Last week on 2nd of December 2019, Team Dojo’s Craig Knowles (Digital Marketing Manager) and I, Jon Pole (Senior Business Development Manager), presented to 187 participants at Cranfield University.
The aim for the day was to explain to the next generation of Procurement Professionals; what Market Dojo do, how we do it and perhaps most importantly, the power of auctions. Craig and I began by explaining the Market Dojo story as well as the relevance of auctions and how real companies use them – we would know, they’re kind of a big deal around here.
The day began with misty conditions, icy roads and a Ginsters sausage roll for brain food. I must admit, on entering the auditorium the conditions felt more of the same, a rather daunting task with 187 faces just sitting there, waiting.
Before breaking the ice, I thought I would first test the waters: “So how many of you have run, taken part in, or even seen an auction before?” oh how I wish I didn’t. Not entirely surprising, but not a single hand raised. Now the gravity of the scenario seemed to be even more real.
So this was the situation. Here at Market Dojo, we have run real sourcing events and auctions with over 1,000 participants and even played many auctions games with large groups before. But, in this case, we were all in the same room, with the challenge of forming 187 students opinions of eSourcing, relying solely on the experience of the only 2 people (Craig and I) in the room with any experience of eSourcing through the Market Dojo platform. Nonetheless, challenge accepted.
After building the auction in a few minutes and getting the participants ready, we decided to run an auction-based on 4 different possible bidding scenarios and group the students into 29 teams. Some teams were set up to bid with a straight-out requirement of retaining business or risk going under. While others bid from a safe standing point, in which they wanted the business, but didn’t need it. All the participants had to get their heads into the mindset of a supplier in bidding mode and see it through their eyes.
Bidding commenced, but NO! Like an RKO out of nowhere, suddenly a plot twist.
As you may have guessed, being the sourcing-savvy reader you no doubt are, how could this be a game if the teams already had predefined pricing and bidding plans? How could anyone win? Well this, was the facade.
The auction came to a grinding halt after a few dramatic extensions and many suppliers hitting rock bottom and won the business below their costs. We decided the true winner would not come from price, but from best bidding practice and technique, using skills such as:
When all was said and done, we found four clear winners pictured below.
Thankfully, it was easy to find the horse that pulled away as ¾ of the teams cheated and reduced past their given price in the briefing.
Overall it was a fantastic event that was a lot of fun, lots of lessons were learnt for both sides and Market Dojo would love to continue to take part in more of these and help develop the learning of the next generation of procurement professionals.
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