Category Archives: RFx / Auctions

RFx / Auctions

8 Signs You Are Ready to Adopt a Modern Sourcing Solution

I can rattle of many reasons why teams should consider implementing a modern sourcing solution. Even though each company will have different challenges, needs, and goals; if your team is experiencing any of these eight signs below, now is the time to adopt a modern sourcing solution! Sign #1: Limited Or No Visibility Into Your Company’s Spend If you have limited or no visibility into your spend, you are likely missing out on hard dollar savings. A spend analysis solution … More

The RFx Prescription

You could say I’m in the RFP business. Or, more accurately, the RFx business, given that I interact with RFIs, RFPs, RFQs, RFTs, and the like every week. On a regular basis, I request a great deal of information or feedback, and receive numerous requests of my company. I get to see the process of requesting information, price and non-price, from every angle. I answer questions of sourcing pros who are considering purchasing Iasta sourcing software; I build existing vendor … More

6 Steps to Implement a Successful Auction

Dave Harman, eSourcing Strategy Lead at Centrica, presented at eWorld London 2013 and shared Centria’s experience with M&A transition plans. In my opinion, the most impactful part of his presentation was how Centrica used auctions to initiate a smooth transition between the new company and parent company. Dave expressed that quick wins spring from the use of auctions, not only from a cost and immediate market feedback perspective, but also from a procurement perspective, introducing a standard methodology to use … More


In Part 1, we discussed fundamentals that reveal why M&A could be on the rise.  To prepare, procurement organizations need to understand how to leverage the best process and technologies for delivering the promised synergies through cost savings in the newly merged companies. As stated in Part 1, there are many elements that go into post- M&A planning.  However, one element that’s essential to procurement’s success is the reliance on eSourcing technologies that can quickly, yet fairly, assess the “new” … More

3 Optimization Tips for Success

Optimization is undoubtedly one of the most advantageous parts of managing a project using an eSourcing solution. Look at any standard sourcing process diagram, and you are likely to find optimization placed near the end, squeezed in just before negotiations are scheduled to begin. While optimization scenarios cannot be run until supplier bids and information are received, planning must begin well in advance before opening an event, whether it is an RFP, RFQ or Auction. Cost components may be straightforward … More

What’s old may be new again – M&A and eAuctions – Part 1

As is often the case with many ideas in business, trends capture attention of decision makers in terms of what is possible. Procurement is no exception. Consider progressive concepts that advance procurement activities related to emerging areas such as in supplier risk or predictive analytics; both hot areas where Iasta continues to be focused for defining the modern sourcing paradigm. But trends also come from what was once considered old with a new spin. A perfect example of this is … More

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 … More

4 Tips for Executing Effective RFPs

The content of your RFP drives the quality and effectiveness of the responses you receive. I often see the same types of issues arise when buyers compile RFPs, which ultimately end up pushing out timelines, leaving money on the table, and possibly even causing poor award decisions to be made. Strike a balance between the amount / type of information you gather and the amount of information you share to create an effective RFP that will help move towards the … More

Key Ingredients for Baking the Perfect Sourcing Cupcake

Have you ever thought of what ingredients it would take to bake a sourcing cupcake? Unless you’re a baker and procurement pro, the thought has probably never crossed your mind. But I’m a baker – and refer to myself as a “Modern Betty Crocker”, so this crazy thought crossed my mind the other day when I was baking Mudslide cupcakes. (Mmmmm) So, I started thinking, “What ingredients would I need to bake the perfect sourcing cupcake?”  In order to bake … More

What Do The Indy 500 & Sourcing Projects Have in Common?

On Sunday, Indianapolis will rev up for The Indianapolis 500, which is the world’s most famous and prestigious auto race. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” covers 500 miles (200 laps) on the 2.5 mile oval track. So what can purchasing pros learn from the Indy 500? The Indianapolis 500 isn’t won in one lap – and an auction isn’t won based on price only. Price is certainly an important factor when choosing the right supplier for your business needs, but … More

13 Resolutions for Procurement Teams in 2013

As you and your team are preparing to execute your Procurement strategy for 2013, consider adding these resolutions to your “to-do” list: 1. Tell your sourcing story. Has your team transformed processes or implemented new technologies that blew the socks off senior management? Tell everyone by sharing your sourcing stories. Consider creating a quarterly (or monthly) newsletter or e-mail to distribute to the entire company so you can publicize your successes and impact on the organization’s growth and bottom line. … More

Commercial Insurance Actions: The Real “Sealed Bid”

Just like most of you, I live in a town that has to purchase various forms of commercial insurance. The goal is for the town to create a fair bidding process for qualified insurance brokers to bid based upon the specifications provided. To accomplish this, Municipalities and Governmental Agencies use what is known as a “Sealed Bid” process where the bidders submit a sealed envelope that no one can tamper with. We understand that this is a fairly common practice. … More

Six Questions to Determine if a Reverse Auction is Appropriate for Your Sourcing Project: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I explained how the contract status and having clear specifications / requirements can drive the success of your reverse auction.  Click here to read Part 1. Today, we will cover 4 more elements to consider when developing your reverse auction project and strategy. Is the spend volume attractive? The bigger the potential business award, the more likely suppliers are to compile all of the pre-auction information such as non-price factors in an RFI or … More

Six Questions to Determine if a Reverse Auction is Appropriate for Your Sourcing Project: Part 1

Many products and services you are currently buying may be ideal candidates for a reverse auction. Reverse auctions allow you to collect pricing information in a competitive bidding environment and have comparative reports available at the conclusion. Suppliers submit pricing within a pre-determined time frame and receive real-time feedback on where their price stands by being able to include ranking or pricing information. Ask yourself these six questions to help determine if a sourcing project is appropriate for a reverse … More

10 Reasons eSourcing Fails: Part 2

In part 1, I covered the first five reasons eSourcing fails when a company is trying to implement an eSourcing solution. Click here to read Part 1. Below are five more potential pitfalls to avoid when taking your organization to the next level with strategic sourcing: 6. Assuming the process will be the same as before. When adding technology to your process, rethink the way you do things.  Do you still need that form?  Does that step make sense anymore?  … More