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’re presently running 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.

You can find the survey here if you have some thoughts.And so 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 experience 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!

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