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Using Market Dojo for: Brazilian Auctions

The way Market Dojo has been built means that the tool is incredibly easy to use, it has been said time and time again that the main reason people have committed to using the platform in choice over the big ERP players in the game, with full coverage solutions, is Market Dojo’s ease of use. This means that the adoption rate is incredibly high and that when you pay for it, your team actually use it.

Now, what may surprise you and anyone that has regular exposure to our tool is that it can actually do more than you might think it can. For those of you that use the tool, you will know that you can either run a ‘Forward’ or ‘Reverse’ auction in the style of ‘Ranked’, ‘Open’ or ‘Japanese’. But alongside that, there are also ways you can build a:

In this article, I plan to focus on ‘Brazilian auctions’.

First off, I will explain exactly what a Brazilian auction is. This is where a Buyer determines the price they are willing to pay for an item and the Supplier provides how many of that item they are willing to provide at that price. The auction will continue until a Supplier provides a bid that no other Supplier is willing to top. It is a very interesting an unique way of running an event.

Below, I will show you how to do this in Market Dojo.

You will want to ensure that you have set up a reverse, ranked auction in the tool. The ranked part really is optional but it gives suppliers the benefit of knowing exactly where they stand to help them better their bid. 

Next, you will want to decide which lotting format you will use. If you select advanced lots, this will allow you the option to bring in the functionality you want to use.

Then when building your lot first add your price component and make sure it is ‘Host’ entered price so that you can input the price you are willing to pay for the item you are sourcing.

 

Now, you will want to enter a Supplier quantity lot in which they can provide their quantity bids as shown below.  

Following this, you will then add a total by clicking on the add component option and selecting add total.

Then click on the pencil icon next to the first total number, you will then get a pop-up notification.

Finally as seen by this pop up you can then take 1.1a x(*) by 1.1b to get your lot total. Make it ranked and visible (optional) in the bottom tick boxes and you are then ready to run a Brazilian auction focused on the quantity number that the supplier can provide as opposed to the pricing that the supplier can offer, this helps you maintain some more control over your pricing and can be useful in a number of situations.

If you liked what you saw here please look out for our coverage of more auction types coming up such as those listed at the start of the article. But thank you for your time and please get in touch with us if you have any questions.

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!

eWorld March 2017 – My First Tradeshow Experience

My name is Henry and I’m the business development Executive here at Market Dojo. Part of my role is to help the company exhibit at eWorld, which is a conference based on supply chain and procurement software.

This time around, we decided that we would get up early and drive down to eWorld in the morning from Gloucestershire. 4 o’clock in the morning is the worst type of 4 o’clock there is. I was, however lucky enough to have time for a proper coffee before setting off to meet the rest of the team and drive into London.

When we did get to London, myself and Peter Glass set up our fantastic stand that had been organised by Craig Knowles, our marketing guru, while Alun and Lewis parked the car. This year we had a secret weapon. A fresh coffee machine. After some complaints about the quality of coffee available at the last eWorld, we wanted to offer something that everyone needs in a long exhibition day. Fresh coffee. Simple, aromatic and uncomplicated. A bit like Market Dojo when it comes to eSourcing.

That, coupled with the Bacon Sandwiches available for exhibitors, which made me momentarily forget my almost-kosher diet, helped satiate a growing hunger that had been awoken as I got into the car at 5 am.

We met many fantastic delegates from companies all over the world and fellow exhibitors including the lovely team at Baker Wanless. Many were familiar faces, returning, again and again, to tell us how amazing Market Dojo is and how we’re at the forefront of the industry (true words and a direct quote from one of our lovely customers). Many were fairly new to eSourcing and we got to show them how an event would look like in the tool, which was great.

It’s one of the pleasures of the job, teaching people a better way to do things. Some people weren’t really aware of auctions or what they can do to help hit savings targets within procurement teams. Other people have used them but they were too complicated and thus have avoided them going into future projects.

Just before we started taking stuff down at the end of the day, we have a draw every eWorld for the winner of a month’s free license. This year the winner was Debbie Wright. Watch the video of the live draw below.

The Market Dojo afterparty was held in a lovely Lebanese restaurant somewhere in Knightsbridge. An ever adventure loving company, the entire table had Kafte kebabs, which were delicious. We then packed in the car for a chat about where Market Dojo was headed next. We all agreed it was for even bigger and better things.

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!

Market Dojo Release New Host Tutorials

Market Dojo has recently created a range of guidesresearch and tutorials that will assist hosts and participants to get the most out of the Market Dojo tool.

The collection of guides includes process guides, category selection guides, business cases, sourcing guides and alternative negotiation approaches. These guides are available to download online but require users to sign up for free

However, for those looking for tutorials, the new collection includes bespoke recordings of new features and capabilities within the new responsive design.

The below list includes those new tutorials for hosts to help you get started and understand how to get the most out of the Market Dojo software.

Creating a new sourcing event

Managing a current event

Admin

Sandpit

You can find more videos on our Youtube Channel here.
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!

[Guest Blog] Lessons learned from my experience using Market Dojo eAuction software

Jon Brinsmead has been buying goods and services for clients for over 20 years,  working with the likes of Unilever and Transport for London whilst providing training in commercial management for the same period of time.

Jon shares his thoughts on his years of experience using Market Dojo to teach IT managers about deal making and eAuctions.

Running a reverse auction
As a seller or buyer – when you decide to run an eAuction for the first time a few things are worth thinking about and taking time over to get the best outcome. As a buyer it’s good to undertake the same preparations that the seller will do – so you can get into the minds of your sellers.

Deck 1 – Your bid control form
This is where you put in your bid prices and set out your strategy for each round, based on what you plan to happen. Here you should work (in advance) through all of the different scenarios and strategies, planning on what could happen during the auction – giving you the ability to adapt and react to what the other sellers are doing. I usually run this in Excel but whichever software you are most comfortable using is best.

Deck 2 – Your Market Dojo screen
This is where you will be putting in your selling prices and watching what is happening with the auction in real time.

If you’re interested in commercial training, contact Jon at Jon@Brinsmead.co.uk

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!

Five minutes with Executive Search specialist Iain Mckenna

We caught up with presenter Iain McKenna, before the 2017 Market Dojo Event.  Iain is the Managing Director of Sourcing Solved and presented “The Human Condition: Finding The Talent To Match The Technology” at our event on Thursday 6th April 2017.

What do you think is the secret to success in business?
Good social skills are probably the most important thing; if you can’t build strong relationships with people then you’re not going anywhere. Take the time to listen to others; remember we have two ears for a reason!

What lesson stands out that you have learned in your career?
I’ve learned the importance of taking time to really know your client. Executive search is not a one size fits all process, and every project must be viewed with a fresh pair of eyes.

What has been the biggest and proudest achievement in your career?
Setting up Sourcing Solved has been a huge challenge and has taught me so many valuable lessons. To have grown so much in seven years and have such a great team of people to support me is something I’m very proud, and thankful, for.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
Believe in yourself; you are always only one decision away from changing your life!

What are you looking forward to in the Market Dojo event?
Meeting like-minded people who are really trying to make a difference in the procurement community, and in-person! As is common when interacting on LinkedIn, there are quite a few people who I’ve connected with but have never actually met, so I’m looking forward to finally putting faces to names.

What are you passionate about?
Fitness, it’s good for the soul. Over the last year I’ve been taking time to focus on improving my fitness, and the path to developing that physical and mental discipline is hugely challenging but equally rewarding. I have huge respect for people who take part in endurance events such as marathons and triathlons; the strength of character that it takes to succeed is not to be undervalued.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? And how have they helped shape you?
Undoubtedly my mother, who always told me to pull my socks up and get on with it! Though I may not have appreciated it at the time, this attitude has carried me through a lot.

If you want to find out more, check out the details of the Market Dojo Event at Stonehouse Court Hotel. Iain McKenna presented at the procurement event on the subject of “The Human Condition: Finding The Talent To Match The Technology”
You can find more information and the full agenda for the event at www.marketdojo.com/event-2017

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!

Learn to be frugal by eSourcing like Google!

We recently ran a survey to explore the barriers to eAuctions to truly understand why not all procurement professionals out there with 3 bids on the table instinctively progress to eAuction.

It was fortuitous timing that we stumbled across a public interview with the team behind Google’s Global Sourcing Centre of Excellence.

The interview explored Google’s eAuction experience and how they drive adoption to achieve excellent results, with an average rate reduction of 17% being very similar to the 16% that we’ve seen on average through Market Dojo.

They also see an additional 4% saving when RFPs are progressed to eAuction, as well as greatly reduced cycle times. Interestingly Google uses their own intuitive G Suite tools for their general eRFX. We use G Suite extensively in our business so we can see how that could work, with neat features for online collaboration, unlimited cloud storage and a slick survey tool.

Therefore one of their highest priorities is to fuel further adoption, given that a mandate is not the Google way. Their approach is to use the carrot rather than the stick using some of these key approaches; However similarly you could use G Suite as a CRM tool or an Accounting tool, but you’d potentially lack that best-of-breed application.

eAuctions, on the other hand, are much more challenging to replicate using email and online spreadsheets and so Google relies on third-party software.

To date, they have run over 900 eAuctions, yet that has covered only 20% of the total third-party expenditure. Their own objective is to eAuction at least 80% of the expenditure.

When a contract is awarded without concluding with an auction, the team follows up as to why that was. Perhaps the supply market was monopolistic or perhaps the stakeholder was vehemently against the idea. Either way, this closed loop feedback helps the team learn for next time.

Pivotal to it all is the eSourcing Centre of Excellence, as we’ve seen many times before. The Centre ensures continual process improvement, shared learning and promotion of eAuctions throughout the business, providing dedicated resources for doing so. Their work involves changing the minds and attitudes of the business to run eAuctions by helping to run them, freeing up the buyers to focus more on stakeholder relations.

One of our initial clients took a similar approach to this, with their COO storming into procurement meetings asking the team, “Don’t tell me why you can’t do it {eAuction}, tell me how you would do it”. This change in mindset provoked the stakeholders into constructively thinking how the eAuction could be run: quickly presenting a solution when previously there wa a deadlock.

Since mandating wasn’t an option, the next best course of action taken by the Google team was to affect the governance statement, reviewed by board members, that 80% of Google’s third-party expenditure will be competitively tendered every two years. eAuctions have become the preferred option, with business owners that opt out of using an eAuction needing an appropriate reason for doing so.

Google, like many others, are also conscious that price is just one factor in the total decision, and so post-auction they complete an internal scorecard to look at the total value from each supplier to select the ‘best bidder’ and not the ‘lowest bidder’, mitigating a common objection that eAuctions result in decisions based on price alone.

Finally, to quote the corporate code of conduct from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, “Do the right thing” – which we’d strongly suggest is to find reasons to use an eAuction for all your contract negotiations.

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!

Join our inaugural procurement event, Thursday 6th April

Market Dojo is hosting its inaugural procurement event on Thursday, 6th April. The event will offer procurement professionals the opportunity to network and learn from the experts.

“Creating Real Value from eSourcing”

 Thursday 6th April at Stonehouse Court, GL10 3RA.
The event will be hosted in the beautiful setting of Stonehouse Court Hotel and feature presentations from CPO’s, Procurement Directors and thought leaders within Procurement.

The full agenda can be found here.

Alternatively, fill in the short registration form here.
Consult with experts throughout the day to discover how you can make real savings on a number of different categories and learn new sourcing techniques.

Who will be presenting on the day?

Who else will be attending the event?
A number of senior procurement professionals from renowned brands will be attending the day including Next, Travis Perkins and McCarthy & Stone.
In addition to the attendees, a range of different procurement solutions will be on hand to offer procurement solutions for Sourcing, Contracts Management, Spend Analysis and Supplier Onboarding.

What do our attendees say?
“We are eager to be attending and finding new ways to generate real savings within procurement. In particular, we are interested in the new strategies that are being adopted within retail and freight procurement. – Philip Corbett, Procurement Manager, Travis Perkins

“It’s great to be invited to the Market Dojo event, for us the major benefit of the day is to find new ways in which we can increase eSourcing adoption with our procurement team and learn new best practice techniques.” – Daniel Higginson, eSourcing Manager, Next
“I’m looking forward to uncovering new ways that we can expand our sourcing categories, in particular Market and Energy procurement as key areas that we can produce further savings.” – Edward Dring, Procurement Manager, McCarthy & Stone

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!

What is the best day to hold an auction?

Our ancestors have been travelling to markets to buy and sell since the start of civilisation – literally, that is, civilisation can pretty much be traced back to the time we started buying, selling and bartering goods in an open forum. They used to differ somewhat on when they went to market or held an auction, but traditionally, they have landed on one day. So what is the best day for an auction?

Traditionally in the UK, Market Day has been held on a Wednesday all the way back to the establishment of Christianity in the country. Markets were held in a particular central market town in a region and thus not everyone lived in the town where they sold or bought goods. Farmers and merchants would travel from many miles around on foot or by a horse and cart to market. This meant travel times were on the scale of days rather than hours.

As people had to be at home to attend church on a Sunday, they would leave home on Monday, often arriving at the market on a Wednesday. They would then need to travel home for the weekend. Thus, Wednesday became the de facto market day of the country.
Are Wednesdays still the best days to hold our auctions?

Intuitively, Wednesday seems like a good day for an auction. It’s not at the beginning of the week, where people might be away or playing catch up, and it gives you enough time after the auction to process the results and choose an eventual winner.

So how popular are Wednesdays for Market Dojo? A quick look at some of our statistics from the last year shows that Wednesday is, in fact, the most popular day of the week to hold an auction, technology changes apparently, but the human appetite for buying and selling in the middle of the week seems to stay the same.

The other question we have to ask when working out the best day for an auction, is does it really matter? In the past, auctions and markets were held on Wednesday because that was most convenient for those taking part, but in an eAuction, where people can log on from anywhere in the world, does the day really matter as much?
Well, people still have to prepare for an auction, which might mean finalising the Best and Lowest Offer with directors, and they still have to digest the results, which means procurement teams deciding which bid they would like to take forward.

So, we know that Wednesday is the most popular day for an auction, but is it the best day? We decided to look at the average savings made during each day of the week to see if any particular day was better than another. It through up some interesting results.

Wednesday is in fact not the best day for savings, Tuesdays and Thursdays are. With a 2% swing in favour of hosting an auction on a Monday or Tuesday. We don’t actually know why that is, it could be down to a host of factors. However, it is worth considering if you aren’t sure when you would like to run your auction.

Nonetheless, it still looks like Wednesday, even after 1000s of years, is the most popular day for you to go to market. However, if you’re looking for the most savings, holding your auction on a Tuesday or Thursday might just give you that extra edge.

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!

[Guest Blog] Bruno Alvarez – Some thoughts on Direct Materials Sourcing

Bruno Alvarez is regarded in Latin America and the Americas as one of the Leading Contracting and Procurement Experts in the region. Bruno’s background comes from the Energy and Gas industry and working at global “Fortune 500” companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Duke Energy, ICI and Zeneca.

Indirect materials sourcing is simple in comparison to direct materials sourcing, or at the very least it’s simpler.

When considering direct materials sourcing, you need to remember just how different it is to the everyday sourcing of non-essential items. Direct materials sourcing can have had a major impact on the production process especially in terms of strategy.

Why?
This is because you will typically find that direct material sourcing falls into two groups, those items that are Bottlenecks and those that are Critical.

– Critical also known as Strategic includes items that have a high-profit impact in addition to a high supply risk. These types of products are typically purchased from a single supplier and if the supplier ceases to deliver, then it may halt the entire supply chain.

– Bottlenecks include items that have a low-profit impact and a high supply risk. Typically these types of products are essential for the production process, but can be difficult to obtain.

Simply put, direct materials tend to have a very high impact to a business. Often I find that they are the core of the business and fall into either being;

The main ingredient – The core material of a product
The differentiator – The Major Selling Point (MSP)
The market edge – The Unique Selling Point (USP)

Therefore when considering direct materials sourcing you need to consider how it may affect your production as a whole especially in the case of the long-term strategy and risks involved.

But what can you do?
In these situations you can aim to work closely with the vendors to improve relationships and develop partnerships, create a buffer stock or lower the complexity of the product. By doing this you can work to make the material more competitive to source and potentially broaden your supplier market. This may soften any issues that your sole vendor presents and bringing in a healthy competition to your incumbent supplier.

There are many other strategies that can also be used. However, the start for all of them is to identify what is a ‘Direct Material’ and understand that they should be treated or strategized as such. Awareness of your needs is the first step.

Bruno Alvarez
Procurement Professional – SS&PK
Email: bruno.alvarez@consultant.com
Website: Procurementstories.com
LinkedIn: Bruno Alvarez

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!

[Guest Blog] Five Takeaways from 20 years in Contracting and Procurement

Bruno Alvarez is regarded in Latin America and the Americas as one of the Leading Contracting and Procurement Experts in the region. Bruno’s background comes from the Energy and Gas industry and working at global “Fortune 500” companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Duke Energy, ICI and Zeneca.

Being a procurement professional for the past twenty years has been very interesting. Exciting in a sense that I have had the chance to negotiate a very wide set of goods and services. From small things like office supplies to complete power plants. From simple consumables to radioactive equipment which need a very complicated stewardship to import into Central America. Many of these experiences have left me with some takeaways, here are five of them.

1. No matter how beautiful the strategy is, don’t forget to measure the results
When there is a need to put ideas on the table we have ways to get that strategic cap on and produce beautiful, creative, inventive solutions. Which is great! But in my experience, the hard part is following up, implementing and measuring the solution. Perhaps it is because what comes after the strategy is not as glamorous or fun as developing the strategy itself, or that nobody likes to follow up. Yet if you neglect to do so, then you are doing nothing. Because how can you expect to have results, if you don’t track what you are doing? Going blind on a winding road is not the way to do contracting and procurement. Set up your KPI´s from the beginning, monitor closely, and, adjust when necessary.

2. Do your research before a negotiation
You might not believe it, but many many procurement professionals go into negotiations every day with very little knowledge of the terms, market trends, historical data, etc. Take time to prepare before going into any negotiation and when I say negotiation I mean in the broad sense of the word. Not just a one to one session, but in contracting any service or product. Before conducting RFX events or asking for a price quote, gather all the information you can get your hands on whatever you are going to acquire. Failing to do so is more harmful than anything else.

3. Create a collaborative relationship with stakeholders based on communication
When I do workshops on contracting and procurement best practice, I dedicate a whole chapter to communication. For a procurement professional, it is essential to make all information flow to the right level of stakeholders. Map out your stakeholder matrix and make sure everyone there, gets the right information timely and with no exceptions.

4. Develop relationships with your key vendors
There was a time back in the days that you would see your vendor on the opposite side of the table and treat them like an opponent. Old school negotiation practices taught how your “opponent” will or will not out-power you. It was all based on leveraging power. Now we have come to realise that vendors are allies. Obviously, this makes sense because vendors depend on your business and you depend on their product or service. The best procurement practice now proven and widely used is to get close to your vendor and work together in a relationship. Synergy is more powerful than leveraging on power amongst each other. Work on your vendor relations at all times.

5. Always ask for a discount
Being born in Guatemala, Central America. We learn to negotiate everything. Negotiation is basic for survival in Latin America. You can get fresh produce from the street markets and many other products from vendors that will price according to how much “they think” that you can afford. That being said, we learned the importance to ask for that last time additional discount on everything. To my amazement, there are times when vendors are withholding a little bit just in case, and because of that, you lose for not asking. On top of that, it’s good practice to test if you are actually getting the best price and believe me, this one is a good one to open to debate with your peers’ procurement professionals. Remember, just don’t forget to ask

Contracting and procurement is a function that requires a lot of communication, relationships, problem-solving and creative thinking. These five takeaways are examples of such skills that can easily be put into action. I hope that as procurement professionals you can relate to them and remember to use them when encountering such scenarios in your everyday work.

Bruno Alvarez
Procurement Professional – SS&PK
Email: bruno.alvarez@consultant.com
Website: Procurementstories.com
LinkedIn: Bruno Alvarez

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!

[Guest Blog] How to find top procurement talent

We are pleased to welcome a guest post by Adam Maidment from Portfolio Procurement, a market-leading procurement recruitment specialist. Discussing the unique challenges to recruitment in the procurement industry.

How to find top procurement talent
Genuine procurement talent can be hard to find. To succeed in the industry, procurement professionals need to be good negotiators, forward thinking and have a keen eye for detail.
Working in the procurement industry has a lot of advantages, yet is still an extremely challenging career choice. New employees have to prove their worth by taking charge of their own projects from start to finish. They also have to deal with senior members of staff including MDs and CEOs, difficult suppliers, manage through drastic company changes and work in an industry that is constantly evolving with the development in sectors such as eSourcing.
For such a vital and challenging role, do you know what you should be looking for in procurement staff? How do you know if you are hiring the right people?

Look out for non-learned skills
Learned skills, such as financial management, contract management, and cost reduction are all vital to anyone working in the procurement industry, but these can largely be learned on the job. When hiring talented procurement staff, a candidate’s personality is just as important.
Procurement staff deals with almost every department across the business. They regularly speak to suppliers to negotiate good deals and work closely with customers to ensure they get what they want. Good staff know the type of skills that help them thrive in this environment are not taught in a classroom; skills that include listening, understanding, empathy and communication.
Ask your candidates about times they have had to use these skills and try and discover if they have developed them throughout their course of their working life so far. They tend to be easy to spot – interviews are all about communication, so ensure you test their listening and understanding skills.

Have they been relationship managed before?
Relationship management is arguably the most important skill for procurement professionals. Even if a candidate has no background in procurement, there are many roles where they would have been able to develop this skill. Project managers, account managers and candidates with experience in customer service will have experienced relationship management in some form. Relationship management as a skill can be used in any sector of procurement, such as eSourcing.
Ensure anyone you hire understands the importance of good communication and can demonstrate times they have had to use relationship management in their previous experience.

Do they keep updated on changes in technology?
The use of technology is playing an increasingly large role in the procurement industry. With the rise of eProcurement helping businesses consolidate supplier information and the use of technology in both the approval and the transaction process, it’s now important for procurement professionals to have a strong grasp on technology.

Do they have a forward thinking attitude?
Other departments spend a lot of their time looking backwards; finance, legal and HR have to analyse and interpret what has already happened.
Procurement professionals spend their time looking forward; it’s their job to help shape the future of the company. Whether it’s choosing next season’s stock or designing more effective supply chains, you need to ensure your procurement staff has a forward thinking attitude, always with the end game in mind.

How to pick the right person
Procurement can be a great career choice for people looking for a varied and exciting role with good career prospects. You need to ensure you hire suitable candidates as the role can be largely independent and high pressured.

During interviews, ensure candidates demonstrate the soft skills required to succeed in the role, evidence of being able to manage relationships and their ambitions for the future. This way, you can be confident that you have found capable and talented employees, who will be able to handle the senior staff, various departments, and suppliers.

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!

Sourcing New Recruits for Team Dojo

Market Dojo are very excited to introduce the latest members of Team Dojo. Helping out on the Business Development side, Peter and Lewis, both Cheltenham based, passed the Market Dojo interview process with flying colours and we are really pleased to welcome them both to the team.

We asked Lewis and Peter some questions to help you get to know them better.

Where did you go to university?
Lewis:
I went to Cardiff University to study Human Geography and Planning.
Geography was my favourite subject and I had always enjoyed learning about the world and concepts and our relationship with it.

Pete:
I attended UoG at the Park Campus in Cheltenham. I studied Marketing and Advertising as part of a sandwich course which included a placement year in Reading working for a Marketing Agency.

What made you apply to work at Market Dojo?
Lewis:
I liked the idea of working for a new, vibrant company, which had made impressive steps in its short time. I also wanted the opportunity to work within the technology/software sector, with co-founders who had an infectious passion for the product.

Pete:
Working directly with the Co-Founders of Market Dojo was a huge attraction. Hearing Alun’s passion for Market Dojo in my initial phone interview cemented my decision in applying for the role.

What aspects of the Business Development role do you find most appealing?
Lewis:
I’m interested in talking to and meeting with new people, I like the sense of achievement and satisfaction you receive when assisting clients to meet their needs and I also like the challenge and competitiveness of securing new business.

Pete:
Hitting targets is something that I have always enjoyed, whether this be academically throughout education or physically at football each Saturday. Bringing a level of competition (winning new business) into the workplace was a natural step in my career path.

What is different about Market Dojo?
Lewis:
The in-house expertise of the founders, the passion which they have for the business and the product, and the friendliness of the whole team. The benefits of using the software are also clear. On our first day, we got to observe a real e-auction event where the cost savings to the client were monumental. To the extent where if I hadn’t have seen it, I would not have believed it, but it certainly helped with understanding the features and benefits of the product.

Pete:
The honesty and transparency of the pricing. Too many businesses hide costs and add-ons, Market Dojo operate a ‘what you see is what you get’ policy throughout the business which is refreshing to see in a SaaS environment.

If you didn’t go into sales, what other profession would you have considered?
Lewis:
I think I’d have been a teacher, either geography or sport. I’ve taught children sports previously and having a direct impact on people’s future is pretty cool and rewarding!

Pete:
I’d have liked to be a personal trainer or nutritionist. During a bad two-week school placement at a local gym my days consisted of cleaning and admin. After thinking this was all the industry could offer me, I avoided healthcare and from that day I decided to pursue a career in business.

What is the most unusual job you have ever had?
Lewis:
Not really an unusual job, but with my last role, I got to do lots of travelling across Africa which was really interesting and something which I believe enabled me to grow both personally and professionally.

Pete:
While living in Scarborough, I helped organise and promote two UK hardcore raves. As the work was for friends the jobs were unpaid, but it was certainly an exciting experience.

What is your favourite book/movie?
Lewis:
Book and movie… Harry Potter!
Pete:
My favourite book is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography. If Arnold wants to do something, he does it, whether it’s bodybuilding, acting or politics. He has always achieved what he set out to do – the book is great proof that hard work really pays off.

What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone?
Lewis:
Unsure – although Britney Spears – ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ was the first single I ever bought as a besotted early teenager!

Pete:
If by embarrassing you mean amazing, and by song you mean album then It’s Justin Bieber’s Purpose.

What is one thing about yourself that you think others would be surprised to know?
Lewis:
I had never drank a hot drink until the age of 26!

Pete:
At the age of 13 I got through to the final of the North Yorkshire Amateur Boxing Association Championships.

What’s your biggest claim to fame?
Lewis:
After watching Gloucester playing rugby, I got Jonny Wilkinson to sign my trainer.

Pete:
In 2015 I got all the way through to the live interviews to appear on The Island – Channel 4 Reality tv programme.

Have you ever travelled abroad? What was your favourite country?
Lewis:
Yeah I went to South Africa in my previous job. I attended a conference and had the best steak I’ve ever had. I can still taste it if I close my eyes!

Pete:
I haven’t actually traveled out of Europe but I went to France as a toddler and was speaking French to the locals when I was 12 months old.

What are your hobbies and interests?
Lewis:
I like to think of myself as a fit and active person, I play a lot of sport; football and cricket, but I also like to get lost in a good TV boxset; I’m currently watching The Walking Dead and I’m excited for the new season of Game of Thrones to begin very soon!!

Pete:
I’m currently training twice a week for a charity boxing match which is raising money for Cancer Research UK. The 8-weeks of free training has been supplied by a local boxing gym and the black tie event is being held at the Cheltenham leisure centre.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Lewis:
The attraction of working for such a small company is the possibility of shaping your own career destiny. Hopefully through my business development efforts the company continues to grow, and in 5 years time I’d like to still have some involvement in business development but perhaps with more of an influence on strategy and future innovations. Personally, I’d like to be a homeowner, and hopefully a parent too.

Pete:
I see myself as an eSourcing specialist with my own Business Development team at Market Dojo. On a personal outlook, I’d also like a newer car and a mortgage on my own house.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be?
Lewis:
Cat – they have such an easy life but are still independent with a great sense of adventure. Plus I have 2 cats!

Pete:
Lion – nothing to worry about as lions are top of the food chain, plus it’s lovely and warm in Africa.

What actor would you cast to play yourself in a movie?
Lewis:
Leonardo Di Caprio because he’s my favourite actor.

Pete:
Will Smith because he’s gifted. Will can sing, act and dance. That portrays my life philosophy quite well. Also, we look quite similar, right?

Connect with Peter and Lewis on LinkedIn.
A HUGE welcome to you both! 🙂

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!

Latest Recruit for Team Dojo

Market Dojo are pleased to announce the arrival of our newest member of Team Dojo. Working as part of the marketing team Craig adds his buzzing personality to the mix.
We asked Craig a few questions to help you get to know him better.

 

What made you apply to work at Market Dojo?
I wanted to work for a company that had a real passion for what they did and after meeting the directors knew that it was a place I wanted to be.

What are you looking forward to in your new role?
I’m very keen to work with the team, developing the brand of Market Dojo as well as learning more about the procurement industry. I am also looking forward to working on some of the interesting marketing campaigns that we have planned!

What is different about Market Dojo?
The passion of the team. When you speak to any of the guys at Market Dojo, you know that they want to do their very best to help their clients. Whether it’s assisting their clients with eAuctions using ‘Market Dojo’ or helping them to use the on-boarding tool ‘SIM Dojo’. They have a real desire to help.

If you didn’t go into marketing, what other professions would you have considered?
I think I would have been looking at a professional career as a male model, I heard that Southern Comfort were looking for younger, rounder model for their latest beach body advert and I think I might of been the right man for the job (see the video here).

What is the most unusual job you have ever had?
During a six month period where I was working in America, I also helped coach for a youth football team in North Carolina. I call it unusual because I was pretty much teaching them the rules of football.

What is your favourite book/movie?
I will shamefully admit that my favourite film is ‘What Women Want’, a rom-com with Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson. When I was young, I liked the idea of influencing what people are thinking.

What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone?
I once ‘had’ a one direction song on my phone, It’s not something I talk about anymore.

What is one thing about yourself that you think others would be surprised to know?
I broke my back when I was 16 and had to wear a back brace for last few years of my teenage life.

What’s your biggest claim to fame?
I once met the entire Chelsea football team. Had a chat with John Terry, got snubbed by Jose Mourinho and was kissed on the cheek by the lovely Eva Carneiro (controversial ex-physio at Chelsea Football Club).

Where have you travelled abroad? What was your favourite country?
I have been to a few places around the world. I once went on safari in South Africa when I was young and I still remember most of it to this day.

What are your hobbies and interests?
I’m a big football fan and like most sports but I also have a bit of a geeky side. You can often find me enjoying a good fiction novel or playing video games.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be?
A domestic dog, they get to live a pampered life and don’t have to worry about being someone else’s dinner. They also spend their lives making others happy which I think is a good motto to live one’s life by.

What actor would you cast to play yourself in a movie?
Probably Simon Pegg, as someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously he would probably be a good fit. My life also seems to have a few Mr Bean elements to it, such as chasing miniature ponies around a field (yes this really happens on a frequent basis and these are the culprits).

What are you hoping to bring to Market Dojo?
I hope to bring an extra bit of creativity and perception to the team. Hopefully influencing future marketing campaigns with my personality and my own brand of humour.

Connect with Craig on LinkedIn.

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!

[Radio Interview] Jon Hansen and Market Dojo on the future of eSourcing technology

We recently had the great pleasure of taking part in a radio interview with Jon Hansen of Procurement Insights in one of a series of interviews as a follow up to Market Dojo being identified as one of the ‘New Wave Companies’ to watch in 2013.

Jon was interested in hearing our thoughts on 3 main topics:

We had the opportunity to talk to Jon about how the original philosophy of making eSourcing simple remains the same today. How we’ve experienced great growth and moved into overseas markets. How the buying behaviour of clients, and procurement professionals has evolved to allow for the integration of SaaS tools such as Market Dojo into their eSourcing processes.

You can listen to the interview in full here:

Procurement Unplugged: A New Wave Era Company Talks About The Future
Lewis Barnard
Business Development Manager
t: +44 (0) 117 318 1514
e: lewis.barnard@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!

[NEW RELEASE] Improved document uploads

Last weekend we released the latest batch of improvements to Market Dojo. The most notable of these is improved support for document uploads.

We made this change in response to requests from our customers. They want to receive more than one document as the answer to a document question. Previously customers had zipped the documents into one file, or asked several questions. This wasn’t always convenient. Now, you can simple drag and drop the documents into your answer, and you have control of how many documents you include.

Here is what it looks like for someone answering a questionnaire.

A participant adds two documents to their answers.

As part of this design improvement, our development team also suggested we enhance the User Interface, to make adding documents even easier. This means you can add several documents in one go, and even drag and drop them from your file explorer. This is available when answering questionnaire or creating events.

Our testing suggests this will make using documents in Market Dojo even quicker and easier.
We hope you like this new feature, and would love to hear your feedback.

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!

How to Save €1500 in 37 Minutes on your Next Car Purchase

This is a guest post by Vlado Prosenik from Efekto Pro. Efekto Pro are our consultancy partner in Slovenia.  They help customers make purchases more efficiently.

A few months ago, I realized that it was time to replace my car. I was treating it very well; feeding it with the best fuel and oils, getting it serviced regularly, changing it’s tyres when needed, etc. It was returning my kindness with safe routes, comfort, excellent radio sound, and it was not greedy at all. We were good friends. I thought it would be upset to be sold to a new owner. However, as soon as the first potential buyer showed the money, my friend forgot about me.

Quite sad, my friend left me just because of money. I had to find a new car. Since it served me well, I wanted a new one from the same litter. Since I unfortunately hadn’t won the lottery that week (even now, I cannot understand how I didn’t win!), I started searching for the most economical way to purchase a new car.

I checked the range of vehicles to suit my needs, demands and preferences. I found six such cars. I tested all six, obtained bids and negotiated the price for all of them. Some sellers were friendly, others were professional, some were arrogant, some funny, and some were misleading. Nevertheless, all the cars were beautiful, powerful and clean. For each of them I found both positives and negatives. However, all would give me safety whilst driving and all would bring me to a desired destination at the same time. Provided there is a road to get there, of course.

I found a favourite quickly. The preferable order of the other five was also defined quite soon in my head. I was negotiating the price of my favourite very hard. I even used help of some acquaintances to come up with the best price. At a certain stage, even acquaintances were not able to help me with lowering the price. I said to myself: “That’s it.” “Unless … “ “No, stop dreaming, who will participate in an auction for one car, come on, be serious.” “However, it is not a sin if you try!”

Reverse auction! If I can run reverse auctions for my clients, why could I not run a reverse auction for  my car?!

The decision was made. I ran a weighted auction, meaning the winning supplier was chosen for more than providing the cheapest price. If I had set the only criteria of price, I would most likely have not been satisfied with the winning car.

Here are the statistics from the auction:

Invited participants 30
Participants registered on Market Dojo 18
Participants that accepted invitation 14
Qualification bids placed 11
Number of participants actively bidding 6
Total bids placed during auction 34
Auction duration 37 mins

A participant who I had not contacted personally submitted the winning bid. The next day I went to meet the winning bidder and to sign the contract. They were very professional and friendly. I saved about 1500 EUR according to the best offer I have managed to negotiate before the auction. I had received the car more than one month before the promised deadline. And after a few months of driving the new car, we are getting better and better friends.

It is also interesting that quite a few unsuccessful vendors called me after the auction. They were asking which car I bought, and if they can offer the service. Not one negative comment I have received regarding the selection process. Mostly they commented that they could not give a better price and that it was good to have an opportunity to see their rank during the auction.
If I managed to run a reverse auction to purchase a car, for my own personal use (as erratic and tedious as that process can be), then surely there is great opportunity for reverse auctions to bring savings in areas where the competition between providers is developed. You just have to take it the right way!

+386 41 38 00 37
vlado.prosenik@efekto.si
EFEKTO PRO d.o.o.
www.efektopro.si

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!

5 Reasons Why You’d be a Fool to Miss eWorld!

The eWorld Procurement and Supply summit is one of our personal favourites in the events calendar.
At Market Dojo, we’ve been showcasing our on-demand eSourcing tools there for the last 5 years now and we think you’d be crazy not to go. Here are our top 5 reasons why procurement professionals should join us there…

1. Informative sessions
The day begins with a bacon roll, breaks for a tasty lunch and ends with a drinks reception (sold already, right?)

Sandwiched between all the delicious cuisine are informative seminars and workshops hosted by guest speakers and sponsors. The organisers go to every effort to ensure that delegates aren’t hit with sales pitches and the majority of seminars provide great detail on specific topics. Speakers of note include Tania Seary from Procurious (such an influential lady in the procurement space!) and the opening keynote from Martine Wright, 7/7 Survivor and Paralympian (another inspiring female!).

2. Ideal Location
The Westminster area of London is the heart of The City. Surrounded by iconic features such as Big Ben and the London Eye, what better place to host the leading eProcurement technology event?
And, as Market Dojo is headquartered in the idyllic Gloucestershire countryside, the novelty of taking the tube is always enjoyed!

3. FREE! So, why not!
You work in Procurement, spending your days collaborating with suppliers, trying to get the very best product/service for the lowest price. Trained in effective, efficient negotiation, you’ll be delighted to hear that eWorld is in fact FREE for delegates to attend. No haggling on this one, just signup and show up. Of course it does cost you your time, but the ROI is definitely there. You’ll leave feeling inspired with a whole range of extra tools in your procurement toolkit!

4. Atmosphere
From a sponsor’s point of view, there’s a real camaraderie between the neighbouring stands. We normally get the joys of chatting with the lovely team at State of Flux and the guys at Spend 360.

It’s also great to catch up with all the familiar delegate faces that return each year to stay up to date with eProcurement technology.

5. …Market Dojo will be there!
We definitely won’t be missing eWorld this year and we’d love to see you all there. Showcasing our tools focussing on eSourcing, category planning, innovation and, our latest development, our supplier onBoarding tool. Read more about that here.

We’ll be offering live demos on the day to anyone who would like to bring eSourcing in-house and find out how our easy to use, on-demand solution could help them.

For more information on this event, feel free to get in touch with one of us at Market Dojo, or simply register for eWorld on the 2nd March 2016 at the QEII Building, London.
Look forward to seeing you there. Make sure you pop by and say hello!

Anya McKenna
anya.mckenna@marketdojo.com
+44(0)117 318 2537
+44(0)792 337 6307
www.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!

Top 5 Most Common eAuction Questions Solved Using Real Data

EDITORS NOTE: eWorld have kindly invited us to host a seminar on eAuction strategies at the conference in London on 22nd September. Check out our video for a sneaky preview…

What success have others had with eAuctions?

How can I make great savings with my events?

Using real-life information from thousands of tenders run through our software, we’ve analysed our data to give you proven solutions to a number of the most commonly asked questions:

Whether you’ve never heard of an eAuction before or are a seasoned pro, we’ve put together a guide filled with really informative graphics that is guaranteed to improve your eAuction success.

You can download this infographic (along with other great resources) from our resource centre. All you have to do is register (for free) with Market Dojo.

About: Market Dojo provides accessible eSourcing software. Find out more atwww.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

Bringing the ‘e’ into ‘eSourcing’

You are an experienced procurement professional. You have been completing tenders via phone and email since 2001.

When you need a quote, you simply pick up the phone, call your suppliers, get a few prices and go with whichever one can deliver first. Sometimes you find yourself asking; is this the most profitable way of operating? Is there a better way of working which could allow me to include more suppliers? If I want to find out what was paid and from whom the last time I bought a specific item, do I have to scroll through hundreds of emails to find out? Your current way is clunky and frustrating at times, but that’s just how it’s done… or is it?

One day, you leap up from your desk and cry ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! There must be another way.’, after plugging ‘eSourcing software’ into Google, you go in search of a more simple, more accountable way of sourcing what you need. Due to the easy to adopt, pay as you host SaaS Model offered, you opt for Market Dojo.
After signing up for free on the site, you log in and head to the Sandpit to create your first eTender. But what is all this jargon? Your comfort blanket of ignorance has been removed and now you have to learn a whole new world of terms and phrases, varying processes, different types of auctions, and strategies to make your event successful. Quite overwhelming really? Nope.

The Market Dojo team are a kind breed and want to make the transition from prehistoric tendering to suave eSourcing as smooth as possible.

Not only have we made our system really easy to adopt for yourselves and your suppliers, all of the fields which may cause confusion are marked with an ‘i’, when you hover over this, you are provided with in-depth details of  what it means. If you’re still feeling bamboozled, we have also provided you with a wealth of resources and videos which you can access for free after registering on the site.

Our resources really allow you to get to grips with how the tool works. From demystifying jargon to providing you with templates for uploading lots, the resource page is a great means of finding out what you need to know. And you can access them in your own time, for free.

With over 30 video tutorials, divided into supplier support and participant advice, you can really find out all you need to know without even having to pick up the phone. If your suppliers get confused, you have a host of knowledge at your finger tips ready to pass on.
The video by the students at University of Gloucester sums up this blog post nicely:

Before you know it, you’ve signed up to Market Dojo (Did I mention it’s free?), watched a couple of tutorials, created 3 RFQs, a PPQ and a £10,000,000 auction on stationery, all ready to go live once you purchase your licence. You’ve done it all by yourself, without having to arrange any meetings with the Market Dojo team, no complicated supplier webinars across differing time zones. And if you did need to ask for help, you can always pop us a question on live chat where one of the very knowledgeable team can offer you some light consultancy advice.

Well, what are you waiting for? Head over to our site, check out our resources for yourself and make the easy move to eSourcing.

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

Can E-Sourcing Break the Bonds of E-mail?

These are the introductory paragraphs of a guest post by Alun Rafique of Market Dojo.  The full article features ThomasNet News who is one of the leading supplier discovery and product sourcing platforms on the market today.

Self-service e-auctions are a great technological path for any company, as the advantages derived from more efficient negotiations are easy to relate. The real challenge is on the full e-sourcing software suite. Electronic Request for Quotations (eRFQs) are a great example. The benefits from eRFQs come from the centralization of data, auditability, and the ability to send out to more suppliers without a large increase in overhead.

It has been found that suppliers involved in eRFQs yield better savings. This is attributed to the process making the suppliers simply sharpen their pencils when they send out bids. In research by the University of the West of England, it has been found that e-sourcing strengthens buyer-supplier relationships.

So if the benefits from e-sourcing are there, why is there not more of an uptake in the process?
[Find out more by reading the full article here.]

Variables in the Adoption of Auctions in Procurement by Kelly Barner & Alun Rafique

Editor’s Note: When Kelly Barner and Alun Rafique submitted this post on the variables in the adoption of auctions, they hit close to home in terms of an area of procurement about which I have a great deal of experience and expertise.

For several years my research into the utilization of advanced algorithms within the framework of an agent-based model was funded by the government’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development program.

From the early development phase through to the eventual introduction of a production system in the Department of National Defence, the model progressively demonstrated tangible savings while maintaining a high degree of supplier participation.  The key to success was not only in the flexible bid parameters that leveraged complex algorithms to assign the weighted values that resulted in the optimum supplier being picked 98 percent of the time, but was also achieved through an understanding of the market.  More specifically, the identification of commodity characteristics about which you can read in my May 2007 (reposted 2011) article Dangerous Supply Chain Myths Revisited (Part 7): Enabling Technology – The Emergence of the Metaprise.

Read more here

Also here is our guest appearance on Buyers Meeting point weekly update radio interview 24th Feb 14 discussing weighted tenders.

eWorld – March 13 – Turning the corner

Relax with Market Dojo are the words printed on the square stress balls, part of our must have marketing paraphernalia that we had produced for the show (see here).  As it turns out, it seems that by the end of the show, it was probably us who needed them the most.

It was a typical start to the day as the co-founders (Alun Rafique, Nick Drewe, and Nicholas Martin) and their marketing executive, Justyna, made their way into London.  Sunny but cold (as always) with the proverbial traffic jams into London at 7am, is it ever possible to avoid these? However, the clear crisp morning led to some astounding views from the Queen Elizabeth II exhibition centre from just behind our stand.

Were there any differences from the conference last year?  Not to any significant degree in appearance.  There was the same mix of procurement professionals mainly from around the UK all with the same passion for e-Sourcing.  The right mix of people for the exhibitors who were probably more numerous than the previous years showing the interesting that is now being focused on e-Sourcing from the e-Procurement world.  There was a slightly different layout and the food was adequate (Note to e-World team – maybe a change next time?).

From our view though, things certainly seemed to have changed, perhaps it is because we have now turned a corner.  At our previous exhibition, September 2012, had a version of Market Dojo which assisted with runnings auctions in house and RFQ’s (Request for Quotations).  This was great for organisations who wanted to cast their line into eSourcing but was perhaps lacking in depth.
Now however, we had released the work from our first grant opening up the ability to work through complex sourcing activities including weighted events with complex scoring mechanisms.  The latest user hierarchy development that was released just before the show, makes our software even more attractive, not just to the casual user, but also to the more serious procurement professional wanting to embed e-sourcing in their procurement team and processes.

We also have several more significant developments coming out that we could announce on the back of a second grant and customer driven requirements. These not only  build upon our general sourcing capabilities but more importantly add in some much needed innovation.

We feel that the sourcing software of todays market is generally much of a muchness.  It is as if the large providers have set the tone and many other providers become a ‘me too’ in terms of sourcing capability before moving into areas such as P2P or contract management. At Market Dojo though we can see that this drive into other areas from general e-Sourcing is often undertaken too quickly.

Firstly  we see that building the P2P aspect of procurement in sourcing software, being driven by line item requirements can detract from the almost artistic concept of category management  and negotiation activities based on the annual requirements instead of the line item detail.

Secondly, we feel there is much innovation that can still be applied to the sourcing arena, and now we have enveloped the general capabilities we are looking to evolve.

At 9 am it was quiet, and we were fearful of a day desperately hoping someone would come to talk to us and enticing the professionals in with promises of Werther’s Originals.  We needn’t  have worried though.  From 10am onwards we were all stacked, with no overflow capacity.  A continual stream of onlookers, interested parties and current customers came past to see what we had to offer.

This was definitely a change to the norm where we have simply been busy.  Now the full spectrum of reputable potential clients came past both large and small, all with a serious interest in Market Dojo.  By the end of the day, it was certainly us who got the most use from our square balls.  A great day with many memories and discussions to follow up.

We should say a special thanks to e-World once again for always supporting us and a huge thanks to our current customers for sharing in our vision. Also a final congratulations to our winner on the day from the prize draw.

Looking forward to the next show and suggestions on a post card please for our next crazy marketing idea.

Our Press Release (A bit late!!)

Market Dojo celebrates their 1 year birthday!
Market Dojo, an innovative Bristol-based software company, recently celebrated their first year in business.  The company, incorporated on the 2nd August 2010, is looking to soon become global with potential clients in Greece, Peru, US and Germany.

Co-founder Alun Rafique reflected, “It has been a fantastic year in which we have learned a lot and come a long way.  We’ve been very surprised by the level of interest that we have seen, not just from the small-to-medium sized companies but also from the larger enterprises.”

Market Dojo offers easy to use, professional e-sourcing software to help businesses save time and money on their purchases. The key benefits of their software include increased efficiency, centralisation of information, repeatability, transparency and auditability of the sourcing process.

To date Market Dojo has helped their clients average savings of approximately 30% from e-auctions alone, as well as bringing major efficiency improvements for all involved.  The more standard Request for Quotation activities have seen similar results, which is all the more significant given each client averages 15 new sourcing activities a month.
Even more impressively, their clients have generated an average return on investment with Market Dojo of little over 2 weeks!

Alun Rafique looks forward to the next year with huge enthusiasm, “We have laid a great foundation for the future.  We have established the business and proven the benefits of our product, so it is now a case of expanding the sales and marketing activities to bring the benefits to many more companies.”

About Market Dojo:

We offer Business to Business e-Sourcing software [RFQ’s and Auctions] to help companies save time and money when negotiating for their goods and services.
Our guiding philosophy has been to develop cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) suited for the in-house professional.

It is designed around three core ideas:

Our software costs just £1,000 per sourcing event or £5,000 for a single-user annual licence to run as many sourcing events as you wish.

For more information please refer to www.marketdojo.com
Key contact: Co-founder Alun Rafique, 0117 230 9200, alun.rafique@marketdojo.com.

What is ‘market price’ and how do I know I’ve found it?

I realised recently that this is a term we brandish about quite frequently at various meetings and conversations we have.   Occasionally we get nods of appreciation for the term, but more commonly we receive a look of faint recognition, as if it were a friend last seen in school days wearing braces and ill-fitting clothes.  So, perhaps it might be worth giving our take on the term, just to help freshen up the concept, plus a little advice on how you might seek it.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides the following:  “a price actually given in current market dealings”.

There are several key words in this definition.  Let’s take the word ‘actually’ for example, for the above sentence can make perfect sense without it, yet the insertion is deliberate.  It adds gravitas to the word ‘price’.  It is not a suggested price or an implied price or even a piece of estimation, but an actual price.

What we would interpret this to mean in the procurement world is that this price is genuinely valid and acceptable.  It has been submitted based on all the specified requirements of quality, technical, commercial, logistical, operational, administrative, health and safety and so forth.   In other words, it is real and it is based on a product or service that meets your needs.

Another key word is ‘current’.  A market price cannot be so if it is founded upon old or even future information.  It has to be based current facts and information.  If I purchased my property for £200,000 two years ago, I would be misinformed to say it is now worth the same.  And nor could I actually tell now you the market price for it in 6 months time.  If I want to know an accurate figure for my property today, I would consult the market today.  It’s the only way to be certain.

The same applies in procurement.  Where certain prices rely heavily on raw material costs, such as fuel or steel, don’t leave it to the supplier to hedge their bets on raw material price movements as part of their offer to you.  It won’t be a market price if this happens.  Instead, ask them to give you a price based on today’s raw material costs and to provide a raw material index mechanism for future price reviews.  This way no one needs to take a gamble and lose out.  Such a mechanism is fair, open and transparent.  Currency reviews should operate in the same way.

However, what this definition does leave open is that you could receive a number of so-called ‘market prices’.  Which one is the right one?

This is where we would go a step further.  We would classify a market price as, “the best actual price in current market dealings that is sustainable for the required term”.  It is in no one’s interest for the price to be so competitive that it causes a supplier to go out of business or conversely so uncompetitive that it causes the buying company to go bust.  So, put into plain English, we see the market price as being the best price for a product or service, based on current market conditions, that meets your needs and is sustainable for the duration you want.
So, if that is what the market price is, how do we go about finding it?

First you specify your requirements.   Second, you engage the market.  It’s as simple as that.  Think about something like Money Supermarket or Compare the Market.  By filling in your car insurance requirements, you are provided with up to 30 quotes.  The top two or three are usually around the market price level, i.e. the best price, based on current market conditions, that meets your needs and is sustainable for the period you require it.  Beware of spurious prices, the ones that look too good to be true, because usually they are! A bit of due diligence is required just to double-check that the quotes are based on what you require. You don’t want to later find out your excess, for example, is ten times more than the next best quote.

For procurement, it is a case of designing a robust RFQ or set of requirements, leaving as little scope for interpretation as possible.  Secondly, you distribute it to your own private market, whereby you should have a plentiful number of capable and interested suppliers. Finally, pick the top two or three bids and carry out that bit of due diligence to make sure everything has been understood and that the quotes are accurate.

The knack is in creating your market.  If you were to approach two suppliers down the road and get prices, would you say that you have approached the market?  No.  If however you approach 10,000 suppliers around the globe, would you say that you need a few more before you know the market?  Also no, you would say you have covered a sufficient number of bases.  Clearly something lies in between.

Thankfully this is where online sourcing technology can greatly help you by keeping everything together in an auditable and controlled manner, allowing you to involve huge numbers of suppliers.  My personal record was a sourcing exercise that involved 1,500 suppliers, of which 140 or so provided prices.  Having completed this, I was particularly confident I had found the market price.

However this is a one-off example.  The practical way to create and involve the market is to:
1) Outline your supplier criteria, such as geography, turnover, accreditations, capabilities etc.
2) Source suppliers using your contacts, your experience, trade shows, associations, sourcing agencies and databases such as Kompass, Hotfrog, Kellysearch, Applegate, Alibaba, TradeIndia and so on,
3) Qualify the suppliers against your criteria, using questionnaires and submitted responses if time permits.

Once done, send out the RFQ or grant the qualified suppliers access to it and simply manage any questions that come back.  Once all the prices are in, carry out the competitive negotiation, be it an e-auction or otherwise, and the market price will be revealed before your very eyes!

About:  Market Dojo provides business-to-business e-auction and e-sourcing software.  Find out more at www.marketdojo.com.

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