place will only get better moving forward.”
Simon Garrett, Global Head of Safety for Takeda



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