Friday, 15 December 2017

Thank you for attending our Roadshow this December! If you missed out come along to our next event soon!

Last week we had a triumph of a day, running an eAuction masterclass at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens with lots of familiar faces of current clients filling our venue!

The day consisted of a very informative and productive agenda, which started with two of our Directors, Nick Drewe and Alun Rafique giving a fruitful insight into Market Dojo and eAuctions.

Three of our clients gave fantastic presentations showing how eAuctions have worked for them and what they have learnt from using an eSourcing tool within procurement, thank you to Paul Haycock from Nortek, Andrew Russell from Housing and 21 Stephen Wrighton from Plastipak.

We introduced our eAuction game to the day which allowed people to try what it was like being the supplier whilst using our tool in which everyone seemed to really enjoy and learn a lot, including the importance of sticking to price margins and the difference in performance during auction from a virtual negotiation platform as opposed to face to face.

Since the game had such a good response from our guests, for our future events we plan to get our guests to run the game from the host side as well as the supplier side so they can see what the typical auction behaviour consists of.

If you happened to come along on the day, from all here at Market Dojo we would like to say a big thank you! We hope you enjoyed the day and learnt something new!

Lots of guests stayed the whole day and at the end got the chance to ask lots of one to one questions to our directors to have a more bespoke and intimate feel of market dojo and answers to their queries before having a stroll around the beautiful grounds to end the day.

(Just in case you didn’t notice the dojos in the Japanese Garden next to us here's a picture - completely unplanned!)

If you missed out this time, we plan to hit the road for our next event up north! Register your interest here and don't hesitate to get in to touch with us for location and agenda suggestions, or any information or questions email: alternatively
Call us on : +44 (0) 117 230 9200

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!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

eSourcing should be mandated

When a salesperson starts to work within a company, it is generally accepted they would use a CRM system.  Is it mandated?  Perhaps not specifically but it is expected and it is needed for forecasting and tracking conversations.

When a finance person starts with a company, do they have systems they have to use?  Absolutely and again there is more of an expectation then it being mandated. However, would one say it is mandated?

A procurement person who moves into a new company, do they ask where is the eSourcing system or do they ask for their email?

Invariably we have seen that the majority of procurement professionals will use email, even in organisations who have eSourcing systems.  In many cases the eSourcing systems are only seen useful for eAuctions and complex tenders.  However by using email, there is a lack of data centralisation and it is challenging to scale resulting in leaving savings on the table.

How do we all encourage the use of the most appropriate tools?

People:  Are the procurement professionals who come into organisations exposed to the right level of training? Although how much training would be required over what period for the change to take effect?

Technology:  Is the technology out there on par with email?  Do the providers need to focus more on benefits for all levels on the organisation to garner more interest and drive change from the top down. This is obviously a continued focus for software providers, especially those who are best of breed. If the tools are more savings forecast led, this might help speed adoption with the parallel to CRM systems and the sales forecasting required by finance.

Process:  Mandating is a dirty word it seems in many circles.  When you mandate software, people tend to resist and look for work-arounds.  However if it was mandated to use eSourcing, then even though there would be several months of change, training, challenges, it would all be soon forgotten and the benefits would be immediate and ever growing.  If the tool is right, why wouldn't you? 


Market Dojo has been working tirelessly towards eSourcing adoption.  To tackle these challenges we have two new improvements.  

Firstly we are more integrated with savings tracking which helps drive adoption from the top down.  

Secondly, we are very excited about the upcoming release of Quick Quotes.  This will give the ability for procurement to help manage tail end spend.  The quotation portal will be available to anyone in the organisation to raise a quote. The benefit for procurement is that they will gain more visibility of the processes used in the extremities of the organisation, centralise the data and allow for better reporting.

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!

Friday, 8 December 2017

Police in Procurement


I recently found procurement data for England and Wales police force online and thought it would be fun to see what it contained. Market Dojo have been thinking about reporting recently, and have found that a lot of our customers are using or planning to use Microsoft Power BI. To learn more, I decided to use Power BI in my analysis.

The purpose of publishing the data was to help identify where forces could save money by working together. The benefits this can bring were demonstrated by a recent e-auction. Twenty forces, including Police Scotland and British Transport Police, collaborated to buy almost 3,000 police vehicles, and the deal delivered £3.7m of savings for the taxpayer*.

The data is provided in csv files, with 2 files (services and equipment) for each of the 43 police forces. By combining all the separate files, we were able to analyse it more easily. 

Total spend by force

The data covers 38 specific categories of spend. By multiplying the price by the quantity for each of the items included in the report, we can see how much each force spent.

Services Vs Equipment

Viewing by force, and showing the breakdown of services v equipment data, we immediately see that spending by the Met is much larger than other forces. Not really surprising as it has more than 33,000 officers, compared to around 8,000 for the second largest force (Greater Manchester) **.

Metropolitan Police
A very large proportion of the Met’s £19,161,138.30 spend goes on office cleaning, in fact, it is 70.59% of the total spend reported!
It is difficult to compare this with similar forces. Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Merseyside all use an in-house cleaning service and as a result, do not publish a figure for this service. The comments section is frequently used for this category with South Wales is a good example:

“The force does not pay for standard office cleaning per m2 as the cost is dependent on many factors such as frequency of clean, type of use (canteen, office, store etc) and what if any equipment is needed. A monthly bill for cleaning the force premises is monitored through a schedule of rates per building. The force's Estates department has calculated the average cost per m2 per annum taking all these considerations into account.”

However, it is interesting to note the big differences in how this category of spending is treated, and perhaps this is an opportunity to share best practice. Cleaning services and energy supply are both areas where eAuctions have been used with great success.

Most expensive items by average cost

The most expensive items included were the vehicles, and as this is something that is purchased less frequently, the variance between forces is quite large.

Average cost and units purchased: Compact High-performance estate vehicle - fully converted. 

The most expensive item is the ‘Compact High-performance estate vehicle - fully converted’. Costs range from £34,724.21 to £17,252.27. Different makes are purchased including BMW, Volvo and Vauxhall and it appears that they are customized for specific uses. We can see from the graph that there is a relationship between the number of items purchased and the cost. The big difference in cost probably relates to the different requirements for each force, and even between individual vehicles, however as vehicle purchasing was the area highlighted as an opportunity for collaboration and saving*, it may be possible to improve in this area. 
Cheapest five items by average unit cost.

Of the five cheapest items purchased, the one with the lowest cost was telephone call charges. I imagine there is significant variance here, but noticed this is one category where none of the submissions included any clarifying comments.

Total published spend on per minute telephone call charges.

Many forces did not submit a number of minutes used, so total values are only available for some forces. The force that spent the most on call charges was Devon and Cornwall, at £10,290. Norfolk and Suffolk both reported a quantity of 11 minutes, but Lincolnshire used 2151 minutes for a total cost of £18.28


I found investigating these public data sets to be fascinating, and am sure that by sharing their data, procurement teams will be able to find new ways to collaborate and purchase more efficiently. 

In reading the comments and clarifications that are included with the data, I was also reminded of some of the challenges and scrutiny which are part and parcel of public sector procurement.  

Market Dojo hires Scottish royalty

Market Dojo is excited to introduce you to our newest member of team Dojo - Jon Pole. Coming all the way from South Africa he’ll be stepping into our business development manager position. We asked him a few questions to get to know a bit more about him.

What made you apply to work at Market Dojo?

I’ll set the scene - It was a late November evening, rain was pouring down. I was driving down the M5 on my way home from a job interview with a terrible telemarketing company, wondering if I should accept the job offer or not - do I sell my soul? I stopped at a services station to take a break from the terrible weather, I checked a few emails and there it was an invitation to interview for a company called ‘Market Dojo’ I checked out the company, the sun broke through the clouds and the rest is history.

What are you looking forward to in your new role?

It’s not often you get a chance to be part of a small company with so much potential, having the opportunity to build it up from the foundations and see yourself making a noticeable difference. I’m excited about generating new sales and heat-seeking new opportunities also just getting the opportunity to tell people I’m a ‘Business Development Manager’ at 22.

What is different about Market Dojo?

Everything about the company is taken at face value and is transparent, what you see is what you get. It’s also very rare when you get to sell a product that sells itself. I’m just really appreciating having the opportunity as a young person

What is the most unusual job you have ever had?

Whilst at University I worked at Heart radio as a marketing and promotions assistant. The unusual thing about this job is that we spent a lot of our time driving around in giant red 7 seaters plastered with the Heart logo. Whilst doing this we were giving out cakes, setting up gazebos, face painting children and being VIP backstage at Boardmasters. It was pretty fun and I was the only man working with 23 girls. So, all in all, it was okay...

What is your favourite book/movie?

It couldn’t be anything other than Lord of the rings, huge Tolkien fan. My inner nerd will never lie about it.

What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone

As a music student and musician I have and listen to everything I mean I could list 50 pages of embarrassing songs but instead here is a taster:

N-Dubz - Strong Again
Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On
One Direction - Best Song Ever
Justin Bieber - One Time

Where have you travelled abroad? What was your favourite country?

I grew up in South Africa and it will always be my favourite in terms of natural beauty. The best foreign trip of my life has been going to Finland earlier this year to see the northern lights, it was the best thing I’ve ever done, absolutely breathtaking if you haven’t been before then make time to go ASAP, it’s worth it. I also love Italy the culture is amazing, the food is my favourite and I am also 60% fluent in Italian according to Duolingo.

Image result for northern lights

What are your hobbies and interests?

My main hobby or passion is singing, I’m actually in an indie/electronic band I sing, play guitar and synth. So performance is a key part of what I love to do, I’ve always thought maybe it’s just because I love being the centre of attention - maybe that’s why I turned up to my first day at work in a full suit when the dress code was casual.

What actor would you cast to play yourself in a movie?

That’s easy, it’s gotta be Leonardo Di Caprio. But not the young pretty boy - think more like between Wolf of Wall Street and The Revenant, with a bad hairline and dad bod running around the park with a water pistol. There certainly are some similarities to be seen there.

Image result for leonardo di caprio water pistol

How would you describe yourself for those about to meet you at Market Dojo?

I would make these lucky people very aware of my lack of common sense, it is actually a very severe case of it. I’ve been described by friends as a ‘puppy - you can’t be mad at it for messing things up because it doesn’t know any better’.
I won’t accidentally wet myself in the house but I spend days making people question how I actually got an honours degree.

Interesting facts about yourself?

Well, obviously I’m South African, not that you’d be able to tell from the well-spoken British accent with a Somerset twang.

I’ve performed at the London O2 and got a support slot with Gabrielle Aplin before she backed out and got someone else.

If you’ve seen Braveheart I’m a direct descendant of William Wallace and could be a Scottish prince if history had played out in my favour.

Image result for william wallace meme

What are you hoping to bring to Market Dojo?

A hungry sense of ambition and a desire to succeed with Market Dojo.
Also to make sure Market Dojo has an obviously visible growth from the date I joined.

Finally, I hope to become a main driving force within this company and with that enthusiasm, I’m confident I will succeed

Connect with Jon on LinkedIn 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!

Meet Sophia Binns!

Introducing one of the new members to the Market Dojo Family Sophia Binns. We asked our newest addition a couple of questions to find out what makes her tick.

What made you apply to work at Market Dojo?
I found Market Dojo through a sales recruitment agency based in Cheltenham. I’ve worked in sales since I was 16 years old (much to my displeasure at the time… working in a children’s clothes shop on the weekends and during school holidays isn’t exactly a teenagers dream.) I knew sales was in my future, being one of the many things I’m good at (modesty being the other) but I wasn’t exactly sure how to get there and build a career from it.
When I was told about the opportunity to interview with Market Dojo I jumped at the chance. I had never considered a job in procurement; I didn’t really know what it was. Frantically researching the Market Dojo website and stalking the directors on LinkedIn (confessions of a wanna-be super sleuth) I realised that this was a company that would be somewhere I could grow and develop with and ultimately build a career. Market Dojo and I have a lot in common; we are quick to adapt, we maintain good relationships with people, we are resilient, honest and like the colour Red.
What are you looking forward to in your new role?
It sounds a bit cliche but after meeting the directors in the interview I was excited to work for them. They each spoke with such passion about procurement and a company they had built off their own backs. Nick and Alun saw what the procurement industry was missing and made the leap to fix it. They are inspiring and such great guys it’s hard not to get excited about starting a role within a team of people who you could actually be friends with outside of work. I was also looking forward to the chance to make a difference. Market Dojo is growing and I have the opportunity to actually make a difference in something, carve my way and leave my mark. It’s something to get out of bed for knowing you’re going to make that difference and work with great people.
What is different about Market Dojo?
The company is incredibly honest and actually wants what is best for its clients. There is no up selling for personal gain or offering the world and then not delivering. Market Dojo does what it says on the tin. No ulterior motives. You are investing in a tried and tested software that will give results and will save time and money. It is refreshing to find a company with integrity and passion. 
What is the most unusual job you have ever had?
As far as unusual goes, my job history is pretty much the expected for a post-graduate who was born and raised in the countryside; babysitting, pub work and shop assistant. A cool job I have done, although I don’t remember, was when I was a baby model for Mini Boden. What can I say… I peaked early. 
What is your favourite book/movie?
Picking a favourite film would be like picking a favourite child… I don’t have children. My siblings and I had a very limited film selection growing up, all of which were Disney. I still love them to this day and can’t wait for my Godchild to arrive so I have an excuse to watch them again. When I finally got to have the freedom to buy DVDs with my hard earned pocket money, I was like a kid in a candy store. I have watched too many films to count but if I had to pick a few I would say The Lord of the Ring Trilogy or Harry Potter.
What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone?
Without a doubt the most embarrassing song I have on my phone Enya ‘Sail Away’. It isn’t embarrassing because the song is bad. On the contrary, the song is amazing. What is embarrassing is my attempt to sing along.  
Where have you travelled abroad? What was your favourite country?
Due to my Dad having a fear of flying, our summer holidays were limited to France. I now have the capability to go anywhere and I have been to France 3 times this year. If it ain’t broke? Besides, the French have the best wine, cheese, architecture and scenery. Why would I not go back? I do have a travel book and a few I want to tick off in 2018 is Iceland, Bali and Austria. I would love to see the Northern Lights and the beautiful scenery in Austria.
What is one thing about yourself that you think others would be surprised to know?
I have four brothers and three sisters. It is both manic and loud but I wouldn’t have it any other way. 
What are your hobbies and interests?
I love photography; my camera feed is full of flowers, landscapes and sunsets. My love of photography is fuelled by my desire to travel. I also love cooking. I come from a very large family and so cooking was something we all had to do to help out. It was also something we did together so for me cooking has always been a sociable time. And who doesn’t love food? I am very into fitness and am attempting to do a Tough Mudder in 2018. Watch this space.  
A photo I took when I went to Paris in September 2017.

What is your biggest claim to fame?
Growing up my next door neighbour was Princess Anne. If you could be any animal what would you be?
A corgi in Buckingham Palace. I can imagine they live a pretty good life. What actor would you cast to play yourself in a movie?
Morgan Freeman. He might need some prosthetics.

Find Sophia on Linkedin 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!

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Three Compelling Reasons to use a Japanese Auction by Peter Schmidt

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

In procurement, eAuctions can be regarded as a fair way to buy goods or services as all the suppliers have an equal opportunity of being awarded the business.

The model that is commonly used is the reverse auction that gives suppliers during the auction information on their position relative to their contenders. This practice creates a competitive element among the bidders allowing them to establish the market price for the buyer.

At the end of this reverse auction, the contenders ranked two and three may have a fairly good idea of the established market price. This will indicate to them to improve their performance for similar categories organized by the buyer. Despite the fact that the above sounds great and the results are rewarding, there are situations that would call for the Japanese auction.

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

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

Lack of pricing elasticity

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

Limited amount of contenders

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

Regulated environment

In a highly regulated market segment where suppliers do not want to know from each other the kind of pricing levels that they can offer. Also here the Japanese auction can be the right fit, as the suppliers are not able to assess the behaviour of their contenders.

Other methods that are beyond the scope of this blog that can be conducive in yielding better results from an eAuction is the introduction of extra variables that relate to the market conditions and/or the supply chain. 

It is paramount that whatever way you chose, suppliers must be well informed about the rules of engagement as the buyer’s success depends on their commitment. 

For more details on the various types of auctions, please download the Infographic from Market Dojo. 

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

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

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