Relax with Market Dojo are the words printed on the square stress balls, part of our must have marketing paraphernalia that we had produced for the show (see here). As it turns out, it seems that by the end of the show, it was probably us who needed them the most.
It was a typical start to the day as the co-founders (Alun Rafique, Nick Drewe, and Nicholas Martin) and their marketing executive, Justyna, made their way into London. Sunny but cold (as always) with the proverbial traffic jams into London at 7am, is it ever possible to avoid these? However, the clear crisp morning led to some astounding views from the Queen Elizabeth II exhibition centre from just behind our stand.
Were there any differences from the conference last year? Not to any significant degree in appearance. There was the same mix of procurement professionals mainly from around the UK all with the same passion for e-Sourcing. The right mix of people for the exhibitors who were probably more numerous than the previous years showing the interesting that is now being focused on e-Sourcing from the e-Procurement world. There was a slightly different layout and the food was adequate (Note to e-World team - maybe a change next time?).
From our view though, things certainly seemed to have changed, perhaps it is because we have now turned a corner. At our previous exhibition, September 2012, had a version of Market Dojo which assisted with runnings auctions in house and RFQ’s (Request for Quotations). This was great for organisations who wanted to cast their line into eSourcing but was perhaps lacking in depth.
Now however, we had released the work from our first grant opening up the ability to work through complex sourcing activities including weighted events with complex scoring mechanisms. The latest user hierarchy development that was released just before the show, makes our software even more attractive, not just to the casual user, but also to the more serious procurement professional wanting to embed e-sourcing in their procurement team and processes.
We also have several more significant developments coming out that we could announce on the back of a second grant and customer driven requirements. These not only build upon our general sourcing capabilities but more importantly add in some much needed innovation.
We feel that the sourcing software of todays market is generally much of a muchness. It is as if the large providers have set the tone and many other providers become a ‘me too’ in terms of sourcing capability before moving into areas such as P2P or contract management. At Market Dojo though we can see that this drive into other areas from general e-Sourcing is often undertaken too quickly.
Firstly we see that building the P2P aspect of procurement in sourcing software, being driven by line item requirements can detract from the almost artistic concept of category management and negotiation activities based on the annual requirements instead of the line item detail.
Secondly, we feel there is much innovation that can still be applied to the sourcing arena, and now we have enveloped the general capabilities we are looking to evolve.
At 9 am it was quiet, and we were fearful of a day desperately hoping someone would come to talk to us and enticing the professionals in with promises of Werther's Originals. We needn't have worried though. From 10am onwards we were all stacked, with no overflow capacity. A continual stream of onlookers, interested parties and current customers came past to see what we had to offer.
This was definitely a change to the norm where we have simply been busy. Now the full spectrum of reputable potential clients came past both large and small, all with a serious interest in Market Dojo. By the end of the day, it was certainly us who got the most use from our square balls. A great day with many memories and discussions to follow up.
We should say a special thanks to e-World once again for always supporting us and a huge thanks to our current customers for sharing in our vision. Also a final congratulations to our winner on the day from the prize draw.
Looking forward to the next show and suggestions on a post card please for our next crazy marketing idea.