Supplier Conditioning with eAuctions

To get the best results from your eAuctions, supplier conditioning is very important. 


Thursday, February 28, 2019

To get the best results from your eAuctions, supplier conditioning is very important. 

Supplier 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


Five things to improve supplier conditioning and eAuction Results:


  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 results are worth it. Conditioning will clarify expectations for the event and eliminate chances for errors. Best of all, you might even learn something from your discussions.
  2. Choose your strategy carefully.  Decide which 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.
  4. Follow a process.  If you’re doing conditioning and training simultaneously, set aside one or two days to conduct the supplier training depending upon number of suppliers. The average time for 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.

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