Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Onboard with SIM Dojo - Part I


“Following a comprehensive review of the systems available, we decided to move forward with Market Dojo based on their philosophy and development approach surrounding their existing product base. Market Dojo are very innovative and flexible and have provided us with an excellent level of support; We are excited to be working with Market Dojo on this new on-boarding product”

- Tony Ritchings, Procurement Director, PHS

Market Dojo already helps businesses centralise their supplier sourcing activities and negotiate efficiently via e-Auctions with their flagship eSourcing product. 

Last year, we embarked on a project to develop a Supplier Information Management (SIM) tool starting with supplier onboarding. This is the backbone of effective supplier management. Companies are often unable to take advantage of critical supplier actions, such as expired insurance policies, because the information is not readily available. By using a SIM tool, companies can avoid challenges that happen as a result of poor supplier governance by storing relevant supplier information in one place and creating approved supplier lists.

The SIM application was developed in partnership with our customer PHS.  After conducting a thorough market analysis they were unable to find an affordable, flexible and easy to use tool.  After seeing our existing product range and understanding our philosophy, they decided to partner with Market Dojo to develop an onboarding tool which would integrate with our existing product set to create a seamless flow of supplier information. 

The implementation is made as simple as possible. The main time constraints being process rather than system related.  If you already have onboarding questionnaires and you know which stakeholders are involved in supplier assessment then the system can be set up in under a day for immediate go live. 

You can then batch invite suppliers whilst defining which questionnaires they will answer and who is responsible internally.  The progress of the team and suppliers can be easily tracked and finally the suppliers can be approved or rejected into groups.  The approved suppliers can be managed whilst automatically tracking expiry dates of documents and questionnaires.

The real beauty of the system is the flexibility and self service model.  You ultimately reduce the internal workload and this in turn makes adoption easier for the suppliers.  Questionnaires can be broken down into manageable elements so the suppliers who maintain your coffee machines for example don’t need to answer the questionnaire for working at heights.  Also it means that time is not wasted internally by the departments scoring questionnaires for suppliers for which they have no bearing.


We have set an introductory pricing for the first year which we will promise to hold for any clients who joins us in these exciting times.

An annual licence costs £5,000 for unlimited users and the first 500 suppliers.  It includes all training and support and we promise to get you started promptly.  Thereafter it is £1,000 for 500 suppliers.  There are no hidden costs and all features such as white-labelling, multi-scoring and versioning are included.

Why choose us:

Our system has been designed with the end users in mind while maintaining a professional and efficient process.  We focus on user adoption.  We have seen many organisations invest in complex and cumbersome solutions that have a huge wealth of functionality (at a cost), but without enough consideration for the end user experience.  In turn this has can lead to users resisting the uptake of the tool and subsequently sub-optimal performance.

More importantly, such software requires uptake by the supply chain, without which on-boarding has little benefit.  If organisations are not able to convince suppliers that the tool will make their lives easier, this will ultimately lead to less competition and significant time and energy (and ultimately money) diverted to motivate users to adopt the tool.

Hence as a company, we have been approached by many organizations who use such complex tools and are looking for something quicker and easier, yet that can still cater for 95% of the functionality, that will be adopted by all users without complications.  We provide all this at an affordable price with excellent support.

If you'd like to see some of SIM Dojo in action via a live web demo, please get in touch: +(44)0117 318 2537.

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!

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Why You Shouldn’t Use Reverse Auctions

Reverse auctions are a bit like Marmite, some people love them, boasting the success they’ve seen to friends and colleagues, utilising them when and where they can. Some people however, such as Phil Ideson, are more sceptical. For Phil, this was due  to personal bad experiences with the process. For others, it may similar or it could be as little as a lack of understanding giving this means of negotiation such a bad reputation.

We wanted to set Phil straight and demystify the reverse auction for him, leaving a more positive image of how you can really use reverse auctions as a buying tool to leverage great savings and success in your procurement negotiations.

Did we manage to turn Phil around? Find out in the podcast in the link below:

The Art of Procurement: When and How Can You Use eAuctions as part of your Sourcing Tool Kit.

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

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

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Modern Slavery Act 2015 - implications for procurement teams

This article is a short analysis of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. For further information, I have included some useful links at the bottom of the post.


Last year, the UK introduced the Modern Slavery Act. It consolidates previous legislation and introduces new measures to combat slavery and human trafficking.

While the Act is generally seen as a positive step, some commentators argue that the legislation does not go far enough.
CC Image courtesy of DeptfordJon on Flickr

Who is affected?

The Act covers a lot of ground. From the rules on which vehicles can be confiscated from convicted traffickers, to the role of the anti-slavery commissioner.

I would like to focus on the implications for procurement organisations.

Procurement professionals

The most relevant part of the Act for procurement professionals is Part 6 - Transparency in supply chains.

This legislation will affect you if your organisation has a turnover greater than £36m. It means your company must make a public statement on how it ensures that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in the organisation or its supply chains.

Public statement

Ensuring your company's statement is credible requires a lot of work.

The Act does allow for a statement that just says the organisation has not taken steps to address the issue. However, it is clear that this would not be ideal from a PR perspective.

The procurement team will often be responsible for implementing the measures which will be referenced in the statement.
An organisation’s slavery and human trafficking statement may include information about:

(a) the organisation’s structure, its business and its supply chains;
(b) its policies in relation to slavery and human trafficking;
(c) its due diligence processes in relation to slavery and human trafficking in its business and supply chains;
(d) the parts of its business and supply chains where there is a risk of slavery and human trafficking taking place, and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;
(e) its effectiveness in ensuring that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business or supply chains, measured against such performance indicators as it considers appropriate;
(f) the training about slavery and human trafficking available to its staff.


Taking action

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) describe three areas where the procurement team can take action.

  • Putting into place POLICIES to prevent, detect and eradicate modern slavery within their own operations and the operations of suppliers and business partners...
  • Establishing PROCESSES to identify vulnerabilities
  • PLANNING for situations where corrective action is needed

Practical Steps

The Act has come up several times in recent conversations with Market Dojo customers. One step they are considering is surveying their suppliers to ensure that they have suitable policies. This can be a daunting task when your suppliers number in the hundreds or thousands. A way to make this process less arduous is to use a Supplier Onboarding solution such as SIM Dojo. This allows you to ask your suppliers to confirm they comply with your policies, and provides an auditable record that they have done so.


The Modern Slavery Act introduces laws to combat slavery and human trafficking. This includes requirements which will affect procurement professionals working for UK companies. It is an additional reason to ensure your organisation has an ethical supply chain. In turn, this is an opportunity for companies and procurement professionals to make a positive difference in the world.

Other resources

CIPS Guide
Government Guidance on Transparency in Supply chains
The Modern Slavery Act 2015

Finally, please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about how Market Dojo can help.

Nicholas Martin
44 (0) 117 230 9993 

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

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

What Star Wars Taught Procurement

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars was born.

And with the exciting release of The Force Awakens, the Market Dojo team (mainly Alun?) wanted to harness the power of the Jedi to learn a few lessons for Procurement.

So what CAN Star Wars teach us…

1. Star Wars taught us that when negotiating, it is important to have something of value to barter with. Anakin Skywalker went to extreme lengths, building a ‘podracer’ to secure his freedom from slavery and secure essential parts to Queen Amidala’s ship.

Anakin starwars podracer.JPG
The Custom-built Podracer

2. Star Wars taught us that ‘turning to the dark side of the force’ is not an effective way to achieve savings…

3. Star Wars taught us that it is important to have a really good understanding of complex categories.  How else can you build a Death Star! 

When conducting a reverse auction, the lotting structure needs to be able to account for this…

4. Star Wars taught us that keeping your stakeholders aligned throughout the process and clearly defining the specification of a tender are all crucial to ensure that your military does not end up dressed in ridiculous red ‘armour’ with zero protective properties (as stated by We Are The Mighty in their article here.)

red uniform.JPG

5. Star Wars taught us the importance of Procurement  within any organisation, regardless of culture. See this quote from the Star Wars Wikia page:
“Procurement and Supply was a branch of the Rebel Alliance that worked to free material from Imperial-occupied worlds. Individuals working for Procurement and Supply included SpecForces technicians (from the 7th Regiment) known as "Procurement Specialists" or "Scroungers." Winter served as a Procurement Specialist on Averam and other worlds under the alias "Targeter." Procurement specialists who specialized in acquiring ordnance were known as "Ordnance Procurers."

6. Finally, Star Wars taught us that if you look like Princess Leia, you get whatever it is that you want in life.

Has Star Wars taught you anything else about procurement? Let us know!

Or get in touch to hear about how you can save money without “Turning to the Dark Side”!

Anya McKenna +44(0)117 318 2537

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

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Trials and Tribulations of a Software-as-a-Service Company

Market Dojo provides an eSourcing solution based entirely in the cloud. And whilst we boast all the benefits of being a Saas company, such as pay per use pricing and delivery, instant access, and the ability to try the software before committing to a purchase, it would be beneficial to explain what exactly SaaS really means.

Market Dojo - in the cloud...
To do this, we involved the help of our knowledgeable partner Kelly Barner at Buyers Meeting Point. Myself (Anya) and Nick had a chat with  Kelly to discuss what makes SaaS different to cloud computing, how we benefit from working with our SaaS suppliers and how users can benefit from working with us.

Check out the Blog Talk Radio above and get in touch if you have any questions. How do you best utilise SaaS providers? Or maybe you’re part of a SaaS company, what pros and cons have you discovered?

Don’t forget you can always sign up (free) and check out the benefits of a SaaS eSourcing tool.  Feel free to get in touch for more info:

Anya McKenna
Marketing Manager
+44(0)117 318 2537
+44(0)792 337 6307

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

Monday, 30 November 2015

Teaching the new breed of eSourcing heroes!

Over the last week we fulfilled our invitations to host lectures for several business schools, specifically those of Bristol and Greenwich.  

The magnificent Old Royal Naval College in the Maritime Greenwich university campus
We've always enjoyed presenting our talk on 'Reverse auctions in industry' and it's something we've repeated every year since the foundation of Market Dojo in 2010.

Bristol Business School even use Market Dojo as a case study for their Virtual Business module, which in turn contributes to the overall degree.  It gives us some useful insight from fresh sets of eyes who may highlight that we've missed a trick along the way!

We're always on the look out for bright, enthusiastic graduates to join our rapidly expanding team in the areas of sales, marketing, design and development, so it's a good opportunity to build some bridges with potential recruits as well.

Nevertheless, the real highlight for everyone is our renowned eAuction game.  

What began as a fun way to showcase professional reverse auctions to university students, it has since been used successfully in CIPS-accredited training courses for procurement professionals!

The game is very simple in design yet completely equitable and unpredictable in who will eventually win, thanks to a few simple rules; rule #1 being "don't go bust" (yet there's always one....)!
Our teams of students at the Bristol Business School huddling round their auction!

With the students split into 5 or more teams, we ask them to bid for the 4 office supplies Lots.  It is up to the students to plan their bid strategy and that's usually where the teams are divided.

Bid history from the first eAuction game
Unsurprisingly for newcomers to the reverse auction process, we saw a couple of rookie mistakes, particularly the team in yellow above who their dropped their margins to the full extent in just one bid!  Clearly this wiped out any opportunity they had to react to the market information granted to them by the auction.  It was also interesting to note the speed off the starting block - obviously some eager participants - which we don't usually see in the real life auctions.

You may be able to guess by the bid history above that our eventual winner was the team 'SeaHawk'.   How could you tell?  They applied a clever bid strategy of using small bid decrements and reserved enough margin for the end of the auction to decisively place their final bids.  

On this occasion, we had time at the end to re-run the game with the same set of students, which is something we've never done before.  

Their willingness to learn had certainly paid off.  There was a slow start to the auction, much like we notice from seasoned bidders, and most teams adopted the gradual, iterative bid strategy used effectively by winners of the first game.

As it happened, despite adopting an even more progressive strategy with nearly twice as many bids as any other team, SeaHawk were not able to reproduce their previous success.  Our glorious winners this second time round were 'Tiffany', using the tiebreaker rules to their advantage.   

It really is a great way to educate future eSourcing Heroes on how to conduct professional eAuctions, so please do reach out to us if you'd like to try it yourself.

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

Friday, 20 November 2015

Procurement Summit 2015 – a gold medal conference

Having made the three hour trip to (not so sunny) Manchester the night before, we awoke from our hotel and made our way to the Procurement Summit conference which was held at the Midland Hotel. The hotel at which we stayed paled in comparison to the grandeur of The Midland Hotel, which was probably the most exquisite hotel I have personally ever had the pleasure of visiting.

We arrived to set up our stand at 8am and were fortunate enough to be situated next to the entrance (and en route to the bacon rolls!), giving us the perfect opportunity to meet and greet all who attended.
The delegates were scheduled to arrive at 9am, however many arrived early, keen to get a good spot for the opening keynote speech by the Olympian Mark Foster, who bore a striking resemblance to our incredibly handsome eSourcing hero!
Nick Drewe and Mark Foster
- note the uncanny likeness to our eSourcing hero pictured right.
There were many interesting seminars throughout the day including the one from our very own Co-Founders Nicholas Martin and Nick Drewe on how to maximise the results of an eAuction. The talk went down very well with many people visiting the stand afterwards to ask further questions. One delegate kindly said it was the best seminar they had attended all day! The talk was based around our whitepaper which you can download for free here by registering on the platform.
At the end of the day we ran our prize draw for a month’s free licence of our eSourcing software. The lucky winner was Simon Perkins from the Birmingham NHS trust who will hopefully be able to use our tool to generate some fantastic savings.

Thank you to the team for putting a wonderful event together and to everyone that visited the stand. It was great to see some familiar faces and to also show our easy to use, on demand solution to lots of new ones. 

If you didn’t get a chance to attend the conference feel free to visit our website and sign up for free to learn more about what we do and find out how we could help you.

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