Life sciences companies face numerous challenges in managing their spend and driving growth under more normalized post-pandemic economic conditions. While 2020 and 2021 were banner years for life sciences investment and growth, 2023 brings recession fears, financial services crises, and continued global uncertainty.

Amid this environment, the pressure to demonstrate a strong cash runway, reach meaningful milestones, and produce organizational value within life sciences makes effective financial management imperative.

These demands were explored in a recent webinar from top life sciences experts from CrossCountry Consulting and Coupa, a leading business spend management (BSM) platform. Joined by more than 100 senior finance and accounting executives in the industry, the discussion reinforced how Coupa has emerged as a valuable solution for life sciences companies seeking to optimize their spending and fuel growth.

Coupa Proves Essential to Life Sciences Roadmaps

One of the key benefits that life sciences companies have experienced with Coupa is the ability to accurately align their spend with an approved budget. With the board’s increasing focus on cash runway and the expectation of at least two years of financial stability, it’s crucial for companies to have a clear understanding of their spending and its impact on the overall financial health of the organization.

Coupa enables companies to track and manage their spend in real-time, ensuring expenses remain within budgetary limits set by the board. This level of financial control provides stakeholders with the confidence that the company’s resources are being utilized efficiently and effectively.

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Coupa also empowers individuals within the organization to manage their own purchase orders (POs) in a streamlined and efficient manner. By automating the PO process and providing user-friendly interfaces, Coupa reduces the administrative burden on finance and accounting teams, allowing them to focus on more strategic initiatives. This self-service capability not only improves operational efficiency but also fosters a sense of ownership and accountability among employees, as they are actively involved in managing their expenditures.

Holistic business spend management transformation of this kind is now becoming a must-have internally in organizations and throughout the vendor supply chain, as implementing a centralized BSM solution like Coupa is the fastest path to generating sustainable procurement savings and finance efficiencies relative to deploying narrow point solutions.

Additionally, accurate and timely data is essential for life sciences companies to make informed decisions and develop realistic models for achieving meaningful milestones. Coupa’s comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities provide companies with the necessary insights into their spending patterns, enabling them to accurately assess costs and plan for future investments. With reliable cost data at their disposal, companies can confidently present models and scenarios to the board, addressing various funding options, including business development, partnerships, and traditional biotech funding sources.

Visibility and Control Power Operational and Procurement Improvements

In addition to these core advantages, Coupa addresses some of the operational challenges commonly faced by life sciences companies. The lack of visibility into spend and limited control over processes have long been pain points for organizations relying on manual and outdated systems.

Coupa’s automated platform offers enhanced visibility, enabling management to make data-driven decisions and address bottlenecks effectively. By streamlining processes and introducing robust controls, Coupa ensures compliance and reduces the risk of unauthorized spending or circumvention of established financial controls.

“Reducing R&D bottlenecks allows for more time on science,” said Michael Manna, Regional Vice President – Life Sciences, Coupa. “Simplifying the buying process leads to greater adoption, allowing companies to improve visbility and control, while driving compliance and measurable savings across the organization.”

Another area where Coupa has proven valuable is in the procurement of lab supplies, which is critical for life sciences companies. Coupa’s Open Buy functionality and partnerships with trusted vendors provide employees with easy access to a wide range of lab supplies across multiple suppliers in one centralized place. This not only simplifies the ordering process but also reduces the need for additional manual reviews, saving time and resources for both the finance team and the lab personnel. The seamless integration of procurement and payment processes within Coupa further contributes to operational efficiency and facilitates smooth collaboration between different departments.

As discussed, the deployment of Coupa can deliver serious improvements in spend management and operational efficiency for life sciences companies. The reduction of manual processes, enhanced visibility into spend, and streamlined procurement workflows have paved the way for accelerated decision-making, improved resource allocation, and ultimately, greater growth.

For expert Coupa implementation or optimization support, contact CrossCountry Consulting.