Life Sciences Industry Panel Series: Part 3 – Managing Relationships with CROs and Vendors During the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has nearly impacted every business in some way or another, and biotech organizations are no exception. We recently sat with a panel of life sciences executives to discuss how the pandemic has impacted their businesses, and while each had different experiences, all of them noted how much technology helped them persevere, especially when it came to automating business processes. Last time, we discussed why these life sciences organizations chose NetSuite for their ERP platform thanks to the pandemic kickstarting a digital transformation. Now we’re getting into how these businesses have been managing their relationships with their contract research organizations (CROs) and other vendors during the pandemic.

Kuram Choudhry, the accounting manager at Imara, Inc., said that they had to be very open with their vendors.
“When we implemented NetSuite, we also implemented a couple of other systems as well, such as Concur,” he said. “During this implementation, there are risks where you need to communicate to certain vendors or let them know like, ‘Hey, look, we know such and such is outstanding,’ or ‘Please be patient with us as we try and finish an implementation’ just so we don’t miss anything.”

He also emphasized that they wanted to “get ahead of that email” that will eventually come, asking what is going on, why haven’t they received payments, etc. However, he also pointed out that by eventually getting everything into a digital version did help out with keeping the vendors happy and informed.

When it came to their CROs, Choudry said the experience wasn’t too different from their experience with their vendors. “But as far as our CRO, they’re big,” he explained. “I think along with us, they themselves are obviously having to come up with planning in terms of how to communicate with us.

“So, because both sides are basically going through the same thing, I don’t think either one will fail the other if and when certain things slip through the cracks.”

This post is part 3 of a 7-part blog series from our Life Sciences Industry Panel regarding managing relationships with CROs and other vendors during the pandemic. You can watch the full webinar here. The next post in the series will discuss how these life science organizations’ needs changed since deploying NetSuite as well as how it has scaled with the companies’ growth. Follow the entire series here.

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