The following blog is written by our COO and Market Dojo co-founder Nick Drewe. Nick reflects on Market Dojo’s 10th year in business and highlights some of our keys successes in what has been a difficult year for us all!
Time flies, it really does. Not even Covid has managed to slow it down. And yet, amidst this global pandemic, an event took place that was much less publicised: Market Dojo completed its 10th year of trading.
As co-founders of Market Dojo, we’re incredibly proud of this accomplishment. An idea that started off on a golf course progressed to a flurry of activity around a kitchen table, until scaling to serve over 300 clients around the world.
Taking on our first employee in 2015 to now being a large family – and that’s really how it feels – contributing so much towards building something great. The pride of seeing members of the team get married, buy houses, have kids and be promoted is especially joyous to witness and support.
Sure, it hasn’t been perfect every step of the way. Covid certainly didn’t help, with our revenues up 80% from the year before until it triggered company budgets to face a lock-down, along with their staff. We still recorded double-digit growth, which is a great outcome nonetheless. We’ve lost team members over the years, which is always hard to accept, even if some rejoined us later. We’ve parted ways with some wonderful clients, sometimes when they went bust, sometimes when their strategy took them in a different direction, but we still keep in touch and relive the good old times!
So, as we surpass this fantastic milestone, something that apparently only 1 in 4 companies live to experience, we’d like to highlight the past 12 months:
In June we surpassed our 300th client to select Market Dojo for their strategic procurement needs. Congrats to DR Technologies for that accolade! Our customer growth may not represent a Covid daily cases graph but it is certainly trending upwards. In fact, we’ve welcomed at least 1 new client every month dating back to December 2014 and averaged 5 new clients every month for the past year.
We must emphasise that every client is hugely valuable and important to us, whether a local consultancy or a global Tier 1 automotive firm. Ohana.
And that takes me onto the next highlight:
Thank you to so many of our clients who have left reviews at their own volition on various sites such as Google, Capterra (part of Gartner) and G2Crowd, as well as our own team who have left generous feedback on Glassdoor. We’re here to serve all of you and it’s wonderful to hear that we’re doing ok!
In fact, next month we’re up for a World Procurement Award for the category of Procurement Technology against some big names with deep pockets! We’ve also been selected as a “One to Watch” by Spend Matters for the third year in a row, and a Rising Star in the Procurement Software category by FeaturedCustomer.
Following on from that Capterra comparison, another fantastic trend we’ve seen over the past year is the growing acceptance by even the world’s largest organisations to adopt a best-of-breed ecosystem to cover a spectrum of technology requirements instead of a single suite.
A decade ago this often proved too challenging, with each best-of-breed tool requiring implementation fees, multiple custom integration projects, dozens of training sessions and complex commercials to negotiate.
However, modern apps are now plug-and-play with pre-built integrations and open APIs. They have commoditised pricing to give you business cases in days not months, and the tools are so intuitive they can be delivered through 2 hour webinars or even via self-learning in areas like our Sandpit.
One such example that we can mention also happens to be our very first local client, Imperial Brands! Here is a generous quote from Ciaran Owens, Head of Global Procurement Excellence, in a recent CIPS article about us:
“With our implementation of Market Dojo we have benefited from a full range of capabilities, a simple user interface and a flexible commercial model, everything you need to develop an effective e-sourcing model.”
Many thanks to Ciaran, definitely one of our highlights in the year to work with everyone at Imperial Brands as part of their exciting transformation.
We look forward to seeing this trend continue as more and more best-of-breed tools partner up to serve market needs. The beauty of this is that companies can pick and choose their preferred best-of-breed options. If one isn’t working out quite as hoped, just swap it out at minimal expense. However, if your suite isn’t quite working out, you could be stuck with another 18 month programme to unpick it, once you’ve managed to go cap-in-hand to your Exec sponsor for forgiveness.
Lastly, whilst it has dominated news around the globe since March, and has affected 6 months of our own financial year, one highlight in adversity has been the dependence upon Procurement during this crisis, whether to manage risks, reduce costs or even to keep pace with growth at companies that flourished during Covid, like Amazon.
We were really happy to see that our small contribution, to allow anyone to run a free RFI using our Covid Risk Assessment RFI, was utilised by over 40 organisations. We were concerned that might come across as profiteering to some extent, as there were some really sceptical “freebies” out there with strings attached. Yet we were delighted that it was well-received in the spirit of the genuine desire to help our Procurement peers get a job done faster & more easily, and zero financial gain on our part, as intended!
Sadly we’ve not been able to celebrate our anniversary together as a team in person. In fact, most of the team haven’t even set foot in our brand new office! Pretty unfortunate timing for signing that lease 🙁
A huge thank you to everyone that has been part of our journey so far and to the hundreds of you well-wishers on Linkedin. We truly appreciate it and hope to hold a celebration when we’re allowed!
A hui hou!