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Benefits of eAuctions for Sourcing Teams

Date posted: Oct 4, 2022
Estimated read: 4 min
Author: Henrik Balslev
Topics: eAuction

There are many benefits of e-auctions for both buyers and suppliers. Regardless of your company’s industry, you can utilize e-auctions to obtain the best value on a variety of products and services across categories.

Reduce Cycle Times

Reducing the cycle time to source and award services is one of the main benefits of e-auctions over traditional face-to-face negotiations. e-auctions can be conducted in as little as an hour instead of days or even weeks. More importantly, future sourcing events become more standardized and streamlined with the data collected from running eAuctions.

Standardize Processes

Standardizing e-auctions is a sourcing best practice that will expedite the entire source-to-contract process from set-up to award. It also provides a documented way for sourcing teams to communicate value and savings to stakeholders.

Streamline Negotiations

The negotiation time in an e-auction is shortened from several weeks to around 45 minutes on average – including Q&A – by streamlining communications through the e-auction's messaging functionality. Face-to-face meetings by phone or email should be reserved for clarification of the most critical details.

Post-Event Reporting

Instead of reviewing notes from multiple face-to-face meetings with several suppliers, a detailed report-out of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) prices expedites the evaluation phase.

Continuous Process Improvement

e-auctions provide structure and uniformity around the sourcing process which makes it easier to create a best practices playbook for your team. Buyers can reuse each other’s e-auction templates and create new benchmarks to improve sourcing activities. This ensures a smooth experience and better eAuction outcomes.

Reduce Friction

Uniform negotiation procedures reduce friction between buyers and suppliers, resulting in stronger partnerships. When suppliers are approached in the same way regardless of the individual buyer, it helps the supplier know what to expect so both players can come to the table with better-informed expectations.

Improve Compliance

With a consistent sourcing process, it becomes easier to coach new buyers on the company’s sourcing best practices, which will increase compliance and reduce costly mistakes. New buyers have access to previously run e-auctions so teams can cross-train on multiple categories. A uniform process of evaluating suppliers also improves compliance. Parameters such as switching costs, penalties, and preferences will be visible in the eAuction, as these must be quantified to run the eAuction on TCO.

Global Market Insights

Multiple bidders in an e-auction give the buyer better insight into the real price of the product or service. This kind of transparency requires minimal resources and facilitates better planning for future sourcing strategies.

Comparable Bids

Every incoming bid in an eAuction is directly comparable which makes the buyer’s job of evaluating the bids easier. Suppliers in an e-auction know exactly what they are bidding on. No additional factors can be brought into play during the negotiation. On the contrary, there are many different factors brought into play during a face-to-face negotiation such as service levels, payment terms, quality, and lead times - all of which makes it difficult for the buyer to objectively compare suppliers’ prices in the final analysis.

Supplier Innovation

The market insight derived from an e-auction is also beneficial for suppliers. Suppliers that don’t win the buyer’s business may optimize and innovate supply chains to increase the chances of a successful outcome in future eAuctions.

Better Value

While the lowest cost is often the goal of running an e-auction, obtaining the best value ought to be the primary goal. Cost savings are part of the value proposition of e-auctions when suppliers compete with each other. Research shows that e-auctions on average generate savings of 11.10%.

Increased Competition

In an online marketplace, more suppliers can participate in the e-auction process. The increased global competition results in significant cost savings for both the buyer and supplier over traditional negotiations. When sourcing is limited to only local or regional suppliers, options become scarce, and so do savings.

Avoid Cost Increases from Incumbent Suppliers

e-auctions provide significant leverage for buyers with their incumbent suppliers. Not only will the supplier know that the buyer is exploring alternative suppliers, but it also keeps the supplier’s rates competitive with current market prices.

Henrik Balslev

About the author

Henrik Balslev
Chief Commercial Officer

Henrik Balslev is responsible for the overall delivery of consultancy and customer services in Europe. In addition to managing many of Scanmarket’s largest customer accounts, Henrik has lead responsibility for sales in the Nordic countries.

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