In recent years biotech finance and overall lab operations have undergone a digital transformation.
With advancements in the biotech, biopharma, and life sciences space, lab managers and finance teams are navigating an increase in the number of suppliers labs are using, the need for automated tracking of lab supplies due to supply chain challenges, and competition among fellow researchers for available products. Enter: automated, integrated lab systems with real-time data.
For biotech finance and accounting teams, lab automation solves the challenges of adding on new vendors and purchasing more frequent supply orders, along with other previously manual processes, like procurement. Here’s how lab finance teams can use ZAGENO’s AP system integrations to streamline accounting workflows.
The current spotlight on the biotech industry is illuminating many areas of growth for finance teams. Increases in government grants — beginning with the CARES Act in March 2020 that supplied the National Institute of Health with $940 million in supplemental funding— as well as an increase in acquisitions and partnerships — between 2019 and 2020 the biotech industry saw double-digit growth in fundraising from VSs — have made this a banner period of small and emerging biotech labs.
As the finance teams of these labs work to manage their fluctuating or newly inflated budgets, many are eager for software solutions capable of easing the manual workload for themselves and their teammates.
The needs of the modern biotech lab finance team has changed. Gone are the days of manual invoice management and approval workflows. The focus is now on automating systems in order to optimize accounting workflows. To keep up with the demands of growing pre-clinical R&D teams, finance teams are using tools like digital marketplace integrations with AP systems to approve, track, and document lab supply orders.
One of the largest areas of growth that biotech labs have seen in recent years is an influx of suppliers. Not only has the aforementioned government investment allowed for an increase in labs and pharma innovations, but they have also led to a need for more biotech lab supply vendors.
In 2021, biotechs are using 50% more suppliers than ever before. Why? Supply chain disruptions and a need for specialized equipment, primarily. An increase in suppliers also means that finance teams are inundated with work, a process that— without a lab supply marketplace— can be extremely manual. Finance teams need to add each vendor to their procurement system, a process that can take weeks, delaying research. With a marketplace, the marketplace itself acts as the vendor of record, eliminating the need for manually adding new suppliers and setting up payment systems individually.
Luckily, the industry has also been experiencing a mass embrace of automated systems that integrate with multi-supplier marketplaces for scientists. Automated systems:
When biotech finance teams embrace automation in the lab, they have an easier time of navigating monumental industry-wide change such as the supplier boom.
The global paradigm for health care innovation has fundamentally changed. Biotech is leading this charge with fast-paced innovation and the associated development risk to provide the next generation of medicines. — Davide Garrisi, Executive Director of General Medicine at PPD.
In order to begin the process of automating your biotech finance workflows you first need to start by drafting a list of your current workflows, like your invoice management and accounts payable processes. Which workflows are obvious candidates for automation? Do any seem particularly difficult to automate? What about all the workflows in between?
Once you’ve developed a comprehensive understanding of the current state of your finance team, you can start adopting optimization strategies and following modern finance team best practices.
Follow these biotech finance optimization strategies to ensure you are putting your most automated foot forward:
Speaking of integrated tech — ZAGENO integrates with both Quickbooks and Xero, so biotech finance teams can select vendor products, oversee supplier communication, and manage invoices all from a central location. To start streamlining your ordering process with ZAGENO, schedule a demo today.
To take a comprehensive approach to optimizing your biotech finance team, use these best practices:
The first step toward creating a completely optimized biotech finance team is embracing automation. For more insights into the world of optimizing processes, here are 7 Benefits of Digital Procurement for Life Science R&D.