“The COVID-19 pandemic injected billions of dollars into the biotech industry through Operation Warp Speed, the stock market, and venture capitalists,” says Nathan Pietrantonio, Head of Business Enablement & Managed Services at Stratos Consulting, “changing the industry. Two of the most significant disruptors are advanced analytics and digitalization, but there just aren’t enough skilled professionals to meet demand.”
And it’s not just scientists and technicians that are in demand. According to Randstad, a global HR services leader, “companies will need to hire advanced digital marketers, content creators, and data analytics experts to educate patients and transform customer-sourced data into actionable insights. With data analysis, ML, and AI, predicting customer needs as well as managing inventories and supply chains can be effortless and cost-efficient in the long-run.”1
“One of the biggest needs in the industry is for business skills,” explains Pietrantonio, “and especially for people trained in local and global regulatory requirements from both a knowledge and a system perspective. As life sciences organizations grow, they need a variety of systems to support business-critical processes. Some can’t afford to bring the required skills in-house, while others experiencing high turnover cannot bring recruits up to speed before their experienced employees leave. That’s where we come in to help.”
Complementing an Oracle EPBCS implementation with ongoing support
“A leading clinical-stage biotechnology company operating out of Greater Boston contracted Stratos to implement Oracle Enterprise Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (EPBCS),” states Pietrantonio. “However, once the system was implemented, they didn’t have the in-house financial planning and analysis (FP&A) resources needed to provide post-project support and business enablement activities.” In addition to budgeting and forecasting, EPBCS (now known as Planning in Oracle EPM Cloud) provides sophisticated modeling and predictive analytical capabilities.
A key practice of Stratos Consulting, a management consulting firm enabling digital transformation, Stratos Business Enablement & Managed Services fills skills gaps and provides continuity during the turnover of key personnel. Stratos maintains long-term client relationships based on an indepth knowledge of your business and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Data & Analytics, and Integration & Automation systems. Providing seamless support during transitions, Stratos consultants leverage best practices, experience, and a proven methodology to implement, document, maintain, and support system enhancements, combined with tailored, hands-on training and knowledge sharing to accelerate adoption and increase productivity.
“As a business enablement and managed services consultancy,” declares Pietrantonio, “our goal is to support an organization with whatever skills they need and for as long as they need them. We provided the company with ongoing support, enabling the FP&A team to enhance their Oracle EPBCS environment, automating and streamlining existing processes, including configuring an automated upload to update fixed assets—such as lab equipment and office space—to save time.”
Delivering highly effective 1:1 training for new employees
“Developing a trusted partnership with the FP&A team allows us to fully understand the client’s business and business processes,” stresses Pietrantonio. “So when it came to delivering 1:1 training for new FP&A employees as part of the onboarding process, we were able to steer them through the organization’s technologies and processes. That allowed them to quickly get up to speed and gain confidence, enabling a seamless transition and minimizing the frustration so many new employees experience when they’re feeling unproductive.”
Leveraging best practices and an innovative “process first” engagement model, Stratos employs a structured approach to ensure business users have a fundamental understanding of how and when to use critical features within each business system. Including homework and use case business challenges, the approach includes generating tailored content enabling new employees to see, learn, experience, and apply what they’re learning in a simulated environment reflecting its functionality and processes.
Implementing best practices for ongoing education and knowledge sharing
“A fundamental tenet of Stratos Consulting’s involvement is helping organizations find ways to optimize the use of their data and software to increase efficiencies and drive business outcomes,” explains Pietrantonio. “In addition to implementing system enhancements and training new staff, we implemented best practices for ongoing education and knowledge sharing.”
Working exclusively with life science organizations, Stratos has an extensive network of clients facing similar challenges, including creating and maintaining meaningful, up-to-date documentation. Empowering users with access to an easy-to-use, reliable information repository reflecting key business and system processes, Stratos works with its clients to define a routine and repeatable process for maintaining critical documentation.
“Technology is constantly evolving, and one of the biggest challenges for organizations is staying up-to-date with the latest innovations and best practices,” highlights Pietrantonio. “As industry experts, we’re continually updating our knowledge base by keeping track of the latest industry technologies and trends. Whenever we’re on a project, we share what we’ve learned with our clients, leveraging our expertise and experience to help them improve operations.”
Successfully transition with succession planning, training, and knowledge transfer
“There’s no doubt that the life sciences sector is going through a major transition,” states Pietrantonio. “While we see massive investments and rapid growth in some areas because of COVID-19, we’ve also seen layoffs at both small and large biotech and pharmaceutical companies due to mergers, outsourced manufacturing, and waning interest in certain areas due to the political climate. All of this creates a workforce planning conundrum for organizations. With many postponing recruitment drives for key roles, building relationships with someone who understands your business and can assist with succession planning, training, and knowledge transfer is essential for the success of your organization.”