The Challenge: To move from quarterly to monthly payments and improved site satisfaction
For many life science executives at mid-sized pharma companies or affiliates, the clinical operations manager’s responsibilities extended far beyond financial management — they are tasked with maintaining guidelines, compliance, and trial protocol, all while stewarding relationships with sites to keep the trial running smoothly and on schedule — across multiple studies and project managers.
An enterprise pharma affiliate faced similar challenges with their payment process and identified payment execution as a true pain point, with challenges around processes, sites, reporting, and transparency.
The company’s payment process was inefficient — limited tools were available with most of the calculations managed on Excel — and the already overwhelmed staff dropped everything each time a site called to discuss a payment-related request. Process predicament started with lengthy vendor setup and required multiple reviews and numerous approval steps. The process also suffered delays and errors from tax calculation and disbursement efforts required to generate payments.
With just a handful of supporting personnel, the team faced challenges around execution and found it difficult to scale from a quarterly payment system to a monthly setup. Given the time-consuming efforts behind manually creating Excel trackers, vendor setups, and invoicing without a standard template — the small team was unable to increase the cadence of payment processing.
Beyond the internal stress, this life sciences company’s payments process woes extended to sites. Supporting site queries on payments required significant effort for both the sponsor and site, as well as the time consuming minutia of multiple requests for invoice revisions. The quarterly batching of payments also added a layer of complexity when determining taxes. All of these headaches added to overall site dissatisfaction and potentially impacted enrollment — leading to possible to site turnover and increasing trial costs.
REPORTING AND TRANSPARENCY
Finally, the affiliate faced challenges with their cumbersome reporting tools of the legacy system. Their reporting capabilities were disconnected, required manual forecasting, and were quite time consuming — limiting the reporting for management and decision making.