Friday, 18 January 2013

Guest Post - Maximising user adoption of e-sourcing software

Today we are very pleased to welcome a guest post from Optimum Procurement.  Jane McAuliffe from Optimum was kind enough to participate in a recent product requirements workshop, and write a little bit about the experience.  This article was originally published on the Optimum Procurement website.  Many thanks Jane! 

Market Dojo, the UK-based start-up company, is already punching above its weight in the procurement software solutions arena.
Having already come up with an innovative approach to business-to-business e-sourcing in developing software along the principles of an easy to use, yet professional system, which is hosted entirely online, the team are now focusing their pioneering streak on realising the next application in their purchasing tool kit.
Jane McAuliffe, Advisory Principal at Optimum Procurement, took part in a recent workshop to help define this latest tool and was impressed by the team’s approach.  Jane commented: “Working on the premise that e-sourcing is only one element of procurement software that they can provide a unique offering for, the Market Dojo team organised a highly interactive day, involving a number of procurement practitioners whose skills and experience the team used to draw out what those who would be interacting with the system on a daily basis would want to see from it.
The team’s commitment to involving input from a cross-section of end-users upfront in the development process provides an essential opportunity to enhance their initial concept in line with the market needs.  In this way, not only should the final product reflect the requirements of its end users, but it also means that the tool, when developed, will surely operate in a consistent manner to existing software; that is to say, straightforward and easy to use.
Of course I can’t actually say too much about the tool itself, that’s the perogative of the Market Dojo team, but it is certainly great to see a software company really engaging in an open and collaborative process with the end user.  We will just have to watch this space for the end result…”
The development of this latest Market Dojo tool has been enabled thanks to a second Technology Strategy Board grant, awarded in August 2012.  This external recognition of the latest developments underpins the innovative and exciting nature of the software and bodes well for its full release to the market in 2013.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Guest post - Successfully Implementing e-Auctions for Legal Services

During 2012, we received a great deal of interest from customers and prospects considering the use of Market Dojo for sourcing of legal services. Today we are pleased to welcome a guest post from Jason Winmill, Partner at Argopoint Consulting LLC, a management consulting firm dedicated to helping corporate legal departments address their most significant management and strategy issues.  Read this article to learn more about legal sourcing.

Sophisticated supply management professionals are introducing electronic sourcing solutions to their legal departments, and in doing so, delivering millions of dollars in savings. The media is gradually beginning to pick up on these successes: a recent article in the Wall Street Journal noted that several companies (including GlaxoSmithKline, Toyota, Sun Microsystems, and eBay) are using competitive bidding and e-auctions to purchase legal services. As with other important services, effectively sourcing legal is a delicate process with major upside.

Strategic implementation of e-auctions for legal services represents a radical change for most legal departments. While competitive bidding is commonplace in many other sourcing categories, it has been received with skepticism by many in-house attorneys. Legal services are highly complex, sensitive, and high-risk; supply management professionals face the difficult challenge of building credibility in the legal department and moving along a steep learning curve without losing sight of short-term savings goals. In spite of these difficulties, savvy sourcing and procurement departments are earning the appreciation of their legal colleagues and earning public recognition through the use of e-sourcing technology.

Three Important Steps to Successfully Implementing e-Auctions in Legal:

1. Secure In-House Legal Buy-In: The implementation of e-auctions in strategic legal sourcing can transform legal departments. However, most supply management professionals recognize that legal strategy is the exclusive purview of in-house counsel and avoid sourcing initiatives that may disrupt vital legal matters.

2. Determine Exactly What Is Being Bid On: Selecting and clearly communicating the units of measurement in a competitive sourcing event is an absolutely crucial component in preparing for a successful legal e-auction. Independent research and collaboration with legal colleagues can help inform whether prospective service providers should be bidding on hourly rates, fixed fees by task, or capped fees by engagement, to name a few.

3. Learn the Language of Legal: In-house and outside counsel attorneys are often put off by standard supply management terms and concepts. Finding ways to learn their language and translate sourcing ideas into their vernacular helps in-house colleagues appreciate the potential impact of e-auctions and engenders provider competition in e-auctions.