Founded in 2011, Inari Medical is a commercial-stage medical device organization focused on developing products to treat and transform the lives of patients suffering from venous diseases.
Their dedicated team is eliminating the need for thrombolytic drugs and creating safe devices to remove life-threatening blood clots caused by venous thromboembolism, which includes Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).
IT Project Manager
Kevin Nguyen is the IT Project Manager at Inari Medical. His creative outlook, passion for technology, and previous experience as a Financial Analyst has allowed Kevin to pursue his dream of making the world a better place by ensuring Inari Medical has the right tools and processes in place to help save lives.
IT Project Manager
Inari Medical’s patient stories showcase how important their medical advancements are to those facing venous thromboembolism, and how every department within the organization is dedicated to improving the lives of their patients.
For the Research and Development (R&D) Team – who are strictly focused on innovating the treatment of venous thromboembolism – a streamlined and unique purchasing process is critical to success. The team required a solution that could handle frequent one-off purchases and that enabled team members to directly manage vendor relationships, all without slowing down innovation.
To compound the challenge, Inari recently transitioned from QuickBooks Online to NetSuite. While the Finance Team was equipped for this, the R&D Team needed a more intuitive purchasing solution that could easily handle requests for hundreds of items a month on non-inventory spend.
Inari Medical’s move to NetSuite helped them gain better control over inventory purchasing. At the same time, the comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution left a gap in the R&D Team’s agile purchasing process. Even with NetSuite, managing non-inventory items required for clinical research meant using spreadsheets, emails, and paper purchase orders.
“The paperwork would be all over the place, which led to a lack of visibility into how we were spending and tracking our purchases,” explained Kevin Nguyen, IT Project Manager at Inari Medical. “On the accounts payable side of things, we’d receive the invoices but not the packing slips. What’s more, the Finance Team wasn’t sure if the engineers actually received the items they ordered, which left them wondering if the invoices were okay to pay. It was time consuming for everybody.”
Although Inari’s Finance Team required end-to-end purchasing visibility, the R&D Team required something else: control over purchases. Engineers on the team were ordering specialized items from specific vendors, and to ensure they received the right products, team members needed to discuss specifics directly with vendors while making a purchase.
On top of these requirements, a new purchasing solution had to offer both teams a way out of spreadsheets, and a way into automated and customized purchasing workflows.
“With the Excel sheet, sometimes people wouldn't save it and others would get locked out of it. You'd have situations where other people are trying to use the spreadsheet but are unable to because another team member is in it. That just wasn’t scalable, especially at the rate that we're growing right now.”
The complexity of spreadsheets made it difficult for more than just the R&D Team, too. Frequent non-inventory purchases meant the Accounts Payable Team spent more time on non-value added administrative tasks rather than on strategic decision making. In short, their time was spent tracking down paper purchase orders and searching for missing packing slips, instead of analyzing business spend and building workflows that improved operational efficiency and cut costs.
For every team involved, cost reduction was at the forefront of the decision-making process. Teams discussed adding purchasing seats on NetSuite for engineers on the R&D Team, but the license costs were unjustifiable.
Finding a purchasing solution that ticked these boxes was a tall order. There was a long list of requirements from multiple teams and, to top it off, the tool of choice had to integrate directly into NetSuite.
Fortunately, they found Procurify.
Procurify’s proven partnership with NetSuite gave Inari Medical the confidence they were looking for. Paired with technical expertise and ability to seamlessly integrate into NetSuite’s solution, Procurify continues to empower Inari’s engineers to purchase smarter and move away from manual processes.
Integrating Procurify into NetSuite provided Inari with a centralized, single source of truth for purchase orders, packing slips, and invoices, reducing the time spent searching for missing documents. What’s more, the Accounts Payable Team can now rest easy knowing they have the information they need to create bills, complete three-way matches, and process payments. At the same time, engineers use Procurify to maintain their agile, hands-on purchasing process without slowing things down.
For Inari, the workflow between Procurify and NetSuite is simple. After receiving items, engineers just attach their packing slip into their original Procurify request, and the information is pushed into NetSuite for the Accounts Payable Team to manage.
“The amount of investigation work the Accounts Payable Team has to do, chasing down engineers and asking them if they’ve received something or if there’s packing slips, has gone down,” explained Kevin Nguyen, IT Project Manager. “They can now check all of that in one location where all they really need to do is check to make sure they received the invoice, then check the purchase order and pay the invoice.”
From an accounts payable perspective, the way data flows between Procurify and NetSuite was a major highlight, and the integration eliminated the manual task of double data entry.
“It’s nice to see how seamless purchase order generation in Procurify is, and then to see how it flows into NetSuite. Someone receiving something in Procurify would also, in turn, update the receiving log on the purchase order in NetSuite as well,” explained Nguyen. “We really liked the link back to the Procurify purchase order. Having that link inside of NetSuite allows the Accounts Payable Team to easily go back and check to make sure there’s a packing slip.”
Today, the R&D Team makes all of their purchasing requests through Procurify. And when an engineer receives a purchase approval notification, they can create their purchase order and submit it to their vendor, all within the platform itself. This gives them the ability to continue to work directly with vendors, all without the need for manual paperwork or labor-heavy spreadsheets.
“Engineers have let me know that the process is a lot faster and smoother,” Nguyen explained, “and it’s a lot nicer that they’re able to take a picture of their packing slip with Procurify’s mobile app and upload it to their purchase order.”
Snapping photos at the point of sale and tracking purchases via the Procurify Mobile App was another major confidence booster for Inari. “They [engineers] like that they can track all of their purchase orders,” said Nguyen. “Before, they didn’t have a place to manage and track all of their paper purchase orders that they had out there in the world. But now they can go into Procurify and search to see what purchase orders they still have open and what items they’re still waiting on.”
Not only is the end-to-end purchasing process beneficial for streamlining the R&D Team’s spending, the ability to push data from Procurify into NetSuite makes three-way matching simple by providing visibility into what items are received and ready for invoicing.
“It could take a week or so for the Accounts Payable Team to know if the engineer received the material they were requesting. Sometimes they did receive the items, but their packing slip is just sitting on their table and they haven’t uploaded the documents or let anyone know that they received their items.”
Keeping the engineer’s processes free of bureaucracy is important to Inari Medical. Procurify’s vendor management functionality allows the team to continue building deep and meaningful relationships with every supplier, all from within the Procurify Platform. The ability to manage each vendor individually, as well as create and directly email purchase orders, allows Inari Medical to accurately track vendor performance and analyze and optimize supplier relationships.
“Something that keeps us nimble is that we let every single engineer procure things on their own and create their own purchase orders in Procurify. They can send them off directly to the vendor rather than having a procurement department involved, which reduces red tape,” said Nguyen. “We believe that if the engineers need an item for a project that will better help our main goal of treating more patients, then go ahead and do that.”
Nguyen mentioned that giving engineers the ability to connect directly with their vendors has removed miscommunication and saved time, too; it removes the need to go through multiple departments to find purchase statuses, which can be delayed when team members are out of the office.
Not only was Kevin Nguyen tasked with selecting the perfect solution for Inari Medical, but he was also tasked with implementing and integrating that solution with NetSuite. Fortunately for Kevin, implementing Procurify into an existing tech stack is a piece of cake, and with support from our Implementation Team, Kevin successfully deployed Procurify and successfully trained end-users to completion.
“The technical support help was awesome, they were always helping make sure the purchase orders would line up and flow properly under the correct departments and account codes,” he explained. “It’s been great, and the Procurify team has always been so attentive, especially post-implementation. Whenever our teams have issues, they can go straight to the Procurify’s support team instead of going through me. They’ve been amazing.”
Procurify’s dedicated Customer Success Manager, Janice Tam, was a notable highlight for Nguyen. “It’s really nice to see the Procurify Team being so attentive and helping us out all the time,” Nguyen explained. “Whenever we have larger integrations, Janice will reach out to me to set something up and talk through some of the process flows. She’ll especially support when it comes to feature requests and how quickly those turnarounds have been.”
Building and scaling a team focused on changing the lives of individuals with Pulmonary Embolism and Deep Vein Thrombosis means that everyone at Inari Medical has to spend all of their time on the tasks that matter most. Every engineer must remain focused on critical research, for example, and all team members must remain dedicated to improving the lives of patients. For Nguyen, this meant moving the organization's tech stack off of on-premise solutions and onto the cloud.
“My favorite part has been getting out of the server and Excel spreadsheets where we don’t have to rely on an on-premise server anymore,” Nguyen explained. “We can take everything into the cloud and it’s a lot nicer when people don’t have to VPN into the server. They’re now able to do work from anywhere.”
When it comes to innovation within the purchasing processes, Nguyen summed things up perfectly:
“For me, it’s not doing things the old way just because we’re used to it. It’s about trying to help open people’s minds to doing something different and seeing what’s out there with technology and all of the awesome changes that are going on in the world.”
Inari Medical continues to scale their team and perform critical research to help create safer and more effective ways to save the lives of their patients.
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