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40% of pharma executives are baking expected savings from Generative AI into 2024 budgets



New survey from Bain & Company shows pharma executives are moving beyond AI experimentation to organization-wide scaling 

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The generative artificial intelligence (AI) transformation is well underway in pharma, and pharma companies have high confidence in its value. Already, 40% of executives say they are baking expected savings into their 2024 budget, and 60% have set targets for cost savings or productivity boosts, according to a recent Bain & Company survey.

Nearly 60% of executives say that they have moved beyond ideation and brainstorming to building out use cases, with 55% reporting they expect to have multiple proof-of-concept or minimum viable product builds by the end of 2023.

“Over the next six to twelve months, leading companies will move from cultivating isolated pilots to scaling for results,” said Eric Berger, a partner in Bain & Company’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice. “As leadership teams move beyond experimentation into pilots and launches, they are thinking carefully about when and how to communicate their AI journeys to investors. Those that can signal a structured, scalable enterprise-wide program, rather than a smattering of standalone initiatives, will reap the rewards in the next phase of AI.”

Data science and machine learning are not new to pharma executives who have been investing in productivity enhancements for years, primarily in the drug discovery space. Bain research shows 54% of pharma companies have automated biomedical literature review solutions, and 46% are using AI as part of their process to find potential disease targets. Now, generative AI is broadening the aperture of use cases with new opportunities across the value chain. Biomedical literature review and preclinical research remain among the most popular use case areas, although we’re also seeing high investment in IT and competitive intelligence. Within these top areas, more than 60% of executives say they have at least a proof of concept in development, and around 10% have already rolled out tools. These early adopters have moved swiftly, often reaching a working pilot within about eight weeks. Already, many are seeing tangible value.

Generative AI is top of mind for most pharma companies, with 75% citing it as a C-suite and board priority. And investors are watching closely to differentiate the pioneers from the followers. If pharma companies want to generate value from generative AI as fast as the technology allows, they need to ensure the organization is ready. Companies can take a three-tiered approach to prime their operating model for generative AI at scale:

Determine your strategic posture. Leading organizations will establish decision-making and funding models that prioritize high-return use cases, ensuring that those use cases fit within their investment themes around bold bets for the future of the business.Lead through change. Generative AI at scale requires strong internal leadership and cross-functional alignment. The best companies will establish an organizational center of gravity with several executives who act as generative AI champions.Build the foundations. In addition to the right technology, data, and models, generative AI at scale requires reorienting the organization to support big visions. This includes recruiting aggressively for data scientists to work on AI initiatives, building strategic partnerships with external vendors for support, and thoughtfully engaging on ethics and regulation by going a step further with a companywide risk management approach.

Editor’s Note: To arrange an interview, contact Katie Ware at or +1 646 562 8107. 

About Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consultancy that helps the world’s most ambitious change makers define the future.

Across 65 cities in 40 countries, we work alongside our clients as one team with a shared ambition to achieve extraordinary results, outperform the competition, and redefine industries. We complement our tailored, integrated expertise with a vibrant ecosystem of digital innovators to deliver better, faster, and more enduring outcomes. Our 10-year commitment to invest more than $1 billion in pro bono services brings our talent, expertise, and insight to organizations tackling today’s urgent challenges in education, racial equity, social justice, economic development, and the environment. We earned a platinum rating from EcoVadis, the leading platform for environmental, social, and ethical performance ratings for global supply chains, putting us in the top 1% of all companies. Since our founding in 1973, we have measured our success by the success of our clients, and we proudly maintain the highest level of client advocacy in the industry.

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Sphera’s Supply Chain Risk Report Shows Economic Uncertainties, Extreme Weather and ESG-related Risks Among Supply Chain Disrupters in 2023 — And Pandemic-Related Impacts Nearly Vanishing




Sphera’s inaugural report demonstrates the data-based insights that help empower companies to protect their businesses from ever-evolving risks and build resilient, agile and sustainable supply chains

CHICAGO, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — While supply chain impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic moved into the rearview mirror in 2023, data in Sphera’s inaugural Supply Chain Risk Report shows that supply chains were vulnerable to a broad range of other risks — inflation and rising interest rates, natural hazard events and ESG-related risks such as human rights violations and labor practices among them.

With its new report, Sphera, a leading global provider of ESG performance and risk management software, data and consulting services, aims to provide insights into the risks that impacted supply chains in 2023 — as well as their causes and consequences. The report is based on data from Sphera’s Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) software, which provides actionable insights into a multitude of potential disrupters so companies can proactively manage and mitigate supply chain risk.

“Sphera’s Supply Chain Risk Report shows that a broad range of risks, increasing ESG regulations and compliance failures can stress businesses,” said Paul Marushka, Sphera’s CEO and president. “Risk exposure is dynamic, and constantly evolving supply chain risks cause ever-increasing market volatility. By optimizing the supply chain composition and diversifying suppliers, companies can better manage the uncertainty that comes with supply chain disruptions. To do this, organizations need a solution that provides actionable insights for proactive risk monitoring that enables them to get ahead of disruptive events. Staying ahead of supply chain risk helps businesses reduce potential costs associated with such risk, gain competitive advantage and build transparent, agile supply chains.”

Financial-related challenges stress the supply chain
Data in the report shows that more than one-third (36%) of the financial risk notifications warned of worsening revenue and growth outlook. High inflation rates in the EU and U.S. eroded suppliers’ purchasing power, with insolvency under self-administration going up 23% and bankruptcies increasing 42%. Additionally, site relocations or closures increased by 26%. Financial distress does not happen overnight, and awareness of finance-related risks is strategically important to helping companies withstand economic fluctuations and uncertainties and build resilience.

Extreme weather events are on the rise
The report shows that natural hazard events hit supply chains hard in 2023 with warnings for tornadoes climbing by 45%, hailstorm warnings increasing by 26% and tropical cyclone warnings going up by 6%. Two-thirds of the global economy is affected directly or indirectly by weather conditions with industries such as agriculture, energy and transportation particularly affected. A solution that provides 24/7 monitoring and advanced notifications of weather risks can help companies prepare their supply chains and get ahead of an impending disruption — and help minimize the financial impact on the business. 

ESG-related risks remain prominent
Data also shows that ESG-related risks in supply chains continued to rise in 2023, with indicator messages for the entire category of ESG-related risks rising 6% in volume. Human rights notifications increased 12%, labor practice issues rose 13% and ESG-related issues related to violations of environmental practices went up 1%. Increased globalization, regulatory changes and consumer and investor demands can all contribute to the greater prominence of ESG risk in supply chains. A holistic approach to supply chain risk management that integrates ESG considerations into the strategy can help companies mitigate the consequences of ESG-related risk.

Report Methodology
Sphera’s award-winning Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) software was the data source for this report. The AI-powered Risk Intelligence component of Sphera SCRM scans on a monthly basis more than 15 billion reputable news articles, commercial and government data sources and 1 million customer and supplier sites around the world. These feeds provide Sphera with the most highly representative supply chain risk insights on the market and allow Sphera’s technology to identify potential risks or worsening trends and notify customers of such threats. For the report, Sphera compared the number and types of indicator messages sent from January through November 2023 with the datapoints from the same period in 2022.

About Sphera
Sphera is the leading provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance and risk management software, data and consulting services focusing on Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S), Operational Risk Management (ORM), Product Stewardship and Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM). For more than 30 years, we have served over 8,400 customers and a million-plus users in 95 countries to help companies keep their people safe, their products sustainable and their operations productive. Learn more about Sphera at Follow Sphera on LinkedIn.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Amanda Meador 

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New Survey Reveals Supply Chain Workers Spend Almost Two Days a Week Manually Tracking Data




Over three-fourths of supply chain executives do not have a predictive view of supply and demand to prepare for the next major supply chain disruption

AUSTIN, Texas, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A LeanDNA survey of 250 supply chain, inventory, and planning executives, conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research, reveals startling inefficiencies in the supply chain sector. For example, supply chain professionals spend nearly 14 hours per week—almost two full workdays—manually tracking data. While most supply chain executives plan to increase investments in proactive supply chain management (92%), over three-fourths (76%) do not currently have a predictive view of supply and demand.

“In a rapidly evolving market, this inefficiency points to a significant loss in productivity and a barrier to effective day-to-day decision-making, not to mention grave concerns about their ability to prepare for the next major supply chain disruption,” said Richard Lebovitz, CEO of LeanDNA, a leading intelligent supply chain execution platform.

Gut Decision Making
The absence of predictive data has companies operating as though they have no data at all. The vast majority of supply chain execs (92%) make gut decisions sometimes or more due to a lack of predictive guidance in their reports.

Worries and Uncertainty
At 56%, supply shortages are the most cited concern among executives, but are just one of the many worries mounting in 2024 around potential external disruptions supply chain leaders can’t control. More than half (52%) are concerned about public health crises, while nearly as many cite natural disasters (50%), government regulations (49%), cyber-attacks (49%), and geopolitical conflicts (45%).

Workforce Implications
The confusion and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, and more inform how executives anticipate a disruption affecting their organization in 2024. Executives predict a supply chain disruption could impact their workforce —meaning potential layoffs or other labor impacts (47%) and reduced productivity (45%).

Bottom Line Tensions
A third of supply chain executives (33%) fear the next disruption will mean revenue loss, but stocking up is also a costly or infeasible option. This explains why 96% face pressure to balance preparedness for a major disruption with avoiding excess inventory.

A PR Nightmare
Customers and clients may have been understanding of disruptions during 2020, but they won’t be so forgiving this time around—and the consequences could be dire. More than 2 in 5 leaders (45%) fear their organization’s reputation would be damaged during a supply chain disruption, signaling that customers and clients won’t tolerate the next breakdown—indeed, 36% also fear fractured supplier relationships.

Why They Struggle
Barriers to using real-time data for supply chain management include the current tech stack not supporting real-time data (44%) and lack of staff skills and training (55%). For some, upgrading their tech stack doesn’t seem like an option: 48% report their current system is too ingrained, and another 26% believe their organization can’t afford the implementation disruption.

More than four in five leaders (82%) agree that real-time data that does not provide actionable insights for decision-making is a waste of time and energy. While 82% report having some level of a real-time view of supply and demand, less than one in four (24%) have a predictive view, giving those companies a leg up when it comes to being able to take action and make decisions based on the insights.

Steps to Prepare for Disruptions
Supply chain executives are gearing up for future disruption with 92% of supply chain executives planning to ramp up investments in preparedness strategies. 87% are focused on resilience as a high priority, including 41% who put it at the top of their list.

An impressive 86% of supply chain leaders report their organizations have already made major changes to their processes or tech stack to improve preparedness for the next major supply chain disruptions. Over one-third (33%) have gone through a complete overhaul. This includes 41% that diversified their supply base, 39% that identified new or better vendors, 36% that reskilled their workforce, and 32% that partnered with third-party logistics experts.

Supply chain executives are putting tech in place to support their people. More than a third (37%) have deployed digital twin and other simulation technologies and more than a quarter (26%) have added on to enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for more functionality.

Perhaps most importantly, leaders want to be able to see more clearly what they have now, and what could be on the horizon. More than two in five (41%) have increased supply chain visibility to prepare for the next major disruption.

Data can do more than prepare for disruptions, it can allow businesses to become more efficient with their resources. With real-time data that could inform their business decisions, supply chain executives say they could improve logistics and inventory management (47%), identify changes in demand (45%), and enhance collaboration (44%).

“As an intelligent supply chain platform that empowers manufacturers to prioritize and collaborate to resolve critical material shortages and excesses, LeanDNA enables teams with a single source of truth for managing complex global supply chains,” said Lebovitz. “We help companies improve on-time delivery and working capital levels through inventory visibility, recommended actions, and real-time collaboration with suppliers.”

This survey and report by LeanDNA and Wakefield Research is a wake-up call for the supply chain industry. As companies plan to increase their investment in preparedness, there is a clear opportunity to embrace advanced analytics. By doing so, businesses can not only save valuable time but also gain a predictive edge in an increasingly volatile global market.

About LeanDNA
LeanDNA is a leading intelligent supply chain execution platform that enables supply chain teams with a single source of truth for inventory management and production readiness. This cloud-based platform synchronizes execution across the supply chain, empowering manufacturers to prioritize and collaborate to resolve critical material shortages and excesses. With LeanDNA, manufacturers improve on-time delivery and working capital levels by gaining visibility into current and incoming materials, actions based on inventory criticality, real-time collaboration with suppliers, and the ability to track progress toward inventory optimization goals. Learn more at

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Microsoft Alum Launches Hey, Black Seattle!: A Hub of Connection for the African Diaspora in the Emerald City




SEATTLE, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today entrepreneur and former Microsoft director Kiesha Garrison proudly introduces Hey, Black Seattle!, a platform to help Seattle residents of the African diaspora answer the question “Where are all the Black people?” This community-centered initiative aims to connect, support, and celebrate the vibrant yet dispersed Black population in the region by using data and technology for good.

Pushing Back on a Stifling Narrative

Despite the often-cited small percentage of Black residents in the Greater Seattle area (6.7% in the city of Seattle, 8% in the central Puget Sound as of July 2022 census), the region is home to a rich tapestry of Black community organizations, Black-owned businesses, and artists actively working to preserve Black culture and address the isolation experienced by many Black residents.  Some, like the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute and the Black Heritage Society of Washington State have been mainstays for decades, while others like the Africatown Community Land Trust and Arte Noir were formed more recently to push back against gentrification and massive displacement in the historic Central District neighborhood.  All are an example of the creative resilience of a people who refuse to be erased by systemic inequality.

Founder Kiesha Garrison emphasizes, “When people repeat the popular hyperbole ‘there are no Black people in Seattle,’ they do so out of genuine frustration, but it is clear they are missing out on the important work of the deeply committed Black leaders here.” Hey, Black Seattle! seeks to close the awareness gap so that disconnected individuals can come to know the facilitators of Black culture & community that are doing this powerful work in the region.

Founder’s Data-Tech Background Meets Her Love of Community

Garrison, a Spelman alumna who held various business leadership positions in consumer products and enterprise AI at Microsoft, also worked at Vitals, a popular physician finder website. She was also a founding board member for The Live Music Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit which supports access to the arts through the development of community-driven technology products.

She drew inspiration from Microsoft Employee Resource Group leaders who provided Black community resource lists to their employee population as well as from her conversations with local non-profit leaders who have long desired to have a digital community hub but lacked the bandwidth and expertise to build it. Leveraging her background with data-driven tech and her passion for the wellbeing of all Black people, Garrison set out to create a central space for the community to share and find information that transcends professional and social silos.

A Simple Yet Necessary Mission

The mission of Hey, Black Seattle! is simple yet profound: to shorten the time it takes for Black people to find their community in the beautiful Puget Sound region. Garrison, also a public speaker who focuses on how oppression affects personhood and culture, shares, “Community is essential because I believe isolation is a dream killer.  And I want Black people and our dreams to thrive wherever we live.”

At the center of the web service is a comprehensive database of entities serving the Black community across King, Pierce, Kitsap, and Snohomish counties. Hey, Black Seattle! pre-seeded their database with over two hundred vetted community organizations, social groups, businesses, and artists, creating a rich directory that will grow through collective knowledge and aspires to give hope to those who might otherwise relocate for a sense of belonging and wellness.

A Comprehensive Platform

Beyond the community resource directory, Hey, Black Seattle! also offers:

An events calendar, providing a focused space for the community to post and discover events which can often seem buried in traditional search sites.A job board, offering organizations a direct channel to list employment opportunities and support of economic empowerment for the Black community.A photo archive to contribute to the preservation of the historical record of Black life in the region.Regular meetups to introduce newcomers to neighborhoods and educate them about the rich Black history of Seattle.And space for residents to share “Black Love Notes,” acknowledging the importance of appreciation in any culture.

Hey, Black Seattle! is more than a platform, it is a movement. A call to action for Black residents of the Greater Seattle area to come together and contribute to a vibrant, inclusive community where everyone can thrive.

Connect with Hey, Black Seattle!:

Website: www.heyblackseattle.comInstagram: @HeyBlackSeattle

For media inquiries, contact:

About Hey, Black Seattle!

Hey, Black Seattle! is a community-driven platform dedicated to connecting and celebrating the African diaspora in the Seattle region. Through its rich database, media, events, and merchandise, Hey, Black Seattle! strives to be a beacon for Black life, highlighting resources and spaces for the community to connect and thrive.

Kiesha Garrison 

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