The Market Dojo team spoke with Chris Read, Senior Supply Chain Manager at Eiffage Kier JV to find out how the business has been using Sourcing Dojo.
The Eiffage Kier joint venture brings together international, market-leading technical expertise. Eiffage Kier has an industry-leading track record of delivering major infrastructure projects, including Crossrail, the Millau Viaduct, Mersey Gateway and the Bretagne-Pays de la Loire High-Speed Rail link.
Could you tell me about yourself and your role within the Eiffage Kier?
I’m currently the supply chain manager for the Eiffage Kier joint venture who are currently going through the design development phase of a very high profile civil engineering and rail project. We’re currently halfway through the 24-month ECI (Early Contractor Involvement) Stage, due to finish in June 2019. My role over the past 12 months has really been focused on developing procurement supply chain strategies for the joint venture and looking at the governance, procedures, systems etc. which obviously Market Dojo forms a key part of.
What does this initial phase consist of?
The key deliverables for this initial 24-month process are to develop our scheme design, a detailed programme of works, and a target price that we can commit to for stage two.
From a procurement perspective, a large amount of the activity that is going to be happening over the next few months will be sending out RFP’s, and distributing enquiries to establish the target price. We have also just completed a comprehensive competitive tender exercise to appoint strategic partners for our ground engineering and earthworks, and we currently have live tenders for selecting our Aggregates and Ready Mix Concrete supplier for stage two, and our precast concrete cut and cover tunnel solution.
What was your need for an eSourcing tool?
Eiffage Kier took part in a very lengthy, detailed tender process to secure works on this project. The client’s evaluation criteria were heavily weighted on qualitative deliverables, and therefore a large part of our bid submission was developing plans and strategies for delivering this mega project, alongside our client’s strategic goals & objectives.
A key part of our strategy as a joint venture was the EKsmart initiative; embedding technology and innovation throughout core functions of the Eiffage Kier business, to deliver the project in a smart and efficient way. Part of this initiative was to use smartPROCUREMENT tools, and a key feature within that was using an eSourcing platform. Both Eiffage and Kier had previously used eSourcing tools and eAuctions and knew the potential to deliver cost savings.
Once awarded the ECI stage contracts the next step was selecting the right value for money tool for the business.
How did you settle on Market Dojo as your service provider?
We ran a competitive tender exercise using a basic balance scorecard appraisal, evaluating some quality aspects around the functionality, the user interface and how intuitive the tools were.
We looked at four different tools and there were some that were really cheap but just didn’t have the functionality that we wanted. In these cases, we found that in order to get the right level of functionality, you have to pay additional charges to bolt on extras to the system. This made the solutions quite fragmented and not particularly easy to use.
At the other end of the spectrum were systems that had complex value-add functionality, but high upfront costs. The extra functionality offered by these solutions seemed to be dependent on the input of accurate historical spend data and more suited to industries with a high volume of transactional, repeat purchases.
Where we are as an industry and a business, we felt that the Market Dojo tool gave us the flexibility we needed, a platform we could hit the ground running with and use as we want to use it. From the usability and user interface perspective, it seemed to be one of the best tools on the market.
Could you tell me about the benefits of using the question scoring feature?
Our procurement strategy is heavily based on a balanced scorecard approach so all our procurement will be underpinned by a pricing commercial element and a qualitative assessment which is based on a balanced scorecard questionnaire. Every event we have run to date has had a detailed questionnaire embedded in it. We felt that as a tool it’s better to have it embedded in the software itself as firstly it saves people time and secondly you can set functional stakeholders as scorers to get them engaged in the procurement process from the beginning. This really helps with stakeholder buy-in when it comes to making recommendations.
From a consistency perspective, having the template function and cloning of templates is certainly popular within the team and seems to be a good enabler for us having a consistent approach.
Do you feel Sourcing Dojo has fulfilled everything you were looking for in a tool?
From an overall experience for an eSourcing platform, it is a great tool. We had an audit recently and the tool featured as a large part in that, showing how we’re sending out tenders, scoring, evaluating and managing the correspondence for tenders. The audit trail piece in the messaging centre definitely gave us some best practice points within the audit.
We came across a few small niggles as we started using the tool. That’s purely down to the way in which we’re using the tool with some very detailed questionnaires. The main issue has been with the scorer experience and how you can view the information that’s coming back from the tenderers. The quick fix solution was to download the responses from the platform and then review through that medium rather than through the page on the site which was very busy to look at. Having said that, some modifications were made for us by the Market Dojo development team in a few areas and that has definitely improved things.
We’re looking forward to getting into the delivery phase now where we can start using some of the other features such as eAuctions, that will form a key part of our strategy next year for certain categories. We’re going into a very intensive period of sending out pricing enquiries soon so we’ve just set up some events that can be cloned for them. We’re just trying to make the lives of our team members a lot easier by sending out mass enquiries using the tool.
What would you say to anyone else who is currently looking for an eSourcing tool?
Good question, it’s a difficult question because eSourcing requirements can vary depending on the type of procurement, or stage of the procurement lifecycle. For anyone looking for an easy to use eSourcing platform, Sourcing Dojo is a very intuitive, user-friendly toolkit. As an out and out eTendering solution, it’s fantastic, but it’s difficult for me to comment on the wider eSourcing agenda i.e. performance management, SRM, or contract management, since we’re not currently using that functionality.
Would you recommend Sourcing Dojo to others?
Yes, absolutely. A nice simple answer.
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