“Today, procurement must be equipped with the ability to manage the entire process, up-front in ways that allow proactive monitoring and strategic sourcing, enabling the procurement practice to be true partners with the business,” says Stephen Wiehe, President & CEO, SciQuest, a provider of cloud based business automation solutions for spend management. Wiehe’s statement gets highlighted in the light of a recent survey that said inefficient procurement tools cost businesses in North America more than 1.5 billion dollars annually and waste of 32 million work hours.
Headquartered in Morrisville, NC, SciQuest offers solutions to answer this on-going challenge. The company’s comprehensive procurement suite is modeled like an e-commerce platform, offering several options for Procurement, Supplier Management, Spend Analytics, Supplier Network, Sourcing, Inventory Management, Contract Lifecycle Management and Accounts Payable.
Along with a wide array of features, the integrated suite delivers a seamless process for visualizing spend across the organization, managing supplier data, incorporating that supplier data into eSourcing events, and translating eSourcing results into actionable contracts. This includes being connected to diverse groups of quality suppliers so that the client is able to discover collaborative partners who can lower cost for goods and services while minimizing risks and ensuring compliance.
The innovative approach towards procurement enables SciQuest to solve the unique set of challenges faced by their 500 plus global customers. This approach is highly beneficial when it comes to specific details to leverage multinational support, concern in understanding different tax rates, formulas, compliance requirements and languages.
In an implementation highlight, University of California (UC) turned to SciQuest to get a clearer picture of system-wide purchasing data, including PO, invoice and P-card data. The solution enabled UC to classify its data based on its own unique classifications instead of conforming to rigid rules and generic classification structures. Having fresh, accurate data at their fingertips allowed them to gain immediate insight at the aggregate, campus, category, and departmental level.
“Buying smarter isn’t just buying at the lowest price. It’s knowing everything about your spending habits and using that knowledge behind the scenes to help negotiate with suppliers, then direct end users toward spending practices that meet a greater objective,” emphasizes Wiehe. By selecting a prime vendor for laboratory supplies, UC will save almost $14 million per year. This is just one of the dozens of spend categories in which UC will use spend analysis to identify opportunities for savings.
In another example, a recent trucking transportation project in a European country that cost about $35 million a year, saw twelve participating suppliers submit bids covering 1,600 separate items. Using the SciQuest Advanced Sourcing Optimizer, Maersk awarded projects to four suppliers across different regions and saved almost $5 million. Hence, the impact on savings of this technology is huge.
SciQuest is taking innovation in many new directions including ensuring technology adoption by enhancing the way stakeholders leverage advanced procurement technology. This includes new levels of system wide transparency to provide the right level of information needed at the right time to the right stakeholders, which includes access through mobile solutions, exception handling, and enhanced reporting. “Our vision is to bring advanced optimization and analytic intelligence to work seamlessly throughout the enterprise to seamlessly and dynamically manage the entire spend and supplier performance management lifecycle,” concludes Wiehe.