Friday, 31 March 2017

[Guest Blog] Lessons learned from my experience using Market Dojo eAuction software

Jon Brinsmead has been buying goods and services for clients for over 20 years,  working with the likes of Unilever and Transport for London whilst providing training in commercial management for the same period of time. 

Jon shares his thoughts on his years of experience using Market Dojo to teach IT managers about deal making and eAuctions.

Running a reverse auction

As a seller or buyer - when you decide to run an eAuction for the first time a few things are worth thinking about and taking time over to get the best outcome. As a buyer it’s good to undertake the same preparations that the seller will do – so you can get into the minds of your sellers.

      • Preparation – Like most things in life, it’s all about the preparation. You need to design your bid strategy ahead of executing it. Like DJ’s you need 2 decks to run an eAuction well. 

Deck 1 - Your bid control form

This is where you put in your bid prices and set out your strategy for each round, based on what you plan to happen. Here you should work (in advance) through all of the different scenarios and strategies, planning on what could happen during the auction – giving you the ability to adapt and react to what the other sellers are doing. I usually run this in Excel but whichever software you are most comfortable using is best. 

Deck 2 - Your Market Dojo screen

This is where you will be putting in your selling prices and watching what is happening with the auction in real time.

      • The technical side – make sure your IT is working and solid, internet connections must be good and reliable and it’s no bad thing to ensure you are logged in ahead of time.

      • Market Dojo has a sandbox feature where you can practice an auction ahead of using it in anger – this is a really useful feature and worth taking any staff who are planning to be involved in auctions through. You may need to arrange for user IDs from Market Dojo to be able to use this.

If you’re interested in commercial training, contact Jon at

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, 30 March 2017

Five minutes with Executive Search specialist Iain Mckenna

With the Market Dojo Event around the corner, we caught up with presenter Iain McKennaIain is the Managing Director of Sourcing Solved and will be presenting “The Human Condition: Finding The Talent To Match The Technology” at our event on Thursday 6th April.

What do you think is the secret to success in business?

Good social skills are probably the most important thing; if you can’t build strong relationships with people then you’re not going anywhere. Take the time to listen to others; remember we have two ears for a reason!

What lesson stands out that you have learned in your career?

I’ve learned the importance of taking time to really know your client. Executive search is not a one size fits all process, and every project must be viewed with a fresh pair of eyes.

What has been the biggest and proudest achievement in your career?

Setting up Sourcing Solved has been a huge challenge and has taught me so many valuable lessons. To have grown so much in seven years and have such a great team of people to support me is something I’m very proud, and thankful, for.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

Believe in yourself; you are always only one decision away from changing your life!

What are you looking forward to in the Market Dojo event?

Meeting like-minded people who are really trying to make a difference in the procurement community, and in-person! As is common when interacting on LinkedIn, there are quite a few people who I’ve connected with but have never actually met, so I’m looking forward to finally putting faces to names.

What are you passionate about?

Fitness, it's good for the soul. Over the last year I’ve been taking time to focus on improving my fitness, and the path to developing that physical and mental discipline is hugely challenging but equally rewarding. I have huge respect for people who take part in endurance events such as marathons and triathlons; the strength of character that it takes to succeed is not to be undervalued.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career? And how have they helped shape you?

Undoubtedly my mother, who always told me to pull my socks up and get on with it! Though I may not have appreciated it at the time, this attitude has carried me through a lot.

If you want to find out more, register for the inaugural Market Dojo Event on Thursday 6th April at Stonehouse Court Hotel. Iain McKenna will be presenting at the procurement event on the subject of “The Human Condition: Finding The Talent To Match The Technology”

You can find more information and the full agenda for the event at

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, 22 March 2017

Learn to be frugal by eSourcing like Google!

We’re presently running a survey to explore the barriers to eAuctions to truly understand why not all procurement professionals out there with 3 bids on the table instinctively progress to eAuction.

You can find the survey here if you have some thoughts. And so it was fortuitous timing that we stumbled across a public interview with the team behind Google’s Global Sourcing Centre of Excellence.

Related image
Image via "Are Google’s Financial Maneuvers Worth a Starbucks?" Wall Street Journal 

The interview explored Google’s eAuction experience and how they drive adoption to achieve excellent results, with an average rate reduction of 17% being very similar to the 16% that we’ve seen on average through Market Dojo.
They also see an additional 4% saving when RFPs are progressed to eAuction, as well as greatly reduced cycle times. Interestingly Google uses their own intuitive G Suite tools for their general eRFX. We use G Suite extensively in our business so we can see how that could work, with neat features for online collaboration, unlimited cloud storage and a slick survey tool.
Image via "Quint adopts Google G Suite platform"
However similarly you could use G Suite as a CRM tool or an Accounting tool, but you’d potentially lack that best-of-breed application. eAuctions, on the other hand, are much more challenging to replicate using email and online spreadsheets and so Google relies on third-party software. To date, they have run over 900 eAuctions, yet that has covered only 20% of the total third-party expenditure. Their own objective is to eAuction at least 80% of the expenditure.

Therefore one of their highest priorities is to fuel further adoption, given that a mandate is not the Google way. Their approach is to use the carrot rather than the stick using some of these key approaches;
    • Templates are used to minimise the barriers to setting up the auctions.
    • After every auction, the team surveys the stakeholders to gather their feedback for improvements.
    • Individuals who run the auctions are rewarded and recognised for their work.
    • New recruits are brought in who are already proponents of eAuctions.
    • Executive level sponsorship is in place through close involvement of the CIO.
    • Other senior stakeholders are invited to watch the auctions to witness their benefits.

When a contract is awarded without concluding with an auction, the team follows up as to why that was. Perhaps the supply market was monopolistic or perhaps the stakeholder was vehemently against the idea. Either way, this closed loop feedback helps the team learn for next time.
Pivotal to it all is the eSourcing Centre of Excellence, as we’ve seen many times before. The Centre ensures continual process improvement, shared learning and promotion of eAuctions throughout the business, providing dedicated resources for doing so. Their work involves changing the minds and attitudes of the business to run eAuctions by helping to run them, freeing up the buyers to focus more on stakeholder relations. One of our initial clients took a similar approach to this, with their COO storming into procurement meetings asking the team, “Don’t tell me why you can’t do it {eAuction}, tell me how you would do it”. This change in mindset provoked the stakeholders into constructively thinking how the eAuction could be run: quickly presenting a solution when previously there wa a deadlock.

Image result for boss angry cartoon

Since mandating wasn’t an option, the next best course of action taken by the Google team was to affect the governance statement, reviewed by board members, that 80% of Google’s third-party expenditure will be competitively tendered every two years. eAuctions have become the preferred option, with business owners that opt out of using an eAuction needing an appropriate reason for doing so.

Google, like many others, are also conscious that price is just one factor in the total decision, and so post-auction they complete an internal scorecard to look at the total value from each supplier to select the ‘best bidder’ and not the ‘lowest bidder’, mitigating a common objection that eAuctions result in decisions based on price alone.

Finally, to quote the corporate code of conduct from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, “Do the right thing” - which we’d strongly suggest is to find reasons to use an eAuction for all your contract negotiations.

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, 15 March 2017

[Guest Blog] Teaching deal making with Market Dojo

Jon Brinsmead has been buying goods and services for clients for over 20 years including Ahold Delhaize, Unilever and Transport for London. Over the same period of time, Jon has been providing training in commercial management. Jon shares his experiences and thoughts on teaching delegates how to conduct an effective sourcing event through the Market Dojo tool.

Teaching deal making with Market Dojo

I’ve been using Market Dojo’s eAuction software for 3 years now, together with a useful buying scenario provided by Market Dojo - to teach deal making to delegates on a commercial management course.

How it works – Delegates are given the role of seller and have to ‘bid’ into an eAuction for commodity items. The course leader acts as the buyer (and the seller’s manager) and runs the auction.

We run the auctions online, and in real-time, and delegates are given the objective of winning the sale and also making a profitable deal.


Delegates learn how to construct and execute a bidding strategy. They see the pressure that sellers can come under in a real time situation and get to practice in a safe playground. They also get to explore the ‘Price arena’ and understand how the deal-making situation affects supplier behaviours.

Diagram – the PRICE arena

Diagram based on Guhan Subramanian's book Dealmaking


Working with Market Dojo is a great experience, everyone is really helpful and the products have a low entry point for learning how to carry out basic operations. The software and service are rock solid. For a small investment of time, delegates get some great experience of the use of online eSourcing software and take away their experience to use in their own organisations.

Commercial bit

If he can help you with a commercial training needs or indeed any deal situation please don’t hesitate to contact him at

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, 14 March 2017

eWorld March 2017 - My First Tradeshow Experience

My name is Henry and I’m the business development Executive here at Market Dojo. Part of my role is to help the company exhibit at eWorld, which is a conference based on supply chain and procurement software.

This time around, we decided that we would get up early and drive down to eWorld in the morning from Gloucestershire. 4 o’clock in the morning is the worst type of 4 o’clock there is. I was, however lucky enough to have time for a proper coffee before setting off to meet the rest of the team and drive into London.

When we did get to London, myself and Peter Glass set up our fantastic stand that had been organised by Craig Knowles, our marketing guru, while Alun and Lewis parked the car. This year we had a secret weapon. A fresh coffee machine. After some complaints about the quality of coffee available at the last eWorld, we wanted to offer something that everyone needs in a long exhibition day. Fresh coffee. Simple, aromatic and uncomplicated. A bit like Market Dojo when it comes to eSourcing.

That, coupled with the Bacon Sandwiches available for exhibitors, which made me momentarily forget my almost-kosher diet, helped satiate a growing hunger that had been awoken as I got into the car at 5 am.

We met many fantastic delegates from companies all over the world and fellow exhibitors including the lovely team at Baker Wanless. Many were familiar faces, returning, again and again, to tell us how amazing Market Dojo is and how we’re at the forefront of the industry (true words and a direct quote from one of our lovely customers). Many were fairly new to eSourcing and we got to show them how an event would look like in the tool, which was great.

It’s one of the pleasures of the job, teaching people a better way to do things. Some people weren’t really aware of auctions or what they can do to help hit savings targets within procurement teams. Other people have used them but they were too complicated and thus have avoided them going into future projects.

Just before we started taking stuff down at the end of the day, we have a draw every eWorld for the winner of a month’s free license. This year the winner was Debbie Wright. Watch the video of the live draw below.

The Market Dojo afterparty was held in a lovely Lebanese restaurant somewhere in Knightsbridge. An ever adventure loving company, the entire table had Kafte kebabs, which were delicious. We then packed in the car for a chat about where Market Dojo was headed next. We all agreed it was for even bigger and better things. 

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, 9 March 2017

Join our inaugural procurement event, Thursday 6th April

Market Dojo is hosting its inaugural procurement event on Thursday, 6th April. The event will offer procurement professionals the opportunity to network and learn from the experts.

"Creating Real Value from eSourcing"
 Thursday 6th April at Stonehouse Court, GL10 3RA.

The event will be hosted in the beautiful setting of Stonehouse Court Hotel and feature presentations from CPO's, Procurement Directors and thought leaders within Procurement. 

The full agenda can be found here.

Alternatively, fill in the short registration form here.

Consult with experts throughout the day to discover how you can make real savings on a number of different categories and learn new sourcing techniques.

Who will be presenting on the day?

    • Sean Floyd, Purchasing Director at The Authentic Food Company
    • Simon Boggis, formerly CPO of Ceva Logistics
    • Graham Woodison, formerly Senior Purchasing Manager at Specsavers
    • Terri Hudson, Managing Director at Baker Wanless 
    • Iain McKenna, Managing Director of Sourcing Solved
    • Nick Ford, Executive Director at Odesma

Who else will be attending the event?

A number of senior procurement professionals from renowned brands will be attending the day including Next, Travis Perkins and McCarthy & Stone.

In addition to the attendees, a range of different procurement solutions will be on hand to offer procurement solutions for Sourcing, Contracts Management, Spend Analysis and Supplier Onboarding.

What do our attendees say?

"We are eager to be attending and finding new ways to generate real savings within procurement. In particular, we are interested in the new strategies that are being adopted within retail and freight procurement. - Philip Corbett, Procurement Manager, Travis Perkins

"It's great to be invited to the Market Dojo event, for us the major benefit of the day is to find new ways in which we can increase eSourcing adoption with our procurement team and learn new best practice techniques." - Daniel Higginson, eSourcing Manager, Next 

"I'm looking forward to uncovering new ways that we can expand our sourcing categories, in particular Market and Energy procurement as key areas that we can produce further savings." - Edward Dring, Procurement Manager, McCarthy & Stone 

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!