Retailers here is a repost of twenty steps to running high quality e-procurement events such as reverse auctions from over two years ago. It still works.

April 6th, 2010

E-Procurement events such as have been around since the late 1990’s and are incorrectly referred to as just reverse auctions or events when they can take on the complexity and function of the entire RFX process.

At any rate and regardless of the specific naming convention used there are certain rules which when followed will create higher quality e-procurement events for the retailer as well as the supplier? Following these steps will result in maximizing savings opportunities or cost avoidance in tough markets

The importance of focusing on a clear process will also increase event participation. As a result of  paying attention to quality and detail your existing trading partners and potential new sources of supply will respect your process and will keep them coming back in the future to compete for your business.

1. Executive sponsorship is mandatory from the C- Suite.
2. Get the entire buying organization together for a kickoff session.
3. Provide an over view of what you are going to do and the impact it can have on the company. Use company financial models.
4. Discuss and agree on success criteria.
5. Every event is not a homerun. Singles and doubles score runs.
6. Create a fun environment.
7. Consider prizes for the most creative use of an auction.
8. Use scorecards by department with percent of savings.
9. Discuss the meaning and importance of corporate aggregation.
10. Hand out event templates to gather existing product specifications.
11. Put a time requirement on data collection.
12. Gather an accurate list of your present suppliers.
13. Work with your sourcing company to identify a top 100 list of events.
14. Calendar the events.
15. Prioritize by dollar value, date and strategic value.
16. Conduct department level discovery meetings of 30 minutes to an hour.
17. Investigate existing contract language.
18. Look for auto renewal (evergreen) language roadblocks.
19. Determine alternate sources of supply with your sourcing company.
20. Develop an event rules and instruction template and post with each event.

Although these steps are not all encompassing, they provide a format for getting started that offers the best opportunity for reduction in cost of goods, expenses and improvement in corporate earnings. Be sure to combine this with a business partner that knows your business.
 
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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