10 Steps to Prepare for Your Next Reverse Auction

If someone said that running a reverse auction takes a lot of time and effort, then I would have to disagree. Don’t get me wrong. Conducting a reverse auction does take time and energy, but the auction itself may only last 45 minutes. In my opinion, the real sweat and tears occur in all the preparation leading up to the reverse auction.

Rather than diving right into running a reverse auction, you need to prepare ahead of time by gathering specifications internally and ensuring suppliers can meet all requirements. Here are 10 helpful steps that can help you prepare for your next reverse auction:

  1. Acquire buy-in from stakeholders
  2. Gather and confirm commodity/service requirements
  3. Research proper contacts for suppliers
  4. Begin building the project in a sourcing tool
  5. Invite suppliers and confirm their participation
  6. Train suppliers on the sourcing tool
  7. Qualify suppliers through RFP survey
  8. Qualify suppliers through preliminary bid collection
  9. Address problems/questions with supplier responses
  10. Format the reverse auction for optimum competition

Although this list may look manageable, you should always be prepared to encounter roadblocks such as  incorrect specifications pointed out by suppliers, revising the sourcing project multiple times, and suppliers quoting items incorrectly. Managing a sourcing project can be frustrating, but remember the end result will be worth all of the detailed prep work to address these roadblocks early.  By following the 10 steps above, you’ll feel satisfied going into your reverse auction knowing:

  • All suppliers are qualified
  • Suppliers understand what they are quoting
  • Stakeholders anxiously await the bidding activity
  •  Suppliers are trained and comfortable in the tool
  • This is the final step before awarding the business
  • You’ve put forth your best effort to make this auction a success!

Luckily, there are services available  if you ever find yourself needing extra assistance with a sourcing project. Whether you prefer to offload the tactical project setup, need help in managing the suppliers and project, or just prefer extra guidance while running the project yourself! To learn more about how Iasta can assist you in your next reverse auction, contact successteam@iasta.com.

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3 Responses to 10 Steps to Prepare for Your Next Reverse Auction

  1. Number 11 prep step: Survey the supplier’s facility. The survey should be done either by the buying company itself, or by a trusted third party. This is especially important while dealing internationally.

    I’ve seen instances where the auction company “qualifies” suppliers and post bid they turn out not to meet key requirements of the RFP/RFQ. One case I heard of the winning supplier turned out to be a broker who was then planning to go find a supplier to meet the price he had bid.

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