It isn’t easy running a life sciences business.
Life sciences and biotechnology companies are at a technological crossroads. They are moving through increasingly complex research and discovery phases, clinical trials, and commercialization. This complexity creates a variety of challenges in terms of ramping up operations and production, dealing with the complexities and reporting requirements of a volatile global supply chain and meeting global regulatory and compliance mandates.
An enterprise resource planning solution (ERP) directly addresses the issue of business complexity through a centralized, easily accessible system. Businesses in the life sciences and biotech industries will want to consider the benefits of an ERP offering if they haven’t already done so.
Here are five signs that a life sciences business is ready for ERP.
1. Increased Complexity
The global supply chain is still recovering from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with political and economic challenges. Life sciences and biotech companies, like all businesses, must deal with complicated logistics and coordination while attempting to maintain their speed to market and distribution to their customer base.
Forecasting and reporting are vitally important to ensuring products are brought to market and distributed in a timely manner, based on anticipated and proven demand. Mistakes can be costly and may lead to shortages or, perhaps even worse, overstocking of products that must be destroyed if they reach their expiry date.
Manual record-keeping or reliance on outdated software solutions that are not centralized or easily integrated is a poor approach to staying on top of supply chain and reporting challenges. If complexity is an issue, it might be time for an ERP system.
2. Enhanced Visibility Requirements
Regulatory requirements, the need for operational precision, and a dynamic marketplace all require end-to-end business visibility. While almost no business can succeed today without comprehensive visibility, life sciences firms especially require it.
The trouble is that on-premise and last-generation systems do not bring the needed visibility for today’s market needs. An end-to-end system that serves as a company’s central nerve center and connects with all web services and systems is becoming table stakes, along with specific functionality such as real-time reporting and comprehensive automation.
Modern, cloud-based ERP solutions meet today’s need for business visibility and real-time reporting, and built-in artificial intelligence makes this visibility even easier.
3. Geographic Expansion
Many biotech and life sciences companies are expanding their reach into new geographies and countries. That type of expansion, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, creates regulatory, supply chain and communication complexities, among other challenges.
A centralized solution that is designed to handle the financial, regulatory and supply chain logistics of dealing with new countries and regions can help ease the pain points of expanding a business into new geographies.
4. FDA Validation
Biotech and life sciences businesses must validate new business systems and processes by FDA mandate. That means a third-party auditor must review any new solutions implemented to maintain FDA compliance. This type of validation can be expensive and time-consuming, as auditors must run a host of tests to ensure all aspects of the new systems are working as expected.
Some ERP solutions, such as our prepackaged industry solutions for life sciences firms, come preconfigured for FDA validation, making the process of passing third-party auditing far less onerous and costly. Many auditors are already experienced working with these types of offerings, cutting down on time and expense for the entire process.
5. Funding Events
Most life sciences and biotech companies will need to secure outside venture funding at some point. An important part of the funding process for any company is proving that operations and finances are in order. That means having a solid financial picture and strategic plan in place, as well as proper tools to manage finances before and after funding.
Businesses that are contemplating receiving funding, or have recently received funding, will benefit from having a centralized ERP system as the backend for operations. ERP solutions help by providing visibility of revenue and finances in real-time, along with revenue and operational forecasting capabilities.
ERP systems are built in a way that offers easy scaling without any need for new upgrades, offering an attractive proposition for any growing business. That’s why investors look favorably on startups that already have an ERP system in place.
Make Operations Easier
Companies in the biotech and life sciences sectors ultimately have to deal with one or more of the aforementioned challenges. Attempting to do so while using outdated software and manual methods creates its own set of challenges, along with additional time, money, and resources.
For a business in the life sciences or biotech sector, efficient operations and a speedy time to market are necessary for success. An ERP solution ensures businesses remain lean and competitive while also enabling flexibility and scalability to support growth and long-term goals. ERP just makes sense.
To learn more about ERP for life sciences firms, contact one of our consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can schedule a demo to see SAP ERP solutions in action, and how they can help your business.