Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Sourcing New Recruits for Team Dojo

Market Dojo are very excited to introduce the latest members of Team Dojo. Helping out on the Business Development side, Peter and Lewis, both Cheltenham based, passed the Market Dojo interview process with flying colours and we are really pleased to welcome them both to the team. 

We asked Lewis and Peter some questions to help you get to know them better.

Lewis and Pete.jpg
Where did you go to university?

Lewis: 
I went to Cardiff University to study Human Geography and Planning.
Geography was my favourite subject and I had always enjoyed learning about the world and  concepts and our relationship with it.

Pete:
I attended UoG at the Park Campus in Cheltenham. I studied Marketing and Advertising as part of a sandwich course which included a placement year in Reading working for a Marketing Agency.


What made you apply to work at Market Dojo?

Lewis: 
I liked the idea of working for a new, vibrant company, which had made impressive steps in its short time. I also wanted the opportunity to work within the technology/software sector, with co-founders who had an infectious passion for the product.

Pete: 
Working directly with the Co-Founders of Market Dojo was a huge attraction. Hearing Alun’s passion for Market Dojo in my initial phone interview cemented my decision in applying for the role.


What aspects of the Business Development role do you find most appealing?

Lewis: 
I’m interested in talking to and meeting with new people, I like the sense of achievement and satisfaction you receive when assisting clients to meet their needs and I also like the challenge and competitiveness of securing new business.

Pete:
Hitting targets is something that I have always enjoyed, whether this be academically throughout education or physically at football each Saturday. Bringing a level of competition (winning new business) into the workplace was a natural step in my career path.  


What is different about Market Dojo?

Lewis: 
The in-house expertise of the founders, the passion which they have for the business and the product, and the friendliness of the whole team. The benefits of using the software are also clear. On our first day, we got to observe a real e-auction event where the cost savings to the client were monumental. To the extent where if I hadn’t have seen it, I would not have believed it, but it certainly helped with understanding the features and benefits of the product.

Pete: 
The honesty and transparency of the pricing. Too many businesses hide costs and add-ons, Market Dojo operate a ‘what you see is what you get’ policy throughout the business which is refreshing to see in a SaaS environment.   


If you didn't go into sales, what other profession would you have considered?

Lewis:
I think I’d have been a teacher, either geography or sport. I’ve taught children sports previously and having a direct impact on people’s future is pretty cool and rewarding!

Pete:
I’d have liked to be a personal trainer or nutritionist. During a bad two-week school placement at a local gym my days consisted of cleaning and admin. After thinking this was all the industry could offer me, I avoided healthcare and from that day I decided to pursue a career in business. 


What is the most unusual job you have ever had?

Lewis:
Not really an unusual job, but with my last role, I got to do lots of travelling across Africa which was really interesting and something which I believe enabled me to grow both personally and professionally.

Pete:
While living in Scarborough, I helped organise and promote two UK hardcore raves. As the work was for friends the jobs were unpaid, but it was certainly an exciting experience. 


What is your favourite book/movie?

Lewis:
Book and movie… Harry Potter!

Pete:
My favourite book is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography. If Arnold wants to do something, he does it, whether it’s bodybuilding, acting or politics. He has always achieved what he set out to do - the book is great proof that hard work really pays off. 


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

Lewis:
Unsure - although Britney Spears - ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ was the first single I ever bought as a besotted early teenager!

Pete: 
If by embarrassing you mean amazing, and by song you mean album then It’s Justin Bieber's Purpose.    


What is one thing about yourself that you think others would be surprised to know?

Lewis:
I had never drank a hot drink until the age of 26!

Pete:
At the age of 13 I got through to the final of the North Yorkshire Amateur Boxing Association Championships.


What’s your biggest claim to fame?

Lewis:
After watching Gloucester playing rugby, I got Jonny Wilkinson to sign my trainer.

Pete:
In 2015 I got all the way through to the live interviews to appear on The Island - Channel 4 Reality tv programme.


Have you ever travelled abroad? What was your favourite country?

Lewis:
Yeah I went to South Africa in my previous job. I attended a conference and had the best steak I’ve ever had. I can still taste it if I close my eyes!

Pete:
I haven't actually traveled out of Europe but I went to France as a toddler and was speaking French to the locals when I was 12 months old.


What are your hobbies and interests?

Lewis: I like to think of myself as a fit and active person, I play a lot of sport; football and cricket, but I also like to get lost in a good TV boxset; I’m currently watching The Walking Dead and I’m excited for the new season of Game of Thrones to begin very soon!!

Pete:
I’m currently training twice a week for a charity boxing match which is raising money for Cancer Research UK. The 8-weeks of free training has been supplied by a local boxing gym and the black tie event is being held at the Cheltenham leisure centre. 


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Lewis: 
The attraction of working for such a small company is the possibility of shaping your own career destiny. Hopefully through my business development efforts the company continues to grow, and in 5 years time I’d like to still have some involvement in business development but perhaps with more of an influence on strategy and future innovations. Personally, I’d like to be a homeowner, and hopefully a parent too.

Pete:
I see myself as an eSourcing specialist with my own Business Development team at Market Dojo. On a personal outlook, I’d also like a newer car and a mortgage on my own house. 


If you could be any animal in the world, what would it be?

Lewis:
Cat - they have such an easy life but are still independent with a great sense of adventure. Plus I have 2 cats!

Pete:
Lion - nothing to worry about as lions are top of the food chain, plus it’s lovely and warm in Africa. 


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

Lewis:
Leonardo Di Caprio because he’s my favourite actor.

Pete:
Will Smith because he’s gifted. Will can sing, act and dance. That portrays my life philosophy quite well. Also, we look quite similar, right?


Connect with Peter and Lewis on LinkedIn.


A HUGE welcome to you both! :)



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 March 2016

[NEW RELEASE] Improved document uploads

Last weekend we released the latest batch of improvements to Market Dojo. The most notable of these is improved support for document uploads.

We made this change in response to requests from our customers. They want to receive more than one document as the answer to a document question. Previously customers had zipped the documents into one file, or asked several questions. This wasn’t always convenient. Now, you can simple drag and drop the documents into your answer, and you have control of how many documents you include.

Here is what it looks like for someone answering a questionnaire.


Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 17.17.39.png
A participant adds two documents to their answers.

As part of this design improvement, our development team also suggested we enhance the User Interface, to make adding documents even easier. This means you can add several documents in one go, and even drag and drop them from your file explorer. This is available when answering questionnaire or creating events. 

Our testing suggests this will make using documents in Market Dojo even quicker and easier. 

We hope you like this new feature, and would love to hear your feedback.


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 March 2016

[NEW RELEASE] Introducing the New Analytics Dashboard for Market Dojo

Users of Market Dojo may have noticed an extra tab located on their dashboard named ‘analytics’. This section is one of the latest features to be added to Market Dojo and gives a graphical representation of your history using the tool. Created by Vibhuti Laroiya as part of her Masters at UWE, who has kindly written this wonderful guest article detailing the features and benefits. Thank you Vibhuti!

Let, Market Dojo Do the Hard Work for You!!

Year 2016, kicked off with the technological and functional advancement of Market Dojo and an objective to make eSourcing more informative yet simple. Our mantra was “Business Intelligence (BI)”.  

In agreement with the late Peter Drucker, a management guru, I too believe in “What gets measured, gets managed!” And, with a vision to improvise the management aspects of e-sourcing we kick started the Project called “Intelligent Market Dojo” in April, 2015. It all started with YOU as the centre:

“How can we help you to manage your events more efficiently?”

“How can we empower your decision making process to host an event in a most simplistic way?”

And, my experience and research led to the conclusion that BI / Analytics is the answer to the above questions.

Now, you must be wondering, how will you benefit from BI / Analytics?

Here are some of the benefits of Market Dojo’s Analytics:

Specially customised for you.
This dashboard will give you an insight to your events; moreover, the events you have been given access to, by other users. This feature, intelligently picks up the events “just for you” to generate summaries of your events, your suppliers and your average savings.

Simplified view of complex data.
The background data which might take you hours to calculate the desired summaries, is now converted into a millisecond affair.

More control of your data
You can easily and thus, remove the challenges to finding answers to complex queries like “How many suppliers have responded to my invitations, so far?” or “who to invite for my next event, based on the responses from your past suppliers.” This feature, will empower you to decide the reliable suppliers for your events which in-turn is expected to get you a quote from a highly competitive event / auction.

Another added benefit is a better understanding of Market Dojo’s capabilities. Once you have run an event with Market Dojo, you will be able to access the analytics tab. Your events are then summarised by ‘Event Type’, giving an overview of not only your activities run, but all your available options, and ‘Auction Type’, letting you see what Market Dojo offers here.


After a yearlong collaborative effort with a vision to enhance your experience of event hosting, we take pride to announce that this feature has been released for you to explore. So, let’s make the best use of Market Dojo and let Market Dojo do it all for 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!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The 3 Stages of Face-to-Face Negotiation

In many cases where a reverse auction can be used, we recommend that you (the buyer) reserve what is known as buyer's choice. This means that, although the outcome of the auction is important, it is not necessarily the only factor you will consider when awarding the business.

One option you have, that we see many of our clients do, is bring the top three suppliers in to further discuss the tender opportunity. But what do you do then?

We’ve put together a guide on Face-to-Face negotiation strategy to help assist you with this. You can download the full guide for free by signing up to Market Dojo here, then clicking this link.

This can also be applied should you choose not to run an auction and go straight to the f2f stage of negotiation.

A negotiation can be broken down into three main phases:

Preparation, Discussion & Review

Preparation

The preparation phase of a Negotiation is where you:
   
  • Assess relative positions
  • Set objectives and negotiation margins
  • Decide strategy and tactics

Discussion

The discussion phase consists of three elements:

  1. Opening

    This is where you declare your objectives and opening positions. This should obviously be a position from which you are prepared to move and thus should be a relatively high, yet sensible, list of demands.

  2. Probing

    Here you will gently probe each of the negotiation issues, gaining an overall understanding of the position, without making any commitments.

  3. Bargaining

    This is the critical point. At the end of this phase you will either have the makings of a final agreement or negotiations will breakdown.

Review

The review is where you will work out the next steps, which will either be obtaining a signed agreement or looking at alternative options.

It is also a good time to understand what went well ,what didn’t, and what could be done next time to improve.


The guide itself was put together by the Market Dojo team, combining their 20+ years of procurement experience to bring you a true value-adding document to ramp up your negotiation skills.

For the full strategy behind face-to-face negotiations, simply register (as a host, for free) here first, then click the link to begin the download:


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!

Friday, 11 March 2016

How to Save €1500 in 37 Minutes on your Next Car Purchase

This is a guest post by Vlado Prosenik from Efekto Pro. Efekto Pro are our consultancy partner in Slovenia.  They help customers make purchases more efficiently. 

A few months ago, I realized that it was time to replace my car. I was treating it very well; feeding it with the best fuel and oils, getting it serviced regularly, changing it’s tyres when needed, etc. It was returning my kindness with safe routes, comfort, excellent radio sound, and it was not greedy at all. We were good friends. I thought it would be upset to be sold to a new owner. However, as soon as the first potential buyer showed the money, my friend forgot about me.


Quite sad, my friend left me just because of money. I had to find a new car. Since it served me well, I wanted a new one from the same litter. Since I unfortunately hadn’t won the lottery that week (even now, I cannot understand how I didn’t win!), I started searching for the most economical way to purchase a new car.

I checked the range of vehicles to suit my needs, demands and preferences. I found six such cars. I tested all six, obtained bids and negotiated the price for all of them. Some sellers were friendly, others were professional, some were arrogant, some funny, and some were misleading. Nevertheless, all the cars were beautiful, powerful and clean. For each of them I found both positives and negatives. However, all would give me safety whilst driving and all would bring me to a desired destination at the same time. Provided there is a road to get there, of course.

I found a favourite quickly. The preferable order of the other five was also defined quite soon in my head. I was negotiating the price of my favourite very hard. I even used help of some acquaintances to come up with the best price. At a certain stage, even acquaintances were not able to help me with lowering the price. I said to myself: "That's it." "Unless ... “ “No, stop dreaming, who will participate in an auction for one car, come on, be serious.” “However, it is not a sin if you try!”

Reverse auction! If I can run reverse auctions for my clients, why could I not run a reverse auction for  my car?!

The decision was made. I ran a weighted auction, meaning the winning supplier was chosen for more than providing the cheapest price.  If I had set the only criteria of price, I would most likely have not been satisfied with the winning car.


Here are the statistics from the auction:

Invited participants
30
Participants registered on Market Dojo
18
Participants that accepted invitation
14
Qualification bids placed
11
Number of participants actively bidding
6
Total bids placed during auction
34
Auction duration
37 mins


A participant who I had not contacted personally submitted the winning bid. The next day I went to meet the winning bidder and to sign the contract. They were very professional and friendly. I saved about 1500 EUR according to the best offer I have managed to negotiate before the auction. I had received the car more than one month before the promised deadline. And after a few months of driving the new car, we are getting better and better friends.

It is also interesting that quite a few unsuccessful vendors called me after the auction. They were asking which car I bought, and if they can offer the service. Not one negative comment I have received regarding the selection process. Mostly they commented that they could not give a better price and that it was good to have an opportunity to see their rank during the auction.

If I managed to run a reverse auction to purchase a car, for my own personal use (as erratic and tedious as that process can be), then surely there is great opportunity for reverse auctions to bring savings in areas where the competition between providers is developed. You just have to take it the right way!


+386 41 38 00 37
vlado.prosenik@efekto.si
EFEKTO PRO d.o.o.
www.efektopro.si


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, 9 March 2016

Are Procurement Professionals Stuck in the Stone Age? - Part II

Market Dojo and Odesma partner to combine their intuitive eSourcing software and expertise in offering business advisory services to offer clients a winning procurement solution. Read Part I, where Ed (one of Odesma’s co-founders) and Anya (of Market Dojo) initially ponder the neanderthalic ways of B2B software…

Slowly and surely, not only do we see B2B companies adopting these B2C ideologies, but some B2C companies are jumping in and filling the gap left by B2B providers. Granted, the complexity of B2B companies isn’t completely covered by the consumer oriented companies, and so they are aiming more at the smaller companies, but all the same it still highlights a shift in the market.

By taking a couple of examples, we can see where these changes are happening and examples of B2C solutions doing it right:


The transportation networking company Uber originally focussed on the B2C space by bringing together people looking to travel in the same direction, aggregating the demand and sharing out the cost of the journey to charge a lower price. Targeting those traveling for personal reasons and commuters, they are paying special attention to the business sector with their latest development of business profiles.

More recently, focus has shifted to the freight industry where they hope to achieve similar by introducing mobile-based freight brokering technology. Not only will there be a reduction in number of ‘empty miles’ travelled, mobile-based freight brokering technology can help lower operating costs, improve fuel efficiency, boost asset utilization and enhance resource productivity.

Benefits which Uber have been reaping since they formed in 2009.

Amazon touched briefly on the B2B side with Amazon Business. With benefits like integration with Purchasing systems and order approval workflows, they have adapted Amazon to create Amazon for business. 


This could have extreme effects on the current technology providers should Amazon develop an eSourcing/eAuction aspect and it would not be that difficult for them to make the shift.

Another area in which Amazon has moved to a B2B focus is with their hosting options. This isn’t an adaptation of their B2C offering, but an entirely new market for them. (more info)

Airbnb, for example, provide a marketplace that allows one to search for and/or offer accommodation. Their sleek design, mobile-optimisation, carefully thought-out filters and simple sign-in methods are something to be rivalled. Having relied heavily on investment, they have been able to afford the development costs and created a really neat SaaS product.



Procurify is another such example of improved, B2C-esque usability. They aim to provide P2P technology without the presumed “boring” grey-scale color scheme and clunky design that we have seen (and expected?) for so long. They have responsive design and mobile applications available. With their bright colours and simplistic design, they are very appealing.


But will this new technology, mainly adopted by new companies, only appeal to the millennials of today? Will previous generations appreciate this or seek their old faithful, familiar, providers.

Jive is also an interesting example. Marketed as THE NEXT LEAP FOR SOCIAL INTRANET SOFTWARE, their user interface is very similar to that of Facebook… Facebook 3 years ago.



The concept is brilliant - provide companies with an internal social platform to share company news and collaborate. However the user interface still leaves something to be desired. Granted it’s one of the best on the market, and I am in no way criticising them specifically, but overall, there is still a lack of ease-of-use in B2B social platforms in comparison with B2C. Is this because we expect it, because more complexity is required, or because the design needs to remain colourless and simple.

LinkedIn have recently redesigned their ‘groups’ making them more user-friendly and appealing, so increased usability is something which they pay attention to. But the creativity of design is definitely lacking in the B2B world. Why does business have to be so boring!?

The procurement community is lucky to benefit from the industry specific social platform Procurious which, with its bright colours and easy interface has a very B2C feel - which differs greatly from LinkedIn. In the picture on the left, you can see crowded text and pictures with no clear direction of what to look at next with a few small tabs at the top to interact with.

On the right the information on the profile page is broken down into tabs and the contact information on the left-hand side makes it easy to see details of an individual.




It seems that Procurious, being a more recent development, has taken learnings from other solutions (in its space) to create a more user friendly social media platform. Whilst LinkedIn (above left) is busy and cluttered, Procurious provides a more simplistic, clearer view. If you haven't done so already, definitely recommend getting involved there and signing up to the tool.


Alibaba provides an online platform for global wholesale trade. They launched in 1999 and attempt to make sourcing of goods and suppliers more simple for businesses, working with millions of suppliers across the globe.


Within the tool, they have a categorised search option for buyers with the ability to ‘get quotations’ from the approved supplier list within Alibaba (AliSource Suppliers).


As B2B technology companies are beginning to realise the benefits of being easy to use etc., what changes do we think will happen? How do we envisage the B2B tech space evolving within the next 5-10 years?

Market Dojo put an article together examining what we will look like in 10 years time and how we will have to adapt and change to remain ahead of the game. With a focus on us as an eSourcing company, we came up with a few conclusions, most of which can be applied not only to eSourcing, but to B2B technology companies as a whole.

The table below looks at different functions of technology and predictions on how they might change within the B2B landscape.



Function
Change
Mobile Technology
Whilst consumers are ever increasing their use of mobile tech, are businesses going to become more reliant on this in the workplace? The simple answer is yes. B2B companies need to be aware of becoming even more responsive, searchable and usable across the mobile technology of the future?
Google (power of the web/search)
Will this develop enough and become intelligent enough to make other applications obsolete? Such as developing  more intelligent supplier search function and becoming the de-facto supplier database though their categorisation.
APIs
The ability to integrate between solutions is already possible, but in the future it is set to become even more simple. We expect it becoming ever easier to integrate with any (software) component through standard connectors, so that best of breed becomes as attractive or even better than ERP solutions.
Amazon/Google/Apple B2B platform
Established companies moving into other areas (E.g. developing eMarketplaces) and threatening the smaller providers with their ability to quickly develop technology. This is already happening.
Procserve, for example, have built links with Amazon for B2B purchasing. (See full article here.)
Eradicating the user interface
Moving from slick user interface to 'no user interface', as per this Coupa article.  A rather controversial idea, but we can see some logic that instead of having to log into a tool every day, instead it fits around your life so you can interact with it outside the tool via Voice Activation such as Google Voice, Siri, Cortana, etc.
True commoditization
The final stage of the technology lifecycle is commoditization. (See Market Dojo’s video on the four stages of technological growth taken from a TED lecture.)
Integrated market information
How global news stories affect various aspects of your business and what technology can do to make companies more aware and faster.
Also how tech can keep companies updated with what’s being said about their brand. (Ref. Owler.)
More focus on AI & Automation/robotics
The software could take actions when it 'thinks' it is needed. e.g. within eSourcing - delay an auction due to lack of liquidity, or suggest a better lot structure based on the bids received.
Public Sector Procurement
A big shake-up in the public sector software market to disrupt the legacy tools with their complex workflows and procedures to be a slick tool that people enjoy using. E.g. Matrix SCM
IT involvement & Security barriers
IT’s function is changing from an in-house design/build/implement function to a strategic business partner who guide business stakeholders in the selection of appropriate SaaS systems.
Marketing
How will people find us in the future, compared to how they find us now?
How will the power of search change in the future?
At the minute, the focus is on Content Marketing, but what next?
More personalised, more interactive marketing?

As you can see, we expect the Market Dojo platform to become more intuitive and user-friendly over the next few years. Is this true of all business softwares? Will we (realistically) be able to prioritise usability and design over functionality and features?

The authors have pondered long and hard the question of when the B2C approach will catch on in the B2B World. We think it is progressively changing, but will for the reasons listed earlier take some time to change. New suppliers with easy to use solutions are coming to the fore, Coupa and Egencia come to mind. But we postulate that it will be a slow change process, with perhaps another 5 years before the whole B2B solution market feels like today’s B2C environment - at which point the B2C landscape will possibly be different again! To stay at the forefront of technology, can B2B companies look to B2C arena as a gauge of what’s to come?


What are your thoughts?

THE AUTHORS




Ed is co-founder of Odesma, a new breed of business advisory firm, one that is uniquely on demand providing virtual procurement through the Procurement PeopleCloudTM. He is a results orientated executive level business leader with 25 years global professional services, consulting and functional experience in procurement, supply chain and change management. Previously with Xchanging plc, Ed had Executive leadership responsibility for running the global procurement and HR outsourcing businesses. He has also held senior level consulting and functional roles with QPGroup, ShareMax Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ed can be contacted at edward.cross@odesma.co.uk or at:
Odesma Limited, Woodrow, Off Snape Hall Road, Whitmore
Staffordshire ST5 5HS
Tel: +44 (0)161 433 7833
www.odesma.co.uk


Having joined the team in early 2015, Anya manages marketing and market analysis at Market Dojo. Market Dojo is the only e-Sourcing software provider to offer an easy to use, professional solution with completely transparent pricing. From creating content and managing social platforms, to attending networking events and building client relationships, Anya is the first point of call for any questions you may have about Market Dojo. 

If you’re interested in hearing more, get in touch:
Anya McKenna
anya.mckenna@marketdojo.com
+44(0)117 318 2537
+44(0)792 337 6307
www.marketdojo.com



Reproduction of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden.