marketdojo is a company that many of you haven’t heard of and a company that I’m sure many of you who have heard of them dismissed because of the Western notion of what a dojo is. In western thought, a dojo is believed to be a training school for Japanese martial arts where students to to learn from a sensei. So when you hear marketdojo, the first thing you probably think of is a training school for (e-)commerce best practices and a services company — not a do-it-your-self SaaS e-Sourcing platform.
But that is what marketdojo is — a state-of-the-art do-it-yourself e-Negotiation suite that supports complex RFX and e-Auction events as well as integration with their categorydojo product that helps a user determine appropriate sourcing strategies for each category and prioritize those categories based on the expected size of the opportunity.
And they are appropriately named. One has to remember that dojo literally translates into “place of the way” and really means “a place for students to gather for practice, training, and testing”. Furthermore, there are also hombu dojos, which are the stylistic headquarters of a particular art. marketdojo is the hombu dojo for the do-it-yourself e-Sourcing art where the practitioners of the marketdojo way gather.
And while they were yet another me-too e-Sourcing tool when they started four years ago in 2010, they have taken great strides to differentiate themselves from the other entry-level e-Sourcing suites that revolve around e-RFX and e-Auction. These differentiators include:
- Try-Before-You-Buy with no sales team interaction*while there have been a few e-Sourcing providers that would set you up a demo environment and let you take it for a test drive, SI doesn’t know of any that put their full platform up on a demo box where anyone could log in and test out all of the features without first engaging with the sales organization, sitting through the pitch, and proving their interest; To give marketdojo a test-drive, you go to the Sign Up page, fill in a short form, click on the link in the activation e-mail, and then click on Try Our Sandpit at the top of the home screen. No credit card required. It takes about 60 seconds. (You do, of course, have to pay before you can run a live event, but not before you’ve verified that it will work for you.)
- Toggle View
In the marketdojo platform, it’s a one-button click to toggle between your buyer view and the view of any supplier. No logging out and logging in as a separate user or trying to watch two views in two different browsers at the same time on a split screen.
- Easy Public and Private Sector Event Creation
In many economies, and the EU in particular, there are a lot of rules around public sector tenders, and the platform, with a single checkbox, can insure that all of the proper information is provided, questions are asked, and procedures are followed or, if the company is a private sector company, the buyer can go through a streamlined process and only provide the information she needs to provide and only request the information she needs to conduct the event.
- Easy Pay as You Go
You can pay per drink or buy an unlimited subscription on a monthly or yearly basis. To pay as you go, which starts at £500 for a single event, you purchase credits as needed on your credit card and go. There’s no limit to event size or event duration — and if you want to run an event on a category that’s under £50,000 of annual spend, they’ll even give you a discount!
- Complex Lotting and BasketsNext month marketdojo will be releasing their new version which allows you to create complex lots and market baskets where each item can have a user-defined number of cost components and a formula that defines the total, or weighted, cost for the item and have the supplier provide their starting bids at whatever level of detail you desire. Then, when the auction is run, you can choose whether suppliers modify their bids at the cost component level, item level, market basket, or entire lot level — and do so as a fixed quote or discount off of their previous bid. This helps a buyer get a good understanding of what the cost drivers are but yet run easy events.
In addition, like other providers, they also offer:
- Excel Import and ExportThis is especially useful with complex lots — you can create the desired matrix, and a supplier can export it, fill it in, and upload it at their leisure. You can also output reports and awards in Excel for further analysis or imports into other systems.
- Easy Integration with their Other Tools
They have two other tools — categorydojo, which we will cover in our next post, and innovationdojo, that you can read about on Spend Matters UK. While SI is, of course, a big fan of Innovation, and innovationdojo is innovative within the e-Sourcing space, these types of tools have existed in IT for quite a while now so the doctor isn’t all that excited about the shiny new e-sourcing friendly wrapper they put on what was an IT / product management tool (which, the doctor will admit, are as typically as ugly and unfriendly as you can get, but when you grew up with a green command prompt on a blac screen, you just get used to ugly UIs).
- Award ExportOne click export to Excel OR their categorydojo, where you can compare your sourcing event plan and projected savings to actual savings and increase your accuracy year-over-year!
And since this takes us into Part II, we’ll end our initial discussion of marketdojo here.
* They are based in the UK, so if you try it out in the evening in North America, the sales team will be at home and won’t be online to ping you to even see if you want to chat.