Last night while flying to meet a customer the passenger in the seat next to me asked what I was reading. We’ve all known for a while that our seat partners look over our shoulders to see who we are and what we do. I told him I was reading an Aberdeen business brief and who and what they do. I went on to explain that I owned my own company and that it was focused on e-procurement tools for the retail supply chain. He introduced him self as a private business owner with his two brothers and that he had experience biding in reverse auctions with Ariba and Free Markets.
We initially discussed SafeSourcing offerings and ultimately came around to what made events successful for him in the past as a supplier and what would encourage them to participate again even if they did not happen to be the low bidder in a particular event. His take was that this was initially an educational process for their company and ultimately would become a way to do old things in a new way, but suggested the following. Openly communicate with the supplier and make sure they understand everything and are comfortable with it. Make sure they have no questions.
Here although not all inclusive is a list of sample questions one might consider when inviting a supplier as a new participant. Does the supplier understand that there is no cost to them to participate?
1. Does the supplier understand that there is no cost to them to participate?
2. Do they understand they will be trained at know charge?
3. Do they understand event timing and requirements?
4. Does the supplier understand the terms being used and how they apply to a reverse auction event such as?
5. Reserve Price
6. Proxy Volumes
7. Low Quote
8. Proxy quote
At the heart of it, it comes down to something we all know but don’t always practice and as such negatively impacts the sustainability of processes that just make good sense.
I look forward to your comments.