Friday, 23 December 2016

Why spend prioritisation tools are a new CPOs best friend

Procurement people like to move around, and it’s not uncommon for a department to get a new CPO every 2-3 years. A new CPO has a large task ahead of them. Usually, their goal is to make savings in the department and provide better value for the company. Where do you start?

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It’s a daunting task. If you’re lucky, you’ll have category managers who have done their spend analysis and will give you some data to start with. If you’re not, your first task is going to be asking your new team to go away and come back with an idea of where your current spend is. 

How do you go from this spend analysis to working out which areas you should hit for maximum effect? 

Traditionally you could go to each of your category managers and ask them to make a judgement call on where their largest areas of addressable spend are and how much of a percentage saving they feel like they can make. 

This is fraught with risk, however. Those in the industry for a long time and many a procurement consultant will be able to tell you that large spends aren’t always addressable. There’s also the problem of personal interpretation - one of your category managers could be inherently pessimistic and only suggest a 1% saving when actually 5% is possible. A naturally optimistic category head may tell you that 10% savings can be made when you’re actually at the market price already.

Having a way to centralise and interpret this data in an unbiased way is incredibly important. That’s why we created Category Dojo to help new CPOs and Heads of Procurement find the low hanging fruit and quick wins to fill their spend pipeline when they join a new company. 

Category Dojo looks at a multitude of factors such as how important you are to a particular supplier and how important they are to you. It looks at when you last tendered a particular product and how the market has moved since then. It will give you advice on what to hit first and what to avoid because you’re already in a strong position. 

It makes your life as a new CPO much, much easier.

Try out Category Dojo - it might make your new job a lot easier

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Santa suffering from a supply chain crisis!

Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, and this year has been somewhat worse than others for Santa Claus, having experienced some major issues in his supply chain. The latest news coming so shortly after the elf strike has lead to many believing that Christmas might even be cancelled!

“In recent years, children are putting toys like flying drones and games consoles on their Christmas wishlists. Me and Mrs Claus simply can't cope! We were struggling even before the elves went on strike, but we simply got to a point where we didn't know what to do!"

However, Santa need not have worried. Having a long-standing relationship with Sourcing Solved (the experts in procurement recruitment and having close ties with the executive reindeer community) the team were brought in to solve some of Santa's supply chain issues.

Having wasted no time in analysing Santa's supply chain. Sourcing Solved admitted that changes needed to be made fast. New elves were brought in to decrease the dependency on those that were on strike with gnomes being promoted to oversee the production process.

Relocation of production facilities from the North Pole to China would have been a strong possibility were it not for Santa implementing Market Dojo to run a reverse auction finding suppliers to produce some of the Christmas Toys at market price. 

Market Dojo co-founder Alun Rafique explained “Being aware that it wasn’t long until Christmas, we pitched to Santa knowing that through using our eAuction tool he could find and compare reliable suppliers whilst purchasing at market value.”

For now, it appears that Santa is back on track and even looks set to finish ahead of schedule. “I'm confident that no child will be disappointed this year, I have more time on my hands to address the long-standing elf situation, and reach a decision that works for everyone”.

Without the assistance of Sourcing Solved, we might never have had a Christmas this year! 

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Monday, 5 December 2016

[New Release] The biggest, brightest and best of our new features...

It has been a little while since we released updates to Market Dojo, but that doesn’t mean the engineering team have been resting. In fact, they have been very busy working on new features and customer requested tweaks. Here is a run-down.
Lot templates for advanced lots

To complement the Questionnaire template feature we released earlier in the year, we have now added a Lot template feature as well. Lot templates allow administrators to setup best-practice templates that can quickly be added to a sourcing event. By creating a library of lot templates, companies using advanced lots can make their users more productive.

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Users can quickly create advanced lots from templates.

Re-invite participants

We have improved the re-invite participants feature, to improve traceability of the invite process. This means that the Host is copied on any re-invite emails, in the case that a participant has not received the original.

When re-sending invites, the host is copied on the message.

Bulk download documents

Once an event has completed, you may wish to download all the documentation for the winning participants, or even for everyone who took part. This can now be accomplished with a single click, making it very easy to share the results with stakeholders or record the agreement in other systems.

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Export questionnaire for participants

Over the course of 2016, we have made many improvements to our questionnaire engine, adding new question types, better support for editing, performance improvements, and much more. As a result, our customers are running more questionnaires on Market Dojo, and those questionnaires are more detailed. It is often necessary for our participants to collaborate with colleagues to provide the answers. They also need a record of what answers were given, which they can share. To make this easier, we have added a way of exporting the questionnaire into a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet contains details of the question; the expected answer format; and the answer if it has been provided. This will help make the process of answering questionnaires easier and more efficient for participants.

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More field types for Advanced Lots

In addition to text and price fields, we have added a number field, date field and picklist field types to advanced lots. This is something our customers have requested, and it will help anyone who wants to restrict the type of answers that participants can provide. This is particularly beneficial if you are running a lot of similar events, and want to ensure data consistency for reporting purposes.

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Award Lots - notify awarded participant

Once an auction or RFQ has been completed, it is necessary to record who won and notify them. This step often includes further evaluation and review before a final decision is made. However, some of our customers are running many events every day and wanted a more streamlined way of completing the process. For those people, we have added an extra step to our award lots dialogue. This means that once an event is completed, the decision can be recorded and the winner(s) informed in less than a minute. Here is how it works.

Supplier onboarding - Configurable timescales

One of the benefits of using SIM Dojo to onboard your suppliers is that the system will automatically track and remind suppliers, scorers and administrators of the deadlines. In the latest release, we have added the ability to customise the durations associated with each deadline.

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Configuring the deadlines associated with a SIM Event.
If you have any ideas regarding features that you would like to see, please email your suggestions to

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Northerner’s Northern Narrative - Procurement Summit 2016

From Scarborough to Cheltenham to London, the Market Dojo team travelled from opposite ends of the UK to attend Manchester's Procurement Summit. Here’s Peter’s story of the exciting trip.

Peter’s Story:

Monday Evening
As my family live in Scarborough and the Procurement Summit is held at the Midlands Hotel in Manchester, I decided I would visit the family over a long weekend and meet the rest of the team on Monday night at our arranged hotel. As the drive from our HQ in Cheltenham would be over 3 hours in morning traffic, we stayed at an Ibis Budget Hotel the night before. The keyword here is BUDGET. I met the team in the bar area of the hotel at around 10pm and we enjoyed a quick beer to discuss the logistics of the next day.

Tuesday Morning
After a lovely sleep that was only interrupted by the occasional siren, I headed down to meet the team at our arranged time. Afterwards, the team split up due to leaving it until the morning for some of us to iron our branded Market Dojo polo shirts.

Looking suave and fresh, myself, and Lewis headed down the hotel on foot. Although we were walking and left several minutes later than the team who drove the same journey. We arrived earlier. 1-0 to Team Ironed Shirts.

The Procurement Summit
Having arrived at the conference at 8:00am to prepare the stand ready for the delegates who would arrive at 9:00am for the first talk. Sponsors were treated and fueled by the lovely people at The Midlands Hotel. Having served up some coffee and bacon baps for everyone to enjoy.

Once our stand was fully erect and all four of us were set, we finally got the chance to take a look at the day’s agenda and decide which talks we would like to attend. Being a New Business Development Manager for Market Dojo, the talk that caught my eye was: “Procurement, the not so hard sell” by Jo Watson, Head of Procurement at Boohoo.

The talk was a great insight into how Jo grew the Procurement Team at Boohoo into one of the most influential departments in the business. It was a refreshing take on how procurement can assist in the growth of a company.

This year we invited Nick Ford to guest present with Nick Martin about the successful partnership between Market Dojo and Odesma with Aggreko. You can download the presentation here. The talk was a success with over 50 people attending and several approaching the stand after the talk to discuss in more detail.

As previous years, the calibre of delegates was very high. With job titles that included Head of Procurement, Procurement Director and Founding Director, the conversations we were having were with the exact people that Market Dojo is built for.

Before we left, we asked renowned Managing Director of Spend Matters Europe, Peter Smith, to draw the business card that would win a 1 month free Market Dojo licence. The winner was Andrea Clegg at Hermes, you can see the prize draw here.

The Afterparty
After a long day and after giving several product demos each, the Market Dojo team were treated to a Caribbean style dinner at Turtle Bay. For anyone who cares, I had curried goat with a coconut mocktail. After discussing the day’s events, it was then time to head to the cars and start our 2 ½ hour drive home.

A big thank you to everyone who came to our stand to chat. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the conference feel free to visit our website and sign up for free to learn more about what we do and find out how we could help you.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

What is the best day to hold an auction?

Our ancestors have been travelling to markets to buy and sell since the start of civilisation - literally, that is, civilisation can pretty much be traced back to the time we started buying, selling and bartering goods in an open forum. They used to differ somewhat on when they went to market or held an auction, but traditionally, they have landed on one day. So what is the best day for an auction?

Traditionally in the UK, Market Day has been held on a Wednesday all the way back to the establishment of Christianity in the country. Markets were held in a particular central market town in a region and thus not everyone lived in the town where they sold or bought goods. Farmers and merchants would travel from many miles around on foot or by a horse and cart to market. This meant travel times were on the scale of days rather than hours. 

As people had to be at home to attend church on a Sunday, they would leave home on Monday, often arriving at the market on a Wednesday. They would then need to travel home for the weekend. Thus, Wednesday became the de facto market day of the country. 

Are Wednesdays still the best days to hold our auctions?

Intuitively, Wednesday seems like a good day for an auction. It’s not at the beginning of the week, where people might be away or playing catch up, and it gives you enough time after the auction to process the results and choose an eventual winner. 

So how popular are Wednesdays for Market Dojo? A quick look at some of our statistics from the last year shows that Wednesday is, in fact, the most popular day of the week to hold an auction, technology changes apparently, but the human appetite for buying and selling in the middle of the week seems to stay the same. 

The other question we have to ask when working out the best day for an auction, is does it really matter? In the past, auctions and markets were held on Wednesday because that was most convenient for those taking part, but in an eAuction, where people can log on from anywhere in the world, does the day really matter as much? 

Well, people still have to prepare for an auction, which might mean finalising the Best and Lowest Offer with directors, and they still have to digest the results, which means procurement teams deciding which bid they would like to take forward. 

So, we know that Wednesday is the most popular day for an auction, but is it the best day? We decided to look at the average savings made during each day of the week to see if any particular day was better than another. It through up some interesting results. 

Wednesday is in fact not the best day for savings, Tuesdays and Thursdays are. With a 2% swing in favour of hosting an auction on a Monday or Tuesday. We don't actually know why that is, it could be down to a host of factors. However, it is worth considering if you aren't sure when you would like to run your auction. 

Nonetheless, it still looks like Wednesday, even after 1000s of years, is the most popular day for you to go to market. However, if you're looking for the most savings, holding your auction on a Tuesday or Thursday might just give you that extra edge. 

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Why you should budget for an eSourcing solution

Yes, it's that time of the year again, John Lewis have released their masterful Christmas advert (as usual), the Coca-Cola truck is on its way and we begin the final countdown towards the end of the year.

If you're anything like me, you might already be thinking about your savings targets and budgets for next year. Hopefully, you've reached a point where you are considering introducing an eSourcing solution.

Spending a lot of your time and money on buying goods or services from suppliers? Then we might just have the perfect present for you! Market Dojo!

Wondering just how an eSourcing solution can help?

Centralise your information - Say goodbye to emails and those excel spreadsheets! Take your sourcing activities to a single online portal and you’ll increase visibility amongst your organisation, de-mystify the market, and still have a complete audit history of your activities that your accounts team will love.

Standardise your approach - Have you ever considered inviting more suppliers to take part in an RFQ and stopped yourself because of all the extra emails, questions and different templates you’ll receive back? By utilising an eSourcing solution this is no longer an issue and you'll be thankful for the extra competition.

You can increase the number of suppliers you invite with no extra overhead. Pre-qualification questionnaires will be centralised through the tool and help you to make more efficiencies of the process. In addition, all of your suppliers will be responding in the same fashion through the system saving you some precious extra time.

Hit those savings targets - Start 2017 off with a bang by aggressively attacking those savings targets. Run an eAuction to determine the true market value. If you’re having to run 3 bids and a buy, then why not run an eAuction to ensure you’re getting the best value. After all, average savings from an eAuction in our tool is an impressive 21%!

Fear not, if you’re just running RFQ’s, then an eSourcing system will allow you to easily invite more suppliers, increasing competitiveness and potentially helping you make those all-important savings.

It doesn’t cost as much as you might think - Market Dojo offers affordable and flexible options. You can run unlimited monthly events from just £500, and there’s no minimum contract duration!

You can even use the software for a couple of months to understand its value before committing to a longer term deal. Simply, the potential ROI is stupendous! We regularly see our clients see ROI savings % in triple figures and yes I did say TRIPLE figures!

Isn’t it about time that you treated yourself and bought that procurement tool that you just know will make your life that much easier and better?

Contact Lewis for more information.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Newest Member of Team Dojo

Market Dojo are very excited to introduce the latest member of Team Dojo! Working on the Business Development side, Henry, from Cirencester, breezed through the Market Dojo interview process with flying colours and we are really pleased to welcome him to the team. 

We asked Henry some questions to help you get to know him better

What made you apply to work at Market Dojo?

A friend of mine from university is a developer at Market Dojo, he let me know that Market Dojo were looking for a new Business Development Executive. Market Dojo sounded really interesting and innovative so I was keen to find out more. 

What are you looking forward to in your new role?

Helping Market Dojo grow as much as possible and talking to lots of interesting new people. 

What is different about Market Dojo?

The culture here is set up to help everyone from employees to clients succeed at what they do best - that’s really unique in my experience. 

What is the most unusual job you have ever had?


What is your favourite book/movie?

My favourite film is Munich and my favourite books are the Terry Pratchett novels. 

What is the most embarrassing song you have on your phone?

Probably the sheer volume of Willie Nelson songs. 

What’s your biggest claim to fame?

I was on University Challenge. 

Where have you travelled abroad? What was your favourite country?

Finland is probably my favourite country, I prefer the cold. 

What are your hobbies and interests?

I have an English Springer Spaniel and most of my time is spent trying to wear him out so I can get some sleep. I also enjoy target shooting and woodwork. 

What actor would you cast to play yourself in a movie?

James McAvoy

What are you hoping to bring to Market Dojo?

I’m hoping to be that necessary unbreakable link between marketing and sales. 

Connect with Henry on LinkedIn.

A HUGE welcome to Henry!

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Bring About Change - Vote Market Dojo

Brexit, Trump, how did this happen?  The unexpectedness of it all caught everyone by surprise.  All the polls were wrong.  If we could put this down to a singular reason?  The most logical view would be the appetite for change - people want change.  Is that reason good enough? We will have to wait and see about Brexit and Trump, but we know that eSourcing is changing.

Many organisations traditionally focus on sales and procurement has been viewed as a sideline.  Companies are slowly waking up to the value that procurement can deliver from innovation through to stronger supplier relations and of course - savings.

However, change management is tough. New ERP and P2P systems are being designed and implemented that ultimately can help with the operational side of purchasing but what about strategic procurement? A key focus will have to be maintaining core information for the future with electronic onboarding tools, eRFx’s and negotiation using eAuctions. These are critical tools to give companies a leading edge in today’s global markets

Many of our customers already have procurement systems although choose Market Dojo from a desire to bring about the necessary change in how they retain information, communicate with suppliers and find savings.  Our tools have allowed our clients to adopt this change as they are intuitive and suppliers find them simple to use.

Examples of customers driving change with Market Dojo

  1. Spot buying of freight with a multinational client on using eAuctions to run 10s of eAuctions a day on values from $1k to $5k
  2. Running eRFQs on a daily basis within a manufacturing firm on values from £15 to £1000
  3. Negotiating on £120m of meat for a large Irish retailer using a Japanese eAuction
  4. Moving from a paper-based supplier onboarding system to an all-electronic system to integrate with  eSourcing
  5. Helping a procurement director in a housing association find opportunities in their spend and defend the annual savings target whilst helping define the strategy
  6. A leading hygiene supplier identifying cost down innovation opportunities within their supplier chain.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Recognition at the 2016 Contract Management Innovation Awards.

Contract Management partner ContractsWise Ltd, narrowly missed out on the top spot at the IACCM’s recent Americas Conference in San Diego. 

The International Association for Contract and Commercial Management considered ContractsWise founder Noel Green for the Personal Initiative category of their 2016 Innovation Awards, as an individual “who has shown outstanding leadership or endeavour in delivering value and raising the profile of contract and commercial management.” Finishing as runner-up in a membership organisation that boasts 40,000 members and half of the world’s Fortune Global 500 companies, ContractsWise is punching well above its weight. 

At the awards, Noel competed alongside companies including Shell, Telefonica and Nationwide Building Society. As well as having placed as runner-up in this prestigious competition, Noel and ContractsWise have also enjoyed success in having their software adopted by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply.

ContractsWise is certified to the international data security standard ISO27001 and has also been included in the UK Crown Commercial Services G-Cloud framework making its software easily accessible to the entire UK public sector. 

Noel comments; “Missing out on first place is disappointing, but coming in second is a huge plus for a business of our size and gives our customers proof that they are working with a class leading product”. 

In 2012, Noel Green recognised a market need to improve the commercial support available for contract managers and inexperienced contract management professionals. 

Utilising his experience of the industry, Noel set out to design, produce and launch a suite of simple to use contract management software that was affordable for organisations of any shape or size. As an innovative first for the market, version 1 of the ECMS (Effective Contract Management System) was launched in December 2013, supported by expertise and funding from the University of Gloucestershire and the Innovation Voucher scheme. 

After a successful launch, Noel responded to feedback from customers and developed a second product; ECAS (The Effective Contract Administration System). Offering a more simplistic version, this provides scalable contract administration functions without the performance and risk management, but with an easy upgrade path to the full functionality of ECMS.
Noel Green
Founder of ContractsWise
Twitter: @ContractsWise
LinkedIn: Noel Green
Google Plus: Noel Green

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

5 ways leading CPO’s are looking to embrace procurement technology

Deloitte recently published their Global CPO Survey 2016, where over 300 leading procurement professionals from 33 countries were questioned on key issues. The full report can be found here. 

This year there was a particular focus on emerging technologies in the procurement space and the value that they can provide to procurement functions.

We have identified 5 of their key findings.

  1. 45% of CPO’s are looking to embrace cloud technology
  2. 70% of CPO’s are focussing on self-service solutions with user engagement and experience high priorities.
  3. 40% have identified a clear digital strategy
  4. Cost reduction was a top 4 priority amongst 74% of respondents (did someone say eAuctions!)
  5. 30% are looking to implement an eSourcing solution and 11% a Supplier Information Management tool
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We are very encouraged that CPO’s have identified the importance of technology in achieving their procurement goals. The thoughts captured above echo the very principles upon which Market Dojo was created; an intuitive cloud-based eSourcing solution with a strong focus on self-service leading to wide adoption and utilisation. Hopefully, this makes us well placed as CPO’s look to implement their vision for digital solutions.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

[Case Study] Efekto Pro use Market Dojo to make tremendous savings with their partners

Vlado Prosenik is the founder of Efekto ProEfekto Pro are a procurement consultancy that specialises in purchasing and cost optimisation.

How did you first get into eSourcing?

My involvement with eSourcing originally started when I was searching for procurement software that would allow me to centralise and produce savings on the procurement of IT hardware. At the time I was the Chief Procurement Officer for the biggest bank in Slovenia, the NLB Group.

We were looking for solutions that passed specific requirements such as cloud-based, easily usable, inexpensive and would take little to implement across a large organisation. It was also at this time that I was founding my own procurement consultancy and specifically searching for a solution that matched.

I first heard of Market Dojo through a Gartner report an IT vendors, which identified Market Dojo as one of the upcoming newcomers to the eSourcing sector and I remember thinking at the time that they would be a great potential fit.

When did you first consider using Market Dojo?

Market Dojo was the obvious option because of their weighted auction functionality, Software-As-A-Service design, their ability to change language preference and their support team. While we were trialling the software, we noticed that unlike some of the others, Market Dojo was always willing to help and immediately investigate any problems that I faced. 

How have you been using Market Dojo?

Since then, I have been using Market Dojo to identify and run eSourcing events or opportunities on behalf of clients. I have ran events in industries such as oil and energy retail, telecommunication, FMCG, insurance, steel industry,  construction and the automotive industry, etc.

What do you expect from the eAuction?

Typically I would expect a 12% savings on average from an event. However, I have found in the past that savings from an event can range from 3% on direct materials sourcing to 75% savings on when sourcing indirect materials.

It’s not unusual for me to discover that previously clients have been buying from a vendor at a rate which is much higher than the market price. Especially if it's maverick spending (purchases made outside of agreed contracts) and with an incumbent supplier that they have been working with for a number of years. In these cases, there is typically the potential to generate a very high level of savings.

Lastly, what are your favourite aspects of Market Dojo?

One of my favourite things about Market Dojo is the improvements that they are constantly making to their software. One of the challenges I faced with a client early on was using Market Dojo with a Slovenian business. My client knew very little English, however, with the german language setting that was available at the time, it allowed them to use the software on their own to a passable level. Shortly after raising the issue and some collaboration on my part, Market Dojo promptly made the addition of Slovenian as a language to their user interface. 

Having used Market Dojo for a number of years, I have always found them to be highly responsive with their support. Any issues or bugs that have been raised are quickly eliminated and they are always willing to propose solutions to any problems that I have faced. It's their weighted auction and scoring functionality, in combination with the software being hosted online, that has allowed me to work with numerous clients across Slovenia and achieve successful savings.

You can read more about our work with 
Efekto Pro here.

Market Dojo helps procurement professionals negotiate better with our on-demand eSourcing tools. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch or register for free and play around with our software for yourself!