SciQuest NextLevel: Dispatch 4 (Supplier Content Matters)

When I was at NextLevel last week, I told a number of SciQuest employees that I suspected that most curious outsiders (e.g., Wall Street analysts) understanding 50% of what Ariba did in practice would probably understand even less of what SciQuest does on an industry-specific basis, including the marshaling and management of unique catalog content in the life sciences and research areas. Indeed, I challenge anyone to go to another procurement conference in which two of the suppliers showing off their wares bring laboratory equipment samples (see picture, below, of one of these vendors).

Keeping track of supplier catalog content and related information is no small feat, especially when suppliers have many fields to manage and update, considering the nuances and quantity of all the information required in life sciences for research and ordering. When it comes to which metrics and percentages SciQuest tracks and provides feedback to suppliers on, they consider SKU lead time, packaging UOM, product size, product image, image URL, manufacturing part number, manufacturers name, CAS number, CAS relent products and "more information" URL. Through this data-driven feedback process, SciQuest aims to continually improve its metrics when it comes to up-to-date and complete SKU information in its catalogs.

Moreover, if you consider that SciQuest is expanding its supplier content and P2P reach into new customer segments in the existing markets it targets today (e.g., K-12 education, Parts DOT, Ambulatory medical labs, medical device, etc.) and plans on additional markets in the future (e.g., EPC, oil and gas, financial services, hospitality, gaming, utilities, etc.), it becomes more and more clear the importance of maintaining accurate supplier content information as part of their core value proposition, however nuanced and esoteric it may be, across a set of highly unique vertical and supply market environments.

Jason Busch

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