How Bioneer transitioned to Deltek ERP in the cloud – and three lessons they learned on the way
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In this blog we’ll look at how Bioneer reduced manual data entry, improved forecasting and reporting, and accelerated business insights with Deltek's cloud-based ERP system. Plus, three tips for successful ERP implementation from Bioneer’s CEO, Lars Pedersen.
Managing complex assignments of every shape and size
With a contract research unit and a manufacturing unit, Bioneer is well-positioned to develop pharmaceutical drug candidates, produce proteins, and test such candidates in advanced human cell models. Today, it provides research, development and consultancy services to nearly 100 companies across Europe and US and Asia.
Bioneer works on assignments of all shapes and sizes – and in an industry with set ways of doing things, managing diverse project types and sizes is a complex task. It was even more challenging with a limited ERP system that left teams reliant on manual data entry.
" With our old ERP, we needed to run many operations in Excel. There’s always a risk of error when you take something out of a system and process it manually. Even the smallest mistakes can have a big impact on reporting and forecasting, especially as we were updating balance sheets manually. It also makes it a lot harder to extract meaningful insights from our data."
“We’re selling laboratory-based services, which requires registering every hour worked, and we need to generate intuitive reports each month for Bioneer management and our board of directors,” says Lars Pedersen, Bioneer’s CEO. “And as our projects are often split across compartmentalized business units, we need detailed insights into forecasted timelines and financials to keep projects on track.”
“With our old ERP, we needed to run many operations in Excel,” says Lars. “There’s always a risk of error when you take something out of a system and process it manually. Even the smallest mistakes can have a big impact on reporting and forecasting, especially as we were updating balance sheets manually. It also makes it a lot harder to extract meaningful insights from our data.”
The end of an era – and a new opportunity
Bioneer saw an opportunity to solve these challenges, when its ERP license ended. The need to adopt a new cloud-based ERP solution gave Bioneer a chance to digitalize more of its project and resource management processes – and accelerate business agility with a solution specifically designed for project-based businesses.
“After having examined many different ERP solutions, we knew we wanted a system that had the necessary capabilities to let us move quickly – and didn’t require any extra module programming. A person from an organization with the same parent company as us had worked with Deltek in the past, and suggested Deltek’s ERP solution.”
With a new cloud-based ERP, Bioneer gets all the benefits of modern reporting and data analysis. Since implementing the solution, the burden of manual data handling has been reduced significantly, with Excel usage still dropping.
“It’s already made life at Bioneer a lot easier,” says Lars. “Crucially, we can plan ahead better – and get faster, more accurate reporting. Within a few minutes, I can get an overview of our monthly financials and forecasts. Invoices can be generated straight from the system, reducing the amount of paper processes. And we can extract more meaningful insights from our data, which is great for our clients, as it makes it much easier to communicate a project’s progress.”
Bioneer are already looking at how they realise further benefits – including digitalized client collaboration, people management planning, and, later down the line, AI-driven data extraction.
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Three tips to successful ERP implementation
We asked Lars about the challenges Bioneer faced on its road to cloud ERP. He offers three pieces of advice for other organizations in a similar position:
1. Good things take time
“While we were looking at ERP solutions, a CFO told me: ‘You’ll hate the new system, and love the old one’. People get comfortable with what they know – so converting from a well-known system to a new is overwhelming. The transition had to happen fast and we were fully operational ERP- wise after 10 to 12 months”
2. Get experts involved from the off
“Hiring experts, especially bookkeepers who were well-versed in using Deltek ERP, was a big part of our change management strategy. For my accountants, who had been using Axapta system, getting a feel for the new system took some resources, as they also had to do annual reporting in the beginning using the old system. So, I hired experts to champion the system – and it made the whole process a lot smoother. I’ve even kept one of them on.”
3. Don’t just stop with your people
“Everyone who interacts with the new solution will benefit from being educated on it. We had to teach our external accountants and auditing firm, who wanted to know how we had implemented the solution and how we’re using it to manage financial processes. With a little effort on our part, and from Deltek consultants, they understand the system and transaction processes better, and can do their due diligence – which helps us a lot.”
"It’s already made life at Bioneer a lot easier…, we can plan ahead better – and get faster, more accurate reporting. Within a few minutes, I can get an overview of our monthly financials and forecasts. Invoices can be generated straight from the system, reducing the amount of paper processes. And we can extract more meaningful insights from our data."
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