Science Warehouse – eProcurement at a molecular level

Continuing our look at technology providers that aren't as yet high profile, but are showing strong growth based on interesting products...today a bit about Science Warehouse. SW (as we'll call them) were formed about 10 years ago in a 'spin off' from Leeds University.  Their particular niche is in providing eProcurement technology to customers with specialist  scientific needs; largely universities, but also research bodies, pharma companies and similar.  "Providing an Amazon type buying experience to the user in the laboratory" was how Dr. Jonathan Betts, their Sales & Marketing Director described it to me.

Their strength lies in their ability to catalogue highly complex scientific products - for an example, click here to see a Spend Matters feature which has a great example (screen shot pictures ) showing the complexity of some of the products that SW are successfully cataloguing. As the Spend Matters piece says:

What you see above is an example of a k. lactis Expression Kit that offers "an easy method of expressing a gene of interest in the yeast kluyveromyces lactis." A paperclip or stapler in an eProcurement catalog it is not! The SKU attributes, images and related materials and attachments are all important to the potential buyer, yet it's unlikely that a standard catalog content management solution could easily manage all of the attributes and information, especially in an environment where suppliers self-manage at least some aspects of their own information.  Science Warehouse excels in the cataloging, search and presentation of this information to a technical buying audience.

As well as the catalogue capability, SW have developed an eProcurement suite of products that can sit alongside and interface with a customer's ERP system (for instance, as a 'punch -out' from Oracle or other ERP), or can act as a standalone P2P procurement platform with RFQs for mini-competitions and other capability.  The last couple of years have been very successful with growth of around 50% per annum, and they've gained some blue chip clients particularly in the university world.

They're based in Leeds and their senior team have serious scientific backgrounds.  Their focus is very clear; and they seem to have found an interesting niche here with some capability that is quite distinct.

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