3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2010 3:43 PM by Tim Fabiniak

    Where is your auction content displayed - in the UI, or in attachments?

    Madison Goodwin Apprentice

      Wanted to get your perspective on best practices and pros/cons of displaying written content within the auction templates versus displaying content, when it pertains to auctions, in attachments.  My eSourcing team has not standardized on our approach in this regard; we have built content into the templates, but when we launch an auction event, many team members delete the template content entirely and upload a Word document instead, so that when suppliers log into the auction they only see the line items up for bid in the UI.  However, other eSourcing team members when launching their auction use the editor in the UI to tailor the template content for their specific event.  In these auctions suppliers would see both the line items and the content in the UI.  There are pros and cons to each approach but I want to hear what others are doing.  My goal is to standardize on a single approach.

       

      When I refer to "content," I am referring to requirements such as confidentiality terms, disclaimers, instructions around the reverse auction process & rules to maintain market integrity, event structure (including min. bid decrements, explanation of parallel vs. serial vs staggered format, etc.), post-auction instructions, expectations around award decisions, etc.  Also included here may be some commerical terms such as payment terms, bid currency, treatment of taxes, duties, etc.  The depth of content varies depending on if we ran an RFP round first or if we were going directly into an auction with pre-bid only.

       

      Please comment!

        • Re: Where is your auction content displayed - in the UI, or in attachments?
          Patrick Conneely Journeyman

          As a Delivery Team Manager in Ariba's Global Services Organization, I can add that we do build content/language into the Sourcing tool as a standard operating procedure.

           

          - From an ease of use standpoint, it makes it easier to copy/pull language from previous RFx's.  As a best practice we save the RFx upload file from all previous projects, so the content is readily available in an Excel-based, upload friendly template.

          - Updates happen frequently on our sourcing projects, whether it be something minor such as a delivery location change or major, such as revised estimated annual usage values.  It's more efficient to manage these updates when one has to only edit one section/question/requirement on the Content page, as opposed to re-uploading a new version of a multi-page PDF RFx doc.  The ability to change fonts, use bold, etc. allows us to easily call attention to what has changed, visually.

          - I believe another benefit worth mentioning is use of the Library.  One has a greater degree of standardization and control when storing key requirement language in the Library which can then be pulled into the Content page.  If the Library is maintained with diligence, the Project Owner knows that they are pulling the latest payment terms language (for example), as opposed to taking a chance and pulling language from an old RFx that may be outdated, or not applicable for a particular category.

          - One element of the UI as it related to managing the Content page, that had previously been a source of angst for my Project Managers has been addressed in the most recent service pack.  For very parge RFx's, if one wanted to edit a requirement at the end of the RFx, they would scroll down, wait for the timing bar to catch-up, scoll down again, wait for the timing bar to catch-up, etc...until they made to the bottom of the RFx.  With the new filtering enhancement that allows the Project Owner, to pick from a list which section they would like to jump to, I found my Project Manager's using this feature immediately.

          - From the supplier perspective, I think in the past they had preferred to have one document with all of the content that could be printed easily.  With the enhancements that have been made to the aesthetics of the supplier-facing print version, I think we overcome much of that.  There can be a downside from the supplier side as well; when/if an update is done, suppliers bristle at having to re-download a multi-page PDF RFx doc, in order to have the latest version, when it's possible only a minor requirement has updated.

           

          Having said all of this, we do have some customers, who insist that we publish RFx content for their sourcing projects ina PDF file, as opposed to building language into the tool.  The main commonality I see with these users is that they are typically legacy FreeMarkets users, who recall the days when RFx's were distributed via the FreeMarkets Desktop tool, which basically aggregated attachments and posted them on the web.  So, my sense is that some got comfortable with that and are slightly resistant to change (those of us that were legacy FreeMarkets experienced the same resistance internally as we moved to AS 4.3 ~5 years ago).

          • Re: Where is your auction content displayed - in the UI, or in attachments?
            Hal Finley Newbie

            Speaking on behalf of Texas Instruments I concur with much of what Patrick said.

             

            We teach people to build content into the UI but that was not always the case. Originally people thought the quickest way to add content was to simply upload a document. However, over time people realized many sections of their content were static between events and the UI editor was just as quick to edit online those sections that had changes.

             

            Some of our category managers who deal with products or services that are not part of a worldwide sourcing team actually build Test events with the proper content in the UI and have our Buyers regionally who maybe sourcing that category copy from the test event as a template.

             

            Lastly we actually have Suppliers who commented thay prefer the content in the UI so they are sure their working from the latest version. Attachments being updated in the event can run the risk of the supplier not downloading or reading changes.

              • Re: Where is your auction content displayed - in the UI, or in attachments?
                Tim Fabiniak Master
                To pick up briefly on something Hal said:

                Some of our category managers who deal with products or services that are not part of a worldwide sourcing team actually build Test events with the proper content in the UI and have our Buyers regionally who maybe sourcing that category copy from the test event as a template.

                 

                You can absolutely do this: users can copy content from past events into a new event. (To do this from the UI, go to the "Content," step of your RFx, and select Add | Content from Library. There is a bullet selector at top which will let you pull content from the Sourcing Library or from a Past Event.)

                 

                If you have event content that you think may be frequently used, it can be created and stored in the Sourcing Library for folks to find. It can be less work to find it there, as you don't have to start to dig through all the old events, but functionally, you get to the same result.

                 

                The Sourcing Library can hold all of the content you expect: requirements, lots, line items, questions, and even conditional content.