Thursday, 31 August 2017

Market Dojo in Seventh Heaven

What do Market Dojo and these photos of celebrities have in common?

Extra prizes if you can all guess who they are - we’ll tell you at the end.

The answer is that they are all 7 years old at this snapshot in time.  And so earlier this month we quietly surpassed this milestone as well, although we can only aspire to achieve the same global acclaim!

Even in this short time, it’s astounding to witness how quickly technology has moved along on the one hand, yet on the other, it’s equally astounding how slowly it has propagated through the Procurement function where we are still discovering FTSE 250 companies with no eProcurement policy in place.

It reminds me of a previous article we wrote about what life would look like if we all still used all tech from the year 2000 (& not just procurement tech).  Find it here.

Anyhow, here’s a reflection of some of the main highlights of the past 12 months:

New Clients

The past 12 months has brought us some fantastic accounts with some pretty unique challenges, from global roll-outs intended to modernise the entire Procurement function - hear more about that at eWorld this September - through to a series of eAuctions run in the course of a few weeks that resulted in savings of $50m!



It has been another busy year on the recruitment front.  In September we welcomed James to join our Development team, closely followed by Henry in November within Business Development.  We’re also due to welcome Angie in September to join our Marketing team, plus have a couple of available opportunities in Business Development with plenty more to come.  

We’re delighted to be able to offer our current Business Development Manager, Lewis, a change in his career path to build up our Customer Success team.  As a small firm, it’s genuinely exciting to be able to offer the team the ability to progress as they see fit.

Product Roadmap

Our customers have been hugely supportive in helping us to improve Market Dojo and allowed us to build many new features. We've had another hugely productive year but some of our favourites moments are:

    • A complete revamp of the user interface to make the most of modern user experience best practice.
    • A streamlined process for awarding business to suppliers to close the loop on what was actually delivered back to the business from sourcing activities.
    • An API and integration with third parties so our best-of-breed tools can be embedded into a full eProcurement suite or even to non-procurement tools such as CRMs.
    • Multiple approval steps in our onboarding tool so clients can bespoke the workflow across the entire business for approving new suppliers.
    • Questionnaire and Lot templates so procurement teams can consistently benefit from your single versions of the truth.
    • Detailed participant activity tracking to shed more light on where participants are getting stuck in the sourcing process.


This year we worked out that we’ve saved our clients over £1.3bn across 25,000 eSourcing events, at an average of 16% saving!  Quite astonishing really.

Inaugural conference

One of the genuine highlights of the year was our debut annual conference held in April at the historic Stonehouse Court Hotel.  The event was a great success with over 100 attendees on the day to listen to insightful talks from speakers including Robert Copeland, UK Procurement Director at G4S; Rob Lees, Commercial Director at the MoD; and Simon Boggis, former CPO at CEVA Logistics.

What will the next 12 months bring?

We’ll continue with our recruitment plans as well as push our brand further overseas to build on the success we’ve already seen to once again bolster our revenues by 50%.  We hope to be doing more with you all in the coming months!

PS:  The photos were of:  Prince William, Beyoncé, Madonna and Robert de Niro.  Well done if you got them all.

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, 16 August 2017

Modern Slavery - It's time to Act

In June, I attended the CIPS Gloucester branch event on Modern Slavery, which was presented by the hugely enlightening Andrew Wallis, OBE & CEO of Unseen. Unseen is a charity with the aim of working towards a world without slavery. It was shocking to learn how rife modern slavery is, even in the UK, with an estimated 21 million people worldwide the victims of forced labour.

As of April 2016, organisations with a turnover of £36 million with business conducted in the UK were required to report annually on the measures they have introduced to ensure there is no modern slavery taking place in their supply chain. Organisations are required to publish a Modern Slavery Act for each financial year, and it’s recommended to be published within 6 months of the organisations financial year.

If you’re in an organisation whose financial year ends in March/April, time is quickly running out to publish this year's Act.

Procurement professionals are at the forefront in the fight against Modern Slavery. With responsibility and visibility over the supply chain, and critically, what due diligence is done and the business systems to manage the risk. Market Dojo’s Supplier Information Management system (SIM) tool, SIM Dojo can quickly and easy help procurement teams to establish the processes and policies to help detect and identify potential risks concerning Modern Slavery.

Image result for modern slavery

Whilst is it almost impossible for an organisation to audit and monitor every supplier within a supply chain, it is even harder to manage and track this information through Excel or an equivalent. Using SIM Dojo, you can quickly capture details from your entire supply chain on what steps they have taken regarding the Modern Slavery Act, as well as allowing them to upload a copy of their Act. Another huge benefit of the system is the ability to set automatic reminders to notify your entire supply chain to provide an update on the additional measures they have taken to address Modern Slavery since last year.

SIM Dojo is an affordable, quick to implement system to ensure that the necessary due diligence can be performed on your supply chain. Please don’t let the use of ill-equipped tools or costs be a reason for not implementing a suitable Modern Slavery Act policy. We can even provide you with a questionnaire template for the Modern Slavery Act to enable you to hit the ground running.

This article was originally published on Pulse which can be found here, alternatively, discover more on the implications of the Modern Slavery Act.

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 August 2017

The Leaky Bucket of Business

If you ask most honest companies they will probably tell you that organisations value revenue growth and sales departments more than savings and the procurement/purchasing. Procurement is seen as an administrative function responding to the needs and demands of other areas of the business. But shouldn’t procurement be more prominent?
Why?  First, let me go back to the basics of the value of cost reduction

Every Pound or Euro that you save through cost reduction is potentially much more valuable than sales because every sale is reduced by the costs. Those costs might be the materials costs, overheads or even the cost of the sales process (after all someone has to pay the sales guys their big bonuses!).

Remember, what remains after the sale is the net profit. For example, if you’re selling TV’s for £100 each and you have a 10% net profit margin, each television sold will produce £10 net profit for the company. 

However, if you reduce the costs of producing the television by £50 per unit, then you will be making a £60 net profit on each television sold (£50 cost reduction + £10 initial profit margin). Meaning that without that cost reduction, in simplistic terms, your sales team will have to sell 6 times as many TV’s to get the same net profit.

The important aspect to consider is that the smaller your net profit margin, the greater the impact of cost reduction becomes. 

But how does this relate to ‘The Leaky Bucket of Business’?

Consider your businesses sales process as a bucket.  For every cost and expense, a different leak or hole appears within that bucket. The greater the costs, the more holes or leaks that you have in your bucket and therefore the less you will retain after filling up your bucket.

If your company decides to make a huge outlay on marketing, advertising and sales to increase the number of sales (in this case the level to which the bucket is filled to) you will still only be retaining what is left in your bucket.

Traditionally, departments other than sales and marketing have been marked out as ‘cost centers’; areas where cuts and internal savings can first be made, improvements should be limited to bounded capex and any additional pound of ongoing spend is a pound off the bottom line. This approach can work however it typically fails to recognise the value of internal investment. Wise opex focussed on improvements to processes and tools can pay dividends far greater than the investment. That might be in efficiency and speed improvements internally, i.e. ‘getting a bigger bucket’ or, our speciality at Market Dojo, reduction in external costs.

Every department is a profit centre if given the opportunity to be, and procurement is an oft-undervalued way to increase the profit margin without fighting for that next big sale. If your company decides to invest in procurement to reduce their costs and plug some of the leaks in your bucket, your company could be making more with less cost. 

The average statistic to measure a procurement department is that it should return 8-12 times in savings to what it costs. If your procurement department isn’t performing to this level, it’s time to look hard, not at cutting their staff, but at improving their processes and tools in order to make the most of your ongoing spend.

Thus why it’s important to invest in your procurement team and their tools, ensuring that you’re not sacrificing sweat, tears and blood for the sake of a very leaky bucket and why (controversially) Procurement has more value than Sales.

For more information on how Market Dojo can help procurement professionals save time and money, get in touch or register for free with our range of on-demand eSourcing tools and find out for yourself!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017


We recently encountered an article on Linkedin by Rémy de Lavergne, a highly experienced procurement professional with a specialism in Logistics. Rémy had clearly put some thought into what made a ‘good’ buyer and went a step further by categorising them by key attributes. 

We couldn’t resist having a call with Rémy to understand this further, which led to this introductory article on our blog.  We’ll follow up with more of Rémy’s insight in due course, but here is an introduction to his Procurement Matrix.

“Procurement is the process of finding, agreeing terms and acquiring goods, services or works from an external source, often via a tendering or competitive bidding process. The process is used to ensure the buyer receives goods, services or works at the best possible price, when aspects such as quality, quantity, time, and location are compared." - Wikipedia 

This definition is clear but it is not enough for me and probably neither for you?

I have been Purchasing for 20 years now (in different countries and industries) and I have often read and heard very interesting things about Procurement issues, but not enough to give me a global picture about what are the objectives and the best practices.

So I have started to brainstorm and have tried to create a one page Powerpoint puzzle about Procurement with 2 questions in mind:

- What does buying mean?
- What is a good buyer?

After selecting and analyzing more than 35 key words (SRB, Networker, Communicator, Excel…), I found a clear and simple definition :

A Buyer is both a Value Marker for Clients and a Cost Reducer, at the same time.

And by analysing what buyers contributions are to these 2 objectives it became clear to me that we have been seeing 4 generations of buyers:

1. The Bureaucrat who manages supply but creates no value for clients nor cost -reduction for the organisation.
2. The Cost Killer who reduce costs but without taking care of value creation for the clients.
3. The Innovator who values innovation but without trying to reduce costs.
4. The Business Developer who values innovation and reduces cost at the same time.

To describe the 4.0 Buyer - the Business Developer - I have also written an article about it (in French).

“The 2017 Buyer : (An) International Business Developer: a professional, piloting projects in the field looking for innovation and savings”.

If you want to know more about the Lavergne Procurement Matrix and/or to use it in your school or company, do not hesitate to contact me.

The Lavergne Procurement Matrix is protected by a copyright.

Tel : + 33 (0) 6 64 90 47 56

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, 1 August 2017

Kraljic Matrix for Evaluation of e-Auction Opportunities

Andrey Matveev offered to write a guest blog for Market Dojo. Andrey has pioneered fully-managed eAuctions in Russian retail. Andrey’s expertise comes from both sides of the negotiation table, after years in sales and procurement in technology, oil and gas upstream, manufacturing and retail sectors.  

Use e-Auctions to negotiate with suppliers in your Leverage quadrant:

Your buying power enables more suppliers to be attracted and pooled into hard competition as e-Auction makes it easier to manage multiple simultaneous negotiations. More suppliers = more competition = lower bids. 
eAuction can be easily repeated. This allows the creation of a pipeline of scheduled price reviews every 3, 6 or 12 months (again, without applying additional pressure on the buyer). This supports the implementation of medium-term contracts.
All participating suppliers can see the winning bid. This motivates them to reduce costs and prepare improved offers for the next event.
Suppliers who compromise delivery can be suspended from the next event. This helps to reduce supply risks.

Avoid e-Auctions for irregular procurements, even when the contract value is relatively high. The fear of being suspended from the next event is a powerful feature that restrains suppliers from making doubtful commitments. Without this feature, e-Auction becomes a risky tool to use.

Use e-Auctions in the Strategic quadrant to perform random reality checks of your strategic partners. Position this as an inevitable ‘standard’ procedure in order to avoid damaging relationships. The existence of such policy would by itself motivate your partners into following the market situation.

Use e-Auctions in the Routine quadrant. Once developed, the template of e-Auction can be copied and repeated an unlimited number of times. Therefore, e-Auctions are an effective cost saving tool for sourcing highly-volatile commodities when seeking a regular price review under specific volume and terms (e.g. weekly fuel e-Auction).

The cost of managing and running templated events is relatively low when the buyer pays for software on a subscription basis (e.g. Market Dojo offers an unlimited number of events per month for just £500). Additional costs can be saved when e-Auction is used for sourcing multiple categories (subject to suppliers availability) – modern e-Auction tools allow simultaneous negotiation of up to at least 100 items.


Before trying e-auction on categories selected by Kraljic Matrix, filter them against the conventional checklist:

Specs do not contain specific models and brands
Category is already sourced centrally or this change is easy to implement
Annual spend and anticipated savings are sufficient to cover e-Auction software and management costs (use 5% of improvement as a safe estimation)
Multiple purchases over a period of 12 months
Some price volatility over this time (incl. logistics)
Opportunity to implement nationwide price by assigning logistics to a supplier.

However, when you perform the trials of e-Auction in your organisation (which are aimed at demonstrating the potential of the e-Auction tool to your procurement team) it is worth paying extra attention to the industry in which the suppliers of shortlisted categories operate. (I also suggest hiring an independent e-auction expert to ensure an unbiased approach to category selection and management of the first trials)  

Tony Cram (2006) suggests in his book 'Smarter Pricing' industry conditions that are likely to lead to price wars. He suggests that these conditions may occur in almost any market or industry. 

This can be used as a checklist to identify categories in which suppliers are very likely to roll off into a price battle on your e-Auction, ensuring outstanding and illustrative improvement for your pilot trial. 

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!