Case Study: How NetSuite and Coupa Integration Helps BioTech Companies Streamline Processes and Manage Growth

A therapeutics company on the west coast, which develops breakthrough cancer therapies, grew from 200 to over 500 employees in a matter of years, and was in desperate need of an effective ERP and procure-to-pay solution. The company’s oncologists were developing cutting edge, targeted therapies that were changing the lives of cancer patients, but as the company grew, so did its challenges.

After determining that NetSuite was the best ERP solution for the biotech company, the search began for a business spend management solution that would automate everything from procurement to payments and integrate seamlessly with the new ERP.

Growing Complexity in a Growing Company

The business had four disparate systems that did not connect with one another: a requisition system, a contract system, ERP system, and an accounts payable system. They would receive purchase orders in the form of requisitions, emails, chats, or in-person requests, and then had to manually input these orders into the various e-commerce systems. Even signing checks and approving ACH payments and wire transfers was a time-intensive, manual process that created headaches for the Accounts Payable team and slowed down payments to vendors. They were in desperate need for a more robust solution that could handle all of these processes.

In addition, their scientists lacked visibility into information on immediate availability, pricing, and fulfillment of materials critical to their work.

As such, the leadership team knew they needed a technology partner who had insight and experience facilitating similar deployments. With Sikich, they found a partner with deep ERP, life sciences, and project management expertise.

One Solution to Simplify and Unify

After learning about the therapeutics company’s operating challenges and goals, the Sikich team recommended Coupa for business spend management.

Coupa met three key criteria the growing biotech company’s team had established: seamless integration with NetSuite, punchout capabilities, and payment automation. No other solution provided such broad functionality.

Early Wins Build Acceptance

Implementation followed a planned rollout that engaged the therapeutics company’s leadership, scientists, and Sikich team members, working to support and coordinate the integration of NetSuite and Coupa.

The organization needed to enable scientists to spend less time on procurement and more time in the lab. To get their scientists on board, the therapeutics company put together training guides and breakout sessions to introduce them to the system. This proactive approach created early buy-in and a group of influential advocates within their team.

In addition, their legal team was involved. Because Agiloft handled contract management, it was an added benefit that Coupa integrated well with Agiloft. Now, once a contract is executed, it becomes a purchase order within Coupa automatically, further automating and streamlining the purchase order process.

A Powerful Solution With Unexpected Benefits

As Sikich moved ahead with the NetSuite and Coupa implementation, it became clearer that the automation and integration of systems was producing valuable, measurable results. Benefits of the system have become an important part of this biotechnology company’s workflow.

With Coupa, new suppliers can be entered into a centralized, competitive bidding process that tracks timelines and communication, which allows bids to be analyzed, discussed, and awarded from one central location, thereby streamlining the decision making and onboarding process.

Now, every purchase order generated within the organization is in Coupa. With over $700M of open purchase orders, Coupa has proven effective across the entire organization.

Because approvals are routed to a single individual before an order is placed, when an item is received on the dock, a receiver is already assigned to the purchase order. Then, when the vendor submits an invoice to Coupa, there is a three-way match, and the invoice is ready to be paid without more approvals.

The additional reporting insights that Coupa provides has transformed the way this biotechnology company manages budget, performance, and team workloads.

NetSuite and Coupa for Your BioTech Company

If your life sciences organization can tick any or all of these checkboxes, it’s time for your company to also reap the benefits of a NetSuite and Coupa integration.

  • You have multiple disparate systems that don’t talk to one another.
  • There is a sudden boom in growth.
  • Employees do not have real-time information visibility.
  • Your finance department still processes purchase orders and invoices manually.

Ready to see what a NetSuite and Coupa integration can do for your company? Contact our experts at any time!

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