The Beginning of the end for SciQuest? by Jon Hansen

Posted on June 11, 2015


Subject: Dartmouth College’s Exit From The SciQuest Marketplace
Importance: High


This communication is going out to all SciQuest catalog suppliers/providers for Dartmouth College:

Please be advised that as of May 31, 2015, Dartmouth College will no longer be purchasing from your catalogs via the SciQuest Marketplace.  Instead, our shoppers will access your direct internet catalogs to purchase your goods and services using their p-card credit card, where applicable, or will place non-catalog purchase orders that will be emailed or faxed to you directly out of Dartmouth’s Oracle Purchasing System.

SciQuest will be disabling access to all supplier punchout, hosted, and proxy catalogs, as well as any inbound and outbound communications to the SciQuest Marketplace for Dartmouth College business as of the close of business May 30, 2015. 

Please make any necessary arrangements in your processes and systems to effect this and the following changes for all future Dartmouth College ordering and invoicing.

SciQuest Dartmouth

The above is an excerpt of an e-mail that was sent to all SciQuest catalog suppliers/providers for Dartmouth, informing them that the College was as one source put it “unceremoniously cutting ties with SciQuest.”

Word on the street is that there are other institutions looking to do the same.

Now in and of itself, this news is significant. However, it would appear that the flurry of activity in terms of clients severing their ties with the company is not limited to SciQuest’s customers.

According to an report, “SciQuest Inc. (SQI) experienced unusually high volume on Jun. 10.”  The report then went on to add that “Given that the stock’s average daily volume over the last month has been 153,136 shares a day, this represents a pretty substantial spike over the norm.”

Is it just me, or are you also starting to get a sense as to what it must have felt like to be on the Titanic after it struck the iceberg?

While nothing is guaranteed until it actually happens or, as Yogi Berra once said “it ain’t over til it’s over,” is this really so surprising?

Based on the revelation that Sciquest’s CEO Weihe has been unloading his shares through a 10b5-1 plan, coupled with the recent departure of their CFO as reported here in the Procurement Insights blog, it would be more than reasonable to conclude that the writing was and is on the wall.

If this is indeed transitioning from an if to when scenario, where does it leave the higher education market, or for that matter the market in general?

In an upcoming post, I will examine this question in greater detail. In the meantime, and with the share activity at it’s present level, it appears that the life boats are being lowered into the water.

I guess Spend Matters was right . . . SciQuest is a “Provider to Know in 2015,” just not for the reasons highlighted in their May 15th, 2015 Almanac list.

Stay tuned.

SciQuest Shares


Posted in: News & Updates