With the rise in technology, the life sciences industry is faced with pressure to manage costs effectively and gain improved control over the procurement process. Procurement platforms help businesses build an efficient supply chain process, manage and optimize inventory purchasing, and provide financial transparency, procurement platforms. Using industry-specific tools, finance, procurement, and lab teams can build a procurement process best suited to the needs of biotech and life sciences companies.
How do procurement platforms help make R&D labs financially efficient?
Before we dive into the specific platforms and features of these platforms, let’s cover: why do procurement workflows matter for life science companies? In general, they help labs be more conscious of spending and in turn, save lots of money. When you know how difficult it can be to get biotech startup funding, you know that every dollar counts.
“I ask my team if they’re spending their time well because the meter is clicking. It’s $10,000 a day. At a biopharma, it might be $100,000 a day,” Stan Lapidus, Biotech Entrepreneur says, reflecting on lab operation lessons learned from COVID-19.
When you’re dealing with numbers at that scale and on tight project timelines, budget and process need to be optimized so that research and development can successfully get the resources they need.
Here are the features of procurement platforms that help labs be more financially stable.
- Vendor management
In the procurement process, the platform requests quotes from suitable vendors and filters them to choose the best-suited options. It has the ability to activate contracts and keep the information up-to-date in the system. Vendor management can include lab supply ordering and other third party services.
- Billing management
It generates invoices and helps complete the pay cycle in time. The automated tool also prevents duplicate or incorrect invoices and prevents financial loss to the life sciences company.
- Budget forecasting
It can track the current expenses structure against the goals and helps build better budgets. It successfully manages financial risks and guides the company into better cost management.
What to look for in a procurement platform
There are many procurement platforms available in the market, each offering a wide range of benefits, all focused on financial efficiency. Here are some features that can help you choose the one best suited for your life sciences company.
In order to use the same platform for a long period of time, it’s important to ensure that it offers the possibility of customization. As your business grows and expands, the platform must be able to make suitable adjustments to the specific needs of your business, like offering integrations with your most-used tools and lab-specific tracking needs. An inflexible or limited platform can not just restrict your growth, but can also force you to replace it in the longer run.
2. Essential features
Different procurement platforms offer a wide range of features specific to different businesses. When it comes to life sciences, the best platform is the one that offers specialized features for the industry, like lab supply ordering and approval process, or contract approval process, and is able to accurately operate all aspects of the business.
3. Cost management
The growth of any lab requires significant funding— especially in the life sciences industry— where managing costs is integral to ensure the purchase of expensive medical devices and production, launch, and distribution of new drugs. Managing costs is a key factor to ensure the best use of research funding.
A platform that helps you monitor expenses, savings, and investment all in the same place will help you manage costs effectively. In addition, the right system also helps automate the process of cost management and provides tools to find more cost-effective sourcing possibilities. In addition to making use of procurement platforms, you can use these 5 best practices for better capital allocation in your biotech business.
4. Accuracy and precision
The life sciences industry deals with critical matters of innovation. Accuracy and precision are the standing pillars in the manufacturing process of life sciences products. Tracking the availability, expiration dates, logistic requirements, and other factors are integral to ensure regulatory requirements and safety procedures. All these features require an end-to-end platform that allows you to track every little detail accurately, pinpoint mistakes, and identify errors or faulty inputs.
In the life sciences industry, the features required during product development are very different from those required after the product launch. Therefore, the best-suited procurement platform must enable the latest features and scalable requirements as the business grows. Changing software as your business grows can be a challenge and involve contracts and onboarding processes. Therefore, an important consideration while selecting a platform is to ensure its scalability is aligned with your business growth.
Top 3 Procurement Platforms for the Life Sciences
Here are the top 3 procurement platforms that are best suited for the life sciences industry.
Coupa is a special procurement platform designed specifically for life sciences. It optimizes cost to fuel R&D, contribute to lab productivity, and ensure safety compliance. With AI-powered sourcing and supply chain management, it enables businesses to build simple solutions based on risk, cost, and expiration.
SpendEdge offers specialized procurement market intelligence services to contribute to the life science industry. The platform provides a better understanding of the supplier base, manages costs effectively and provides the latest insights on the best pharma practices available in the market today.
Jaggaer provides a powerful, modern and effortless procurement process that saves time and money. The tool gives you full control of the process for you to customize it based on your business requirements. It allows easy and flexible integrations with the other enterprise systems and direct collaboration with the supplier networks for a seamless procurement process.
ZAGENO integrates with platforms like Coupa and offers procurement within the platform — allowing your finance and research teams to work together seamlessly and provide complete transparency within your biotech or life sciences organization.
A procurement platform, when chosen carefully, automates the process of procurement and helps mitigate costs, functions, and errors in a lab or organization. With the help of the important points listed above, you can choose the platform that makes your present functions more efficient and can be scaled to accommodate future needs.