Consistently providing excellent client experiences is one of the hallmarks that separate the most innovative and value-focused contract research organizations (CRO) from the rest of the field. To achieve this, you may want to modernize and simplify the technologies that help you serve clients, empower research study and project managers, and run a productive business operation. Sikich can help you move ahead by integrating Salesforce and Sikich SuiteSuccess for CROs, which is based on NetSuite, into a cloud environment that is optimized for CROs. Recently, we discussed CRO client experience and industry challenges, CRO-optimized cloud technology, what might change when you integrate Salesforce and Sikich SuiteSuccess for CROs, and how doing so can help you transform key areas of your business. But why should you look at Sikich for your CRO technology partner? In today’s post, we give you a sense of what a CRO collaboration with us looks and feels like and how you could assess the success of a Sikich-led software project.
Building on a track record of CRO successes
Sikich has supported hundreds of CROs and life sciences companies over many years. Our consultants are steeped in the industry, typically spending a major portion of their careers there before joining our organization. They also have excellent visibility of what life sciences and CRO businesses are looking for from each other in a partner or vendor relationship. Sikich is somewhat unusual in that we maintain both a NetSuite and a Salesforce practice and have follow the roadmap development and continuing solution enhancements of both organizations.
When you work with us as your CRO technology partner, you have a single, accountable point of contact for the entire effort. One integrated team of consultants performs your scoping, deployment, configurations, integrations, data migrations, user training, and follow-on support. We can help you keep costs under control and greatly shorten your time-to-value from technology, compared to engaging two or three consulting teams. Because we understand the urgencies and constraints CROs face, we can be highly empathetic and efficient in completing your cloud software project.
Expert teams deliver fast deployment projects
When you work with Sikich to deploy and integrate NetSuite, Salesforce, and the Salesforce Experience Cloud, you meet consultants who are steeped in the CRO and life sciences industries and are deeply familiar with the technologies. We follow repeatable, streamlined processes and proven methodologies to keep your project moving smoothly within your schedule and budget. As much as possible, we use configurations, not code customizations, to fit the solutions to your business and make management and future adjustments easy. The entire software project–including research and fact finding, deployment, configurations, integrations, and training—may only take a few months.
Our consultants have the empathy and expertise to make change management in your organization painless and productive. We know how to assist you in obtaining buy-in from all stakeholders and bringing about the organizational and cultural alignments without which the value of your software project might be limited. We can also assist you in planning and drafting the communications to employees and other contributors to help generate momentum and support for the undertaking.
After Sikich has completed your NetSuite, Salesforce, and Experience Cloud deployment and integration, your team can continue to run the technologies in the cloud. Alternatively, you can contract with us to provide ongoing management, as well as support for specific concerns. As your operating conditions change, we can make or consult on modifications in data flows or processes supported by the integrated solutions without needless complications and unwanted side effects.
Optimize processes before deploying software systems
Before any major technology project, we recommend that clients review their roles and processes, taking stock of any improvements they would like to make. That way, they don’t bring any current inefficiencies or unwanted constraints into the new technology environment. Often, Sikich will perform a Business Process Alignment (BPA), which helps you assess and update how the organization works. Like other projects, we can deliver a BPA fully remotely, and it usually takes just a few days. If you already run NetSuite and Salesforce, but have not integrated them, it may also be that data and business definitions—such as what a prospect or a client is—are misaligned or clash, and it may be best to cleanse your data before going any further.
Compliance made painless
Compliance practices in CROs can become highly complex and resource-intensive as businesses grow quickly and any activities focused on research studies and client relationships are always top of mind. In addition to the financial compliance requirements mentioned above, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Research Integrity, and other entities require adherence to their regulations. Larger CRO clients may enforce compliance of their own rules. Specialized software solutions to ensure compliance may add to the complexity of the effort instead of simplifying it. Sikich industry consultants can help you find the most dependable and efficient way to ensure compliance in your cloud environment.
Measuring the outcomes
Some CROs use their own metrics to assess the quality of the client experience they deliver, and others rely on widely used measures like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to quantify it. On your integrated cloud platform, gathering the right data to document meaningful differences and displaying the findings will be much easier to accomplish than in stand-alone software tools. Your Sikich consultants will learn about your KPIs and metrics early in the engagement, and will work with you to gauge quality enhancements in your clients’ experience.
We will collaborate with you to establish the cost savings and ROI of your deployment project and continued operation of NetSuite, Salesforce, and the Experience Cloud. Cost savings and efficiencies can be an indicator that it has become easier for your people to do their jobs and for clients to work with your organization. The most likely and immediate savings would probably result from replacing redundant data entry, disjointed processes, and unreliable, inconsistent information with one-time data recording, connected processes, and consistent, dependable data. We know from industry research that modernizing, integrating, and simplifying their processes and technologies can help client-focused companies achieve outstanding results, for example:1
- 7 percent increased revenue per billable employee
- 4 percent increased gross margin
- 10 days reduced time to close books at month end
- $46,000 savings in annual systems costs
- 33 percent increase in finance team efficiency
- 13 days reduced time to prepare annual budgets
Taking the next step
If you want to find out more about becoming your CRO technology partner or would like to pursue an integration of NetSuite and Salesforce:
- Contact us to have an exploratory conversation.
- Read the previous blog posts in this series
- Download our full ebook, How CROs Can Deliver a Superior Client Experience, for free.
- See how Sikich supports CROs and life sciences companies.
- Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.