How a publicly traded pharma company built smarter, audit-ready processes from the ground up.
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“Strongpoint will definitely help us avoid major risk around product validation.”
—David Jarrell, Senior NetSuite Consultant at Viking Resources
Three Weeks to Smarter Change Controls:
Laying the groundwork for a validated NetSuite implementation
As a publicly traded pharma company, Oncopeptides faces two conflicting priorities — maintaining transparency for their auditors while also moving at a speed appropriate to their rapidly changing industry.
It’s a scenario that’s common to a lot of our customers, but what was unique about this case was their focus on setting up proactive policies and systems as they launched a new NetSuite instance.
It's always great to work with a client that's invested in doing things right early on. But the Oncopeptides team already felt like it was losing ground.
Project lead David Jarrell, Senior NetSuite Consultant at Viking Resources, told us that, as work on the new implementation ramps up, "changes come every week... and they’re going to start coming even faster.”
Keeping Track of Complexity
With a core team scattered across North America and Sweden, and significant input from multiple consultants, customizing the new implementation was a very involved process.
"We’ve got a lot of hands in the pot,” Jarrell said.
Like a lot of NetSuite teams in similar situations, Jarell and his coworkers used spreadsheets to track changes and document test scripts, and handled approvals by email and word of mouth. Not only was this difficult to keep track of, but because Oncopeptides was a publicly traded company, it could lead to significantly more work at audit time.
Getting set up with an effective, automatic change management system was an immediate priority. In need of a NetSuite-native tool for tracking and deploying changes across the dev, QA and production environments, Jarrell turned to Strongpoint
We’ve got a lot of hands in the pot
from kickoff to go-live
Going Live in Less Time
Strongpoint automatically tracks changes by all users, creating a record of approvals and requests within NetSuite. This replaces Oncopeptides’ informal ticketing process and makes auditing the new instance much simpler.
"Maintaining the integrity of the changes is a big part of it," Jarrell told us.
As with every Strongpoint project, we started by setting up our Spider to create comprehensive, continuous documentation of all the customizations and interdependencies in their account. From there, change logging captures all system notes as well as changes to critical settings and preferences. Smart policies segment changes by risk level, automatically applying impact analysis to determine what’s safe and what requires further approval or investigation.
Oncopeptides was up and running with Strongpoint in under three weeks — making sure they were able to meet their go-live date and laying the groundwork for a fully validated system that could produce ITGC-ready change logs on demand.
Getting Everyone on Board
Onboarding any new system — even one as easy-to-use as Strongpoint — takes time. To get Oncopeptides to value faster, we customized Strongpoint’s change request and test record features to allow them to run the manual process in parallel with our automated tools.
Once the system is fully adopted, Jarrell and his team will discard manual approvals and rely solely on Strongpoint for end-to-end change management.
Ultimately, these tools work towards the goal of giving Oncopeptides a fully validated NetSuite instance that’s easy to manage on an ongoing basis. “Strongpoint will definitely help us avoid major risk around product validation,” Jarrell told us
What does this look like in practice?
With Strongpoint in place, the Oncopeptides team can:
- Generate and approve change requests entirely within NetSuite
- Create audit-ready logs of all changes
- Automatically apply impact analysis to proposed changes
- Produce reports showing all compliant changes, noncompliant changes and resolved noncompliant changes
The Bottom Line
Publicly traded companies in highly regulated industries need powerful tools to meet their compliance requirements. While Oncopeptides' ERP system was more complex than most, by leveraging Strongpoint in NetSuite, they were able to set themselves up for stress-free audits in the future.
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