Friday, 30 November 2012

Market Dojo enhances solutions through HP partner program

We are really pleased to announce that we have joined the HP Alliance ONE partner program...

Market Dojo joined HP Alliance ONE partner program and have realised significant benefits. The AllianceONE program provides software vendors the tools and resources they need to more effectively address client needs. Market Dojo work with HP to deliver major upgrades to their platform, to conduct load testing and for locating suitable hosting providers for their cloud solution.

Announcement Overview:

  • Market Dojo, a new UK company, has focused on a paradigm shift in the procurement software market towards true SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions.
  • Market Dojo is the only sourcing software provider offering an easy to use, yet professional solution, which is openly priced and hosted entirely online.
  • The AllianceONE program enabled Market Dojo to performance test a major upgrade of their software to give an understanding of how much additional growth the current platform would support and to identify and resolve the bottlenecks. This was achieved through HP Labs and HP’s Load Runner software.
  • HP’s Alliances division has also helped Market Dojo find a suitable hosting partner, Liberata, who will enable the business to grow globally and into new sectors.
  • HP, whose acquisition of Autonomy signalled their desire for strong cloud-based solutions, see clear value in promoting new, high-growth potential SaaS providers in the marketplace and have partnered with Market Dojo with this intent.

Description of AllianceONE:

HP AllianceONE partner program offers a solid framework for collaboration by integrating servers, storage, networking, security, power & cooling and services. As a member of the AllianceONE program, Market Dojo can significantly extend market reach and improve selling success. Market Dojo can leverage HP AllianceONE solutions, tools and resources to help clients speed time to application deployment, optimize infrastructure capacity, reduce power consumption and free resources to focus on innovation that drives business growth.
Quotes from Market Dojo:

The Alliance One program has given Market Dojo access to significant support not normally available to a new UK SaaS business. It is fantastic that they have seen the potential of our innovative online solution to help with effective procurement in the private and public sector.” Alun Rafique, Co-Founder

We are also very happy that the ISV Alliances team have helped us locate Liberata who can address our hosting needs thus helping our clients wanting to deal with cloud solutions, but who still have concerns over security and data.” Nicholas Martin, Co-Founder

HP is unusual for a large multinational in that they proactively help SME’s and see the long term benefits. They have been invaluable in supporting our work, for example, by providing workshop rooms for our next innovative product partly funded by grant from the TSB (Technology Strategy Board).” Nick Drewe, Co-Founder

What solution does Market Dojo hope to enhance through AllianceONE:

Market Dojo decided to join the HP Alliance One program due to the unparalleled benefits offered to a new SaaS company seeking to grow in difficult economic conditions. It is also in these times that their innovative tool assisting procurement professionals to reduce their costs becomes of paramount importance and HPs assistance gives Market Dojo solid foundations from which to grow globally. 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Team MD - The force behind the ‘samurai’ release

As Team GB were creating a success this summer smashing many records and providing one of the most impressive Olympic results in recent times for Great Britain, Team MD was also hard at it.

Now, we’re not saying we are as impressive as the Olympic team (not yet anyway!) but we do try to emulate the spirit.

We were awarded a grant from the Technology Strategy Board late last year to make e-Sourcing, amongst other things, more accessible to the Public Sector. As a small team, we soon realised that the way to make the most of it was through collaboration.

By working closely with many small partners, we achieved a certain synergy and created something worth far more than the sum of its parts. We want to share with you the team makeup and pay tribute to those who made our games a triumph, ultimately resulting in the release, nicknamed ‘Samurai’.

The ‘athletes’ -  working for victory:

‘Kolibria’ - Who says you can’t find designers and developers for a reasonable price in the UK? Not only did they do a great job, but as this boutique French consultancy operation could do the design and development, we had found a one stop shop (although not so sure if the Team GB’s thrashing of the French in the medal table made them any happier).

The ‘Coach’ - supporting the team:

The ‘Technology Strategy Board’ - otherwise known as the UK’s Innovation Agency, they were instrumental is listening to our ideas.  With matched funding, we had to work together.  The Technology Strategy Board steered us to completion through their organised management and assignment of a Monitoring Officer.

The ‘Olympic Torch’ - setting everything in motion:

Is it wrong to equate this to the Market Dojo team? We certainly started the process, created  and held the vision for the ‘games’, however I think only time will tell if we are a shining beacon to inspire a generation!

Whilst those above were the core components, there was a huge support crew help to make it happen.

The ‘volunteers’ - helping wherever needed:

We have often found many benefits from working with the academic community. Unfortunately, good students don’t just fall into your lap, you need to work at the relationships and you only get out what you put in.

‘The University of the West of England’ provided an MBA team to help define the market and profile the audience. We work closely with this local university and we also lecture there and even supply the occasional case study.

’Ecole Atlantic de Commerce’ sent us the very capable Hadrien Geffroy who assisted with the multi-cultural element, translated the website and through an affinity to the Rocky movies kept us motivated too. Now we have the software available in French as well as Greek, German and Russian.  We also look forward to several more students from this college joining us for a few months next Spring.

The Arts University College at Bournmouth’  provided the unique Sam Hallet whose interpretation helped us draw an innovative infographic of our product offering, incorporating our logo as an inspiration.

The ‘message’  - pointing us in the right direction:

‘Modern Media’, a skilled Bristol Marketing agency took the outputs from the UWE project and converted them to the right message for the audience to hopefully inspire a generation.  This is seen through the new website and targeted communication, why not have a look.

The ‘starters gun’ - an explosive beginning:

‘Hewlett Packard’ helped kick off the process by providing the premises for our customer and partner engagement workshops.  They are an exception in the market, showing that even a behemoth of a company can still support and help nurture SME‘s, focusing on the marathon rather than the sprint. Their benefits will come from the sale of hardware to their partners whose servers we reside. They also help us with load testing, ensuring our software can run at maximum efficiency.

The ‘track’ - underpinning the games:

‘Liberata’, an HP partner and another example of a firm who shares the vision in supporting up-and-coming technology companies.  They provide secure foundations and enhance our credibility.  Together with Liberata we not only have data assurance to IL3 but they also have their own innovative tools for the public sector such as Capacity Grid, which is a is a virtual shared service marketplace, through which local authorities can connect, collaborate and trade resources.

The ‘Sponsorship’  - gaining momentum:

'I’m with them productions', run by the impressive Lee Matthews, developed a marketing video series that grips a nation. See the first episode here on how companies can best save money (...or not!). Lee has had an illustrious career to date which also includes many horror films, such as the award winning Shrove Tuesday.

The ‘audience’ - supporting the games and judging success:

Where would any of us be without the public, quite literally in our case.  The public sector have been involved from the start as the inspiration, in providing the challenge, aiding us along the way and ultimately being the audience who will determine our success.  Why not visit us and let us know.  Our Sandpit allows you to try to all the e-Sourcing strategies you need, sign up for free and explore our solutions.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

On boarding suppliers for e-Sourcing

If you are facing a bit of resistance from some of your suppliers to e-Sourcing, here are some tips.   
Please also see our guide on ‘How to enrol participants’ from our resources page It may not solve all your problems, but it might help.

You can do various things to mitigate supplier resistance and there is no right or wrong answer.

1. Make sure there is a clear directive from senior management and communication that this is how business will be awarded
2. Make sure there are no routes in the organisation that will countermand the process
3. Chat to all the suppliers first and dont just send an invite
4. To bring them on board maybe run an RFQ first just to get them used to e-Sourcing befor running an auction
5. If you are going to do an auction then you could run it on a buyers choice basis and say you will bring the top 3 suppliers in after an auction to talk about other areas apart from price. Or you could run a weighted event to take into account the other factors during the live event.
6. You could use the event as a way of consolidating business and so making it more attractive
7. On the first communication you should say why they are doing directives etc...
8. You can also sell the benefits of an auction. Many suppliers find the first time tough however after the initial hurdle it becomes easier and it is more transparent than paper RFQ's.
9. If there is an incumbent supplier, you should stress the need to work together on this. If you have any issues with specs or otherwise then the other suppliers might be not bidding like for like and the incumbent will lose out.
10. You could also send your suppliers our guide on 'Psychology of Online Negotiation Events' and 'Myths of Online Negotiation Events'. If a supplier reads these guides which discuss the importance of communication, their attitude might change. (this is available in the resources section mentioned above).

Monday, 19 November 2012

A fantastic article about Market Dojo on Buyers Meeting Point

Buyers Meeting Point has written a great article about our new Samurai release. We were so pleased, here it is in full:


In October 2010, Buyers Meeting Point received an email from Nick Drewe, the co-founder of a then new-to-market eAuction solution provider based in the U.K. He asked to have Market Dojo listed in our vendor directory, introducing their offering as “very easy to use, has all the professionalism that you would expect, and is offered at a transparent price level.” We have since gotten to know Nick and Market Dojo’s other co-founder Alun Rafique quite well. Their belief in the value proposition of their solution has caused them to invest in development that makes that value apparent to us as well.

In the two years since they launched, much has changed – both for Market Dojo and in the spend management solution landscape. Market Dojo has steadily increased their presence through successful application of their technology and industry recognition of their thought leadership. They have been recognized by the U.K. public sector, receiving two Technology Strategy Board (TSB) grants to develop additional functionality. They recently announced the release of Samurai, an upgrade of their solution nine months in coming. This new release brings a revamped user interface and new functionality that increases the breadth and depth of the solution.

While they made their initial entry to the market with a focus on auctions, including less commonly found event types like Japanese auctions, Samurai adds best-of-breed RFx capabilities to the solution. With an eye to the strategic need for collaboration with suppliers, Market Dojo has also added an innovation portal for soliciting and accepting well-defined ideas for improvement from the market and a ‘sandpit’ where buyers can validate the presentation and setup of events by test-driving them before release to suppliers.

Of the changes included in Samurai, the one most likely to make an impact in procurement organizations is the addition of scoring capabilities that can be applied when weighting the information and prices collected in RFx’s and eAuctions. While scoring itself is hardly a new idea in eSourcing, Market Dojo’s approach is closely tied to their philosophy on procurement decision-making and the relationship between procurement and the rest of the organization. Much has been made of procurement’s (sometimes precarious) relationship with Finance. Beyond questioning savings calculations and realization, many Finance groups have trouble accepting the ‘transformational math’ used in scoring scenarios that allow too much subjectivity into what should be an objective evaluation process.

Market Dojo supports two approaches for scoring, both linear in nature:
  • Percent of leading bid: where the best bid is scored at 100% and all other bids are scored based on their variation from the leading bid.
  • Pro Rata: where the best bid is scored at 100% and all other bids are scored based on their relative difference between the leading bid and a qualification price, set in advance by the buyer.

In the first case, non-leading prices are scored purely against how they rank in the market, as represented by the participants. In a pro rata (or proportionate) scoring scenario, both the market and the buying organization’s expectations are reflected in the pricing score.

While the RFX or eAuction is under way buyers can clearly see the breakdown of the price and non-price scores in real time, adding transparency into the negotiation and decision-making process. This breakdown can be clearly communicated to the participants as well, mitigating the risk of participants challenging the award decision. Furthering the need for transparency, price and non-price scores are independent of one another, which is fair and consistent for the participants. If a participant earns a score of zero in the qualitative (questionnaire) portion of an event, they can stay in the process (if allowed to by the host) by offering a competitive price.
The additional capabilities added to Market Dojo with the release of Samurai allow them to compete for business with a broader base of prospective clients. They have expanded their reach in the sourcing process while their established place in the negotiation phase.

And yet, with all the growth and change, Nick’s introductory statement holds true. Market Dojo is still easy to use, professional, and transparent. Two years after launch, Market Dojo saw £120 million auctioned through their solution in a single month. Buyers Meeting Point looks forward to seeing and hearing more from the Market Dojo team as more companies harness their solution to manage spend and innovate with their suppliers.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Market Dojo – the e-route to cost-cutting

Here is our latest press release, announcing our Samurai release and some of the work we have been doing with Shropshire Council...

Market Dojo helps organisations to save money when negotiating with suppliers. We do this by providing software that enables employees to conduct an online auction. Our service is simple and secure, it’s quick and cheap, and as an example, in a recent auction, one of our clients saved £140,000 on a £500 investment. Purchases have ranged from new vans to powdered milk and brake pedals.

Already proven in the private sector, now Market Dojo is available to the public sector.

We have recently received a grant of £25,000 from the Technology Strategy Board, the government body that aims to help the public sector to cut costs without losing quality of service. The grant was awarded to enable Market Dojo to develop software that would make it possible for organisations within the public sector to tender, legally and with full compliance, throughout the EU.

Shropshire Council’s Integrated Passenger Transport Services team has used Market Dojo’s software to put bus and taxi operators services out to tender through e-auctions. To date the Market Dojo software has saved the council 8% from last year’s prices.

“In our first e-procurement using Market Dojo software we saved over 8% on our contract prices,” says James Willocks, Principal Transport Officer, Shropshire Council. “This was a great success, especially considering the current pressure affecting the transport industry. Market Dojo’s 12 month licence costs no more than running a single event with an e-Auction facilitator. We look forward to future developments with the company.”

Market Dojo was founded in 2010 by two young entrepreneurs from Bristol, Alun Rafique and Nick Drewe, and now they plan to roll out their service to government bodies throughout the UK.

“The public sector is facing major budget cuts and job losses, and if every council can make a significant saving, the taxpayer will save a massive amount of money,” says Nick Drewe of Market Dojo. “Our software is easy to use, affordable and environmentally friendly, and the return on an investment in our e-auction package is very quick.”

The cost of using Market Dojo?
From £500. An annual licence costs £5,000 and can be used every day.  

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