Case study

RSM frees pharmaceutical services company from implementation gridlock

Dec 17, 2020
Life sciences
Digital evolution Business applications ERP services NetSuite


Tanner Pharma Group is a Charlotte-based, global pharmaceutical services company. Through four commercial divisions, it facilitates patient access to medicine in underserved markets and provides comparative drugs for clinical trials.


Over a period of only six years, Tanner achieved impressive growth. “We experienced a compound annual growth rate of about 67 percent and went from three full-time employees to close to 50,” explains Steve Scalia, vice president of operations at Tanner Pharma Group.

During that time, the company quickly outgrew its accounting software and began to lay the foundation for scaling the business. In 2015, Tanner set out to find an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution that more closely aligned with its business trajectory.

Tanner’s selection process went smoothly. It hired a consultant to define and enhance operating procedures and lead the request-for-proposal process. Subsequently, the firm thoroughly vetted four proposals from ERP providers and ultimately selected NetSuite.

However, challenges began to surface during implementation. While the NetSuite platform was robust and Tanner invested in high-level internal resources to facilitate the installation, the implementation team could not address the scope of work required.


Having reached a stalemate with its ERP implementation partner, Tanner’s auditor—RSM—introduced the company to RSM’s NetSuite implementation division. Almost immediately, the project began to turn around.

Drawing upon RSM’s deep knowledge of the NetSuite product, our team suggested features for streamlining the implementation. For example, we helped Tanner secure a sandbox for testing all of its customization—an option that was not made readily available by the previous implementation team.

In addition to the RSM team’s technical proficiency, our NetSuite team delivered on a number of other fronts. “RSM provided a diverse pool of resources. All of the project team members were experienced, but they were also strong from a service delivery and human interaction standpoint, too,” says Scalia.


RSM was able to immediately intercede and complete Tanner Pharma Group’s NetSuite implementation, as well as set up a program for ongoing support and continuous improvement.

“So obviously, any ERP is built around the accounting system,” commented Scalia. “Ours was complicated with both international and customized business models that we needed to address, and the RSM team helped us get the most out of a platform that can handle our business.”

On the few occasions where RSM recommended third-party consultants with NetSuite competence, we did so at a reasonable cost to Tanner and with a measurable increase in value to the implementation.

Key benefits of RSM’s service for Tanner included:

  • Highly experienced, senior-level implementation team with a deep understanding of the NetSuite platform
  • Ability to take over an unsatisfactory implementation and make the necessary fixes to get the project back on track quickly
  • An extensive network of qualified and affordable third-party consultants
  • Extensive portfolio of NetSuite customers from which to draw insight
NetSuite is a solid ERP. It’s been really good for us and we’re very happy with the platform. But we’ve learned the hard way that any software solution is only as good as the partners we have to implement the system and support our team’s goals.
Steve Scalia, Vice President of Operations, Tanner Pharma Group