Take a look at the new members of Market Dojo who joined us throughout 2017…

Meet Angie Counsell our Marketing Assitant, Jon Pole our Bussiness Development Manager and Sophia Binns our Business Generation Manager.

Angie Counsell (Left), Jon Pole (Centre), Sophia Binns (Right)

What do you do at Market Dojo and how long have you worked there for?
A: I am currently on my University placement year taking on the role of a marketing assistant at Market Dojo

J: Jon Pole – Business Development Manager since December 2017.

S: My name is Sophia Binns and I am the business generation manager for Market Dojo. I joined Market Dojo December 1st, 2017! Christmas came early!

How have you found your time so far at Market Dojo and what have you found interesting?
A: I have enjoyed being able to manage my own projects and have a say in what I think should be done for various marketing activities, including choosing the venue for our last roadshow event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

J: Yeah it’s been really good and the team have been super welcoming, the thing I find most interesting is we have saved customers 1.3 billion yet we are just like a small family run business.

S: In the first week I was blown away by how lovely everyone was. Jon and I were shown the ropes and it’s so cool to see two guys who saw the problems in their industry and have taken the risky steps to change it. And the proof of this working is in the numbers. It’s really interesting to see how some people are scared of change. They’ve been using a system that is either outdated or inefficient but don’t want to take a step forward to change it. It’s going to be fun as my job to help people see why change is not scary but in fact exciting.

What are you hoping to achieve in your first year?
A: Confidence when working within the workplace, professionalism and most importantly my efforts within marketing to be successful. The experience is invaluable.

J: To become a well established sales person within Market Dojo and try to smash my targets, well that’s the dream anyway.

S: My aim is to be bringing in enough leads that both Pete and Jon (the sales guys) will be inundated.

Who in your team is most likely to rule the world?
A: Deffo me

J: Sophia wishes, Angie and her sass stand a chance. But Pete would sly dog everyone.

S: Me obviously.

What one thing would you bring to the office if you could?
A: Probably an endless supply of food, because I am never not hungry.

J: A winning EuroMillions ticket.

S: Multiple Puppies. I am still working on instating an office puppy. Watch this space.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Three Compelling Reasons to use a Japanese Auction by Peter Schmidt

Peter Schmidt offered to write a guest blog for Market Dojo on his past experience with eAuctions. Peter has a long track record in, sales, consultancy and procurement. He specialises in Telecoms, Managed Services and Public Cloud.

In procurement, eAuctions can be regarded as a fair way to buy goods or services as all the suppliers have an equal opportunity of being awarded the business.
The model that is commonly used is the reverse auction that gives suppliers during the auction information on their position relative to their contenders. This practice creates a competitive element among the bidders allowing them to establish the market price for the buyer.
At the end of this reverse auction, the contenders ranked two and three may have a fairly good idea of the established market price. This will indicate to them to improve their performance for similar categories organized by the buyer. Despite the fact that the above sounds great and the results are rewarding, there are situations that would call for the Japanese auction.

The Japanese auction
The mechanism of the Japanese eAuction is straightforward. All the participating suppliers start at a predefined price level that is decreased by a fixed percentage during the auction. The final contender who declines the offer wins the auction.

The contenders are unaware of who is bidding and what the others are doing during the auction. In general, the best price that arises from a Japanese auction is less favourable than when a reverse eAuction is conducted. There are situations, however, that could benefit from the Japanese auction model.

Lack of pricing elasticity
The suppliers have submitted their offers at different price levels, where there is a reason to believe that the dynamics of reverse auctions are likely to fail because of a lack of price elasticity between the highest and lowest bidder. The Japanese auction will ensure then, that at all times a better price is established, as the lowest bidder is unaware of the others and is encouraged to give a better price.

Limited amount of contenders
If for whatever reason suppliers are not eager to bid and the number of contenders is reduced to two, you may consider a Japanese auction to eliminate the risk that one of the bidders declines to participate at the last moment, which leaves the buyer with only one supplier. The Japanese auction allows the buyer to continue with the auction and establish a better price.

Regulated environment
In a highly regulated market segment where suppliers do not want to know from each other the kind of pricing levels that they can offer. Also here the Japanese auction can be the right fit, as the suppliers are not able to assess the behaviour of their contenders.
Other methods that are beyond the scope of this blog that can be conducive in yielding better results from an eAuction is the introduction of extra variables that relate to the market conditions and/or the supply chain.

It is paramount that whatever way you chose, suppliers must be well informed about the rules of engagement as the buyer’s success depends on their commitment.
For more details on the various types of auctions, please download the Infographic from Market Dojo.

Alternatively, if you’re interested in find out more about the services that Peter Schmidt provides, click here

Peter Schmidt, Independent Consultant for P.Schmidt Consultancy Services B.V.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

New Release – November 2017

Our regular system improvements have taken place again, and this month we have looked at Document Sharing.

Ability to attach documents only for a specific supplier
Documents are a really important way for our customers to share information, whether these are terms of business, product specifications or customer references, they often form a critical part of the tender. Until recently, document security meant that a Host could only share documents with Participants based on their status. All participants would see some documents, with others restricted to just the Participants who the Host had given access to the whole event.
Sharing in this way is easy and simple, however, sometimes you may want to share a document with only some suppliers. Examples include co-signed NDAs, Award Letters and Signed Contracts. Previously, the only option was to do this outside Market Dojo, which meant some parts of the audit trail were not available.

Sharing
Now, we have changed this, so that documents can be shared with certain suppliers, or just with the other Hosts managing the event. This is an extra option when creating or editing documents:
Documents have a new ‘Share with’ option, where you can control who can see the document.

Viewing
The experience of viewing a document remains the same for Participants (either they can see a document, or they cannot). For Hosts, there is now an extra information badge, which shows who has access to this document.
When the host views a document, they can easily see who it is shared with.
Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

New Release – October 2017

Autumn is definitely here, and we have been busy improving Market Dojo. This month we have released two features that our customers have requested. We have also made a whole bunch of improvements which are less conspicuous, but let’s focus on the headlines.

Market Dojo – More than five questionnaires
We have increased the limit on questionnaires in Market Dojo from five to ten! For some of our customers, this is really important so that they can gather more information about the participant’s offers. This additional feature is now live so just add more questionnaires to your event as required.

SIM Dojo – archive and delete participants
When onboarding suppliers, from time-to-time you want to remove someone from the process. This may happen because the wrong person is invited, or you are certain you will not require their services in the future.
Now, you can do this easily in SIM Dojo. When you are viewing the decision tab for a participant, there is a new option to move them to the recycle bin. Once they are in the recycle bin, they will not be counted in reports or sent any emails. If you change your mind, then they can be restored.

We hope you like these two improvements, and we look forward to sharing more exciting news soon.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

[New Release] – August 2017

Over the past few years we’ve discovered that eSourcing has evolved into becoming a team effort. Whether it is the stakeholder who needs to sign off on RFI requirements or the colleague who is best able to answer a suppliers question. In recognition to this, we’ve made a key focus of our latest product update to help with this new challenge.

Market Dojo messaging has always been a great way to manage communication with your suppliers in a centralised, auditable way. However, until now it wasn’t possible to have the same benefits for communication within the buying team. With our latest release that has changed, as now you can message your fellow host as well as participants within the tool.
The new send message page :

Similar to the send to participants page, you can choose which individuals or groups the message should be sent to. You have the ability to easily select everyone with a particular role, or just choose individuals.

We are very excited to help our customers work more efficiently with their internal teams, and look forward to seeing this feature being adopted.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Contact us at support@marketdojo.com
Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

The Leaky Bucket of Business

If you ask most honest companies they will probably tell you that organisations value revenue growth and sales departments more than savings and the procurement/purchasing. Procurement is seen as an administrative function responding to the needs and demands of other areas of the business. But shouldn’t procurement be more prominent?

Why?  First, let me go back to the basics of the value of cost reduction
Every Pound or Euro that you save through cost reduction is potentially much more valuable than sales because every sale is reduced by the costs. Those costs might be the materials costs, overheads or even the cost of the sales process (after all someone has to pay the sales guys their big bonuses!).

Remember, what remains after the sale is the net profit. For example, if you’re selling TV’s for £100 each and you have a 10% net profit margin, each television sold will produce £10 net profit for the company.

However, if you reduce the costs of producing the television by £50 per unit, then you will be making a £60 net profit on each television sold (£50 cost reduction + £10 initial profit margin). Meaning that without that cost reduction, in simplistic terms, your sales team will have to sell 6 times as many TV’s to get the same net profit.

The important aspect to consider is that the smaller your net profit margin, the greater the impact of cost reduction becomes. 

But how does this relate to ‘The Leaky Bucket of Business’?
Consider your businesses sales process as a bucket.  For every cost and expense, a different leak or hole appears within that bucket. The greater the costs, the more holes or leaks that you have in your bucket and therefore the less you will retain after filling up your bucket.

If your company decides to make a huge outlay on marketing, advertising and sales to increase the number of sales (in this case the level to which the bucket is filled to) you will still only be retaining what is left in your bucket.

Traditionally, departments other than sales and marketing have been marked out as ‘cost centers’; areas where cuts and internal savings can first be made, improvements should be limited to bounded capex and any additional pound of ongoing spend is a pound off the bottom line. This approach can work however it typically fails to recognise the value of internal investment. Wise opex focussed on improvements to processes and tools can pay dividends far greater than the investment. That might be in efficiency and speed improvements internally, i.e. ‘getting a bigger bucket’ or, our speciality at Market Dojo, reduction in external costs.

Every department is a profit centre if given the opportunity to be, and procurement is an oft-undervalued way to increase the profit margin without fighting for that next big sale. If your company decides to invest in procurement to reduce their costs and plug some of the leaks in your bucket, your company could be making more with less cost.

The average statistic to measure a procurement department is that it should return 8-12 times in savings to what it costs. If your procurement department isn’t performing to this level, it’s time to look hard, not at cutting their staff, but at improving their processes and tools in order to make the most of your ongoing spend.

Thus why it’s important to invest in your procurement team and their tools, ensuring that you’re not sacrificing sweat, tears and blood for the sake of a very leaky bucket and why (controversially) Procurement has more value than Sales.

For more information on how Market Dojo can help procurement professionals save time and money, get in touch or register for free with our range of on-demand eSourcing tools and find out for yourself!

Market Dojo and UNIC ONE partner to strengthen our offering to the German Market

We are delighted to announce our partnership with UNIC ONE in Germany.

UNIC ONE brings a wealth of procurement experience in Europe’s largest economy.  Marianne Haack who leads the procurement organisation at UNIC ONE, has previously worked for organisations including Novartis and Sun Microsystems.

This will greatly strengthen the portfolio which Market Dojo offers to customers in Germany.
It means that UNIC ONE can also offer to their customers the Market Dojo solutions. This will compliment the consultancy and training service already provided by UNIC ONE.

Nicholas Martin; Co-Founder of Market Dojo said:
“Market Dojo has seen strong demand from the German market this year. We have been working closely with UNIC ONE and our existing German customers. As a result with have made a number of improvements to our product. We are very excited about the potential to build on this success and having a local partner will be a huge benefit.”

 

Marianne Haack; UNIC ONE said:
“We chose to partner with Market Dojo as we were attracted by their ease of use and simplicity. We believe the combination of our expertise with Market Dojo product will give a great solution for our customers in Germany’.

About:
If you would like to learn more about UNIC ONE, you can get in touch via their website – www.unic-one-procurement.com
Market Dojo provides accessible eSourcing software. Find out more at www.marketdojo.com

The cross functional nature of marketing

A traditional view on marketing was to simply split it by indirect and direct marketing.  Indirect is where you are not going direct to a client and direct is where you are. Both are there to create leads. Sales would be the conversion of those leads to opportunities and hopefully sales.

However, increasingly we will see terms out there such as inbound marketing and search engine optimization.

Are these terms just re-badging of the traditional all encompassing models for specific areas.  For example, Inbound marketing is a mixture of picking off parts of indirect marketing (i.e. landing pages) and direct marketing (i.e. email automation). SEO is simply about improving your organic search.

So it might be useful to put together an all encompassing, collectively exhaustive table. It is also helpful to cross reference how the various techniques can help with your strategy.

Indirect marketing tactics can help with your overall game plan in one of four ways.  Three of these are related to how people find you: through paid ads, referrals or backlinks, organic search. The fourth one refers to how prospects interact with your website.

Each of the various Indirect tactics can affect your different strategic imperatives.  To give you some examples:

Social media and video can obviously help with your referrals from youtube. They can be used embedded in the paid ads or on your website.  Also as google analyses their website traffic, this will ultimately help with organic search.

Landing pages are great for specific adverts but can also help with specific content on your website and as above ultimately help with organic search.

Keyword density is really focused on assisting with organic search improvements and again with website conversion through appropriate content.

All in all it takes a hand in each of these tactics to improve your marketing strategies.  There is no magic bullet (unless you hit that viral masterpiece – good luck!)

We live in times where search engines are looking for good content that attracts and engages visitors, and keeps them on your site.  The strategies you focus on and the tactics you use need to be examined with constant care where quality is more important than quantity.

About: Market Dojo provides accessible eSourcing software. Find out more at www.marketdojo.com

French Trainee – A last blog from the way back

Last week we bid a fond farewell to our intern Alex who spent 9 glorious weeks at Market Dojo HQ. Whilst here he worked on translation of the website, wrote content for the blog and spent a lot of time creating wonderful graphics for us.He was a great asset to the team and we wish him all the best in the future. Thank you Alex! Here is his parting blog:

I will have long-lasting memories of my experience at Market Dojo. In addition to the relaxed and enjoyable working atmosphere, the team often liked the work I did.

After leaving, a part of me will stay with Marketdojo, and for a while, through my design creations, a part of Market Dojo will also stay with me.
Nicholas, Alun and Nick set up a marketing campaign called “Be the e-Sourcing HERO”.  One of my tasks was to put a face into this idea and create various marketing materials. Very soon, you will discover this campaign at the e-World exhibition on 22nd September 2015 where Marketdojo will unveil its new hero.

Anya McKenna (Sales and Marketing Executive) will also take care of spreading the word through various social networks, such as Linkedin, Twitter, or even Facebook .

Here is a small foretaste of the appearance of the hero:

Creating the hero, the banner and the poster was simply a part of my internship. However, my CAD knowledge has been truly tested. Dozens of tests and patterns were needed in order to achieve a result satisfying all Market Dojo members.

This experience enabled me to understand how the validation process of a communication support in the professional world is long and rigorous. Everything can still be improved.

Some of my other missions, such as the translation of the website in French, could appear as less cool. Nevertheless they were just as beneficial as the design stuff. In my opinion, it is one of the best ways to learn English and especially procurement vocabulary. Which has been useful in every day life in Marketdojo. Even if I was not there long enough to become “The e-Sourcing HERO”, I was able to come up with a commandment for procurement: “Buy French.”

My main objective was to write “Fluent in English” on my CV at the end of my stay in the UK. Although, I may have set the bar too high. A future experience will be required to reach this expected level. However, and fortunately the next exam to to join a top Business School should now be achievable.

My internship at this small Start-up has allowed me to interact a lot with people. I had my first opportunity to participate in a professional meeting (party? Congress? I don’t remember the word) where I discovered another interesting side of the English business environment.

I would like to thank every member of Marketdojo for their welcome, for their help and for their happiness.. I know that this experience will have been incredibly beneficial for my career. I definitely recommend this Start-up to any motivated young Business graduate.

Alex – former CED (Chief Executive Designer) of Marketdojo

About: Market Dojo provides accessible eSourcing software. Find out more at www.marketdojo.com

HomeServe Identify Savings Opportunities of £1.9 Million following the Implementation of Market Dojo’s eAuction Platform.

Market Dojo strive to make procurement professionals’ lives easier by providing innovative cloud-based eSourcing tools. Founded in 2010 by procurement professionals, and having received three grants for innovation, Market Dojo’s main focus is enabling better adoption for both the buyer and the suppliers.

Jadon Silva, Director of UK Procurement, spearheaded the implementation of this software at HomeServe with the first auction taking place in April 2015.  Following HomeServe’s first three auctions, savings of £1.9 million have been identified.

HomeServe was formed in 1993.  Its mission is to be the UK’s leading home assistance company. The scope of services they provide ranges from plumbing and drainage emergencies, locksmith services and gas boiler repair.

With a growing network of experienced engineers, HomeServe provide a reliable service across the globe, with operations in the UK, US, France, Italy, Spain and further afield.

Jadon Silva and the team at HomeServe have identified a number of reverse auction opportunities by using Market Dojo. Through these, the home assistance experts plan to generate even greater savings, which will hopefully carve the path for a fully adopted eSourcing approach.Two separate categories have so far been auctioned. The first was for the supply of envelopes which took place in a single day and comprised of three ranked auctions to supply the UK, France and Spain. Ranked auctions allow participants to see their position in the auction, relative to other participants. They really encourage competition amongst suppliers and are the most commonly known and widely used e-auctions that take place.

Market Dojo attended  HomeServe’s head office in Walsall for the first auctions where a phenomenal value of £500k was saved, working out at 30% of what the company were previously paying.

The second category was for the supply of various subcontracted services, which encompassed four auctions across 20 different regions of the UK. The slightly more aggressive Japanese auction style was used and over 140 suppliers were invited to take part in each auction. Each of the suppliers were able to bid on any of the regions, which were created as separate Lots. Japanese auctions involve the buyer setting various bid levels for each lot, which the suppliers then have to accept within a certain time period. Once this time period passes, a lower price level is designated. This process repeats until the last participant declines a bid level or the time runs out.

Through Jadon’s resilience to push the Japanese e-auction agenda, HomeServe saved a staggering £1.4m.  Additionally, negotiation processes which may have taken weeks or months, were completed in a matter of hours.

With success resonating across HomeServe, Market Dojo looks forward to continuing to build a long-standing relationship with the home assistance provider.

Commenting on the savings achieved, Jadon says; “It is great that we can extract this value from smarter procurement initiatives.  The subcontractor network may have fallen into the complex category, which often doesn’t favour e-auctions.  However, with the correct communication, due diligence and controls, we have proved that the e-auction methodology can still be a success.”
Alun Rafique, co-founder of Market Dojo mentions ”We are delighted to see another company bring eSourcing in-house with such ease and uncover large savings.  Jadon has shown how eSourcing can be successfully adopted by his team of buyers and their diverse range of suppliers.”

When asked what HomeServe would do with the savings, Jadon replied; “The savings we make allow HomeServe to invest in what is really important to us as a business.  Customer experience is at the heart of what we do. We aim to be at the forefront of new technology, which aligns with providing our customers effortless service.”

About: Market Dojo provides accessible eSourcing software. Find out more at www.marketdojo.com

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