To the above point, this author has never seen a single category or product that can not be sourced using a reverse auction. And, I know many will argue this point with me. My answer however is a little more complex and is based on the evolution of original reverse auction or e-negotiation tools. As these tools have evolved, so have the processes associated with them whereby today’s tools have many features that support the entire RFI to RFP process within the same toolset resulting in a final compression event of reverse auction?
The process is really what determines the success of your e-negotiation event and that includes the determination of what it is you are looking to measure. Simply indicating that you want to reduce last year’s price or the price from your last contract is not always a fair analysis. Markets fluctuate daily and a year after your original contract, markets that drive the product you are sourcing may not be favorable to reducing your current price. However utilization of these tools may be able to help you reduce prices you might have to pay while prices are rising or put another way help you avoid costs. Cost avoidance is a good thing, particularly if your competition is not doing the same thing.
In many cases, if your contracts are not current and you have not used these types of tools to negotiate your current pricing and you do not know where to find alternative sources of supply; you will most likely see savings during the first year. After that the category and commodity driving it will determine further compression, holding prices constant or cost avoidance. All are a benefit of todays best of breed e-negotiation tools.
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