SciQuest use at a large university
Updated October 11, 2016
SciQuest use at a large university
Score 9 out of 10
- AP Director, Spend, Order, Requisition
Overall Satisfaction with SciQuest
SciQuest is used for computerized online shopping, automated requisitions, automated POs, automated e-invoices plus scanned and manually entered invoices. SciQuest interfaces with the back end payment generation and financial systems.
- SciQuest has a fairly robust process for vendor and item selection and subsequent purchase authorizations and PO generation. Subsequent E-invoicing and hardcopy invoice entry are established processes.
- Customer support from SciQuest is very good.
- Software updates from SciQuest are average.
- SciQuest has helped automate diverse and possibly inefficient manual processes. Vendors and buyers must follow a rigorous computerized protocol for buying and selling. This enables efficiencies and forces reduced errors. After a one year learning curve efficiencies will become apparent. Having all Requisition, PO and Invoice details linked on one screen is very useful.
SciQuest works especially well automating invoice delivery & payment processing with our larger, tech savvy vendors that are cXML proficient and that have established e-procurement/selling processes (= 40% of our vendors). Some vendor-caused cXML invoice rejection and accuracy issues are to be expected during their start up one to six months. This is especially true if the vendor doesn't pay attention to the automatically generated file Reject messages that SciQuest sends the vendor when the vendor sends misconfigured files. After the vendor start-up period of one to six months the files flow quickly and payments can happen in one day. Our start-up phases for onboarding cXML vendors is now one to three months. The 60% of vendors that are small or local and without cXML also flow well and are semi-automated with scanning instead of direct cXML e-invoice synchronization.
1000 - 200+ university departments.
P2P system selection is not my responsibility
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - It took time for buying personnel and vendor personnel/systems to implement the SciQuest buying processes. The buying depts. and vendors often made process or technical mistakes during the first year. Continual education/reminders to the buying groups and vendors was necessary by Accounts Payable and Procurement at our university. Mistakes by buying groups and vendors have been reduced but continue in year 3. Perhaps these typos/technical XML, and miscommunication errors are normal when vendor/buyer data entry or process steps are involved.
- Online training
For invoices, after learning the concept and efficiencies of Workflow, invoice processing is flowing smoothly.
There is a 3 month learning curve and then the features are easy to use. My AP team processes 400 invoices daily through the system. The things to watch for are vendor billing mistakes (no/incorrect PO number, information discrepancies) and buyer purchase request inconsistencies. Those are part of AP anyway so maybe it is what it is. The Sciquest AP software performs as designed some improvements needed. In our system I have documented a list of 60 improvements that could increase throughput up to 50%. Those improvements include making the AP records GUI format more customized for AP purposes, and improving the QC tolerance functionality, which can be laborious to sync (Match).
Highly reliable remotely hosted PTP solution that interfaces with our remote OCR vendor and with university sited operational servers. Twice a year over the last 3 years a SciQuest/OCR system file handling or network problem occurs that gets fixed within a day.
99%+ uptime for the last 4 years, very good support.