AbbVie and Merck Win 2016 Global Excellence 
in Outsourcing (GEO) Awards from IAOP

Lake Buena Vista, FL., Feb. 16 – IAOP® today honored teams from AbbVie and Merck as winners of the sixth annual Global Excellence in Outsourcing (GEO) award. The AbbVie – Finance & Accounting team has received the award for the Innovation category and the Merck – Externalization CoE team has received the award for the Best Practices category.

Both teams were honored at a luncheon ceremony today attended by hundreds of outsourcing professionals during IAOP’s 2016 annual conference, The Outsourcing World Summit®.

"The early achievements gained through outsourcing are now commonplace,” said Bill Hall, Partner, 
Pretium Partners and Chair of IAOP’s Membership Committee. “Today’s greatest accomplishments are the result of the teams of people who creatively and effectively break new ground. Skilled people are the difference between routine results and breakthrough innovation or best practices. The GEO Award recognizes the people who made the difference.”

IAOP started the award program to distinguish outsourcing professional teams at customer organizations who have advanced the field’s best practices, created innovative solutions and delivered great results for their companies.

“The GEO Award recognizes teams of people for creating exceptional accomplishments for their companies,” said Debi Hamill, IAOP CEO. “We are thrilled to honor these teams from AbbVie and Merck. Their achievements in producing excellent business outcomes for their organizations have raised the bar for all of us.”

AbbVie won in the Innovation category for their submission on how they embarked on project “Foundation” in mid-2013 to transform its Operations and Finance back office functions: Integrating outsourcing with business strategy, transforming functional and siloed organization structures, with an end-to-end process-focused approach. This leveraged in-house and outsourced capabilities and balanced global, local and regional resources.

“This award recognizes a transformation of unprecedented scale, scope and speed, moving AbbVie’s business in over 100 countries to new systems, 
shared processes and a leveraged support model, without business disruption in less than 18 months’ time,” said Bets Lillo, VP, Business Support Functions. “This is a testament to an innovative partnership between AbbVie and  IBM. It’s also a powerful example of the way in which this type of collaboration expands the capabilities of companies on a global basis.  Thank you to IAOP on behalf of the AbbVie team, our project staff, expert functions, affiliate and site personnel and our IBM partners.”
The AbbVie transformation included an enterprise-wide, end-to-end process-focused approach; a single instance global SAP implementation; transitioning to a BPO vendor for transaction-intensive activity across Record-To-Report (RTR), Procure-To-Pay (PTP), and Order-To-Cash (OTC), across 100+ countries and 16 manufacturing and research sites across the globe, global outsourcing provider (IBM) with clear governance, roles and responsibilities. The transformation was completed in less than 18 months, across more than 100 countries.
Individuals accepting the award in the Innovation category on behalf of the AbbVie – Finance & Accounting team include: Bets Lillo, VP Business Support Functions; Wayne Klintworth, Senior Director, Finance and Vikram Bhonagiri, VP Enterprise Applications

Merck won in the Best Practices category for their submission on how they developed a Center of Excellence (CoE) that contributed to the realization of 25 – 30 percent savings over the respective contractual term (typically 3-5 year contract terms). This CoE leveraged outsourcing leading practices and innovative methodologies to transform the entire outsourcing lifecycle, from portfolio assessment through steady state governance.
"Our team is honored to accept this prestigious award on behalf of Merck," said Michael Serghiou, Externalization Director, Merck.  "This is an award that was achieved through the hard work of our team in conjunction with our business stakeholders, 
procurement teams and suppliers. Throughout the journey, our team has leveraged many of the IAOP leading practices and adapted them to meet our specific needs, resulting in new learnings and success.  We are pleased that we have this opportunity to share these business transformation experiences with our industry peers.”
Merck initiated this aggressive program in 2010 with strategic objectives that called for billions 
in reductions of operating costs in order to reinvest the savings in new therapies, by developing breakthrough biomedical innovations to help extend and improve the lives of people with cancer and other illnesses worldwide. They developed a Center of Excellence (CoE) that could drive outsourcing leading practices and bring added value to the company.  The CoE was established within the procurement division to deploy dedicated resources to assess and accelerate externalization opportunities throughout the organization.  Leaders believed procurement to be far more than buyers of goods and services.  Rather, procurement activities would be critical to the strategic objectives for innovation, efficiency, and added value.
Individuals accepting the award on behalf of the Merck – Externalization CoE
teaminclude: Michael Serghiou, COP, Externalization Director CoE Lead; Parul Dubey, COP, Director Externalization CoE; Robert Cherry, COP, Externalization CoE Manager; Nanaz Lobe, Associate Director Externalization CoE; and Kurt Wolf, Director of Externalization.

About IAOP 
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providers and advisors in a collaborative, knowledge-based environment that promotes professional development, recognition, certification and excellence. Visit

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Kate Tulloch-Hammond
Director, Communications, IAOP
+1.845.452.0600, extension 122

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