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    Automating Manual Processes in Biotech Finance

    By ZAGENO - 2 minutes read

    Biotech finance teams deal with high stakes when it comes to budget and opportunity.

    Stan Lapidus, inventor and serial entrepreneur (founder of 4 medical startups), told ZAGENO,

    Very often time spent saving money costs more money than it saves. So I try to hold a mirror up to my team members to ask them if they're spending their time well, because whether they're spending it well or not, where the meter was clicking, it's $10,000 a day. It's $40,000 a day at a biotech and at a biopharma it might be $100,000 a day.

    Beyond these high takes, biotech finance teams also face key challenges around vendor management, spend visibility, purchase tracking, and compliant reporting. 

    To support biotech finance teams in overcoming these pain points, we put together this guide:


    Automate internal processes


    Without strong, intentionally crafted internal policies around spending, finance teams are more vulnerable to overspending and mismanagement of spending.

    Key guiding questions for finance teams as they craft these internal spend related policies:

    • Do we have a minimum dollar threshold for approvals?
    • How will we provide visibility into budgets for approvers?
    • How can we control our cash flow while ameliorating product risk?
    • How can we maintain our negotiating power with vendors?
    • What types of purchases do we currently have within our company?
    • Who needs to sign off on which specific purchases?


    A substantial amount of indirect spending is non-compliant, so spend visibility is crucial for expense management and creating digital audit trails.

    To achieve spending visibility:

    • Establish your baseline spend by identifying purchasing trends 
    • Implement a purchasing system that automates purchase records 
    • Engage team members in regular spend compliance reviews 


    With one click approval systems, finance teams can reduce approval errors when ordering for the scientific team and no longer have to fully understand the scientific nuances of experiments to be able to order. Hundreds of hours and misordering costs are saved with these systems.


    By working with just one vendor of record, such as a marketplace, you save time on:

    • Vendor evaluation
    • Monthly reporting
    • Invoice and PO matching
    • Order tracking 

    You only need to interface with a single vendor who handles all of these processes end to end. 

    Streamline business workflows


    Finance processes should:

    • Support consistent documentation
    • Ensure process consistency as your organization grows
    Increase accuracy of information and insight

    Here are some systems you can implement to reach these goals:


    Track project and supply costs frequently and iteratively adjust internal forecasts, future cost estimates, and spend management strategies based on this more real time data. 

    Great marketplaces can help you better predict, manage, and account for these costs in a centralized platform.


    Cloud-based apps and tools support:

    • Cost reduction (through the removal of hardware costs)
    • Data security
    • Scalability (these tools can grow with your company)
    • Mobility (these tools are available on desktops, tablets, and smartphones)


    .  .  .

    To better understand how the above tips and others can optimize your lab’s efficiency, take our free laboratory assessment here built on the data and expertise gathered from hundreds of labs. 


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