This week, the WBENC network is coming together in Dallas, Texas for three days of rich programming, networking, and celebrations at the annual WBENC Summit & Summit. We are thrilled to have an amazing group of presenting sponsors who have collectively made this event a reality, including Accenture, Bristol-Myers Squibb, EY, Ampcus and ASAP Solutions Group.
We invite you to learn more about each of our sponsors and their dedication to supporting women-owned businesses. Today, we’re proud to introduce Farryn Melton, Senior Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Read on for what she's looking forward to most at Summit & Salute, her career inspiration, exciting new trends, and her advice for women entrepreneurs.
Q&A with Farryn Melton, Bristol-Myers Squibb
What are you most looking forward to at the 2018 Summit & Salute?
The WBENC events have provided me and my team at Bristol-Myers Squibb a great platform to network and engage with an array of diverse suppliers, who help us serve patients and add to our company’s diversity and inclusion goals. This year, I am particularly looking forward to the WeInnovate! Session where numerous WBEs will showcase their expertise and innovative solutions, critical to our corporate members. I am also excited for our team to present at the pharmaceutical industry track session on Patient Engagement and Innovation. Patients are center of everything we do, and in this session we will outline the opportunities available for WBEs in areas like providing information to patients, engaging them online and guiding them through the clinical trial process.
Who or what inspires you in your career?
At Bristol-Myers Squibb, we have a powerful motivation and daily inspiration -- our patients! We discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. We’re passionate about doing the best we can for our patients and embracing our responsibility to serve them.
To me diversity and inclusion are some of the most important things we can do as humans, as leaders, and as corporations. That’s how we get the most out of our workforce, out of our companies, out of our industry and out of businesses—by appreciating and embracing our differences and learning from each other. I come to work every day knowing who I work for and am extremely proud that championing diversity is an important part of my job within the supply base.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Innovation! Innovation is one of the most important business attributes that WBEs should continue to focus on. This is essential to sustainability and ensuring they are evolving and delivering value to their customers. Part of our business case for supplier diversity revolves around the innovation that diverse suppliers bring to our supply chain.
The use of data/analytics and digitization are also key trends. CPOs today are also looking to digitize the supply chain to make it more efficient, agile and customer- focused – patients in our case. So it will be key to choose the right digital solution from the various applications now available to not only enhance procurement but create value within the supply chain.
The way procurement is changing is also important. We have been evolving to continue delivering for patients and now offer novel business strategies and innovation to drive speed to patients. We have segmented work between business partnering and strategy and sourcing execution so we could be more flexible and agile in addressing business needs. This strategic approach can help bring our transformational medicines to market faster. It can help achieve total value – which is the best possible outcome for addressing a sourcing need, considering not only cost but also other factors to get the best solution.
What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs?
In this period of rapid change due to increased regulation, technology advances and customer demands, it is innovation that will drive the continuous improvement and create a competitive advantage for most corporations. At Bristol-Myers Squibb we believe that small and diverse businesses can and will continue to play a critical role for us.
We look for suppliers with a strong bias for creativity and a winning mindset characterized by passion, speed and the ability to flex with market needs. Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to the long-term growth and sustainability of small and diverse businesses. Through our supplier development initiative and partnerships with organizations such as WBENC, we develop suppliers with a wide range of capabilities and expertise to support a sustainable supply chain.
In short, my advice to women-owned businesses — as well as any growing business —would be:
- Commit to the growth of your company by investing in yourself as a leader and developing the skills of your team.
- Evolve and grow with the corporations and industries you desire to do business with; continuously assess your business models and strategies.
- See the value proposition of supplier diversity programs beyond contracting. Inquire about development opportunities offered through many programs.
- Act Intentionally! When you deliberate and are genuine in supporting women business leaders within your businesses, we narrow the gap to parity and empower women leaders. Diversity is the price of entry, and the inclusion is where change happens. The inclusion needs to be strategic, with support from the very top of the organization. It is important to provide growth opportunities to women leaders and promote them into positions that align with their skills and ambitions.
- Building relationships can take time, and large corporations have cyclical sourcing cycles that can be perceived as intimidating or complex for some small and diverse businesses. Have patience and you’ll find the effort is well worth the reward.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. Each day, our employees around the world work together for patients – it drives everything we do. We work every day to deliver innovative medicines for patients with serious and life-threatening diseases. Bristol-Myers Squibb is a differentiated company, led by our unique BioPharma strategy that leverages the reach and resources of a major pharma company paired with the entrepreneurial spirit and agility of a biotech firm. Our medicines are helping millions of patients around the world in disease areas such as oncology, cardiovascular, immunoscience and fibrosis. Through our R&D organization, we have built a sustainable pipeline of potential therapies and partner with external innovation to broaden and accelerate our work. We work sustainably, responsibly and seek to give back. Through the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, we promote health equity and strive to improve health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, giving new hope to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Learn more at www.bms.com