For Successful e-Sourcing, Put the Supplier First

An article in a recent SIG Newsletter on eSourcing from the Supplier’s Perspective: Improving Bid Submissions and Event Outcomes, that was contributed by Denali (who deliver) made a couple of very good points if you want a successful eSourcing event. These points can be succinctly summarized as “design the event from the suppliers’ perspective”. If it doesn’t work for the supplier, it isn’t going to work for you.

As the article states, while many benefits are usually touted to the supplier to get their participation in an eSourcing event, at best, the supplier typically only realizes two benefits: fair(er) competition and an easy(ier) quote process. As a result, the supplier gets discouraged by the whole process and, if the supplier does not win a (significant) award, the supplier is unlikely to participate in future events.

Basically, you have to avoid “the reality chain” that is repeated over and over again as more and more companies hop on the eSourcing bandwagon unprepared for the journey ahead. In “the reality chain”

  1. Supplier begins with little or no knowledge
  2. Supplier reaches out, but receives no guidance on requirements or evaluation criteria
  3. Supplier submits a bid that does not meet the buyer’s need
  4. Supplier receives no feedback as to why
  5. Supplier is discouraged

As a result, not only is the buyer’s event only moderately successful at best, but the buyer’s potential supply base for future eSourcing events has shrunk. However, if the buyer had considered what suppliers want and supplied:

  • detailed RFX requirements
  • post-bid feedback
  • well thought-out RFX
  • more stakeholder communication
  • opportunity to provide alternative solutions
  • evaluation criteria

Even if the supplier lost, the supplier would be encouraged by the process (since the supplier would know why the lost and what they need to improve next time) and the buyer would not only have a successful event, but lay the foundation for successful events for years to come. In other words, if the buyer designs the event from the suppliers’ perspective, success is much more likely.

For more details on how to achieve the level of success required, check out eSourcing from the Supplier’s Perspective: Improving Bid Submissions and Event Outcomes.