Enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP) play a critical role in helping life sciences businesses scale. But they also can play an important role earlier in the lifecycle of a life sciences business by greatly improving the efficiency and accuracy of clinical trials.
Early on in the growth of a life sciences business, the focus often is on the science that serves as the foundation for the business. Research and development, clinical trials and the basic proof of concept consume most of a young company’s time. It usually is during the go-to-market phase that a life sciences company starts thinking about putting in place an ERP backend. By putting in an ERP solution early, however, a life sciences business both lays the foundation for growth and also makes these early-stage considerations easier.
Before we look at how ERP helps with clinical trials, however, it helps to understand ERP and the role it plays in business development.
ERP is an end-to-end business software solution that handles all aspects of a business and centralizes company data. It can handle human resources, procurement, supply chain, manufacturing, inventory, sales, financials, human resources, logistics and market planning, along with the other areas necessary for running a successful business.
Beyond serving as comprehensive backend software for running a business, ERP helps life sciences businesses manage regulatory requirements, add serialization, track and trace, adhere to strict process requirements and automate operations. It also serves as the hub used for connecting a company’s software with third-party systems and marketplaces.
These critical functions are why life sciences businesses almost always turn to ERP when scaling or going to market.
But ERP can help with clinical trials, too.
How ERP Can Improve Clinical Trials
Process control and an overarching system for housing and coordinating all company data naturally is useful for clinical trials as well.
There are five major areas where ERP can help with clinical trials.
1. Increased Efficiency
With a central system for managing clinical trial data, ERP can help streamline the clinical trial process from study design and planning to data collection and analysis.
This is done though taking advantage of ERP’s intelligent workflows, which can standardize processes and help re-use components for future studies. Life sciences firms also can use triggers and automations for processing clinical trial data without manual intervention. Data from clinical trials can more easily be viewed and analyzed when all data is within a flexible yet powerful system that can mix artificial intelligence and analytics with human analysis.
2. Improved Accuracy
Accuracy is critically important for clinical trials, and ERP can help. Data validation and automatic data entry can reduce or eliminate human error that can skew results, thus boosting study accuracy.
Since all activity within an ERP system is logged, life sciences businesses also can provide a clinical trial audit trail for proving the accuracy and completeness of a trial.
3. Enhanced Compliance
Life sciences firms are under a microscope when it comes to clinical trials. Managing the regulatory requirements that come with clinical trials can be onerous and complex with spreadsheets, and failure to meet compliance requirements can devalidate or delay the completion of a clinical trial.
The regulatory needs for a clinical trial can be entered into an ERP system so all compliance requirements are enforced uniformly during a trial. Workflows and process validation can make compliance requirements a formality instead of a going concern during a clinical trial.
4. Improved Decision-making
Clinical trials help businesses determine the viability of life sciences innovation. ERP can assist life sciences firms with making better, faster decisions based on clinical trial data.
ERP helps by providing real-time data during all stages of a clinical trial, so life sciences businesses can assess the progress of the trial and analyze the viability of taking these innovations to market even before study completion. Instead of waiting until a clinical trial is complete, businesses can observe the direction of a clinical trial much earlier in the process and make informed decisions accordingly.
5. Enhanced Communication
There are many moving parts with a typical clinical trial. Coordinating with sponsors, investigators, CROs, and study participants can be a considerable logistical undertaking during a clinical trial.
With ERP, the process of communicating with these stakeholders can be streamlined and automated for easier clinical trial management. ERP also can centralize communication and enable the sharing of data and resources during and after a trial.
Learn More About ERP for Life Sciences
Navigator Business Solutions has helped life sciences business and other firms set the foundation for business growth for more than 25 years. We understand the needs of life sciences businesses, and we offer prepackaged ERP solutions for life sciences companies to make the rollout of efficient backend systems easier.
To learn more about the options, and how ERP can help, contact one of our experienced ERP consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.