The Role of ERP In The Pharmaceutical Industry

The digital acceleration of the healthcare industry has completely transformed the speed at which pharmaceutical companies operate. The COVID-19 vaccine, for example, was released a record-breaking 11 months after the first cases were reported. It’s estimated that the pandemic accelerated digitalization in the pharma industry by nearly five years.

In recent years, there has been a keen interest in improving digital patient care, speeding up product development, and enhancing product quality. But in order to meet these ambitious objectives, pharma companies need to implement best-in-class business management software solutions.

More and more pharma companies are realizing the potential an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can have in streamlining critical processes and advancing business. In this blog, we’ll cover the role of ERP in the pharmaceutical industry, key benefits, and tips for choosing the right ERP solution for your business.

Key Benefits of ERP for Pharma Companies

The right ERP system has the potential to elevate every aspect of your pharma company’s day-to-day operations. Although, there are a few key benefits that further drive pharma companies to adopt this cutting-edge software solution.

Meet Compliance Standards

Anyone in the industry knows that pharma companies are held to strict regulatory standards. According to various global, national, and state protocols, companies operating within the healthcare sphere must comply with certain health and safety regulations. Unfortunately for pharma companies, these rules and regulations change often and must be tracked and documented accordingly.

An ERP system with built-in regulation controls allows employees to set configurations and validate internal protocol easily. Regulatory mandates such as CFR 21 Part 11 are automatically updated within certain systems, so your team can be confident that the necessary documentation requirements are met. Compliance controls are one of the most vital roles an ERP can have in the pharmaceutical industry.

Streamline Formulation Processes

The pharmaceutical manufacturing process is highly complex. Because the products directly affect one’s health, the ingredients in medications are highly protected under product manufacturing and copyright laws. Both the pre-formulation and formulation processes must be regulated in accordance with the proper drug definition, production stage schedule, and production quality guidelines.

One of the roles of an ERP in the pharmaceutical industry is to automatically record, update, and manage the formulation process. Not only do these formulation controls boost efficiency and add an extra layer of quality control—they reduce the possibility of human error.

Ensure Effective Costing

Accurately pricing a drug can be an arduous process. Pharma companies must factor in procuring and managing raw materials, monitoring the product supply chain, vendor procurement, and more. In older business models, these costing processes are often siloed and must be communicated regularly throughout different company departments.

With an ERP system, costing data is consolidated and communicated throughout the organization, so the necessary employees have full visibility into price variables in real-time.

Control Inventory Levels and Promote Scalability

As you might be aware, the pandemic brought to light the fragile nature of global supply chains. In the pharmaceutical industry, accurate supply chain management and inventory monitoring are paramount to successful operations.

While some of what happens within the supply chain is up to fate, an optimized ERP system can help with inventory tracking and serialization, so your company is never left in the dark. Another important factor pharma companies must consider in the manufacturing process is predicting drug variability and scalability. An ERP system helps companies gain insight into supply chain volatility and customer demand through advanced data analysis and greater systems transparency.

Increase Data Security

Individuals in the healthcare industry have access to sensitive, vulnerable patient information such as EHRs and EMRs. With such an abundance of data, pharma companies must take steps to ensure that this information is highly protected.

Modern ERP systems can be fitted with strong security protocols and company governance processes so you can protect your business and your customers against a devastating data breach.

Let Us Help You Choose the Right ERP

Making the decision to implement an ERP software solution into your business is a wise choice—but it’s only half the battle. With so many ERP systems on the market today, choosing the right one for your company can be a challenge in and of itself.

At FRC, we offer expert consulting for the leading ERP systems including NetSuite software. NetSuite’s scope of services includes critical accounting functions, customer relationship management (CRM), and human capital management (HCM) features. Since its beginnings, NetSuite has consistently ranked as the top ERP solution for growing businesses.

With more than a decade of experience implementing ERP in the life sciences industry, we know what it takes to succeed in this space. We help guide your evaluation process and provide unbiased recommendations. Reach out to our life sciences team to find out what role an ERP can play in your pharmaceutical company.