The word customer immediately rings a bell in the minds of a Marketing Man. Unlike in the earlier times when the Marketing or a Sales executive spent time on the field, visiting and spending time with his customers to understand customer behaviour, today most marketing executives spend time in gathering, analysing the data about customers, in planning and finally meeting the customer with a definitive agenda. The preparation as well as the output expected from customer visits have changed. With the arrival of E Markets, the scenario and the profile of the customer has once again changed. Marketing managers have now got to keep up to date not only with E marketing strategies but it is also imperative that they get to know a lot more in detail about E procurement. Be it an individual or an organisation, procurement processes are changing. Internet is enabling them to change their buying processes. Getting to know all of the E procurement practices and the operational processes is very important from a sales and marketing managerâ€™s perspective.
While an individual could be looking at your company website or a trading site like E Bay for a best buy option, organisations tend to follow different methods of e procurement. Dell calls for on E bidding for buying services, selecting supply chain partners to manage international, multi modal transportation, Customs Clearance, Warehousing, Documentation, Packaging and Domestic Distribution services. E Bidding allows preferred or invited bidders who have been pre qualified to bid. The online bidding process is spread over several rounds which allows for the bidder to reconsider his bid with the limited feedback provided by the bidder and clarifications provided to the queries. The process is water tight, instantaneous and transparent. The entire bidding process is managed through and using a third party service provider who specialises in E Bidding. Even the DELL teams other than the bid owners do not get to see the details of the bid or influence any outcome or decision. Normally such bids cover huge volumes and high value in terms of sales and services and cover supplies over a period of one or more number of years.
To be able to participate in such E Bids, calls for complete understanding of the bidding process, familiarity with operating the systems as well as complete background homework on the bid proposal and pricing from your end is imperative. As the online bid does not give you any time or chance to go back to your management to seek approvals for price reconsideration etc, you have got to have your decisions with you while going in for E Bidding. This means you will need to have done your pricing homework thoroughly, discussed it thread bear with the management and come to the final pricing. If you are the bidder, you carry the authority to execute the bid and your decisions will be binding on the Company and management. Therefore you need to have clarity of thought, authority and understanding of all the data and facts that enable you to take the decision on your offer. Prior preparation is a Must and Should while going in for online E Bids. It is also important to have the sales team that can support you with you during the E Bid. The decision makers, the costing support as well as operational support teams would need to be at hand to help you take decisions.
GE has implemented an E Procurement system globally that has been proved to be highly effective. GE selects and approves vendors who are enlisted and added on to the E procurement system. Once approved, the vendors get to see the requirements or purchase enquiries floated by GE. Whichever vendor is able to offer best price, best terms and best delivery schedule gets accepted. From amongst the approved vendors, GE has the choice to accept the best offer. The P.order is electronically confirmed and placed on the chosen vendor. The rest of the process of receiving delivery and payment as per pre agreed terms happens automatically through the system.
Getting to know the details of the Customerâ€™s E buying process helps you to position yourself suitably to be able to get selected and supply your products and services or in other words, to conclude a sale successfully.