When it comes to SciQuest, is the defection of Oregon and Colarado a sign that the WSCA wall is crumbling? by Jon Hansen

Posted on September 26, 2013


Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) Selects SciQuest to Improve Cooperative Purchasing . . . SciQuest Collaborative Procurement Empowers Multi-State Consortium to Streamline Purchasing Processes and Reduce Spending!

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the above “news” was broadcast to the world by SciQuest via a press release.  On a side note, and in the category of “this is a story for another day,” it is no wonder that press releases are not taken seriously anymore.  Like infomercials, they are little more than self-serving chest pounding proclamations of purported accomplishment designed to say to the world if this organization chose us, you should too.  I wonder if SciQuest will be issuing a press release informing the world that they lost the contracts?

Anyway, I digress.

As highlighted in my 2-Part guest post on the Buyers Meeting Point blog, as well as yesterday’s follow-up article here on the Procurement Insights blog, the assertion by both SciQuest and then WSCA Chairman Greg Smith that (and I quote); “The SciQuest eProcurement solution that WSCA will be implementing will enable our organization to address many of our strategic objectives in an efficient and effective manner” does not appear to have panned out as expected – at least not from the standpoint of Oregon and Colorado.

This leads one to ask the obvious question . . . in terms of SciQuest is this a sign that the Western States Contracting Alliance’s wall is crumbling in much the same fashion that the Berlin Wall collapsed for the now defunct Eastern Bloc alliance?

WSCA NASPO wall_crumbling

After all, it may not be unreasonable to assume that other WSCA members may soon follow the two defecting states’ lead.  An important consideration on many levels including one that might very well influence prospective SciQuest clients to go with the company’s solutions.

In this context I know that I would like to understand what went wrong and how it might affect my operations in terms of implementing the SciQuest application.

While we will be contacting both Oregon and Colorado to see if we can persuade them to provide at least some degree of insight into what went wrong – insight I might add that based on history is not likely to be forthcoming – what are your thoughts?

Specifically, what do you think likely led to the project running off the rails in the two states despite the optimistic prose associated with the original SciQuest press release?


Posted in: Commentary