15 June, 2022

AlphaBOLD Helps Life Sciences Innovator Find Operational Efficiency with NetSuite


An innovator in the life sciences industry started their business using QuickBooks like millions of others. This was great for their simple needs when they first got established. However, very soon, they realized that they needed to connect to Fishbowl API along with a middleware connector to extend the limited functionalities of QuickBooks as their business kicked off.  

When they were granted the FDA approval and established a sales force with sales reps and a network of physicians across the country, they knew they needed to graduate to the next level. The system they were using had modifications and excel sheets with complex macros. To ramp up on their path to a future IPO, they invested heavily in human capital to help run the company and structure it for rapid growth. As part of this investment, they turned to AlphaBOLD – an experienced and trusted NetSuite ERP consulting company.  

Hit By a Bus? 

Our client was facing the modern conundrum of what if the person running all aspects of an operation was hit by a bus the next day? How would they move forward? Rather than always wrap their CTO in a bubble wrap, they decided to let him breathe a little easier and went live on NetSuite with AlphaBOLD’s white-glove service.   

Before the go-live, much of the information and processes lived in the CTO’s head and relied on him to run them for inventory records to be updated after the processes ran.      

Contract Manufacturing  

Like many other startups, this company did not have its sterile manufacturing facilities to start off and thus leveraged a contract manufacturer. In the medical devices field, contract manufacturing can could vary from the complete manufacturing and assembly of an entire product to a simple process to sterilize and/or renew an expiration date. By utilizing NetSuite’s Outsourced Manufacturing module, the client could track their own inventory that was held at the contract manufacturers’ facilities. They could also track inventory levels to determine the amount of inventory that was needed to be ordered directly to the contract manufacturer (CM) or that needed to be transferred out of their stock.   

Without this module, it was rather difficult to track inventory levels, but more importantly, they could not track the value of the inventory stored offsite on the balance sheet. Once the CMs were set up in NetSuite as vendors, our experts tied them to the client’s inventory location within NetSuite. This is a unique feature of the Outsourced Manufacturing Module in NetSuite. One of the requirements of this module is to enable advanced Bill of Materials (BOM). With advanced BOM enabled, we were able to keep multiple ways of producing the same product tied to the same SKU for the client.   

For example, an SKU can be purchased and completed from a factory or vendor under one scenario. In the next scenario, the same item could be processed via a purchase order, and subsequent work order with pieces already held at the CM and a corresponding BOM revision related to it. In yet another scenario, we could have one vendor produce parts and send them to the next CM, having performed a sterilization process and utilizing yet another BOM revision that all roll back up into one SKU.   

By leveraging the knowledge of what is at each vendor’s location, we eliminated the need for multiple systems and spreadsheets that were manually kept and updated outside of NetSuite. Not only is this much more efficient, but it also makes the information much more accessible to relevant users and the system.   

Moving Onto New Avenues 

Having successfully added NetSuite to their technology line-up, the client is now planning to implement material requirements planning (MRP) features to further advanced its operations. As their technology advisors and trusted partners, AlphaBOLD will help them utilize the MRP Workbench to play with stock scenarios based on real-time purchase/transfer orders powered by the data we are now storing within NetSuite!   

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