Few staff experts, funding issues, and seamless integration remain roadblocks to successful ERP implementations, report finds

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CHICAGO — Mar. 29, 2022 — Cloud-based management software can bring added efficiencies to life sciences companies as they move drug candidates through clinical trials on the journey to commercialization, yet nearly 40% of life sciences professionals believe the current shortage of expert staff members poses the greatest single risk factor to growth, according to “The Impact of Enterprise Resource Planning Software on Pharmaceutical Businesses Today,” a new report from Sikich and Pharmaceutical Executive.

“Today’s IT and finance staff shortages are signals that many life sciences companies are now doing more with less resources,” said William Tamulynas, a managing consultant on Sikich’s technology team. “As we examined how drug candidate sponsors were using ERP software, their concern about assembling an adequate pool of various experts to help make ERP a driver of business growth was highly evident. An efficient and seamless implementation, along with detailed training and support, is critical to life sciences companies looking to maximize the value of a new solution amidst talent challenges.”

Respondents named capital and funding as their next most serious obstacle for growth. IT funding is a well-known challenge for commercializing companies in the life sciences industry. Cited as additional and continuing sources of frustration were ERP’s integration with other solutions (36%), old legacy systems (30%), and failing in achieving user-friendliness (28%).

The need for better efficiency from ERP software was expressed throughout. When questioned about goals life sciences professionals wish to meet if their current organization switches to new software, respondents noted improved efficiency, (59%) and flexibility (44%). “These characteristics are essential to driving value in an ERP implementation, as they can make these products easier to customize and serve to future-proof them,” added Tamulynas.

Other report findings include how many systems life sciences companies are using, what KPIs companies are using to measure the performance of an ERP system, which functions are most important to a company’s software system, and how companies plan to facilitate growth.

Sikich’s national technology consultancy helps companies across industries – including life sciences, finance, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services – improve productivity and performance with innovative digital strategies and technology solutions. Sikich is a leader in digital transformation, which includes cloud and emerging technologies, and has one of the deepest, most diverse solution portfolios in the middle market. Sikich’s solutions include business applications and workplace productivity, security and compliance, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and robotic process automation.  

For this survey, Sikich partnered with Pharmaceutical Executive to poll 103 leaders of pharmaceutical and related companies. Nearly half (47%) have reached the commercialization stage for at least one drug. The second largest segment (23%) was running Phase II or III clinical trials. More than one-third of the companies indicated annual revenues of more than $250 million and employed more than 500 people (39% and 35%, respectively). Click here to download the full report. 

About Sikich LLP

Sikich LLP is a global company specializing in technology-enabled professional services. With more than 1,200 employees, Sikich draws on a diverse portfolio of technology solutions to deliver transformative digital strategies and ranks as one of the largest CPA firms in the United States. From corporations and not-for-profits to state and local governments and federal agencies, Sikich clients utilize a broad spectrum of services* and products to help them improve performance and achieve long-term, strategic goals.

*Securities offered through Sikich Corporate Finance LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Sikich Financial, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

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