Benefits of Coupa and Sikich Suite Success for Life Sciences with NetSuite

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We recently sat down with Thomas O’Leary of Coupa Software to discuss how both Sikich and Coupa can help life sciences organizations achieve their goals with NetSuite. We start with a brief “fact or fiction” discussion, and then we dive deep into exactly what Coupa provides as a premier procure-to-pay solution.

Fact or Fiction

Coupa is a highly recognized procure-to-pay provider for NetSuite.

FactCoupa is the number one rated PTP provider from Gartner, and in many other providers in the marketplace such as Forrester. Coupa helps organizations grow from a procurement all the way through invoicing and payments, allowing organizations to scale the platform to what they need individually. The company has a “phase one approach” to start small and grow with their clients as they expand through commercialization and beyond.

Only big companies use Coupa.

Fiction. Coupa does not only work with “big” companies. Some of their clients are small, 20-person biotech firms just starting out and needing procurement software. They’re often relatively small, but they’re able to adopt the technology to process the changes going on with the business as their R&D increases. When the R&D increases, the suppliers increase along with the invoice counts. Starting this early when the organizations are small helps them down the line with compliance when they become an IPO.

Sikich and Coupa are the go-to partners for implementing NetSuite and Coupa in life sciences organizations.

Fact. Sikich is widely regarded as the premier NetSuite life sciences partner in the world. With over 150 NetSuite life science clients, we have been implementing our Sikich SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences, a purpose-built solution on NetSuite for the life sciences. Partnering with Coupa has greatly extended a lot of functionality to many of our life sciences clients.

Coupa only handles procurement.

Fiction. Coupa is a full-scale platform, so it offers much more than just the point solutions in the marketplace that might only sell only procurement and purchasing modules. Our platform does everything from procurement to invoicing to payments to expenses. It also includes supplier information management, onboarding options, contract management, and inventory management for biotechs that might have some labs to manage.

NetSuite and Coupa can help companies with SOX compliance.

Fact. NetSuite and Coupa, in and of themselves, will not automatically make a company SOX compliant. However, all of the functionality that the two provide will greatly help companies working with auditors for SOX compliance.

What is Coupa?

What really makes Coupa different from other providers is that it is a true platform. We consider our company a business spend management platform company, similar to Salesforce in sales and Workday in human capital management. Coupa is trying to be that for spend invoicing, procurement, and more. We really have built a best-in-class application that integrates with NetSuite to handle purchase orders, invoices, payments, supplier integration, purchasing system onboarding, tracking bank forms and W-9s, etc.

The real value of Coupa is the ability to actually grow with the company as it needs greater functionality. This actually lends into the misconception that Coupa is only for big companies because it itself is too big. However, Coupa is really only as big as the company needs it to be.

Sikich and Coupa Partnership

Our partnership with Coupa allows us to extend our offerings to life sciences clients and work with people all across the organization. It doesn’t matter where a company is in its life cycle, whether it’s in startup mode or commercialization. The combination of NetSuite and Coupa really allows clients to do more in these two systems with a tight integration between the two. It’s become a fantastic long-term solution for life sciences organizations.

We have been working together since 2020, and both of us are excited for additional opportunities in 2022.

Why is Coupa the premier procure-to-pay solution?

Most companies choose Coupa because they plan to go IPO. Even companies that have already gone public can benefit from Coupa, since it is a platform companies can truly scale upon. It’s realistically the only procurement system a life sciences company will ever need. Clients can really leverage the purchasing power that Coupa provides, and Coupa can legitimately save companies money on all items they purchase.

Other companies come to Coupa for the AP (accounts payable) automation. Our platform can ease the stress of a flooded AP inbox, not to mention help with obtaining SOX compliance.

But really, the reason why Coupa is the premier procure-to-pay solution is because we have offerings in every industrial arena. However, our main focus is with the life sciences industry, which we plan on expanding in the next year.

The importance of taking the long view as an IT leader

In a recent article on Diginomica, Eric Tan, the CIO of Coupa, emphasized the importance for IT leaders to take the long-term approach. He explained that it’s no longer solely the IT leader’s or CIO’s job to fully understand all of the ERP and purchasing systems available. Financial leadership and the CFO, for example, will be the ones to really drive the decision. They’re the ones that know what their department needs in terms of expenses, contract management, procurement, and the like. Therefore, it’s important to rely upon them for the overall discussion.

Tan also pointed out that many companies focus so much upon the initial cost of the system that they don’t think about the long-term ramifications. Sikich, for example, will always be more costly to implement instead of implementing NetSuite directly. However, we’re providing a far more polished solution that we’ve already refined functionality that you can’t find anywhere else. While we may cost more at the outset, we’re getting you so much farther along to where it’s going to save a significant amount of money.

Not to mention, with Coupa’s focus on life sciences organizations and Sikich’s SuiteSuccess for Life Sciences, we can provide an industry-focused build and customization that you cannot find with just a NetSuite installation alone.

Is your life sciences organization ready to see what Coupa and Sikich can do with NetSuite? Please reach out to one of our experts at any time! Feel free to watch the Sikich Live in its entirety below.

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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