Put Supplier Conditioning high on your to-do list - Here's why!

Supplier conditioning is key to getting the results you want from your eAuctions.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Supplier conditioning is key to getting the results you want from your eAuctions.

We at Scanmarket like to consider ourselves experts at eAuctions. While the technology you use is important, eAuction success is as much based on process as it is on technology. A frequently overlooked part of the process is supplier conditioning.

But it shouldn’t be. To that end, here are five things to help you improve your supplier conditioning process and eAuction results:

  • Make the time
  • Choose your strategy carefully
  • Conditioning is not training
  • Follow a process
  • Build your relationships

1. Make the time
– It’s easy during the hustle and bustle to want to take short-cuts. DON'T. Even though it takes a fair amount of time to conduct supplier conditioning, the improvement in results is well worth it. The conditioning will clarify expectations for the event on all sides and eliminate chances for errors. Best of all, you might even learn something from your discussions.

2. Choose your strategy carefully – The key decision to make prior to your process is what format to choose: one-to-one or one-to-many. While one-to-many sessions are more efficient, they reduce your opportunities to have candid discussions with bidders as they realize that all their competitors are present in the same session.

3. Conditioning is not training – Training is about making sure that suppliers know how to use the system. Conditioning is more about the actual negotiation and better understanding the bidding environment. To be sure, they can happen simultaneously but the goals for each process is different.

Conditioning includes:

  • Verification of terms & conditions and specifications
  • Verification of start prices
  • The rules of the game & the winning criteria, namely
  • Does the buying company prefer best price per product or one supplier for all the lines?
  • Is there any evaluation after the eAuction?
  • When the final order allocation will be communicated to the suppliers

4. Follow a process – Regardless of your specific goals for the conditioning, make sure that you follow a set process so that you’re not missing any important steps. If you’re doing conditioning and training simultaneously, use these guidelines:

  • Set aside one or two days to conduct the supplier training depending upon number of suppliers. The average time per supplier training is 20-25 minutes but make sure you have a buffer between trainings so you don’t risk overlapping. Best Practice is to place one training per hour.
  • Invite suppliers to the training well ahead of the actual training to ensure that they have an open slot in their calendars.
  • Take potential time zone differences into account when setting up the training sessions.
  • Conduct the trainings one or two days prior to the actual eAuction, so potential questions/issues, etc. can be clarified before the live eAuction. The training should not be conducted one or two weeks before, as you risk the suppliers forgetting the details before the live eAuction.

5. Build your relationships – Especially if you are doing one-on-one sessions, take the time to build a relationship with the bidders. You will discover market intelligence on the phone that bidders would never communicate via an RFI or bid response. Remember that the bidders understand the category better than you do because they are in it all day, every day.

eSourcing platforms are specifically designed to increase efficiency and allow you to get more done faster. The time you save can be devoted to more strategic actions like talking to your bidders, learning about the market, and getting better results.

For more information on these approaches or to learn more about how Scanmarket can help you achieve your business objectives, please visit our section about eSourcing Services or contact your Scanmarket account manager.


Easy. Proven. Results.