By working closely with the Bristol Business School of the University of the West of England (UWE), Market Dojo, a young business in the South West, is able to form a very real synergistic relationship.
As a local company, founded in Bristol, partnerships are seen as a very important strategy with respect to accelerating growth. And there are rarely better opportunities than partnering with academic institutions. Apart from forging stronger relationships with the local community there are powerful bilateral benefits for this type of bond.
Two of the co-founders of Market Dojo, Alun Rafique and Nick Drewe presented at a local CIPS (Chartered Institute of procurement and Supply) event in the Street Cafe and were looking to work more closely with UWE. This opportunity was afforded to Market Dojo though Dr Amit Mitra from the Dept of Strategy & Operations Management. This was an opportunity to present a guest lecture at one of his courses and also to write a real life case study based on Market Dojo that the students are able to pick from a variety of other cases.
Now in the fourth year, Market Dojo has a very popular lecture slot in the module for virtual business and the now compulsory case study is worth 50% of the marks and involves a video submission.
One of the focal points of the course, and probably the most memorable parts for all concerned, is the game that Market Dojo have devised and run during the second half of their lecture. The lecture is based around a specific part of their solution - eAuctions - and how they help industry negotiate quickly and efficiently for goods and services. The game is focused on using the platform to bid for a variety of Lots and by using some very simple conditions, and a sliver of game theory, the winner is decided by the team that wins the most Lots.
Nick Drewe explains “This game brings a high level of interaction to the lectures and drives home how Market Dojo uses innovative technology to help businesses reduce their costs. We would encourage this type of interaction between local business and universities as all parties benefit. We gain fresh insight on how our tool is used by newcomers, whilst the students learn how professional organisations can negotiate via auctions“
Dr Amit Mitra says “This is the opportunity to give the students not only a real life and current case study, but by reinforcing with a guest lecture, it gives the students a very real backdrop for their submission. The students also enjoy the ability to interact with a company going through rapid growth and gain an understanding of the practicalities in overcoming the challenges that are faced”.
Alun Rafique from Market Dojo highlights “We have the opportunity to share our experience with a group of young minds and we have the ability to understand many different views which quite often provide insightful feedback on potential solutions to our dilemmas. On top of this the course has a pool of talented students that will go into business with the ability to spread the word, perhaps even as employees of ours!”
It has been a real success and this type of co-operation should be encouraged. It results in many more benefits for all parties than simply giving students a stale or unrealistic case study. And the students are the real winners with practical assignments and a greater understanding of becoming entrepreneurs themselves.
Market Dojo offers easy to use, professional e-sourcing software as a service. Founded in 2010 and based in Bristol their aim is to provide accessible solutions to procurement professionals enabling them to save time and money on their purchasing activities.
UWE is one of Britain's most popular universities, with more than 30,000 students and is the largest providers of higher education in the south west of England. Bristol UWE is consistently one of Britain's leading new universities for quality in teaching and has a strong research tradition.