E-auctions? We’re not buying carpets off eBay

E-procurement has been around for some time now, but it is surprising how few organisations utilise it when procuring goods and services.

When I refer to e-procurement, I specifically mean online or electronic tenders and reverse auctions. To me, an e-tender is not a soft copy Word document sent via email. This is not realising the benefits that e-tender software has to offer, which includes the ability to add large files (e.g. detailed technical specifications, artwork) to an online portal for participants to download.

Additionally, the best systems allow you to track participants’ progress through the tender and message everyone simultaneously with any new information. E-tenders should enable the buyer to administer and manage the whole process more efficiently and effectively.

There is still a lack of understanding within buying organisations and a reluctance from suppliers to participate in e-auctions. A property director I worked with baulked at using e-auctions in their area of the business. “We’re not buying our carpets off eBay” was the view.

Another perspective is that e-auctions are only appropriate for commodity items. In reality, if you can clearly define your requirements and involve enough appropriate suppliers, you can auction almost any good or service, provided the spend is sufficient to make it a worthwhile exercise for the buying organisation and of interest to suppliers. But e-auctions are not a panacea.

Significant work needs to be done to define your requirements pre-auction (e.g. drawing up specifications, forecasting volumes, confirming terms and conditions), pre-qualify suppliers, ‘build’ an appropriate auction (there any many different types and variables), talk suppliers through how the auction will work and ensure they are fully trained.

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The best way to negotiate effectively and efficient is using online auctions ;) In the following article from  you will find 5 further ways to negotiate effectively: "What's your best price?" - "That's too expensive." - "Your competitor is selling the same thing for…". Most salespeople and business owners hear statements like this every day. That means it is important to learn how to negotiate more effectively. Here are five strategies that will help you improve your negotiation skills and drive more dollars to your bottom line: [read here the full article]

How to implement e-Auctios in your organization ?

The following interview was published in the German journal Technik+Einkauf: "Mit elektronischen Auktionen können Preisverhandlungen unterstützt und neue Einsparpotenziale gehoben werden..." Read here the full interview

4th BME eLösungstage 2013

The 4th BME eLösungstage 2013 is Europes biggest e-procurement exhibition. The 2-days event was held under the motto "digitization of procurement". More than 400 procurement and general managers participated in  the exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany. Raoul Groening, General Manager of Clickbuyer, was one of the two Keynote-Speakers. Here you can find the presentation slides.