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Top 10 Secrets of B2B Procurement Revealed

Future ready enterprises are those that invest in technology and digital services for overall improved business performance. The sentiment is same across categories, and MSMEs are no exception. 

MSMEs, however, often face budget constraints and therefore need to choose what functions of the business to digitize. To this end, one of the top concerns for them has always been to optimize the supply chain as it directly impacts the bottom line. If digitized the right way, it can help bring efficiency to other functions as well like production, finance, and marketing.  

Procuring raw materials or finished products efficiently via a digital procurement service at the right price is immensely advantageous to buyers - it eliminates the pains of manual offline methods, optimizes cost, and improves profitability. 

MSMEs should obtain these benefits by investing in a b2b digital procurement platform offering an easy-to-use yet highly effective live bidding feature.

Real-time or live bidding on a SaaS platform seeking to simplify trade is a new concept, still in its nascency, but fast catching up among new-age MSMEs. Perhaps what is attracting buyers and sellers to live bidding SaaS platforms is the ease it brings to them in driving operations, which results in higher efficiency levels.

The key features enabling efficient live bidding on a SaaS platform simplify trade substantially. Also, users can channel the saved hours, owing to high-efficiency levels, toward more critical business functions like research and development, strategy creation, and supplier relationship management.

That said, let us throw more light on how both buyers and sellers stand to benefit from live bidding features.

B2B Procurement Made Easy for Buyers

Imagine how streamlined the business will be for buyers who could order raw materials or finished goods in minutes at rates better than offline manual procurement methods and receive consignments on time or earlier than expected!

Offline supplier-vendor conversations entail price negotiations via email or phone - activities that require speaking with multiple suppliers and vendors who may not fall within the set quality parameters.

Thus, new-age buyers prefer providing all this information to suppliers and vendors in one place under “bidding events” and receive bids only from qualified suppliers. 

In addition, once live bidding starts, buyers view all bids in a single dashboard (with the leading ones displayed upfront) and analyze them thoroughly before award the bid.

Selling Made Easy for Suppliers & Vendors

What's in it for the suppliers?

Suppliers can find multiple bidding events and participate in them in real-time, giving their business a great chance to win more contracts, increase client base, scale operations, and boost revenue. 

Regardless of the nature of the B2B business - buying or selling, live digital bidding fast-tracks results through transformed efficiency, making businesses leaner, smarter, and more resilient. 

And when a bidding feature supports reverse auction, it helps buyers save big on procurement spends, which will be evident in their spend analysis, as reverse auctions enable buying at the lowest available price! 

Here’s explaining the benefits of the top 10 features that will improve your purchasing experience on a B2B e-procure software offering live auction as a service.  

1. Start & manage multiple bidding events

MSME buyers can choose from the products listed in the online catalogs to create multiple bidding events or upload a new product on the bidding tool to create an event.

A bidding platform should also provide buyers with functionalities such as defining events duration, product consumption rate ( the number of units required monthly, quarterly, or annually), or setting price expectations. Let us assume all of these features are available within a single bidding window of a SaaS e-procure offering; the resultant benefit is that the buyers will attract only the qualified bids, reducing event closure time.  

2. Invite your offline vendors to bid online

Buyers may have a network of vendors they deal with offline, which can be brought to a single place digitally in just a few minutes! It is, therefore, recommended to opt for a B2B e-procure platform that includes this feature to enable an enhanced supplier management practice.

3. View bids and bid ranks in real-time

Real-time viewing bids and bid ranks enable buyers to decide about awarding the bid event faster. An e-procure software that offers this bidding feature twinned with a clean interface is more likely to be preferred by buyers looking for quick and fruitful solutions to streamline their supply chain.  

The ranking feature is crucial as it helps buyers analyze the best bids that exactly or nearly match the requirements defined during event creation.     

Yet another addition to this feature is giving access to multiple users to view the bids for facilitating seamless collaboration and decision-making.

4. Query resolution via live chat

The presence of this functionality on an e-procure platform enables you to connect with suppliers via the interactive live chat window. MSME purchasers can resolve their doubts or queries with a click of a button. Live chat conversations are unquestionably more time-efficient and handy than email or phone calls. This feature also ensures that no misunderstandings about item descriptions occur, thus improving supplier relationship management.


Live Chat on a B2B Live Bidding Platform

5. Access the platform’s pan-India network

Suppose buyers have access to a pan-India network of more than 10,000 vendors. They are no more required to go hunting for them, as a category-wise list of vendors can be leveraged easily on a SAAS e-procure platform. This unique feature extends buyers’ vendor network, who can now identify the fitting vendors for their business and invite them to bid for the live bidding events.

By eliminating offline manual efforts, this feature provides buyers with instant access to a vast network of vendors spread across the length and breadth of the country.

6. Search & filter functionality 

With this advantageous feature, buyers can browse supplier catalogs and prices and invite them to bid for live or future events. On the vendor or supplier side of the business, they can search for buyers they think can be prospective customers and connect with them to figure out possible ways to do business. Although simple, this feature is exceedingly effective!

Another benefit of the search and filter functionality is that it provides a detailed view of data, enabling quick information gathering.

7. Automated savings and discounts calculation 

All buyers want to save substantial amounts in procuring goods or finished products. If the bidding interface provides automated savings calculation, that will surely simplify bid analysis for buyers and fast-track decision-making for them. Bidding platforms should also accept conventional payment types, provide shipping and logistic choices, and calculate taxes. It should also handle returns and item disposition depending on status, ratings, and reviews.

8. Order tracking & shipping timeline visibility  

In an instance where the buyer has awarded the bid to a seller/supplier, an order tracking feature can be immensely beneficial to the former in guiding subsequent actions if required. Buyers can also obtain a seamless experience using an e-procure SaaS platform if order tracking and timeline visibility feature is on the main interface. 

Order Tracking on B2B Live Bidding Software

9. Supplier Validation

The buyer should get complete visibility into the supply process, including whether a supplier has obtained any certifications to meet the quality requirements - either mandatory as per regulations or based on the buyer's defined quality parameters.

In addition, a B2B bidding platform, which offers visibility into a supplier's products - whether they are as per the exact specifications, helps buyers validate a supplier, thus facilitating more confident purchase decisions. This feature can further benefit by providing details on the actual fulfillment time of a supplier for past orders.

10. Engaging bidders with watchlist and updates

Another essential feature that auction platforms should include is receiving auction-related notifications. It is difficult for the seller to know about the potential bids and win them without receiving timely bid-related alerts.  

The notifications on live bid status for items can also be crucial for sellers who want to track ongoing bids and closed bidding events. It enables them to plan and undertake subsequent actions. 

Another essential feature is a watchlist. It alerts sellers of the time remaining to participate in a bid. The watchlist feature also helps the sellers gain visibility into how low a particular bidding event has gone and gives them a chance to revise their price for acquiring the order.   

Rounding Up

The ten features of a live bidding SaaS platform explained above simplify vital procurement functions like price reduction. It is wise to choose a digital procurement tool that includes a majority of these features, if not all, to ensure meeting business objectives without compromising on a seamless platform experience. These features would also help foster customer happiness, loyalty, and increased revenue. 


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