Why Bidding Flexibility Is Important to e-Auction Success

Regardless of what you want to call it — expressive bidding, lotting, market baskets, informed sourcing, etc. — the ability to let a supplier bid the way they can give you the best price is very important to e-Auction success. If all you can support is simple auctions on an item by item basis, and quotes on an item by item basis, you are not going to get the best deal.

This is rather easily illustrated. For example, let’s say your business is clone computer assembly for mid-sized businesses who don’t want the Dell or HP premium. Let’s also say that you buy six different components for these computer assemblies: cases, power supplies, motherboards (with on-board everything to keep it simple), memory, hard drives, and cable packs.

If you are forcing a supplier into separate bids by item, and the level of detail they can quote is price per unit, shipping per unit, and extended warranty per unit, you’re probably going to end up with quotes looking like this:

Supplier 1 Supplier 2 Supplier 3
Component Unit Freight EW Unit Freight EW Unit Freight EW
Case 20 5 1 22 4 1 18 6 0
Power Supply 40 3 6 36 4 3 38 4 2
Motherboard 199 5 24 195 5 19 189 5 30
Paired Memory Pack 49 2 4 47 3 6 51 3 4
Hard Drive 78 4 12 74 3 8 81 4 7
Cable Pack 22 4 0 24 3 1 19 5 0
Total 49 2 4 305 12 30 37 11 0
Grand Total 450

Not bad for a clone server, but if you bid out the basket and allow the supplier to bid on just the components they want and do so as a bundle, you might find that you get this result:

Case Power
Supply
Mother-board Memory Hard
Drive
Cables Freight Warranty
S-1 B-1   19   38   20   8   5
S-1 B-2   45   71   5   8
S-2 B-1   20   33   6   2
S-2 B-2   195   14   5   10
S-3 B-1   45   72   5   9
S-3 B-2   185   14   7   30
Grand Total 414

An 8% savings by allowing a supplier to bundle bids according to their operational efficiencies!

Get it now?

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