ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is software used by businesses to manage their day-to-day operations and processes. ERP software allows for the integrated management of business activities, such as finance, operations, manufacturing, supply-chain management, risk management, and project management.
Hence, ERP software simplifies workflows for organizations that intend to limit complexity. For any life science business, it is a long journey to get to the market. Managing operations, manufacturing, distribution, and internal resources needs, while ensuring compliance with strict industry regulations, can be quite challenging.
An ERP software provides integration and automation of all these business processes resulting in enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. To better understand this, here is an example of an ERP system in life sciences. There are several companies that provide ERP software solutions. SAP SE is one of them and offers SAP ERP software solutions for different industries. To learn more about the topic of SAP in the life sciences industry, check out our article linked above. We also cover other topics on our site such as ERP systems in the Pharmaceutical industry.
Does A Life Science Company Need ERP Software?
In the life sciences industry, companies can spend years in product development conceptualizing and running preliminary clinical trials before they can get approval from the FDA to manufacture and sell their product to consumers. After the company emerges from the initial R&D phase, it needs to transition smoothly into the testing and commercialization phase.
The business operations involved in resource procurement, manufacturing, testing, finances, budgeting, and forecasting are all extremely complex. This is where ERP software comes in handy. However, it is recommended that a life science company get ERP software well in advance of getting the final approval to begin the commercial phase.
How Does ERP Software Help A Life Science Organization?
Owing to the complexity of operations involved in producing a life science product, there are multiple teams that are working on the same product at the same time. An ERP software can help life science organizations in the following areas:
Providing A Head Start In Commercialization
During the R&D phase where a company is developing the product, there are several teams whose KPIs are recorded in disparate systems, and at different times. This makes it difficult to get a complete picture of the business operations. The companies might be using applications such as QuickBooks, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to keep a record of their data.
It can be extremely challenging to integrate data from all these disparate systems to provide real-time analytics. Receiving approval to begin commercial production can be quite sudden in the life science industry, making it difficult to consolidate all this information in a short time.
Therefore, having an ERP system in place well in advance will aid with the necessary data integration, visibility, and consolidation to ensure enhanced proactiveness for product manufacturing and commercialization.
Checks Compliance With Government Regulations
The FDA has set certain regulations known as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) that serve as general guidelines for life science companies on product manufacturing. Life science products need to be of the highest quality due to the implications they have on public health. Therefore, ERP vendors have researched heavily into FDA regulations to introduce functionalities that help life science companies ensure compliance with them. This helps streamline resource gathering, product manufacturing, and quality assurance accordingly.
Cloud-based ERP systems help companies integrate, visualize and manage business data all in real-time. Cloud computing helps with reducing the cost of setting up server rooms, and hiring specialized IT staff, thereby reducing expenses on software, hardware, and human resources. Additionally, the automation that the ERP software provides significantly reduces expenditure when it comes to hiring multiple professionals.
Flexible And Scalable
It is common in the life science industry for companies to go from a start-up to a multi-million dollar company in just a few years. An ERP system allows you the flexibility to scale up operations to keep up with the demands of a growing business.
Since all of the company’s data is stored in one place, an ERP system ensures that normalized, accurate data can be accessed by anyone, at any time, and anywhere. This greatly simplifies the task of collaborating with other team members and facilitates seamless business processes and operations.
Improved Business Insight
ERP systems provide state-of-the-art data visualization and analytics features, and functionalities. This ability, along with the features to check compliance with industry regulations, allows in-depth analysis of business operations, manufacturing, sales, and finances. The analysis helps optimize these processes. With this flexibility, an ERP system confers enhanced risk management, efficiency, and effectiveness to the business operations of a company.
Robust Security Resources
ERP service providers have teams of experts that work around the clock to provide the latest security resources to companies to guard against growing online threats to valuable company data.
Life Science companies have to meet strict regulatory requirements in an extremely competitive environment laden with unprecedented financial pressures, and unique market demands.
It can be extremely challenging to meet business requirements and optimize processes such as product development, manufacturing, supply chain management, risk management, and quality control while ensuring compliance with industry regulations.
Therefore, having a robust ERP system in place can greatly enhance streamlining workflows and optimizing business processes. ERP software provides a cost-effective, flexible, and scalable solution to enhance business efficiency and effectiveness.