So you’ve done the difficult bit – you’ve agreed the requirement with your stakeholders, you’ve added your questionnaire(s) and/or lots into the system and you’re ready to put your first event live…
In order to ensure that your first event goes smoothly, we’ve put together a few quick tips and things to consider, before clicking the “Invite Participants and Finish” button, as well as some pointers on managing your suppliers throughout the submission process.
For those that have used eSourcing tools before, some of this will be very familiar, but don’t be surprised if you’ve overlooked one or two of these points in the past (and regretted it!).
Before you go live
1. Warn your suppliers!
It may sound like a silly thing to mention, but you’d be surprised how many users don’t give their suppliers sufficient notice that they will be sourcing via a new process. Be sure to let your suppliers know to expect an invitation and that this is how you’ll be sourcing moving forwards. Once they’ve got the hang of it, they’ll know what to look out for.
2. Make sure your event brief includes enough detail
Your event brief will be sent out with your invitation email and is, therefore, the first bit of communication that the supplier receives through the tool. Due to this, it’s essential that you include all the important information about your event. See our guide to writing a great event brief here. If it’s your first event, don’t be afraid to describe the process in detail and make it easy for your suppliers!
3. Don’t set your qualification prices too low
If you’re running an auction or an RFQ, you will have the option to add a qualification price to each lot or line item. This is designed to prevent bids that are way out of your budget and can be really useful to filter out suppliers who are well out of range. However, it should still be realistic. Remember that in an auction, suppliers will not enter their best bid first, and you will want as many participants as possible to drive down the price. Being too strict on the qualification price can reduce participation which can cost in the long-run.
4. Include the right documents in your invitation email
Any documents you’d like to make available as part of your event can be uploaded into the documents tab. For each document, you’ll have a tick-box option to “Include in Invite” – doing this will send the document with your invite email and make it accessible from the start of the event. It’s important to check you are sending the right documents with the invite. If you’ve included a pre-qualification stage, documents not included with the invite won’t be available to each participant until you’ve accepted their answers.
5. Check your deadlines
All questionnaires, auctions and RFQs should be given a deadline before you go live. We generally recommend that people add these in just before issuing the event, so make sure you go back to the Settings page, check they’re still correct and make sure that they are consistent with any deadlines you’ve written into your brief before you click the “Invite participants and Finish” button.
6. Give participants enough time
As well as checking that your deadlines are entered and consistent, you should also make sure the time given is sufficient. Particularly for your first event, it’s important you give people time to sign up, accept the invitation and get to grips with how everything works. You want your first event to be a success so it’s best to give suppliers the best opportunity to participate.
7. Make sure the “Automatically accept Participants” not ticked (unless you really need it to be!)
On the “Invite Participants” page of your event, there is a box that you can tick to automatically accept participants into your event. In most scenarios, you’ll probably want to leave this box ticked in order to avoid an unnecessary extra step. You’ll still be able to use a pre-qualification questionnaire as a gateway.
During the event…
1. Keep an eye on who has registered and accepted your invitation
The participants tab will show you which suppliers have received and opened your invitation email, as well as which have signed up and accepted. You should keep a close eye on this and prompt suppliers if it looks like they haven’t seen the invite.
2. If you have included a pre-qualification questionnaire, look out for participant responses
If you’ve included a pre-qualification questionnaire in your event, you’ll need to accept each participant’s responses before they will have access to the rest of the event. You can do this on the tab for your pre-qualification questionnaire. A drop-down box will appear at the end of the page for each participant once they have submitted.3. Make sure you know how to allow suppliers to resubmit
Once a participant has submitted a response to a questionnaire, the option to “Allow re-sub” will be available in the drop-down at the bottom of the page for the relevant questionnaire. If a supplier needs to amend their answers after submission, you’ll need to select this option for them to be able to do so.
4. Don’t forget to check your messages
Throughout your event, participants should be encouraged to send any communication to you via the tool, to ensure that after the event, all the relevant information will be in one place. Remember to check your messages regularly and keep the lines of communication with your suppliers open to ensure that your event is a success.
If you bear in mind all of the above when running your first event, it should be a nice and easy process! If you do encounter any issues, however, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly support team via the Help Dojo portal in the bottom-right corner of your screen.