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Software Selection a Critical Step for Growing Life Sciences Businesses

Posted by John Goode, Senior Director, Channel Marketing

With a solid, cloud-based technology infrastructure life sciences companies can grow from pre-revenue to commercialization in a fast, painless manner. 

Each year, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approves a wide range of new drugs and biological products. In 2018 alone, the CDER approved 59 new drugs and is on track to do the same this year: As of late-May, CDER had already approved 12 new drugs (versus 14 at the same time last year).

Once approved, the early-stage life science companies that develop these drugs must make the transition from Excel spreadsheets to full-blown technology systems pretty quickly. The rate of growth can be downright alarming, particularly for the scientists and engineers who brought the new drugs to life.

The problem is that many of these companies launched with technology infrastructures that lag well behind their company goals—a reality that becomes obvious as life sciences firms move from Phase I clinical trials to Phases II and III. Learn more about this transition in “Supporting Life Sciences Companies from Startup to Commercialization.”

Because business software was never a core focus for these firms, compromises and bottlenecks start to interfere with their organizational missions. In fact, most of these life science organizations can’t perform any of the following with their existing technology infrastructures:

• Track and easily add and consolidate additional legal entities

• Manage multiple sources of company information (different systems, Excel spreadsheets, etc.)

• Scale up existing manual processes

• Implement financial controls

• Prepare for equity events/SOX controls

• Run efficient and controlled purchasing processes

• Generate accurate reporting for multi-national, multi-company, SEC reporting

• Handle program/project management

Using the right software platform, these pre-revenue organizations can design, configure and manage the roles, controls and workflows the business needs—all without having to onboard more finance professionals or IT managers. Sikich’s SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences built on NetSuite solves these and other problems with ease.

Wanted: A Solid Support Structure

Early-stage life science companies must make the transition from spreadsheets to complete technology systems as quickly as possible. Operating in an industry focused on running lean, these organizations need to get up and running quickly.

 For this and other reasons, outsourcing technology implementation and management to Sikich is an exciting proposition for enterprises that want to fully leverage the cloud, where there’s no IT infrastructure to manage.

By creating and implementing standardized integrations between NetSuite and many popular procurement tools, including Prendio, Coupa, Jaggaer, Lab Cloud, and PunchOut2Go, Sikich gives life sciences companies the tools they need to succeed.

Perhaps more importantly, Sikich provides these services quickly and affordably, requiring little or no additional infrastructure or IT investment on the company’s part. That’s because NetSuite can deliver additional functionality as life science firms mature and require new software capabilities. Here’s the breakdown across different stages of growth:

  • Early stage/startup: Segmented reporting, G/L and AP plus integrated purchasing, procurement, electronic payments and multi-entity management
  • Growth stage: Fixed Assets, Payroll, Advanced Reporting and System Auditing for IPO
  • Production phase: Vendor Contract Management, Forecasting and Planning
  • Commercialization: Track revenue, accounts receivable and capture costs

Getting Up and Running, and Staying There 

Tightly focused on establishing their digital strategies and running quickly, young life sciences firms also want tools that will scale up along with them as they move through the various maturation stages—something that NetSuite is well known for.

“These folks want to be able to just do their jobs and not worry about what’s going on behind the scenes, and how their companies are being run on the backend,” said Jim Hickey, a partner with Sikich’s technology practice. “We know that implementing ERP can be disrupting for a business, and we reduce that disruption with NetSuite, the de facto solution for the life sciences industry.”

Read “Supporting Life Sciences Companies from Startup to Commercialization,” and download the datasheet and infographic for more details.