SciQuest.com's B2B e-marketplace
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Case Code : ITSY008
Case Length : 09 Pages
Period : 1990-2001
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : SciQuest.com
Industry : Information Technology (Electronic Commerce)
Countries : USA
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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"Making scientists more efficient benefits everyone.
More research time leads to more scientific break throughs, and more innovative
treatments and products for people all around the world."
- Scott Andrews, co-founder and CEO, SciQuest.com.
In the mid 1990s, scientific products industry experts began
realizing that the traditional supply chain had not been addressing the needs of
scientists, purchasing professionals and suppliers.
Scientists had to continuously develop new applications and test new theories.
This required forecasting of the quantities of chemicals and other supplies and
the kind of equipment they would need.
They sometimes had an immediate need for critical items that were highly
technical, which they had never purchased before.
Most of the time, they had to purchase them from new and different suppliers.
This involved going through several catalogs of the size of huge telephone
Purchasing professionals were also frustrated with
the traditional paper-based product ordering process that required
manual preparation of purchase orders and order tracking.
Scientists sent their requisitions to purchasing professionals, who
placed their orders with several suppliers by phone, fax and e-mail.
This multi-step manual process was highly susceptible to errors.
According to a survey1, each
requisition cost $107 for orders processed manually, while processing an
order through an online procurement system cost only $30 in 1999.