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What ERP Manufacturing and Inventory Capabilities Do Life Science Companies Need as They Grow?

April 04, 2017

Updated May 24, 2023

Most life science companies in the pharmaceutical or medical device space will require some enterprise resource planning (ERP) system functionality for inventory and manufacturing to accommodate their specific industry needs. These inventory and manufacturing demands generally broaden through the product life cycle.

To help you plan for these ERP needs as your company grows, we’ve outlined the typical scenarios we see when working with life science firms:

  • Lot and Batch Tracking: Life science companies deal with strict regulatory requirements and need to track and trace every step of their manufacturing process. ERP systems should provide comprehensive lot and batch tracking functionality to enable end-to-end visibility and traceability of products and their components.
  • Compliance Management: Regulatory compliance is crucial for life science companies. ERP systems should have features that support compliance with industry-specific regulations, such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), and ISO standards. This includes maintaining accurate documentation, managing audits, and enforcing quality control processes.
  • Quality Management: Quality control is paramount in the life science industry to ensure product safety and efficacy. ERP systems should incorporate quality management modules to enable the creation and management of quality control plans, testing protocols, and inspections. These modules should also facilitate non-conformance management, corrective actions, and change control processes.
  • Formulation and Recipe Management: Life science companies often deal with complex formulations and recipes for their products. ERP systems should have capabilities to manage and track these formulations, including ingredient tracking, recipe versioning, and calculating and managing yields and yields losses.
  • Inventory Control and Demand Planning: Accurate inventory management is crucial to avoid stockouts or excess inventory. ERP systems should provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, including raw materials, intermediates, and finished products. Advanced demand planning functionality can help forecast demand, optimize inventory levels, and ensure timely availability of materials.
  • Supply Chain Management: As life science companies expand, managing their supply chain becomes increasingly important. ERP systems should offer supply chain management cap.

Look for a Scalable Solution

Ideally, a single ERP solution can take you all the way through your product life cycles. Starting with a solution that requires a smaller investment and has simple ease-of-use, but that can incrementally scale to support your expanding requirements, is typically the best option for growing companies.

For example, Microsoft Dynamics has two scalable cloud ERP solutions, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain (formerly Finance & Operations), that many life science companies use. You can start with basic core financial functions and financial reporting and add functionality as you need it, via re-implementation or changes to your system configurations.

To learn more about how to select and implement the right ERP to support your life science company’s growth, contact our life science experts.

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