Monday, 28 September 2015

Odesma and Market Dojo Win New Global Client

At the beginning of the year, we announced our partnership with Odesma. Odesma is a new breed of advisory business who help drive business performance through a combination of experience and application of the best talent and technology in the market.

Market Dojo and Odesma have been working together to bring onboard a new global company. Odesma will work with the new  FTSE 250 client using the Market Dojo platform. 

A highly experienced UK based company, Provalido, who we regularly work with, have been chosen as the preferred savings tracking tool.

Nick Drewe, co-founder at Market Dojo stated:
“We were really pleased to announce the initial partnership with Odesma and this new client is evidence of what a hard-working, innovative company they are. We look forward to securing many more deals alongside them.”

Competition was tough, but the Odesma team with their wealth of knowledge and expertise managed to secure the deal.

Ed Cross, cofounder at Odesma stated:

“This is the first of many deals to come. Market Dojo will play a key role for us in working with this exciting new global client.”

If you‘re interested in hearing more about Odesma, please contact:
Ed Cross, Co-Founder.  
Steve Trainor, Co-Founder
Odesma Ltd  
Tel: 0161 433 7833

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

Friday, 25 September 2015

eWorld 30 - Cake, Quizzes and Competitions

Arriving at QEII in London for eWorld Procurement and Supply Summit, armed with a plethora of marketing materials, we set up our stand by the entrance next to the lovely Baker Wanless ladies and began dishing out flyers for our competition to all those that passed.

Although the footfall didn't seem as large as it did at eWorld in March, we had really engaging conversations with everyone who visited us. It was great to meet you all, thank you for stopping by. If you didn’t get a chance to stop and take a look at our eSourcing solutions, please get in touch for a demo.

Our #BeTheEsourcingHero
 campaign went down really well with our giant hero attaining celebrity status as delegates got their pictures taken with the handsome figure!

Per Angusta, another of our partners whom we thoroughly recommend for savings tracking, flew in from France for their first ever eWorld.  With French wine and cheese being given away in a prize draw, they weren’t short of visitors either!

Nick and Alun from the Market Dojo team gave a seminar on ‘Strategies to maximise eAuction success’. If you didn’t manage to stop by the stand to pick up a copy of the infographic, you can register on our platform (for free) and download it here.

At 3pm we announced the winner of our Lowest Unique Bid Competition.  Congratulations to Matt Hird from the University of Lincoln who bagged themselves an iPad Mini and a month’s licence for Market Dojo’s eSourcing software with a winning bid of £0.13.   

Once again a huge thanks to the eWorld team for another wonderful event. Despite the unreachable allure of a free bacon roll, we all had a really great day.  And the cake at the end, celebrating the 30th eWorld event went down a treat!

If you didn’t make eWorld, don’t worry, we’ll be at the CIPS event on 8th October.

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

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Market Dojo: The Past, The Present and The Future.

"What would Market Dojo be like today if it had started 10 years earlier?" 

That was the question posed by Jon Hansen of Procurement Insights one fine day in April.

Having only been part of the Market Dojo team (and the world of eProcurement!) for around 10 weeks at that point, analysing the history of an industry I barely knew existed at a time when I was just 10 years old seemed a daunting task. However, as I've been researching and writing, my knowledge and understanding of procurement has developed and I have learnt a lot from the process.

Originally this was going to be one article, but three defined sections have shaped up nicely into a series of posts. 

The three sections of the article will look at 3 different periods of time: 

The first part revolves around what life was like ten years prior to Market Dojo, bringing us to the year 2000. After gaining an understanding of technology, especially eSourcing, (See Nick's blog highlighting important technology of this era) we thought about what would have happened if we had formed then: how would our ideologies and objectives have differed from those of today?

Next we asked ourselves, ‘what about now?’, how would we look today as a bold, brash 15 year old? How would we have grown? In what way would having an extra 10 years of experience shape who we are today?

The last and most important aspect of this series is 'The Future'. What does the future look like for Market Dojo? Looking at what’s ahead and using the value of hindsight in assessing how we would have succeeded or failed 10 years ago, can we carve a path for us for the next 10 years?

Next week, we shall be releasing the three parts of the blog, so keep your eyes peeled…

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

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

All for one, innovation for none

Another public procurement price analysis article has made national headlines this week, found here on BBC News.

The Home Office conducted a study into police procurement trends across 20 common items including batons, uniforms and helmets. 

I haven't read the Home Office study in detail, but these kind of reports can err on the side of rudimentary:

Humberside bought police helmets for more than £43 each while most other forces acquired them for under £30.

This can indicate a savings potential and is undoubtedly a good place to start your evaluation for cost reduction opportunities.

However when you simply compare two purchase prices, rarely, if ever, does the analysis also delve into key contractual differences such as payment terms, rebates, catalogue pricing discounts, minimum order quantities, annual purchase volumes, inclusion of delivery costs, what delivery service levels, product warranties etc.  

Then you have the question on whether the specifications are the same.  Perhaps Humberside has identified a more costly product that leads to a 20% better safety record from head injuries.  Might that not justify the additional cost?

There is a long perceived view that rationalisation and aggregation leads to cost reduction.  For example, in the same article Policing minister Mike Penning was quoted:

"For too long the police have approached the market in a fragmented way, buying equipment in small amounts and to varying specifications.

"It makes no sense for forces to buy separately when money can be saved if they act together."

Bigger procurement is not always better procurement

Interestingly Spend Matters UK recently re-circulated an older post of theirs outling how bigger procurement is not always better procurement.  Please do have a read as it provides excellent insight that we won't duplicate here.

What we've seen is that many of our clients run reverse auctions on aggregated volumes, rather than spot-purchases.  They are very successful in doing so.  That said, even very low value auctions of a few thousand pounds have lead to 30%+ savings, so bigger isn't always better in our view too.

Large spend values attract large suppliers with the notion being procurement teams can exercise their leverage and use economies of scale to secure better pricing.  

Lower spend values attract smaller suppliers and generally there are a lot more of them in the marketplace, which can equate to increased competition and better savings.  

Perhaps the price differences seen with the police, assuming they are not associated with contractual or specification issues, are less to do with failure to aggregate demand and more to do with ineffective negotiations for their own requirements? 

One step forward, two steps back 

One adverse side-effect to bundling up contracts into an aggregated demand is that it diminishes competition.  

Taking say £200m of spend that is today fragmented across many hundreds of suppliers and bundling it into a single contract prohibits SMEs from retaining business.  As a result some may perish whilst others downsize.  The large company that wins the contract swells significantly to cope with the demand whilst other large businesses (if there are any) stay as they are or also downsize from losing their portion of the fragmented spend.  

Fast forward a year and the market only has one real candidate who can cater for the demand - the incumbent.  This becomes a very poor market to negotiate in.

And so the cycle continues whereby it is decided to fragment the contract into smaller packages to increase competition, except this time there isn't as much liquidity.  So we're back where we started except with worse market conditions.

Innovation triumphs over imitation

As we've just noted, consolidated contracts diminish competition.  With less competition, there is less imperative to differentiate.  There will be fewer SMEs in the market and they are typically regarded as the key source of innovation with their agility and drive to increase market share.  Local police authorities will have their hands tied and won't be able to engage with the SMEs and so those remaining will have little incentive to innovate. 

Furthermore, the other suggested strategy in the BBC article was to standardise the products. This again reduces innovation, as the product spec. would be based on what already exists, not would could be.  Once that spec. is agreed, the market is closed out to new ideas.  This contradicts with the relatively recent reforms to the EU Procurement Directives.

So what should we do?  

We should be focusing on driving the market forward and negotiating effectively within that market.  A fragmented market can be your best friend, not your enemy.  Procure on best value, not just best price.  Don't focus on Purchase Price Variance but on lifetime costs.  Improve through innovation.

We could go on but there's a risk we're sounding like a Baz Luhrmann song!  

Hopefully we make ourselves clear but more importantly, what do you think about this suggested police procurement strategy?

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

Thursday, 3 September 2015

‘What's the first thing that comes into your head when you hear the word 'eSourcing?’

It is obvious that eSourcing adoption has increased in larger organisations as they implement software to bring eSourcing in-house or use consultants to conduct eTenders on their behalf.
eSourcing comes with a huge number of benefits  and companies are aware of these.
Recently I started a discussion asking the lovely members of Procurious:
‘What's the first thing that comes into your head when you hear the word 'eSourcing?’ 
They all responded positively with the majority stating ‘efficiency’ as the key factor of eSourcing. Other thoughts that people had around the topic include:
  1. Repeatability
  2. A way to engage suppliers
  3. Collaboration
  4. Centralisation
  5. Innovation
  6. Drives greater savings

All great reasons to start using eSourcing. However, as touched on by one responder:
Why isn’t everyone utilising eSourcing?

Our biggest competitor is not an all bells and whistles ERP system- it is email… still!

What is it about email that keeps procurement professionals tied in? Or is it just a matter of being stuck in their old ways, unable to see the wood for the trees? People are notoriously opposed to change, but it doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

How can we promote eSourcing to our fellow procurement professionals, who may still be stuck sourcing goods and services without all the benefits of eSourcing mentioned above?

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