Analysing messages sent during an eSourcing event

March 19, 2018
Best Practice Article, Blogs, Best Practice

Introduction

Our customers have run thousands of events on Market Dojo. One important benefit of using an eSourcing tool is that it allows you to centralise communication with your suppliers. This saves time and makes the process simple to audit. In Market Dojo, that often means using the message board to exchange messages.

Looking at the patterns in the message data shows how our customers communicate during their events.

Method

We analysed the data from messages sent by Hosts and Participants during different types of eSourcing events. These were Auctions, RFQ’s and RFP/questionnaire type events. We look at the frequency, type and content of the messages exchanged. We excluded system generated messages (for example when a bid is placed).

Results

Average messages per event

The average rate of messages was lower than I had expected. On average 3.39 messages were sent per event, with 2 being sent by the Host and 1.39 sent by the Participant. Many events were completed without a single message being exchanged. The most messages sent in a single event was 445!

Messages by event type

Here are the average messages by event type:

2.56 messages/event – Auction only

0.50 messages – Auction with a questionnaire

10.10 messages/event – RFQ with a questionnaire

1.85 messages/event – RFQ only

We can see that the fewer messages are sent during auction events. Initially, this was quite surprising to me, as Market Dojo features a live message board during the auction, and I know that some hosts use this to encourage participants during the event and that they see improved engagement (and more bids) during the auction as a result.

After reflecting on these results, it realised that this fits well with the ‘Sourcing Strategy Report’ we provide in Category Dojo.  For a category where you have a very clear specification, it is easy to run an auction. For a category where the requirements are less definite, an RFQ will be more suitable. It may be that in events where the specification is clear, fewer messages are exchanged.

Category Dojo – Sourcing Strategy Report.

Messages content

Analysing the message content was quite challenging. In the end, I decided a Word Cloud would be an interesting way to summarise this.  After removing the Company and Usernames, I was left with the word cloud at the top of the document. I replaced the Usernames with the word ‘Host’ which explains why this word features so prominently

We can see that our users are a polite bunch, using words such as ‘Dear’ ‘Thanks’.  There is a significant discussion around the ‘Delivery’ and date information, indicating this is something that can be unclear or a source of differentiation for participants.  

Conclusions

Using messages can help to ensure success during eSourcing events. Although it is perfectly possible to run a successful event without exchanging any messages, it will often help to ensure or improve the success of an event if you open a clear channel of communication.

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