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  • Stories from the Field: On the Front Lines of the Pandemic with Zymo Research

    Zymo Research chooses Ultra to advise on their ERP implementationBiomedical device and testing equipment enterprises are on the front lines to defeat today’s pandemic, working overtime to supply desperately needed testing and supplies.

    Many of these enterprises have had similar beginnings – answering an unmet need and putting together scientific answers to society’s pressing questions. Starting small, similar enterprises often grow at astonishing paces and need technology solutions to scale with their growth.

    One such enterprise is Zymo Research. Started in a garage in Orange, California with secondhand equipment, the company focused on the creation of innovative yeast research technologies, followed by spin columns and plasmid purification products.

    Specifically, the company manufactures DNA and RNA extraction kits which are used mainly by academic and biopharmaceutical scientists to isolate and purify DNA/RNA from various sample types. Zymo Research is also known for its epigenetics line of products used in DNA methylation detection and quantitation.

    Zymo Research has expanded globally since its founding in 1994, with facilities around the world in places like Freiberg, Germany, and Beijing, China. Today, Zymo Research creates some of the most technologically advanced products available to researchers in academia and the biomedical field.

    Replacing Outgrown Software

    Management at Zymo Research quickly realized that the company’s growth and expansion required significantly stronger and more broad-based technology solutions.

    Zymo Research engaged an independent ERP consultant team at Ultra Consultants to help them with a Business Process Improvement project to scale with and support their growth plan. Part of this growth plan was to move from QuickBooks to an ERP system that would support them today and tomorrow and ensure their business transformation.

    Together, Ultra and Zymo Research developed an extensive plan to review and enhance business processes and detail requirements for the move from QuickBooks to the ERP. From there, the project team invited ERP vendors to demonstrate their ability to scale and grow with the biotechnology company, including its purchase of new warehousing space.

    It became strategically imperative that the project team select the right ERP system that could scale and provide flexibility for the company’s transformation. Ultra had the privilege of being their trusted advisor to guide them through this process.

    Timing Is Everything: COVID-19 and ERP Implementation

    The project team selected NetSuite ERP and chose Ultra Consultants to oversee the enterprise software implementation. The team developed a project plan, timeline and go-live date – and then the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

    Zymo Research’s unique knowledge of DNA and RNA put them on the front lines of the pandemic, and in early March 2020, the company significantly increased production of products for sample collection, viral DNA/RNA extraction, and a COVID-19 test kit that has recently been authorized by the FDA under EUA . Ultra and Zymo Research quickly pivoted to ensure the company could focus on its response to COVID-19 while continuing to move forward with the ERP implementation. The project team worked to fully utilize all virtual tools, align vendors and identify a new go-live date. The project team’s efforts were crucial to ensure full support for those working on the front lines.

    Resuming ERP Implementation

    As it continues its focus on test kits and reagents for COVID-19, Zymo Research is also working to re-start the ERP implementation.

    “Instead of pulling back, they see the value of making sure they have the right technology to support their operations. For those preparing for the end of this, management at Zymo Research has that foresight of knowing that they need to have the right infrastructure in place when this is over,” said Jodi Foster, Senior Project Manager at Ultra Consultants.

    Currently, data is being loaded into NetSuite, and Zymo Research expects to be up and running by early fall. The right technology is key to supporting operations and keeping up with production, development, and shipping.

    For Zymo Research, it has been a balancing act to fast-track kits to test for COVID-19 and forge ahead with an ERP implementation. We are pleased to work with companies like Zymo–an industry leader committed to helping humanity. View more of their COVID-19 efforts and partnerships.

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