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Local Tech Wire
CARY, N.C. – Colleges and universities looking to save money through e-procurement services can now do business directly with rather than having to go through a bidding processes thanks to a new deal between SciQuest and E&I Cooperative Purchasing.
works with some 1,600 institutions as an education purchasing consortium and is the largest such group in the country.
SciQuest, which offers its buying services through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, won a competitive process to earn the E&I contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal is not exclusive but does establish SciQuest as the E&I approved choice for e-procurement. Public institutions can sign contracts with SciQuest at a discount and do not have to prepare requests for proposals and bidding procedures, said Eric Zoetmulder, the company’s director of product marketing.
“This is a great endorsement for us,” Zoetnulder told Local Tech Wire. “This is the window into those 1,600 entities.”
The contract codifies a long-term relationship between SciQuest and E&I, which have worked together for several years.
"With the largest purchasing community in higher education, we are in a position to negotiate the best contracts," said Tom Fitzgerald, E&I’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
"For many years, SciQuest has provided its customers and our members with complimentary access to E&I contracts through the company’s procurement solutions,” he added. “Now we can offer our membership with fast and competitively-priced access to the same SciQuest e-procurement technology many of our members have used to dramatically impact their bottom line."
SciQuest already works with numerous higher education institutions around the world. But the privately held firm sees the segment as a growth opportunity since so many schools are looking to cut costs.
In addition to higher education, SciQuest focuses on life science firms, government and healthcare.
The press release:
CARY, N.C. – SciQuest, Inc., the global leader empowering enterprises to realize the potential of strategic procurement, and E&I Cooperative Purchasing (E&I), the largest higher education purchasing consortium in North America, today announced a new nationally negotiated contract that will help colleges and universities quickly reduce operating costs and bring spending under management.
The competitively awarded national contract provides more than 1,600 E&I member institutions with access to SciQuest’s on-demand suite of eprocurement and supplier enablement solutions to help them automate the procurement of goods and services. The contract offers a compelling all-in-one package that removes the complexity of what can be a very expensive and labor-intensive request for proposal (RFP) process. In addition to attaining SciQuest at a highly competitive rate, members will receive free access to a variety of E&I contracts through SciQuest’s online shopping platform.
"With the largest purchasing community in higher education, we are in a position to negotiate the best contracts," said Tom Fitzgerald, CEO, E&I Cooperative Purchasing. "For many years, SciQuest has provided its customers and our members with complimentary access to E&I contracts through the company’s procurement solutions. Now we can offer our membership with fast and competitively-priced access to the same SciQuest eprocurement technology many of our members have used to dramatically impact their bottom line."
With the purchase of goods and services comprising the single largest component of the operating budget behind payroll, the overall impact of a strategic, automated procurement program can be significant — in many cases presenting leadership with a sustainable alternative to budget cuts. Armed with the ability to gain unprecedented insight into where, how and with whom money is being spent, such a strategic approach enables colleges and universities to aggregate their buying power and ensure compliance with preferred contracts.
"E&I enabled us to attain SciQuest at a very competitive rate," said Barry Swanson, director of purchasing at the University of Kansas. "This contract will help colleges and universities quickly realize the promise of a truly strategic approach to procurement that extends the value of taxpayers’ dollars and enables higher education to drive the kinds of savings that are so imperative in today’s economy."
Challenging Times Require Fast Action
For many colleges and universities, current economic conditions represent a financial storm of historic proportions. Endowments are in decline, tuition rates are at levels that threaten the accessibility of a higher education, costs are escalating and most publicly-funded institutions face significant cuts in funding. Now more than ever, the ability to drive bottom line results through a more strategic approach to procurement and spending cannot be ignored. On average, SciQuest’s customers realize a five to 20 percent decrease in the cost of goods and services using the strategic procurement techniques and ability to enforce contract compliance the technology makes possible.
"Institutions simply don’t have the time to spend a year and a half sourcing the technology needed to achieve savings that must be realized today," said Stephen Wiehe, president and CEO of SciQuest. "Delivered via software-as-a-service, our solutions can be quickly deployed with limited IT resources. By providing its members with a competitive contract for SciQuest’s offerings, E&I removed the most time consuming hurdle that prevents many institutions from achieving the savings a strategic approach to procurement is proven to deliver."
Established in 1934 by members of The National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP), Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing (E&I) is a buying cooperative that serves colleges and universities. As the premier group purchasing organization for higher education, E&I uses the combined purchasing power of more than 1,600 member institutions to lower costs on a wide range of products and services. The organization provides members with access to a diverse portfolio of high quality national and regional contracts from best-in-class suppliers as well as additional financial incentives via return of profits to members. E&I’s member-driven competitive solicitation process has been validated by the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP).
SciQuest’s procurement automation and supplier enablement solutions empower leading organizations to realize the potential of strategic procurement. The company’s specialized knowledge, on-demand software, and service-first approach enable public and private enterprises across the globe to manage spend, drive ROI, and advance their critical missions.
SciQuest’s deep understanding of its served vertical markets combined with a broad supplier network and intuitive, online shopping experience increase user and contract adoption while improving operational efficiencies. Through software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment, organizations can quickly implement the right eprocurement solution to augment existing ERP investments or fully enable all aspects of purchasing from sourcing to settlement.