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eProcurement Software For Biotech Startups And Growing Companies

  • By ProcureDesk
  • October 11,2023
  • 10 min read

eProcurement Software For Biotech Startups And Growing Companies

eProcurement Software For Biotech Startups

Looking for eProcurement software for Biotech? This article will cover how ProcureDesk’s eProcurement software helps you automate the procurement process and provides better visibility into your Spend.

Life science companies often have long development lifecycles, making tracking your burn rate even more important. Without e-procurement software, you might rely on outdated spreadsheets to track your commitments, what is already invoiced, and what is yet to be invoiced. The problem with spreadsheets is that they always need to be updated.

This makes it difficult to plan for cash flow and answer basic questions on how much we are spending on specific experiments.

With spreadsheets, you are not getting the required information, and since your scientists are managing the spreadsheets, it takes them away from value-added work – doing research!

So let’s sciences do science and let the eProcurement software automate your purchasing activities.

If you’re looking for procurement software to help with your procurement activities, you might want to check out ProcureDesk. We have a team of experts who can show you how this tool can help you simplify your procurement processes. See it in action today!

What Is eProcurement Software For Biotech?

eProcurement software in the life science industry is a digital tool that helps Biotech companies manage and streamline their purchasing processes. Simply put, it’s like an online shopping system for businesses to buy what they need.

For the life sciences companies, this software is especially important. Biotech companies often need specialized equipment, materials, and services that can be expensive and hard to find. eProcurement tools make it easier for these companies to find suppliers, compare prices, and place orders all in one place.

Moreover, in biotech, accuracy and timing are everything. A delay in getting the right materials can slow down vital research. eProcurement ensures that orders are placed quickly and correctly, reducing waiting times and errors. Plus, by having a centralized system, biotech firms can better track their spending, find cost-saving opportunities, and ensure they comply with industry regulations.

In short, eProcurement software for biotech simplifies the purchasing process, making it faster, more efficient, and tailored to the unique needs of the biotech world.

The Need For eProcurement In Biotech

Before we get into the details about features, let’s briefly talk about the benefits of eProcurement software in Biotech.

  • Control Spend: eProcurement allows biotech firms to have a more structured approach to purchasing. For instance, a company may want to review all the costs for expensive capital equipment before purchasing. This ensures costs are kept in check, budgets are adhered to, and unnecessary expenses, like ordering surplus reagents that expire before use, are eliminated.
  • Increase Cashflow Visibility: EProcurement offers a clear picture of financial commitments with real-time tracking and analytics. For example, a biotech startup could anticipate a heavy equipment purchase, allowing them to allocate funds effectively and plan other expenditures, ensuring better cash management and forecasting.
  • Reduce Time Spent on Matching Invoices: Automated invoice processing within eProcurement systems minimizes manual efforts. Say a supplier sends an invoice for a batch of specialized enzymes; the system can quickly match this to the corresponding purchase order, ensuring swift and accurate processing and reducing payment delays and errors.
  • Increase Productivity for Scientists: By streamlining the procurement process, scientists can focus on their primary responsibilities and research objectives. Instead of a researcher wasting hours not doing strategic sourcing on a specific piece of lab equipment, the eProcurement system can provide a list of approved vendors, enabling quicker decision-making and allowing the scientists to return to their experiments faster.
  • Compliance and Controls: eProcurement ensures all purchases align with industry regulations and company policies. In biotech, where there are stringent standards for equipment and materials, the system can flag non-compliant purchases. For instance, if a chemical doesn’t meet regulatory guidelines, the eProcurement system can alert the purchaser before completing the transaction, ensuring safety and transparency in all transactions.

Related: Biotech Procurement Software – Navigating Biotech Procurement Challenges

Features And Capabilities Of e-Procurement Software

Now let’s look at some of the must-have features of the eProcurement software. We have used ProcureDesk as an example, but you can replace it with any tool.

Supplier Quotes

Navigating through multiple supplier bids can be a tedious task. But what if you could streamline this process, saving time and ensuring transparency all at once?

With ProcureDesk, obtaining and managing supplier quotes becomes effortless. Our system is designed to expedite gathering bids and maintain a digital trail of every interaction. This means that revisiting and comparing quotes in the future is merely a click away.

Here’s how it works:

  • Initiate the Process: Select an item from an existing catalog or add a new item. It’s as simple as that.
  • Pick Your Preferred Vendors: Once you’ve specified the item, choose the vendors you want to request the quote.
  • Await their Response: Vendors can conveniently reply using the dedicated supplier portal. And if they opt to respond over email, no worries – we’ve also covered that.
  • Upload Vendor Responses: In cases where vendors send their quotes directly to you, upload the details into the system.
  • Compare with Ease: View a side-by-side comparison of all received quotes, making it incredibly simple to identify the best vendor offering.

Once you’ve settled on the most suitable supplier and agreed upon a price, transforming that quote into a purchase order is a cinch with ProcureDesk.

Here is an example of a supplier quote in ProcureDesk:


Purchase Requisitions

The buying process of biotech lab supplies can often feel like a maze. With countless items to remember and details to fill out, the traditional requisition process can be time-consuming and prone to errors. But what if there was a better way?

ProcureDesk’s intuitive purchase requisition functionality is designed for simplicity and improved efficiency. Creating requests becomes a breeze with just a few taps on your phone. Gone are the days of re-entering repetitive data. Once you’ve set your defaults, the system recalls them for all subsequent requests, saving you precious time.

Furthermore, categorizing your lab supplies is easier than ever. Tracking and budgeting become straightforward with the ability to assign different cost codes.

But that’s not all. ProcureDesk is flexible to your needs. Whether you’re manually inputting a request, duplicating a previous order, or uploading a bulk list, we have you covered.

Imagine needing a specific set of biotech lab supplies. Instead of working on manual processes to enter each item, ProcureDesk’s system smoothly guides you, ensuring you get what you need without the hassle.

Related: Lab Procurement Made Easy With Lab Procurement Software

Here is an example of how a purchase request looks in ProcureDesk.


You can also import supplier quotes(PDFs) and create a purchase request from a quote.

Punchouts Catalogs

Purchasing lab supplies is no simple task. Often, lab managers juggle multiple supplier catalogs, miss out on exclusive discounts, and waste time manually inputting product details. The requisition process can become cumbersome, especially when you need precise equipment swiftly.

With Punchout Catalog, purchasing lab supplies is so much easier.

  • Easy Procurement: Say goodbye to the tedious task of manually searching through multiple supplier catalogs. With ProcureDesk, you can instantly connect to your supplier’s e-commerce site, select the required lab supplies, and import the list into your ProcureDesk requisition. The process is seamless and efficient.
  • Protect Your Discounts: One of the biggest concerns for procurement teams is losing out on negotiated discounts. With the Punchout’s procurement functionality, your existing discounts with suppliers are always protected, ensuring you get the best prices every time.
  • Seamless Quote Integration: Once you pull supplier quotes through the Punchout process, ProcureDesk automatically integrates them into your system. No more manual entries or potential errors!

How Punchout Works in ProcureDesk:

  • Create a new requisition in ProcureDesk.
  • Click on the Punchout link to your supplier’s e-commerce portal. For example, Thermofisher.
  • Browse and select the lab supplies you need.
  • Upon checkout in the supplier’s portal, the selected items are automatically pulled back into ProcureDesk.


  • Review, apply discounts, and process the requisition as usual.

Budget Approval Workflows

Managing costs is crucial for any business. That’s where ProcureDesk’s Budget Approvals come in.

  • Flexible budget structure: The system offers flexibility. Whether you have different budgets for Accounts, departments, or projects, ProcureDesk adjusts to fit your needs—no more one-size-fits-all budgeting.
  • Purchase confidently: ProcureDesk gives a real-time check against your budget before you spend a penny. No surprises, just smart spending.

Lastly, its dashboard gives a clear view of your finances. Know which areas are nearing their budget and which have room. In short, ProcureDesk ensures your money is spent wisely, keeping your costs in check.

Here is how the system provides you a clear visibility into budgets during the approval process:

Approver view of the budgets

Purchase Approvals

Chasing managers for approvals is no fun, and that costs your research and procurement team a lot of productivity.

That is why an automated purchase approval process helps you reduce the time spent on approvals and quickly process purchase requests.

The system provides a flexible workflow engine so that you can control who should be reviewing a purchase based on what is being purchased or the amount. For example, the lab manager must review all lab supply requests. Your CFO might want to review all purchases over a certain amount.

These are some of the examples that you can easily configure in ProcureDesk.

Here is an example of how you can create a simple workflow:

Once the workflow is configured, the system automatically routes the request for approval. The approver has the following options to approve:

  1. You can approve from your email without the need to log in to the system. The email provides complete details about the purchase request.
  2. You can approve after you log in to the system. The system provides a consolidated dashboard of all pending items in your queue.
  3. You can approve from your phone using a mobile app. Here is an example of that:

Mobile app for approvals

Mobile app for approvals

Purchase Orders Automation

Managing purchase orders across different websites can be a tedious task. If you’re manually emailing every order, you’re likely spending more time than necessary on a process that could be simplified.

This is where ProcureDesk steps in to simplify and modernize:

  • Automated Generation: Forget creating each order from scratch. ProcureDesk automatically generates your orders, ensuring accuracy while saving you valuable time.
  • Direct Supplier Communication: Rather than sending countless emails, ProcureDesk seamlessly sends your purchase orders directly to the supplier. This can be done through advanced protocols like cXML or via a straightforward email, ensuring your order gets where it needs to go without extra effort.
  • Centralized Process: Avoid the hassle of switching between multiple vendor sites. With ProcureDesk, you can easily track and manage orders from one central location.

Here is an example of a purchase order generated by the system:

Related: Unlocking The Potential Of Biotech AP Automation

Real-time Order Tracking

Managing purchase orders can be tricky, often marked with lost orders, miscommunication, and unforeseen delays.

These challenges can translate to significant time and monetary costs for businesses, especially in the biotech sector. Here is how you can overcome that in an eProcurement system:

  • Supplier Order Acknowledgment: Miscommunication with suppliers can lead to costly errors. ProcureDesk ensures suppliers acknowledge orders promptly, reducing ambiguities and streamlining the order-to-delivery process.
  • Advanced Shipment Notices (ASN): Unexpected deliveries can disrupt operations. Suppliers submitting ASNs via the system inform you about incoming shipments, enabling better preparation and efficient resource allocation.
  • Real-Time Delivery Tracking: The guesswork of when an order will arrive is eliminated. Track your order’s journey from the supplier to your facility, enhancing transparency and aiding in precise planning.
  • Easy Receipt Creation & Detailed Info Capture: Once your order reaches, documenting it is straightforward. But ProcureDesk goes a step further. It captures essential details like lot numbers and expiration dates – a critical feature for biotech companies dealing with perishable materials.

Here is an example of a receipt in ProcureDesk:

Create Receipt
Purchase order receipt

E-invoices For Touchless Invoicing

If you’re tired of manually uploading and reviewing invoices, we have some good news: The e-invoice process covers you. Let’s delve into this feature.

What is Touchless Invoicing?

Put simply, touchless invoicing is the process where an invoice travels from the vendor to your accounting system without manual interference. It’s quick, efficient, and reduces the chances of human error.

A Perfect Fit for Punchout Vendors

Recognize names like ThermoFisher and VWR? These leading punchout vendors, and many more, integrate seamlessly with ProcureDesk. Our E-invoices system can accept electronic invoices directly from these vendors, eliminating manual uploads.

Automated invoice processing

Once an electronic invoice hits the system, the true marvel of the system shines. The system automatically matches invoices, comparing the invoice with the relevant purchase order and receipts. It checks for consistency in product details, quantities, and prices. If everything aligns perfectly, voila! The invoice gets dispatched to your accounting system.

Here is an example of e-invoice:


OCR For Invoices

While e-invoicing efficiently processes up to 60% of supplier invoices, you still need to manage the residual 40%. These invoices require manual data entry, slowing the invoicing cycle and increasing data entry errors.

How ProcureDesk’s OCR Solves This:

Automated Data Extraction: OCR technology scans and identifies crucial details from these documents instead of manually inputting data from every invoice. It pulls out necessary information like purchase order #, invoice numbers, dates, amounts, and vendor details, ensuring all data is captured without human intervention.

Reduced Errors and Enhanced Accuracy: Human data entry inevitably has a margin of error, from misreading figures to mistyping details. OCR significantly reduces these errors. Automating the data extraction process ensures that the information input is as accurate as the source document.

Increased Productivity: Manual processing is time-consuming. OCR process boosts the operational efficiency of employees. They can now focus on more strategic, value-added tasks, optimizing the procurement process.

Explore how ProcureDesk can help you with your company’s procurement activities. See it in action today!

3-way And 2-Way Match Capabilities

We’ve all felt the headache – chasing employees endlessly to get those crucial approvals: missed emails, delayed projects, and unnecessary stress. Sound familiar?

You can use automated 3-way and 2-way match processes to match invoices and only route the invoice for approval if there is an exception.

For lab supplies purchases, you can use a 3-way match process. A 3-way match process works:

  1. Match the invoice with the purchase order and receipt.
  2. Check if the invoiced items are already received; if not – send a reminder to the order contact.
  3. Check if the price on the invoice matches the purchase order price; if not – route to procurement to review pricing discrepancy with the supplier.
  4. The invoice is sent to the supplier if all three documents are matched.

Here is an example of a 3-way match in ProcureDesk:

3-way invoice matching


For outsourced services like CRO, use a 2-way match process. Here is how it works:

  1. Match the invoice with the purchase order.
  2. Route the invoice for review to the appropriate person.
  3. Once the invoice is approved, please send it to the accounting system.

Inventory Tracking

The balance between having enough supplies and avoiding wasteful stockpiling is delicate in any lab. And let’s be honest, who hasn’t felt the pain of duplicate orders because they didn’t know what was already in stock?

Imagine this: you’re about to kick off an important experiment. You order a new batch of supplies, only to discover—too late—that you already had them. They were tucked away in a forgotten corner or recorded in an outdated spreadsheet. Sound familiar? Not only does this lead to wasted resources, but it also delays projects and inflates budgets. In such scenarios, multiple spreadsheets and fragmented records are often the culprits.

ProcureDesk has designed an inventory tracking system, specifically keeping lab supplies in mind. Here is how it works:

  • Instant Updates upon Receipt: When new supplies arrive, updating the inventory doesn’t have to be a chore. With ProcureDesk, the inventory adjusts in real-time once an item is received—no need to jump between systems or manually update spreadsheets.
  • All Your Data in One Cohesive Space: Ditch those scattered spreadsheets. ProcureDesk offers a unified dashboard where you can see all your inventory data at a glance. Whether you want to check the stock of a specific item or get an overview of supplies that are running low, everything you need is just a click away.

Here is an example of an Inventory report in ProcureDesk:

Inventory Valuation Report

Integration With Your Accounting System

Manually syncing data between procurement and accounting systems is a pain. Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s also prone to errors.

ProcureDesk seamlessly integrates with numerous accounting systems, making data transfer a breeze: no more tedious manual entries, just smooth and automatic syncing. Whether using QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, Netsuite, or Microsoft ProcureDesk, your data flows effortlessly between platforms.

How To Choose An E-procurement Solution For Biotech Companies

Navigating the biotech landscape requires precision, and choosing the right E-procurement tool is no exception. Let’s break it down into 5 clear steps.

Understand Your Unique Needs

Every company is distinct. Are you focused on R&D, manufacturing, or distribution? Pinpoint your procurement challenges and goals to tailor your search. For example, you don’t need robust punchout capabilities if you outsource most of your research.

Prioritize Security & Compliance

Biotech is filled with sensitive information. Ensure your solution is robust with top-notch security protocols and helps you comply with ever-changing regulations. Look for industry certifications like SOC 2

Demand Scalability & Integration

Today’s small lab might be tomorrow’s industry leader. Opt for a solution that integrates seamlessly with your current tools and can scale with your growth. For example, can the system support other ERPs like NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics if you use QuickBooks today?

Look For User-Friendly Features

Your team of procurement experts will be more receptive to an intuitive system. An easy-to-use interface combined with clear dashboards will enhance adoption rates. Though you still need to train your users, a user-friendly solution makes it easier to drive adoption.

Consult Reviews & Test Out

Nothing beats first-hand experience. Explore reviews, ask peers in the industry, and, most importantly, take the solution for a spin with a demo or trial. See how long it takes them to set up the trial and if the system is easy to use.


The Bottomline

In the ever-evolving world of biotech, efficiency and precision in your accounts payable process, contract management, purchase order management, and spend management solutions are paramount. eProcurement software offers biotech firms the leverage to streamline operations, ensuring timely, accurate, and compliant processes.

Embracing such digital tools is no longer an option but a necessity for those wishing to gain a competitive edge and progress in this dynamic industry. Make the smart choice today, and let eProcurement be the backbone of your biotech procurement strategy to lead you to digital transformation.

What you should do now

Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways we can help you scale your purchasing and Accounts payable process.

  1. Claim your Free Strategy Session. If you’d like to work with us to implement a process to control spending, and spend less time matching invoices, claim your Free Strategy Session. One of our process experts will understand your current purchasing situation and then suggest practical strategies to reduce the purchase order approval cycle.
  2. If you’d like to know the maturity of your purchasing process, download our purchasing process grader and identify exactly what you should be working on next to improve your purchasing and AP process.
  3. If you’d like to enhance your knowledge about the purchasing process, check out our blog or Resources section.
  4. If you know another professional who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter.