Thursday, 26 January 2017

Travelogue of a frenchxit

Antoine Le Bras, French intern who has joined Market Dojo for 8 weeks shares his feelings and his analysis of his first days in our beautiful country.

It only took an hour to discover the grey sky of the United Kingdom. When I arrived, I was shocked by the gentlemanly spirit. In France, people don’t care about people, we are very independent and in my opinion, mostly selfish. In my experience in the UK, when people have issues, others try to understand your difficulties and try to help you. In France, we see but often we don’t even bother to try to understand.

After taking a small train on tracks in Birmingham and another train to New Street, I had to fight against the British train station. Why? Because there are lots of trains with lots of different tracks and on one track you have differents numbers for the different train stops! So much, almost too much to factor in when you're waiting for your train.


It is after this adventure, that I arrived in the good city. Since arrived I was disturbed by a few things. Firstly, you drive left on the road! Your steering wheel is on the right! And when you want to cross the street you need to check your right first. It is hard to do the opposite. Please, drive on the same side like all the European Union’s countries… Oh, I probably shouldn’t say that!

My journey lasts 8 weeks, 8 weeks of eating hundreds of different types of crisps  (I have already tried mature cheddar with red onion but it is an acquired taste).

I would like during the trip to go to London for a weekend, discovering the capital. To see landmarks of London like the London Eye, the Tower Bridge, Westminster palace and of course Big Ben…

My ambition is also to watch a football match in a Stadium. To feel the passion, the strength, to hear football songs and thrill with fifty-thousand people.

I have found that when I talk about my beautiful country and our traditional food, it is often perceived with a lot of stereotypes. Firstly, we don’t eat snails and frogs everyday or have a baguette in the kitchen  or have mouldy cheese in the fridge. We don’t wear a berets but yes, you are right. We are grumpy people and we become grumpy for no reason! But… we have a strong history and as we like to think, one of the best cuisines in the world. I do now and always will miss eating a traditional baguette with salted butter caramel from Guérande (if you haven't tried it, you must it!), crepe, and all the other wonderful things of France.

One of the things that I have noticed since the beginning of my trip, was that your British houses all look the same, I find it very disturbing. But set apart from all of the crazy cultural differences, what stands out is  the music, your music. Before my trip, I was thinking that we have the same music with the same artists, everthing similar. However I was totally wrong. The first thing I heard when walking into a supermarket was the music, a different sound then you would hear in France.

If I have to conclude now, I would say you have a beautiful country, with so careful, outgoing and drunky people, I will never forget this trip, this adventure. But please, let me see the sunshine sometime!  

Stay tuned for to hear more about my adventures!
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, 18 January 2017

Why choose a Procurement Consultancy to help your business?

Ed Cross, Executive Director of leading procurement consultancy Odesma shares his thoughts on why companies should be choosing procurement consultancies to help their business.

The question of using consultants remains straight forward for some, whilst for others, it results in a ‘not over my dead body moment’. The reason for this reaction is possibly myriad, from it being an affront to the capability of the individual affected or their function through to it being seen as a threat, a worry that the consultants will deliver and questions will be asked why the manager couldn’t have delivered the same benefit previously themselves - a sign of weakness?

The Japanese view every problem as an opportunity, literally an unpolished gem to be cherished. Recognising that no one has all the answers, and that often there are experts (internally or externally) that can be deployed to bring additional value is a characteristic of a strong leader.  

Using consultants is like using any expert on demand service (lawyers to plumbers), and should be used if they enhance value to the organisation well beyond their cost. 

For procurement consultancy especially when it comes to category management it has to be one of the simplest decisions, an equation looking at the cost of the consultants (and any extra work in eternally) versus the return in terms of price and cost reduction from third party purchases. Expressed as ROI (return on investment) there are few activities that are as straightforward to quantify as procurement related. Compare that to the ROI calculation for implementing an ERP system!

But what are the benefits of using external procurement consultants:

1.    Category and Market Knowledge

A seasoned consultant will have deep and current experience of the category, having sourced it numerous times previously - they understand the nuances, the options and how it can work for your business

2.    Speed

With specialism comes pace, with focus comes more pace, most consultants do not have to worry too much about internal politics, placing orders, managing queries, they can, therefore, make it happen quickly. At Odesma we expect a sourcing programme to take weeks, and not months and years for this exact reason.

3.    Change Management Experience

      The experience of working in different environments, and facing differing situations frequently creates a strong pedigree in knowing how to secure change effectively with stakeholders. 

4.   Return on Investment

Clarity around the baseline for the previous cost structure, a clear outcome with a new commercial position and therefore clarity on the return achieved for the investment. 

The argument around the use of consultants should be a simple one: focused on a clear ROI and whether it brings the organisation an advantage.

Ed Cross
Executive Director of Odesma
Tel: +44 161 433 7833

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, 11 January 2017

Simplify, enhance and economise - Legal eProcurement

In a recent article featured in the January 2017 edition of The OathKhaled Shivji, Head of Legal at Aggreko explains how he has used Market Dojo to successfully appoint a legal panel.

Image result for law scales

The article highlights how using an eProcurement system can pay dividends for General Counsel who want to appoint a legal panel. Khaled ran the tender through the Market Dojo tool to select a regional panel, based on very strict bidding rules. By limiting the volume of information submitted by bidders, he enhanced and simplified the process.

The success of the event has delivered savings for the client, in addition to freeing up the time of the General Counsel to focus on more urgent, high-value tasks.

To read the full article online, visit The Oath 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!

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Spend Matters - The A-Z of Reverse Auctions

We are delighted to have our recent article on the A-Z of Reverse Auctions published on Spend Management blog, Spend Matters
The article highlights our A-Z complication of categories that have been eAuctioned through our Market Dojo platform, including the average savings of the reverse auctions, in hope that it might provide encouragement to others!

Here is a snippet of what you can expect within the article:

Automotive parts have seen an average saving of 32.5% across items like bus batteries, bulbs, doors, mirrors and windscreens.

Bedding has been auctioned on our platform 7 times, with an average saving of 33%.

Construction works is by far the most popular category in the ‘C’s with over 500 auctions run through our tool, with great success too - average savings are 16%.

Digital Media brings us into the contentious area of Marketing. However, with an average saving of 26%, it has salvaged many a departmental budget crisis.

Energy is a very popular category with a 7% average saving and one we see great opportunity for an “eMarketplace”, equipped with standardised templates and pre-approved vendors to make this auction category accessible to all.

To read the full article, visit the Spend Matters website 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!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Stop saying auctions are too price focused

‘Auctions are too price focused’ is something I hear pretty much every day as part of my role as the outbound marketing executive here at Market Dojo. For me, it’s the equivalent of telling the cashier at Tesco that something must be free if it didn’t scan. It’s infuriatingly untrue.

Yes, of course, the aim of a reverse auction is to reduce the price of something. It’s a negotiation tool akin to paper, over the phone or email. In most tender events, you only negotiate on price when you’ve identified someone that can supply the product or service you need in a way that is amenable to you. Saying that auctions are too price focused is basically the same as saying ‘negotiation is just about reducing the amount of money you spend’. 

Of course, there are things you need to take into account when running a reverse auction as a negotiation tool. Many companies are now concerned about the quality of the goods they buy, and rightly so. If you have different suppliers offering different versions of a product but would still like them both to compete on price - you can weight your auction. 

Weighting is essentially scoring quality and other criteria based on pre-considered elements and then applying this to be part of the overall auction ranking.

Imagine this: Company A and Company B have similar products. Company A’s product is higher quality, and thus got a score of 85% in their quality score by the buyer. Company B is only at a 75% quality score. This means that if you weighed an auction rank by 10% to include quality, Company B would have to beat the Company A’s price by more than 1% to become rank 1, to take into account their lower quality score. 

That is just one of the few ways that you can ensure quality in a reverse auction. The other way is much simpler - Only invite to auction those suppliers who can supply at the quality you require.

Auctions are for when you’ve done the hard part - they just make the negotiation part of procurement much easier. If you have a situation where you have 3 bids on the table and are looking to buy from any of the three, and it’s time to negotiate on price, then there is no reason not to use an auction.

I’m aware that I have a bias because I help people to run eAuctions. That also means I’m around them every day and see what a useful tool they can be. But that’s also why you make me cry when you tell me the auctions are just about price….

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!