One of the crucial elements of any Reverse eAuction platform is its usability for suppliers. Often overlooked in favour of hosts (typically the paying client for eSourcing solutions), the ease-of-use of a reverse auction platform has a direct correlation to the level of competition.
We got in touch with a freight supplier who had been using Market Dojo as a participant for his perspective on our software. Joel Ziemek from Direct Connect Transport has been using Market Dojo for the last six months and participating in numerous reverse eAuctions held by Aggreko plc.
Here’s what Joel had to say:
Tell me about yourself?
I am an account manager for Direct Connect Transport, we specialise in freight haulage across North America.
How did it start?
We were eager to work with one of Market Dojo’s clients; Aggreko plc. After getting in touch with Aggreko and completing their vetting process they initially invited us to participate in a single reverse auction. The eAuction was for their long-distance road freight needs across Minnesota hosted by Market Dojo software. Since taking part in the initial eAuction, we have been actively participating and tendering bids for over 20 reverse auctions a month. Having the ability to participate in these auctions has made a real impact on our business.
Have you ever participated in a Reverse Auction before?
To be honest with you, I had never heard of a reverse auction before Aggreko invited us to participate. Obviously, without knowing what I was getting myself into, I did some research prior to participating in my first auction. However, the majority of what I have learned has come from using the system and taking part in auctions.
What do you like about Market Dojo?
Well for one it is really easy and simple to use. The layout is very straightforward and as a freight supplier, I can see the full event details on the overview screen. Typically they include the origin, destination, cargo etc. We find this particularly useful because it comprises of all the details that we need to participate in an auction or quote for a specific job.
One of my favourite aspects as a freight supplier is that I get instant feedback when participating in an eAuction. It saves me a lot of time and hassle in comparison with chasing a quote. But with the ranked auctions events that are set up by Aggreko. We know at the auction close where we placed and whether we were successful in the event.
What have you found really surprising about Market Dojo and eAuctions?
How fun it is! I love my job and I find quoting on jobs really rewarding, but directly competing with other businesses adds another level of enjoyment and excitement. It’s a great feeling in winning an auction and being ranked 1st knowing that you have won the business.
What do you think that Market Dojo can do to improve?
I really like the system, but the layout of the event pages could be improved. Just so that I can better navigate between multiple live events.
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!Responsive Design for Market Dojo
Market Dojo has now rolled out the responsive design for our flagship product, Market Dojo. This is designed to be optimised visually across all computer, smartphone and small tablet devices to maximise the user experience and interface.
Screenshot of the new responsive design for a multi-lined RFQ
You can now use the responsive design for Market Dojo through our platform by logging in at https://secure.marketdojo.com.
Alternatively, you can revert to the old design by going tohttps://previous.marketdojo.com. Any events created or actions made within the tool on either the responsive design or the old design will be consistent within the platforms.
Screenshot of the existing design for a multi-lined auction
In a short time, the site hosting the existing design will be removed andwww.marketdojo.com will only run through the fully implemented responsive design. The responsive design has been built and designed in-house to ensure the consistency of the platform but with a refreshed visual design.
Key features of the Responsive Design
If you wish to continue to use our existing design, just login athttps://previous.marketdojo.com and the data will be consistent with that of the tool in the responsive design platform. This functionality will only be available for a limited period of time and if you wish for more information contact us at email@example.com.
A key focus of the responsive design is giving users a better experience of the tool, offering users the ability to take onboard more information than ever before.
Nicholas Martin, Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder of Market Dojo said:
“As the use of mobile devices and tablets continue to grow rapidly, so does the range of devices and screen sizes on which people are using our tools. Our new responsive design allows users to reach critical content faster with a refreshed design that adapts to their device.
“It is only thanks to our fantastically dedicated team and incredible clients that we have been able to do this. We will be eternally grateful for all of those who have given us their continual support and look very much forward to rolling this out to become the live platform.”
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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![Case Study] Aggreko create ‘Freight eMarketplace’ using the Market Dojo tool
Chad Thibodeaux is the Central Logistics Manager for Aggreko North America-Americas. His duties involve the strategic sourcing for Aggreko’s transportation needs
When did you first consider using Market Dojo?
At Aggreko, we are the leading global provider of modular, mobile power, cooling, heating and air solutions. We supply to over 100 countries including to a number of major events such as the PGA tour and Formula 1 Race Days. This is in addition to our regular deliveries of rental solutions and power solutions to refineries, power plants and major construction sites.
We use multiple modes of transportation services to get our equipment moved throughout North America, but for the sake of this conversation, I will divide it into two major categories: local & long haul deliveries. The field service centres that are in close proximity to the delivery location are categorised as ‘local deliveries’. For the majority of these deliveries, we use regional service providers to deliver the equipment. For all of our long-haul deliveries which are further away from our service centres, we use approved service providers that can cover a much larger territory.
Initially, we recognised an opportunity change the way in which we procured our long-haul freight needs. For a number of years, it had been the responsibility of the local service centre teams for the arranging of vehicles and suppliers to long-haul destinations.
However, we felt that if we centralised our long-haul needs into a single central procurement team we might be able to generate high levels of savings and gain greater visibility on our spend. It was at this point that we considered using a tool that included an eAuction solution as it would give us the greatest potential for savings. We were recommended Market Dojo by a partner and have since been implementing it globally.
How have you been using Market Dojo?
Specifically, we’ve been using Market Dojo to create a ‘freight eMarketplace’, centralising all of our long-haul freight needs in North America and reducing costs through Reverse Auctions with suppliers. We have used our list of existing suppliers in addition to specifically chosen new suppliers to generate increased competition for each of the lots. Part of my role as the Central Logistics Manager is to liaise and manage suppliers and to oversee the outsourcing long-haul freight project.
What is your overall aim of using Market Dojo?
Our overall target is to capture and relay the data on a large scale, using those teachings to create further savings and thus getting better value for money, without compromising either the service from our supplier or the quality of service that we provide to our customers.
From the success that we have already had, it’s obvious that we will always be using an eAuction tool. Simply, the success has far exceeded any of the negatives and hopefully, we can continue to streamline and adopt the process on a greater scale.
What challenges did you face with the Freight eMarketplace?
Initially, we struggled with centralising all of the long-haul needs in North America to the new central team. Previously each of the field teams had organised with suppliers for deliveries in their local areas. However, we quickly found that in the past both our local teams and the suppliers had been using a different process to organise deliveries. Consequently, it took time for all of the suppliers to adapt to the new system.
Another issue was the resources needed to manage suppliers. Previously the workload had been spread across numerous teams in the continent. However, we found that with the workload we had to create an internal place within the central team to manage those vendors.
What didn’t you consider until you started the eMarketplace?
One aspect that we didn’t realise was the importance of sending a clear and consistent message to the freight suppliers regarding the eAuctions. In the freight transportation industry, eAuctions are not the norm. Therefore we had to educate many of our suppliers as to the process. At the start, we found a few issues with suppliers such as aggressively bidding but being unable to meet their obligations.
What have you heard back from suppliers?
To be honest, we have heard mixed feedback from suppliers. Some suppliers are unhappy with the process, mostly because those suppliers had previously been awarded a larger amount of business and only had to compete with a small number of other suppliers. Whereas we have heard very positive feedback from other suppliers regarding the process such as the immediate awarding of lots on completion of the eAuction and the increased level of competition, allowing for a greater number of suppliers to be considered.
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!Spend Matters – The A-Z of Reverse Auctions
The article highlights our A-Z complication of categories that have been eAuctioned through our Market Dojo platform, including the average savings of the reverse auctions, in hope that it might provide encouragement to others!
Here is a snippet of what you can expect within the article:
Automotive parts have seen an average saving of 32.5% across items like bus batteries, bulbs, doors, mirrors and windscreens.
Bedding has been auctioned on our platform 7 times, with an average saving of 33%.
Construction works is by far the most popular category in the ‘C’s with over 500 auctions run through our tool, with great success too – average savings are 16%.
Digital Media brings us into the contentious area of Marketing. However, with an average saving of 26%, it has salvaged many a departmental budget crisis.
Energy is a very popular category with a 7% average saving and one we see great opportunity for an “eMarketplace”, equipped with standardised templates and pre-approved vendors to make this auction category accessible to all.
To read the full article, visit the Spend Matters website here.
Today we are pleased to welcome a guest post from Terri Hudson. Terri is the Managing Director of Baker Wanless. They are a UK based procurement consultancy who have been shortlisted for the ‘Best Business for Customer Service’ at the prestigious Croydon Business Excellence awards.
Baker Wanless provides a wide range of Flexible Sourcing Solutions to their clients from different sectors that are looking to review, monitor and reduce costs around the globe.
Many large businesses use consultancies like ours to provide additional or specific resources to identify opportunities to reduce costs, find alternative suppliers to their incumbents or simply to accelerate the speed of their procurement projects.
In the last 3 years, we have helped our clients to buy the ‘same for less’ by addressing £384.7m of spend across goods and service contracts, identifying savings of £47.5m (12.35%) on spend. This is the power of eAuctions.
Our average return on investment ratio is 30:1 meaning on average for every £1 spent with us, we find £30 to give you back in savings. We also guarantee to save you money or you don’t pay us.
Why is it important to consider new suppliers?
“The wider you cast the net, the greater value that can be gained…”
New suppliers can provide a vital role in challenging the incumbent supplier. Often in our experience, clients will wish to remain with their current incumbent supplier. This is typically due to the evolved relationship between the companies and the potential cost of changing suppliers. However, by considering new suppliers and using a format such as a Ranked Reverse eAuction, you drive competition for the tender in a fair and transparent manner.
An eAuction also provides the ability to deliver price compression. Creating an environment in which all suppliers are inclined to offer their best value, this might be of particular importance if a single supplier is unable to facilitate the long-term demand.
One key feature that we encourage is ethical bidding, ensuring that suppliers offer values that are sustainable in the long term for their business. The importance of this can be highlighted in cases where thorough research hasn’t been done by the supplier prior to negotiations.
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 where we discuss cost avoidance and diminishing returns.
Katherine Clark is a Procurement Officer at Kent County Council. Her duties involve the strategic sourcing for the information technology needs of one of the largest county councils in the UK.
Tell me about yourself?
I’ve been working in the procurement team for Kent Council for the last few months, my role revolves around the IT needs for the council.
How do you use Market Dojo?
We use Market Dojo in our procurement departments for eAuctions and questionnaires to weight auctions. Typically we use it on tenders greater than £50,000 however we have auctioned for values of only a few thousand pounds.
What is your most notable success using Market Dojo?
My first eAuction involved comparing suppliers for an identification tracker system. Kent county council had been using an incumbent supplier for a number of years on the same contract terms but we wanted to discover the current market value and whether we could produce savings as a result.
We choose to conduct a Weighted Ranked eAuction, with 70% based on value and 30% based on the quality. The result was a huge success with our incumbent and preferred supplier offering a value that was 40% less than the previous price we had been paying.
We also received very positive feedback from the suppliers that took part in the eAuction, some of the suppliers mentioned that they found the system easy to use and were happy to have taken part and been considered in the eAuction.
How will Kent County Council continue to use Market Dojo?
Here at Kent County Council, we are always looking at ways we can use Market Dojo. The success we have had has changed the mentality of our procurement teams into a focus on generating greater savings turning us into a team that thinks “why should we not use Market Dojo, rather than why we should”.
Lastly, what is your favourite thing about Market Dojo?
We love just how easy it is to use. When I was first tasked with creating an eAuction I was quite daunted with having had no prior experience of conducting an auction or using an eSourcing software before. But after creating a few demo events using their Sandpit tool and the support from Market Dojo, I felt confident in my ability to use the software and produce great results.
You can read more about our work with
Kent County Council here.
A Japanese Reverse Auction is an auction type that requires all suppliers to bid at a continuously decreasing price (the value of which is set by the buyer/host). The bidders may choose to either bid at the current value or drop out of the auction. Rather than most reverse auction types which finish in principle when the second-to-last bidder drops out of the auction, a Japanese auction ends when the single supplier left has offered their lowest value they wish to bid or their time limit has elapsed during that individual price level.
The fundamental aspect to a Japanese Reverse Auction is limiting the information available to the suppliers. For example when using Market Dojo software if a bidder drops out of a Japanese Reverse Auction, the only information available to that bidder is; the values that they have bidded on, the value at which they refused (and therefore dropped out of the auction) as well as the time that elapsed while they participated in the auction. Unlike typical auctions types in which they may have visibility to see the winning value of the auction or at the very least their rank.
Another important difference to typical auction types, is that with a Japanese Reverse Auction the bidders aren’t directly competing against each other’s bids. For example in a Ranked Auction, bidder 1 would bid against the value of bidder 2. Whereas in a Japanese Reverse Auction, bidder 1 and 2 would both have the option to bid for value X without the knowledge of each other’s bid. Thereby stopping a bidder from directly bidding to oppose the value of another bidder.
What’s so special about a Japanese Reverse Auction then?
But what’s the benefit to me?
By limiting the level of information to the suppliers, it encourages suppliers to offer at an affordable price they can supply for. Rather than just offering a value that is better than their competitor. It also stops suppliers from bid shadowing (offering a value within a small margin of the lead bidder potentially still including them in consideration after the end of the event even if they didn’t win).
Japanese Auctions are particularly effective in a situation where there might be price fixing between suppliers, especially in a market with a limited number of suppliers. For example if 1 or 2 companies hold a monopoly on your market, a Japanese Auction would encourage them to offer their best value rather than just to offer a value that beats that of their competitor.
Do you have any examples?
Homeserve recently saved £1.4 million through Japanese eAuctions, while shortening their negotiations process from weeks to hours. In this case the eAuctions were for various subcontractor services across the UK and had over 140 suppliers participating.
For more information on how Homeserve used Japanese eAuctions
Has it been labelled as a ‘lazy mans tool’?
In the past Japanese Reverse Auctions has been seen as a ‘lazy mans tool’. This could be due to Japanese Auctions being able to function with a very limited number of participants.
However Japanese Reverse Auctions require the hosts to set a number of different conditions for the auction. Such as the predetermined price decreases, the time limit of each predetermined price decrease and setting the range for the qualification bid. And as with other eAuctions you need to correctly create the specification of the item/service and SLA’s. Not to mention getting the suppliers engaged. Meaning that although it might be a simple way to generate competitive bids from both the incumbent supplier and new suppliers, it requires some effort on the part of the host to create the right environment to get the most competitive result from a Japanese Reverse Auction.
Additional information on Japanese Auctions is available on our website
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!
Mid-week saw us release a couple more enhancements to the software, as well as many more general improvements to meet our growing customer demand. However two main highlights stood out that we would like to share with you in this blog…
We’ve seen increasing demand from Latin America and other Spanish-speaking regions across the globe and so we’re really excited to add Spanish to complement our numerous other language options.
As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, it really does increase our potential user base and across several continents to boot. Give it a try today and let us know what you think!
PS: a huge thank you to our wonderful partner in Latin America, Bruno Alvarez, for all the time spent on helping us perfect this release.
Another exciting release driven by a customer request is the ability to save existing questionnaires as a template to re-use in future.
A superhost can keep tabs on which templates are created to ensure the library remains organised. There’s also the scope in the future for the Market Dojo team to pre-load our customers’ libraries with some useful templates to help them get started. This particularly applies to the SIM Dojo tool where we can provide some best-practice on-boarding questionnaires.
We hope you enjoy these new features, brought to you free of charge and immediately available to all. Keep the ideas coming as we really do listen!
The technical team have been extremely busy of late, upgrading and maintaining our 4 distinct products covering category planning, innovation, eSourcing and supplier information management.
This week was the turn of our flagship eSourcing tool, Market Dojo, to receive a new feature: multi-currency.
By this, we don’t mean simply the ability for clients to run their sourcing events in a currency of their choice – we’ve had that since the beginning. This actually refers to enabling participants to select their own preferred currency from a pre-defined list. Hosts can pick which are available to participants and what the corresponding exchange rate is to convert back to the Host’s own currency for bid comparison purposes.
The exchange rates are established per sourcing event, so you don’t need to fear an accidental change in the future that would distort your past results. You can even change the exchange rates during your sourcing event, up until participants submit their bids.
The multi-currency feature is only available as part of our Advanced Lots setup, given the few extra steps that are required. However this also means that you can combine Lots, or even Line Items, of different currencies, which is very neat.
For example your Lot may consist of a UK tariff, an EU tariff and a US tariff. You can stipulate that each element has it’s own currency that you want to see the bid in. No problem!
Should you then have an event total that needs to sum up the various elements, all in their own respective currencies, again no problem. You can even decide what currency you wish the total to appear in.
The same applies to the participants as well, even during the course of a live eAuction where all this maths is running behind the scenes to present everyone with the latest converted results.
So the next time you run a sourcing event using spreadsheets to convert bids into a single currency, know now that there’s a better way to do it by using Market Dojo.
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!
Reverse auctions are a bit like Marmite, some people love them, boasting the success they’ve seen to friends and colleagues, utilising them when and where they can. Some people however, such as Phil Ideson, are more sceptical. For Phil, this was due to personal bad experiences with the process. For others, it may be similar or it could be as little as a lack of understanding giving this means of negotiation such a bad reputation.
We wanted to set Phil straight and demystify the reverse auction for him, leaving a more positive image of how you can really use reverse auctions as a buying tool to leverage great savings and success in your procurement negotiations.
Did we manage to turn Phil around? Find out in the podcast in the link
Market Dojo help 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!