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David Keeling

Senior PartnerChicago

Advises global leaders in the biopharmaceutical and medical products industries as they seek to enhance overall supply chain performance

David brings over 20 years of expertise to his role as leader of McKinsey’s global Pharmaceutical Operations Practice. He helps clients in the biopharmaceutical and medical products sectors pursue operational transformations that spur innovation and open new market opportunities by improving quality, service, safety, cost, and culture.

Biopharmaceutical and medical products companies are facing both cost pressure and greater demands in terms of regulatory oversight, quality and service. Executives face increasing pressure to improve their operational effectiveness and efficiency. David helps clients take a broad view of the potential to implement lean operations principles, directing efforts to streamline manufacturing processes, reduce supply chain complexity, manage inventory, improve quality and compliance, and restructure non-core operations to create greater agility and reduce costs.

Examples of his work include:

  • leading a supply chain redesign effort for a large pharmaceutical company that reduced risk exposure, lowered costs, and delivered higher supply assurance
  • helping a global client in the biopharma sector better address quality standards and regulatory requirements; the effort improved speed-to-market and broadened access to its products
  • conducting a plant diagnostics across the network of a large pharmaco that reduced operating costs across manufacturing and quality, increased labor and asset efficiency, and lowered levels of waste
  • guiding a network performance transformation—based on six sigma principles—for a pharmaceutical company; the effort resulted in better coordination between suppliers, manufacturing plants, and distribution partners

Strongly interested in emerging developments in biopharma operations, David is an active author, contributor, and editor of journal articles and thought pieces. Before joining McKinsey, he worked in advanced technology firms, where he supervised engineering teams, and managed the technical development of R&D products.

Published work

Reimagining the future of biopharma manufacturing,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

“Time for a new prescription: Adapting to the complexity of biopharma operations,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

“Time for action: Benchmarking unveils impressive performance variance,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

“Breaking the paradigm: A structured methodology for biomanufacturing yield improvement,” McKinsey & Company, September 2014

“Making change last: Changing mind-sets, behaviors, and capabilities,” McKinsey & Company, January 2014

Outlook on pharma operations,” McKinsey & Company, January 2014

Operations for the executive suite: Opening new horizons for current and future pharma leaders,” McKinsey & Company, May 2012

Past experience

George Moss Limited
Marketing Engineer

Acet Limited
Product Manager


Northwestern University

University of Western Australia
BSc, Electrical Engineering