Drug Discovery Organisation, Cambridge, UK

Industry: Drug Discovery

Size: 100+

Location: Cambridge, UK


A high-growth drug discovery company based in Cambridge, UK, was set for expansion having just closed a substantial round of funding. The Lab Manager had managed the purchasing using excel spreadsheets which was time consuming. The business would rather focus resource on drug discovery and financial compliance. The process of logging orders and deliveries was also proving problematic for Finance.


A purchasing solution was required which would allow the organisation to save time and money by streamlining their PO-to-Pay processes, whilst increasing financial control. The solution needed to be implemented quickly and easily, with minimum resource from the company.

Business Needs

Assurance of Supply

  • The purchasing solution needed to be available to many users simultaneously, unlike the excel spreadsheet.
  • Everything that they wanted to buy should be available. Although there were routine purchases, as an R&D company they made unique one-off purchases daily.
  • The solution must allow them to select whichever products and suppliers they needed.
  • The solution should seamlessly integrate with their finance package (Sage, in this case), and must minimise finance time on invoice processing. The company did not want to invest more headcount on administration then essential for space reasons as much as strategy.
  • The company required an outsourced negotiation and order management solution in addition to the software to ensure scientific time was not diverted onto these activities.
  • The provider should have a proven track record and financial security in order to ensure the long-term provision of services as well as the taking of references from companies they already knew.


  • The finance department required a range of approval limits for company expenditure as well as dual approval for high value purchases.
  • IT demanded an understanding of the software and data security, back up and recovery to be assured of ongoing business continuity.
  • The provider needed to be an expert in procurement to add skills and experience to the company.
  • The solution needs to allow for a separation of duties in the IT solution to meet financial regulation and desired controls.


  • The provider should make the implementation seamless for the company whilst ensuring the detailed needs of the company were all tailored into the solution.
  • The provider must be able to provide training and ongoing support for all staff.
  • Finance reporting needs must be met.

Price and Total Cost of Ownership

  • The provider would ideally be able to negotiate better prices than the company had previously.
  • The savings delivered should ideally cover the cost of the solution.
  • The savings calculations must be transparent and against prices previously paid.
  • The solution must not have any hidden charges for software upgrade or licences for additional users.
  • The solution should provide skilled purchasing support which meets all of the demands of an internal purchasing department, precluding the need to recruit internally.


  • The solution should have a system for managing inventory controls, which might be needed as the company grows.
  • Ideally there would be controls to restrict purchasing of items only where COSHH assessments or Ethical Tissue Assessments were in place.
  • The company would be open to suggestions which would improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness going forward.

Amici was able to satisfy all of this organisation’s business needs and has been providing a successful solution for a number of years. The customer has grown significantly and with that growth, they have asked for a number of new features to be added as well as taking advantage of new modules to enhance their purchasing and inventory processes.

If you’d like Amici to guide you through an evaluation of your business needs, please get in touch.



Amici has negotiated prices with over 8,000 suppliers. Our fees are calculated as a percentage of the savings we make you. No saving, no fee!

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