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Procurement, the Convergent Department in LabOps

Procurement, the Convergent Department in LabOps

In this episode, Luis Portela, Procurement Director of Indirect Materials and Services at Hovione, talks about what his job in procurement entails concerning skills, challenges, opportunities, and leadership. 

Whether for raw materials, packaging, or equipment, this department touches every area in a company like Hovione. It is Luis’s job to be prepared to tackle any procurement-related complication and solve it in the best way as fast as possible. He illustrates this by sharing his experience with the lack of materials and supplies at Hovione’s scattered factories during the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating how one can pull a team together and make things work in difficult environments. Luis pulled from his chemical engineering experience in labs and from his organized, technical-minded brain to structure himself within the procurement area. He provides advice on managing people and how you must prove your knowledge with humility to gain respect and lead amongst equals in your team.

Tune in and listen to what Luis has learned as a Procurement Director in the pharma industry!




Labs aren’t so different from home.


About Luis Portela:

Luis is a highly experienced Procurement Director from the Fine Chemicals/Pharma, Petrochemicals, and FMCG industries with a solid background in Chemical Engineering. He excels in achieving cost reductions in direct and indirect spending and in delivering “bottom line-meaningful” results to exceed the company’s targets. He leads international procurement teams, developing and implementing the right strategy for the area, and focuses on aligning people, processes, and tools to reach the required high-performance levels and deliver its contribution to the company’s goals. His positive attitude towards handling difficult problems and the added value that resulted thereof lead to my being nominated to various cross-functional international teams mandated to redesign processes, implement new technologies, or assess the feasibility of important new investments.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • Hovione exclusively manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients, the part of the medicines that has a therapeutic effect on patients.
  • Hovione has factories around the world: one in the US, two in Europe (Ireland and Portugal), and the fourth one in Macao, China
  • Procurement is an area in LabOperations that many people end up being part of but don’t have a background or experience in.
  • If you can humbly show your team that you’re technically able to execute things as they do, they will accept whichever instructions you give them, as they’ll acknowledge that you are at least equal.
  • Make sure you push people to be organized.
  • The pandemic brought availability conflicts, while today’s environment brings a cost issue. 


  • Connect with and follow Luis Portela on LinkedIn.
  • Follow Hovione on LinkedIn.
  • Discover the Hovione Website!
  • Connect with and follow co-host Samantha Black on LinkedIn.
  • Connect with and follow co-host Kerri Anderson on LinkedIn.

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