Why Supplier Open Communication is a key to high quality e-negotiation events.

March 6th, 2009

While traveling recently a 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.

While traveling recently a passenger in the seat next to I 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 himself as a private business owner with his two brothers and that he had experience biding in reverse auctions with Ariba and Free Markets.

After we discussed SafeSourcing’s offerings we came around to what made events successful for his company 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. 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.

We have discussed before that having a significant source of new suppliers wanting to participate is a key to creating a sustainable process. It often surprises me that there are companies and suppliers that have never heard of this process or only have casual knowledge of it. So the initial supplier contact is an enormous opportunity for either success or failure and as such requires careful thought. At Safesourcing we have a specific practice for this area that is broken down into the following steps.

1. Initial Supplier Contact
2. Introduction
3. What to say once you reach the proper contact:
4. Who is SafeSourcing?
5. What is a Reverse Auction?
6. SafeSourcing’s Role in the Reverse Auction:
7. Benefits to the Supplier
8. Other Information

The detail behind this information needs to be presented professionally and concisely. A sample of some of the of the questions that will require explanation are:
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?

At the heart of it, it comes down to something we all know but don’t always practice which is open and honest communication. With out which negatively impacts the sustainability of processes that just make good sense.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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