Monday, 28 April 2014

A Westminster Diary or An SME in King Arthur’s Court (Follow-Up)

Jon Hansen and Colin Cram from Procurement Insights published our take on the report on Local Government Procurement.  Once again we would like to pass on our thanks helping to promote our foray into Westminster.

"On the 25th of November, 2013, we had our calling to go to Westminster and change the face of local government procurement. Well, that was how we saw it although in reality there were over 10 sessions, 60 pieces of written evidence [see an overview of ours here] and more than a few Members of Parliament. This was part of the Communities and Local Government Committee covering Local Government Procurement.

A report has now been produced and we wanted to scrutinize how the recommendations fared compared with our views. What did they come up with? Were there any earth shattering conclusions? We will tackle a few of the report sections in turn..."

Read more here

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A gift from the Market Dojo Easter bunny!

In between the ritual consumption of chocolate eggs over the Easter weekend, we released a set of new enhancements to our software for all to enjoy.

Amongst the highlights include some great usability tweaks for Category Dojo based on some valuable client feedback:

Improved Summary page
You can now scroll through your multiple categories from the top of the page to easily compare and retrieve information.  Your answers to each question are neatly aligned and sectioned into the 4 key steps, with quick edit links within each step to help you quickly make amendments to the specific set of questions. 

New category hierarchy creator

One of the more challenging developments given the shear variety of web browsers that people use, from Internet Explorer 8 to Safari to smartphones, was the re-jig the category hierarchy mechanism, which was a bit clunky.  We now have a dynamic, interactive hierarchy where you can select, create, edit and delete categories and subcategories all within the single user interface for to 5 levels:

It also lets you answer the questions for any previously created category or subcategories in the hierarchy, which greatly helps you to compare the category strategy at the top-level as well as for the subcategories beneath it.

For example, if we purchased IT Hardware on separate contracts for our London office to our Sheffield office, we might assess the two contracts independently via subcategories called 'IT Hardware - London' and 'IT Hardware - Sheffield'.  Then we could populate a parent category called 'IT Hardware' and analyse the pros/cons of creating a single centrally-managed contract, along with the impact that would have on competition levels, expected savings, timescales and complexity.

General improvements

Along with the two above enhancements, we continued our bug fixing and general performance improvements to the software to ensure it fulfills our client expectations.  

Happy Easter everyone!