SciQuest - great product, great customer service
Updated January 22, 2016

SciQuest - great product, great customer service

Larry (W) D'Ambrosa | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Spend Director

Overall Satisfaction with SciQuest

SciQuest is used here at University Hospital in Newark, NJ for ALL purchases that go to outside vendors. In addition, we also use the supplies manager module for our in-house warehouse, which is used to bring consumable supplies to the various nursing stations throughout the hospital, and also to the OR. We also store our contracts within the system, and use the Spend Director module to keep track of our spend against our various contracts. All of our approvals, at the department, budget and purchasing levels, are done within SciQuest. It addresses the whole procure-to-pay cycle in an exemplary manner. We are in the process of renewing our deal with them.
  • Supplier relationships, in terms of setting up supplier catalogs and keeping them up-to-date, are handled by SciQuest in an exemplary fashion.
  • The approval process, using Advanced Dynamic Workflow (ADW), is extremely powerful and allows you to create approval workflows which will exactly match your needs.
  • The Compliance Tracker module, part of Spend Director, is a great tool for capturing spend under contract. It is also a very good tool for storing contract information and documents, and tracking and disseminating through email notifications information such as expiration date and contract budgets.
  • SciQuest customer service is, overall, excellent. We have always had a good working relationship with the company and feel as though they listen to us as we voice our needs and wants.
  • Unable to directly access SciQuest data through a report writing tool such as Crystal Reports or MS Access, so we have to build a shadow database if we want to run any ad-hoc reports (reports that are not part of the "canned" SciQuest package). This is, by far, my biggest gripe with the SciQuest product.
  • Would be nice for users (especially very knowledgeable users) to be able to upload a worksheet into the system and create a requisition from it. Our users who order for the OR frequently get a spreadsheet with a long list of items. They then have to manually enter those items, one by one, into the system.
  • The Supplies Manager module is fairly rudimentary.
  • Much faster approval times
  • Far better tracking of contracts and spend under contract
  • Easier communication with users
  • Oracle iProcurement
Although the base costs for Oracle were cheaper, by the time you added in all the additional charges for oracle, it ended up being significantly more expensive. In addition, we felt the SciQuest product was better suited our needs. It was geared more towards a science/research environment, and the contract mechanisms (both for storing contracts and for recording spend against contracts) were much better.

As a purchasing app, it is excellent. I cannot speak to its usefulness in the AP area. it may be less useful in a different environment, such as manufacturing. For research and healthcare use, it is excellent.

Also, we use Banner as our ERP. SciQuest is well versed with integrating with Banner. Users with a different ERP may experience less pleasant results.

Using SciQuest

300 - Everyone from department heads to lab workers uses SciQuest here. All of our requisitioners are on SciQuest (over 200 users). In addition, all of our departmental approvers, and all of our budget approvers use the system. We also have our internal warehouse users on the system. Lastly, we have3 contract administrators who are responsible for setting up and maintain the contracts within the system.
2 - The SciQuest admin should have a strong technical background, and understand how systems work, but also have an understanding of the business needs of the institution you are working for, and how procurement and accounts payable work, both together and towards the user population. If you are also serving as a customer service rep, you should have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to explain processes in a step-by-step fashion.
  • Creating requisitions to be turned into purchase orders
  • Managing contracts and recording spend against them
  • Approvals of requisitions by department, budget office, and purchasing
  • tracking contract creation
  • Receiving invoices electronically into our AP system
  • Contract creation
We like the product, we do not see a competitor who has a better product, and we have history with the product which we do not want to lose.

Evaluating SciQuest and Competitors

Yes - We formerly used the purchasing module in Banner for our users to create requisitions and perform approvals. We would then manually turn those approved reqs into purchase orders in our purchasing department. We are still using Banner, but now we do reqs and approvals strictly in SciQuest. Once the reqs are approved, the SciQuest PO gets sent to Banner, turned into a PO there, and then gets returned to SciQuest with a proper PO number, and gets distributed to the vendor using the SciQuest system
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
Product features were the most important. SciQuest provided an easy-to-use interface for our users, and enhanced functionality to the purchasing department. The price was lower than the other bidder for this function, and the product is relatively easier to use, certainly MUCH easier than our previous method of entering requisitions and purchase orders.
Although we would have liked to have had more than two vendors respond to our RFP, I don't think we would have changed much if anything of the whole process. We felt we saw at least one other similar product, and SciQuest was cheaper, had more features, more functionality, and was easier to use than the competition.

SciQuest Implementation

We had an internal project manager who was well versed in PMI methodologies. I think the implementation would have gone far less successfully, or may even have failed entirely, without her. She was able to do all the things a project manager is supposed to do, and in an ordered and organized manner.
Yes - There were various segments of data that needed to be added to the system. These included vendor data, user data, contract data, and chart of accounts data. Additionally, we went live with about 15 vendor catalogs, which all had to be set up. Finally, approval workflows at various levels had to be created.
Change management was a big part of the implementation and was well-handled - It was good to include the Change Management group in the implementation process. There were some areas which involved departments other than purchasing (IT, accounting, fixed assets, accounts payable). These areas needed to be brought into the process to make sure we didn't do anything that would adversely impact them. Change management not only helped to integrate these areas, but they were able to record and keep track of any changes we did make.
  • Setting up approval queues; more specifically, converting existing approval queues from our old purchasing system to the new one.
  • Getting a handle on, and creating and importing, contract data. Our old system did not keep track of contracts in any fashion.

SciQuest Support

They usually respond to medium-to-low priority issues very quickly, and high priority issues almost instantly. Their support team is knowledgeable and responsive. Their Supplier Enablement team is very good and is a feature that most of their competitors don't have. The company makes a serious effort to maintain good relationships with their customers.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - Yes, there were a few times we found bugs in the application. We have found issues in the Production environment, which were handled extremely quickly. We have also found bugs during the pre-release testing phase of upgrades, and these too were handled and responded to in a very quick and timely manner.
We implemented the Supplies Manager (inventory) module in 2011. When we went live, we found that some of the reports were wrong, or were based on faulty logic. SciQuest worked with us to understand the issues we were seeing, and worked to resolve them in a timely fashion. Similarly, in the same module, there were at least two occasions where we felt an improvement was needed to make the software work in a fashion we deemed acceptable, and again SciQuest was able to bring in those feature requests in the next upgrade.

Using SciQuest

Overall, it has an easy-to-use interface
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Using vendor catalog to shop
  • Approvals
  • Attaching quotes or other documentation to orders
  • applying or changing commodity codes
  • setting up contracts
  • creating ad-hoc reports
Yes - It works OK, but has limited use at the moment (approvals only, no data entry)