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 our company was focused on e-procurement tools for the retailers. 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 discussed SafeSourcing’s offerings and ultimately came around to what made e-procurement events successful for his company in the past as a prospective supplier and what would encourage them to participate again even if they did not happen to be awarded the business 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. He also suggested the following
1. Openly communicate with prospective suppliers
2. Make sure they understand everything and comfortable
3. Make sure they have no open questions.
With that as an understanding I offer the following list of sample questions one might consider when inviting a supplier as a new participant.
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 an e-procurement event such as? In fact, do they understand what a reverse or forward auction is?
a. Reserve Price
b. Proxy Volumes
c. Low Quote
d. Proxy quote
i. Matching quotes
j. Event rules
k. Product specifications
m. Award of business
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. And that is that the supplier is your customer too and the customer comes first and should be treated the way you would like to be treated.
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.