During the process of taking an R&D biotech lab from preclinical to clinical, there are hundreds of thousands of lab supplies that need to be purchased to lead to that innovation. With fast-paced lab supply and equipment use, invoices and purchase orders can become a hassle to match up, document, and track due to the sheer volume and pace. Biotech finance and operations teams need to maintain the lab budget, and are seeking out ways to collaborate with lab managers to manage (and trim) lab spend and automate processes along the way.
Gone are the days of multiple vendors, paper trails, and error-prone purchasing systems. Through the consolidation of vendors with life science marketplaces, streamlining invoices, and digitizing procurement processes, valuable time, resources and money are saved. Not to mention, it’s a lot easier to implement than it sounds.
Software capabilities and marketplace offerings are eliminating the red tape that once accompanied biotech financial operations and providing ways to automate approval processes and invoice management. Now, financial visibility throughout spending, reporting and auditing processes is at the forefront of biotech procurement operations.
Without the burden of manual data entry or the need to chase down invoice after invoice from multiple vendors, biotech finance teams can operate efficiently and reduce lab costs.
To aid CFOs, financial teams, and biotech lab staff involved in the procurement process, we’ve compiled a few helpful ways to improve biotech finance operations below.
Why Vendor Consolidation in Biotech Procurement Matters
In 2021, biopharma R&D teams added up to 50% new suppliers to support their work and address product availability issues, which led to a concern for biotech finance processes— that concern being system overload. With each new supplier, biotech finance teams typically need to consider adding a new vendor of record, which can take weeks, and setting up a new procurement instance for each new supplier, even if the team only purchased one item from a particular supplier.
With a lab supply marketplace, on the other hand, new suppliers are all under the umbrella of the marketplace itself as the vendor of record. That same process that might have taken weeks is reduced to no time at all, and scientists can place orders from multiple vendors in the same order, and the invoice comes through as if they used one established supplier.
The beauty of vendor consolidation through life science marketplaces is that it eliminates the need to manage multiple vendors. In turn, this reduces the number of invoices to keep track of, and eliminates duplicate information surrounding order statuses. By working with a single vendor when addressing biotech procurement, it also reduces time spent on setting up new vendor accounts, and performing credit checks.
Procurement data becomes easily organized through vendor consolidation, allowing for increased spending visibility, as well as more opportunity to focus on the automation of manual processes.
R&D biotech costs are also reduced significantly for the company as a whole, when vendors are consolidated. A recent survey of 65 pharma mergers, showed that R&D spending declined significantly within merged entities, when compared to standalone enterprises.
Improving Finance Efficiency in Biotech by Streamlining & Digitizing Invoicing
Enhancing financial efficiency through one click ordering processes, saves time for lab technicians. It also eliminates confusion for finance teams not up to speed with scientific nuances and accompanying experiments when ordering equipment. Implementing digital procurement processes also allows for more efficient scale up, especially within growing biotech companies.
Biotech finance optimization is also achievable by digitizing invoices, and amalgamating documentation into cloud-based software, offering quick access for any biotech employee, on any device.
ZAGENO offers its customers the industry’s largest product portfolio, as well as consolidated invoicing, thanks to its partnership with Points Purchasing.
Points Purchasing simplifies corporate purchases and reduces the need for paper trails. It also consolidates details such as account coding, vendor bills, and order confirmations. In turn, this increases transparency surrounding lab budget planning, and biotech accounting processes.
1. Use a life sciences marketplace instead of separate vendors
A life science marketplace can be especially helpful not only in facilitating multiple third party vendors, but also streamlining the procurement process for R&D biotechnology expenditures.
The marketplace becomes the sole supplier, rather than each vendor acting as its own entity, in turn multiplying individual vendor management.
Marketplaces also provide the added bonus of a consolidated view in the order dashboard, allowing finance teams to observe multiple purchases and order statuses in one centralized location. When only one record, and one supplier record is displayed, this maintains data accuracy, too.
Working with a single vendor saves you time and money on vendor evaluation, and improves monthly expenditure reporting. Spend visibility for CFOs is crucial to improving capital efficiency - working with a solitary vendor within the realm of a life sciences marketplace makes it a breeze to track and measure spending habits.
2. Digitize lab supply procurement operations and automate biotech finance processes.
Lab supply procurement processes that become either too manual, or laborious, result in cutting corners with processes in order to save time, resulting in financial losses and data errors.
When the financing of R&D and innovation is digitized through cloud-based software and apps, this reduces costs associated with physical hardware. It also increases data security, company scalability, as well as mobility, providing flexibility for all biotech teams to access supply numbers and procurement data whenever, wherever.
In addition, when biotech financial processes are automated, this frees up time for lab technicians and staff to focus on more demanding tasks and increase productivity. It also eliminates potential human error in manual entry of financial data.
3. Leverage reporting & analytics to review ongoing research and development in biotech lab spending
In many instances, spending data is not available and best practices are not implemented, making it difficult for biotechnology finance processes to run efficiently. This weakens compliance throughout the procurement process, in turn leading to ineffectively leveraging spending practices.
Leveraging reporting and analytics software and data to review and improve upon research and development spending habits throughout the lab, assists in tracking the flow of finances. ZAGENO’s integration with QuickBooks for instance, offers convenient mapping into general ledger categories, reducing time spent on reporting and compliance procedures.
Understanding this flow within and beyond the company is an integral part of expense management and ultimately effective reporting. Since biotech CFOs and leadership teams can’t manage what they can’t measure, moving to digital invoice workflows is the first step to gathering actionable spending data.
The cost savings of automated, digitized processes working in tandem with vendor consolidation, is tenfold compared to costly errors and archaic reporting practices resulting from invoice paper trails, manual data entering, and multiple vendor partnerships.
For accountants, biotech financial teams, or start-up R&D labs, reporting, auditing, and tracking expenditures is made easy when invoices and vendors are consolidated via a digital life science marketplace like ZAGENO. When biotech finance is automated and analytics are utilized to review ongoing research and development towards lab expenditures, lab operations become more efficient, opening the door for more innovation.