Health Goes Beyond The Patient: The Well-Being Of Life Science Organizations

Cara McDonald

The life science industry is dynamic and fast-paced. The pressure to stay in compliance, ensure you are following the current accounting and financial regulations, and retain top talent can easily impact the health of any business. Maintaining competitiveness and taking advantage of opportunities for innovation starts by doing a checkup on three key areas in your organization: your employees, your business, and your finances.

Employee engagement leads to retention

The life sciences sector has a high percentage of unsatisfied employees. A global study by Deloitte found that only 56% of those surveyed in life sciences are satisfied with their work (compared to the 70% in all other sectors), and 27% feel they are not challenged in their current position.

There are aspects of all jobs that employees do not like to perform. Often these are more administrative or mundane tasks, such as pulling reports or doing data entry. It is when these tasks start to become a majority of any given job that an employee begins to feel underutilized. If they become too unhappy, they start to look elsewhere.

Of course, routine and tedious items do need to get done in order to keep business moving forward, so how should a company address this issue? The use of automated technology can alleviate some of these tasks, opening up time for your employees to focus on more strategic business opportunities, grow their skills, and stay more engaged.

Managing compliance without hindering innovation

Compliance is a heavy topic for any company in the life sciences industry, and the recent changes in accounting standards and tax laws are enough to make any finance team’s head spin. And while many turn to compliance programs, the struggle is to find the right balance to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed without impeding innovation.

How is this done? Start by reviewing your current compliance program. Often as businesses grow, compliance programs are the last things to be updated. In her recent article, Compliance Issues for Global Life Sciences Companies, Ropes & Gray attorney Kim Nemirow discusses the elements that go into an effective compliance program, and how the most important element is the tone and buy-in from senior leadership:

“While a compliance policy, training program, monitoring program, financial auditing are all key components of a compliance program, without the tone from the top and the sufficient resources, really from the corporate level, none of those policies or training can really be effective.”

In addition to having buy-in on all levels, Deloitte stresses the importance of using technology to create a compliance program that is not only efficient but can shape the future compliance landscape and transform how the compliance function is viewed.

Increased financial insights lead to healthy business decisions

One of the main drivers of business decisions often boils down to finances. Any company operating in the dark doesn’t have the financial data to assess current situations and know where the company should go next. This leads back to integrating automated technology to increase visibility and overall business effectiveness.

The accounts payable department is a great example of where the use of automated technology can lead to streamlined processes and employee satisfaction. This team often deals with both electronic and paper invoices, creating more work as they manually enter invoices, pull reports, and cross-check all data. Monthly reports can take days to create, and year-end reporting can take weeks. Implementing an automated invoice solution can alleviate these issues, streamlining invoice management and increasing visibility into expenses. Cloud-based software is ideal for global companies, as it makes applications and data available from anywhere.

As the life science industry continues to grow and change, companies that take time to examine their own health will stay ahead of the competition. Engaged employees, an effective compliance program, and complete financial visibility are just what the doctor ordered.

Learn about SAP Concur solutions for life sciences here.


Cara McDonald

About Cara McDonald

Cara McDonald is a marketing consultant for SAP Concur.