Author Archives: Fiona - Head of Data & Integration at Amici

  1. You can trust Amici to Manage your Procurement

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    Amici provides world-class purchasing capability to the life science sector. Check out our FAQs to find out more.

    In-house or outsource?

    We know our customers are often under pressure with many projects. We take care of everything, so that you can concentrate on your business. Our software is hosted in world class facilities. Our expert team takes care of the security, updates, data and price management, negotiations, order management and account support. We can get you up and running with Amici in days.

    Cost vs Savings.

    Amici guarantees to save you money over and above your existing discounts. Our group buying power means that we have access to pricing that individual customers do not. We are delighted that every single one of our customers saves money by joining us. What’s more, we can estimate resource savings in addition to financial savings based on your current spend, so you are fully informed before joining us.

    Are there limits in place for product range or supplier choice?

    Everything is in scope. In addition to the 18 million pre-negotiated products already available through Amici, we have a sourcing team of scientific and purchasing experts who will find and negotiate anything and everything for you. Any supplier, any product – it’s all part of the service.

    How does the provider make their money?

    Amici works only for you. We are passionate about our independence from suppliers, in order that we can advise what will be the very best for your business. We are proud to be part of your team and act only on your behalf. Amici does not charge any suppliers or receive sales commissions, in fact like all great procurement professionals we have a zero-tolerance policy to any supplier incentives.

    Order management and assurance.

    Not only does our platform show live stock availability from key suppliers, we have a dedicated team in the background making sure that your deliveries are received on time and that you never run out of stock. Our expert team proactively sources alternatives before supply issues become a crisis, and we will set reserve stock for your key products. We even arrange for suppliers to ring-fence dedicated stock just for Amici customers.

    Financial controls, process and reporting.

    The Amici solution is tailored for each customer, with controls built up based on our many years of working with Financial Controllers and CFOs. There isn’t a control or report that we haven’t been able to support. The Amici solution can be used from PO creation, approval and delivery tracking right through to 3-way invoice matching. We have proven integration with all book-keeping software and ERP systems.

    What support is available?

    We are your best-in-class Purchasing Department. Only Amici provides complete end-to-end support alongside our PO-to-Pay platform.

    • Leave it to us. Our Sourcing Team of purchasing and scientific experts is constantly monitoring and negotiating all of the products you buy, automatically managing and renewing quotes.
    • We pride ourselves on our expert team. From qualified purchasing professionals, to life science category specialists with PhDs, we can be relied on to provide expert staff to fully support you.
    • Total cost of ownership is important to us. We negotiate free deliveries from many suppliers, and routinely manage complex negotiations on equipment to include sited delivery, consumables warranties and servicing.
    • Amici has an expert team dedicated to resolving all of your issues, from late deliveries to invoice queries and crisis management.
    • From Budgeting to Brexit, the Amici Team has built up a wealth of knowledge and experience over the last 15 years. Our expert team is on hand to support you with anything and everything.

    Simplicity of use and separation of duties.

    Amici will work with your team to understand the process needs of your business and will recommend the access configurations suitable for each member of your team. Customers find our solutions very straightforward, but you can be assured that training and support are unlimited.

    How can I ensure continuity of service?

    It’s no wonder that we are the market leader. We are well-established in the sector and have been honing our skills since 2005. We are delighted to provide testimonials from both new and long-standing customers, many of whom have been with us since day 1.

    Will the solution grow with me?

    From start-up to publicly-traded organisation, from procurement to materials management, Amici has a range of operational solutions that will support your growth in one single platform. What’s more, you only pay for the features you need, enabling you to tailor a cost-effective solution which works for your specific requirements. We integrate with all the major Finance/ERP solutions and more. We even have our own in-house Development and Quality Teams to build features based on your feedback and to keep us ahead of the game.


    You may also find the following articles useful;

    Why Choose Amici?
    Leveraging World-Class Procurement in the Life Science Sector

  2. Leveraging World-Class Procurement in the Life Science Sector

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    From reducing costs and assuring supply, to streamlining your PO-to-Pay processes, effective procurement in the life science sector can make a massive impact to your company…and to your bottom line.

    The urgency and pace of high growth, combined with the need for good financial practice, makes it necessary for biotech companies to access world-class procurement capability. Increasingly, many life science companies are seeking support via a technology-based approach, which may include dedicated outsourced support. Options include purchasing tools within finance or ERP software, and cloud-based procurement platforms as a service.

    It’s easy to see why. The right support with your procurement can save you time and money, reduce your headcount, streamline your processes and add specialised skill sets to your team, freeing up your employees to focus on the day job.

    With so many options out there, it’s more important than ever to be fully informed and ask the right questions to find a solution that works for you.

    1. In-house or outsource?
      Whether you decide to manage the software and function in-house or by outsourcing, it’s worth spending some time understanding the needs of your organisation’s procurement function. Stakeholders may have responsibility from finance to the lab, IT and quality. Many fast-paced companies find a cloud-based plug-and-play is the fastest and most cost-effective solution.
    2. Cost vs Savings.
      It’s important to establish exactly what you will save in relation to any fees. Savings derived from buying procurement solutions include; Material savings if the provider can access better pricing for you; reduced headcount and resource costs; savings from operational efficiency. A reliable provider will help you to evaluate this and be able to determine exactly what you will save across your basket of spend at your current prices.
    3. Are there limits in place for product range or supplier choice?
      Does the provider make it easy for you to buy any product, any category, from any supplier? Is anything out-of-scope? The greatest time and efficiency savings will be made through the use of a single platform or service. Ideally, you want all of your POs to be placed and tracked via a single platform – from standard consumables to expenses and service contracts.
    4. How does the provider make their money?
      If you’re buying empty shell software, it is a simple transaction based on licence fees. With the move to software as a service (SAAS), combining cloud software with support can get you so much more for your money. Increasingly, SAAS options can offer data management, price management, order management and financial processing in addition to a range of other options. The breadth of offering comes with a variety of fee structures. Some providers offer a free service to customers because they are charging suppliers a sales commission, whilst others take no revenue from suppliers and have transparent customer billing models. Some providers take a revenue from both customer and supplier. Before concluding a contract, ensure that you understand the motivations and independence of your provider in their provision of advice and solutions to you.
    5. Order management and assurance.
      Getting good prices is an important fundamental of procurement. However, getting the right goods to the business on time is often critically important. In planning your procurement solution, you should consider the pace of your organisation, the stock holding capacity, and the predictability of your demand. About 70% of biotech purchases are one-off orders to support the nature of research. Speed of delivery can therefore become a rate limiting step for R&D and service providers alike. You’ll want to check if the solution provides an order management function. A best-in-class procurement solution will deal with any issues impacting supply and take proactive measures to ensure that you don’t run out of key materials. Some platforms may even show live stock availability directly from the supplier.
    6. Financial controls, process and reporting.
      Financial controls and reporting requirements tend to grow with a company. Start-ups tend to track expenses by type and build up to project and department-based tracking. Service-based biotechs, or those claiming grants or R&D tax credits, also need to have a good system for separating out these types of expenses. Integration of the purchasing solution with the bookkeeping or finance software will save significant time on re-keying data such as the items, prices, cost centres and the delivery details.
    7. What support is available?
      Purchasing is about more than just price, and support is about more than just a helpline. A best-in-class procurement solution can act as your entire purchasing department, reducing your headcount and leaving you to focus on your core business. Ask whether the solution can provide all of the expert support that you would expect from a fully-fledged purchasing department i.e.
      • Are all products negotiated regularly on your behalf?
      • How can you be confident that you are paying the best possible price?
      • What happens when the quotes expire?
      • Is total cost of ownership accounted for – from delivery and dry ice charges to software licences or equipment installation?
      • Is support available for issue resolution including late deliveries, crisis management or invoice queries?
      • How will you be supported to manage complex projects including budgeting, CapEx and stock management?
      • What expertise is available? High quality support will include highly trained Purchasing Professionals, Project Managers and Category Specialists.
    1. Simplicity of use and separation of duties.
      A good system will be intuitive for users without lots of training. You will also want to look for a solution which allows separation of duties for the different controls you need. For instance, the solution should enable the right approval mechanisms to be set up ensuring privileged access for the systems administrator and secure access for financial processing.
    2. How can I ensure continuity of service?
      Look for an experienced and well-established provider who can leverage strong group buying power and good supplier relationships. It’s important to vet any potential providers. Ask whether they can provide testimonials from long-standing customers.
    3. Will the solution grow with me?
      What works for you now may have significant limitations further down the road. Look for a customisable solution that ticks all of the boxes both now and into the future. The best platforms can be customised to your requirements. From dedicated approval workflows, to add-ons which can capture key operational functions in a single platform. Can modules and options be easily added in the future? Ask whether software can be integrated with your Finance or ERP solution. Some providers may even design and build functionality for your specific requirements.

    At Amici, we are passionate about providing best-in-class procurement capability to the life science Sector. We also believe in making life easy.



    You may also find the following blogs useful:

    9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotech
    You can trust Amici to manage your procurement
    Why Choose Amici?

  3. 9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotechs

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    9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotechs


    9 Reasons Why Cloud is Best for Biotechs. Being ‘in the cloud’ isn’t a new concept. In fact, cloud computing was reportedly invented back in the 1960s by Joseph Carl Robnett with his mission to connect people and data from anywhere at any time. It’s fair to say, his idea took off.

    There are millions of articles that refer to various people and events that claim to be the first to coin the phrases ‘cloud computing’ and ‘cloud storage’. Regardless of who said what and when, cloud is here and it’s here to stay.

    A recent study titled ‘Adoption of Cloud ERP, 2013 Through 2023’, revealed that 47% of organisations surveyed intend to move their ERP solution to a cloud-based solution.

    The benefits of cloud in the biotech industry are;

    1. Cloud is often far cheaper to implement than traditional software.
    2. It’s quicker, too. You can be up and running in days. No downloads or installations required, and no infrastructure needs to be built.
    3. Cloud assists with turning labour-intensive, usually paper-based procedures into controlled, secure, and efficient processes, allowing scientists to spend more time at the bench.
    4. Cloud is always up to date. It can adapt and evolve much quicker than a standalone software solution.
    5. Anywhere, anytime. This is the biggest advantage of Cloud. No matter where you are or what device you’re on, you can securely access the information you need with little more than a smart phone or laptop and an internet connection.
    6. By hosting everything online, you and your teams around the world can contribute to projects in real-time. This helps to increase efficiency and reduces errors.
    7. Cloud provides you with real-time data allowing for accurate and intuitive forecasting.
    8. Effort involved in validation can be significantly reduced with cloud solutions.
    9. Cloud providers are experts in IT security, backup and recovery, giving you peace of mind and allowing your team to focus on your business.

    Cloud computing will provide biotechs with greater cost savings, increased agility and a solution which is scalable with your business and the rapid changes to technology.

  4. Software Integration in the Life Science Sector

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    Software has the power to transform business operations by streamlining processes and driving efficiencies. Growing businesses can generate vast quantities of data which can be difficult to manage across multiple platforms and spreadsheets. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the life science sector.

    Historically, Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP – monoliths were the dominant force. These solutions combined administrative finance and HR functions with operational capability for manufacturing and distribution, allowing the smooth flow of data between different processes. Sounds great in principle, however, these ‘mega suites’ had one major drawback for the life science sector: they were ‘Jack of all trades, but master of only some’.

    Enter the postmodern software era, where technology has evolved to allow the communication of software via system integration.

    What is System Integration?

    Simply put, system integration of software is the process used to connect two or more IT systems into a single solution, which will meet the user’s business requirements. System integration is increasingly seen in everyday life. Consider the numerous websites which integrate with Google Maps, making it easier for customers to locate an individual store, or to figure out the nearest place to get their Friday night takeaway.

    Integration really comes into its own when enabling the smooth flow of data through business processes, taking full advantage of all of the benefits of best-of-breed functionality for the sector. Different integration technologies can be used depending on the application, but the one which has really entered the mainstream is Application Programming Interface – API.

    What is an API?

    An API is an interface which enables different software applications to talk to each other, without the need for any user interaction. These days, APIs are commonplace. One example is in payment processing. Here, APIs enable the communication between buying your goods online, and the payment made from your bank.

    Most major APIs use token-based authentication to ensure that the communication between applications is secure. This is an important consideration. Security of your data is critical when looking at integration options.

    How does this apply to the life science sector?

    Life science businesses have many of the same needs as businesses from other high-performing sectors. The Holy Grail is to have simple business systems in place which can scale for growth.

    However, niche requirements mean data must be rationalised from various points in the product development life cycle – from procurement and goods receipt, to manufacturing and sales. Not only that, life science companies must often adhere to strict regulatory and quality requirements, necessitating the need for specialist validated software with audit capability, and electronic signatures.


    Life science businesses have niche software requirements (click to see a larger version).

    Life science businesses have niche software requirements


    Until recently, life science businesses have been forced to jump between different software packages, paper-based systems and spreadsheets in order to meet their requirements. Not anymore. Software integration is becoming increasingly common, and can often be deployed straight away.

    Life science companies can now focus on getting the best applications possible for their business and ensure that these can integrate with each other to form a personalised solution for their stage of growth. These days it is possible to pair best-of-breed accounting software with specialist software for the life sciences. Everything from purchase approval for hazardous products, to FEFO-compatible inventory management down to the the batch level.

    Integrated software solutions, combined with modular options, offer huge advantages. Growing companies can buy exactly what they need at the time, rather than paying for unnecessary functions. The key to success is doing this well – making decisions on a solid understanding of the business requirements, and focusing on a smooth integration with no overlap.

    In a sector defined by innovation and growth, the flexibility and scalability of an integrated software solution is a no-brainer for life science businesses. For many, it is not a matter of if, but when they will outgrow their fragmented solutions, and move to integrated modular software which allows them to scale.

    Growing with you.

    Amici’s own in-house development team is experienced in integrating with other systems to improve and scale your business operations

    Contact Fiona or Chris at or +44 141 810 2580 to learn more.

    Amici - Growing with you