Benefits of NetSuite Implementation for Life Sciences Companies

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The Life Sciences industry represents one of the most intriguing and rapidly expanding markets of today, and recent advances in technology and artificial intelligence (such as NetSuite) have allowed businesses to better take advantage these new opportunities – but only when this technology is properly implemented.

The Life Sciences sector is comprised of companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 that emphasize research and development to create products and services that help people achieve a higher quality of life. For example, pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology companies.

While the research and development of new products and therapies are the primary goals of most Life Sciences firms, in many cases, these same companies cannot accurately and efficiently track their programs’ performance.

Companies in this space require meticulous project management, including accurate tracking, inventory management and costs as pre-revenue research develops into a marketable product.

The ability to track and allocate these operational costs to multiple dimensions and segments is a critical need – but unfortunately, many Life Sciences firms do not have systems or processes in place to support these needs.

Introducing NetSuite for Life Sciences Companies

NetSuite, the No. 1 cloud-based ERP application, has experienced a surge in Life Sciences companies adopting the system to support their ongoing operational and financial management needs.

By leveraging NetSuite, companies can generate accurate reporting to satisfy stakeholders’ needs and provide operational support to scientists and researchers.

Common Issues and Inefficiencies NetSuite Implementation Helps Resolve

1. Inventory Management 

Tracking different inventory types can be painful — especially with hundreds of chemicals and reagents. NetSuite’s inventory management system can handle numerous attributes of items needed for daily use.

Multiple measure units can be utilized to separate how goods are purchased, stocked, sold or consumed.

Cycle counting allows inventory to be counted in sections, which provides accurate inventory levels in the system compared to what is sitting on the shelves in the lab in real-time.

2. Manufacturing Costing for Clinical Trials

For most Life Science companies, capturing costs requires an intensive, manual process tracked in Excel.

Lab resources will spend many hours tracing costs back to a clinical trial for reporting. This manual tracking can lead to missing costs and deadlines.

By using NetSuite’s manufacturing module, costs can more seamlessly be captured and associated with creating a new drug.

Once these costs are associated with the new drug, NetSuite’s Project and Manufacturing module can be leveraged to record these costs towards a clinical trial.

These records provide visibility into where the drug is in the clinical trial phase and how spending is aligning with the trial budget.

3. Grant Management

Oftentimes, research funding comes from various types of grants, including foundations, donors, and government.

Each grant has a separate set of rules and restrictions on how the money can be spent. Grants must be tracked in their respective buckets, per the agreement, or else you may experience defunding or non-renewal.

Fortunately, NetSuite can track these funds by using a combination of project records, customer records and segments.

NetSuite can also be set up to bill based on a milestone of a grant, and the documents can be printed directly from NetSuite to upload into a grant management portal for reimbursement.

Finally, Grantors prefer NetSuite because of its auditing capabilities, as it is easy to trace each cost back to the source and see if it meets the restriction criteria.

4. Inter-company Transactions and Transfer Costing

Oftentimes, companies have separate entities for manufacturing and distribution.

NetSuite can be set up to create inter-company transfers from one entity to another, collecting all costs associated with the transfer and applying them to COGS once the item is sold. This data allows for accurate costing for the product.

Furthermore, these inter-company transactions will automatically create elimination journals during your month-end process by using the auto-eliminate feature.

5. Controls and Compliance With Regulatory Agencies

Compliance might be one of the most significant factors when choosing an ERP system.

The system should handle any regulation that is required by having its own set of configurable controls.

NetSuite ERP is SOX compliant and has the capability of being 21 CFR Part 11 compliant.

Bridgepoint Consulting has the expertise to set up complex workflows and procedures that satisfy the FDA’s requirements around electronic data management.

6. Automating Purchasing and CRO Management: 

By leveraging Purchasing Contracts and Blanket Purchase Orders, the procurement team can manage budgets, costs and orders within NetSuite, ensuring laboratories are always stocked and inventory is available when needed.

In addition to contracts, NetSuite can manage Clinical Research Organizations (CRO) outsourcing.

During the manufacturing process, a step might require you to outsource and track some of the work and associated costs. Bridgepoint Consulting can customize NetSuite’s native functionality to track CRO spend and attach supporting documents during this process.

Moving Forward

Having partnered with numerous Life Sciences companies, Bridgepoint Consulting has deep experience helping these firms implement NetSuite and leading practices to achieve scalability and transparency as they transform research into revenue-generating products.

Regardless of whether a company is pre-revenue, leading clinical trials, manufacturing products, or post-sale, our team of NetSuite experts can help bridge the gap between collecting data from scientists, managing this data and creating useful reports using NetSuite as a base.

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