Australian Medical Research Institute Modernizes for Growth in the NetSuite Cloud

Posted by Laurie Wood, Director of Vertical Marketing, General Business, NetSuite

The Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology is committed to helping Australians live longer, healthier lives, boasting more than 130 scientists seeking to discover improved diagnostics, treatments and cures for cancer and cardiovascular, immunological and infectious diseases.

However, the non-profit organization had an affliction that medicine couldn’t cure. Relying on several outdated legacy applications, including a 20-year-old green screen system, to run financials and purchasing left the Centenary Institute struggling with inefficiencies, poor visibility, delays and the risk of error.

“Everything was very manual and time-consuming,” said Tim Neal, Centenary Institute Finance Manager. “Our previous system didn’t do reporting, so we had to import blocks of data into Excel and it could take two days to get an import to work.”

The cure proved to be the NetSuite cloud. After evaluating Sage, SAP and TechnologyOne solutions, the Newtown, Australia-based organization selected NetSuite as the platform for a far-reaching financial and operational modernization effort that has aligned the 160-person institute for greater success while eliminating business users’ reliance on IT for routine tasks.

“The change with NetSuite is quite dramatic—we’ve gone from an opaque financial system to being able to see data on demand, and that’s fantastic,” Neal said. “When we’re fully up to speed, we’ll cut the time needed for data entry and access in half. NetSuite really sets us up for the future with the flexibility to move any way we want to.”

On-demand reporting on real-time data is giving the Centenary Institute finance team new control in managing between 100 and 150 federal and state grants, its principal funding source, while strengthening accountability to funding agencies. Greater visibility is enabling management to make informed strategic and tactical decisions that are improving the Institute’s ability to excel at its mission.

With NetSuite, payroll processing time has been reduced from two days to a half day, while fixed asset management has been reduced from a day to a few hours. Replacing a FileMaker Pro database used by scientists for purchasing has eliminated double data-entry and streamlined processes. What had been paper-based expense reporting and approvals is now paperless in the NetSuite cloud.

“We can now keep our fingers on the pulse of the business,” Neal said. “NetSuite is a shining example of how to do business in the cloud, and the difference between NetSuite and its competitors is really quite striking.”

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