Retail e-procurement. What about your existing relationships.

February 26th, 2010

A senior retailer recently said to me, ?Please allow me to be skeptical? because our supplier relationships are valuable to us.

I could not agree more with the above comment. So beyond just reducing their prices which should not happen if you are being treated fairly, how else do suppliers benefit from participation in e-procurement events such as reverse auctions so that it is win-win?

Customers quite often ask us why suppliers would want to participate in an e-procurement event. A discussion usually follows relative to incumbent suppliers vs. new sources of supply. In general most vendors in the space would come up with many of the same points listed below. Please read on.

SafeSourcing? places a great deal of value in our SafeSourceIt??? Global Retail Supplier Database? which contains over 350,000? retail suppliers located in Mexico, Canada the United States, China, Korea, The United Kingdom, Japan and other countries. We place a great deal of value on each individual supplier regardless of their size. We believe that well thought out next generation e-procurement tools can provide significant benefits to buyers and suppliers whether they are hosting or participating in e-procurement events.?

Some but certainly not all benefits that suppliers can anticipate from SafeSourcing are:
1. An easy to use e-procurement tool limited to a single page view where a supplier can be completely comfortable that their company?s best foot is being put forward to the soliciting company.

2. An increase in new business opportunities through engagements they would otherwise not be exposed to.

3. Clean data relative to the soliciting or host company and an accurate listing of their event guidelines, specifications, terms, conditions and other information necessary to build an accurate and successful pricing strategy.

4. High quality training in event participation and strategy development.

5. A clear focus on what?s important beyond price in next generation e-procurement tools such as supplier safety certifications and practices as well as their environmental programs that will differentiate them from other suppliers.

6. Closed loop reporting of results of the specific e-procurement event a supplier participates in as well as a detailed supplier feedback questionnaire..

7. Significant time savings associated with new business development that becomes more and more costly as fuel and other prices continue to rise.

8. Industry pricing trends extrapolated from their view of low quote information during the event if allowed by the soliciting company.

9. Use of these tools for their own procurement needs.

I?m sure many of you can come up with other reasons. E-procurement events have to be win-win if they are going to become part of a retail companies on going business processes.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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