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Transformed Pricing helps in comparing dis-similar suppliers image

Transformed Pricing is Key While Comparing Prices of Different Providers

Why do we need to transform prices received from suppliers?

Procurement teams often face a scenario where they have to compare bids from suppliers that aren’t exactly similar. What do we mean by that?

Here are some scenarios where bids received from suppliers aren’t comparable.

  1. Shipping costs are incurred by the buyer and are different for each supplier i.e. supplier provides goods ex-works and the buyer is responsible for transportation of goods.
  2. Payment terms are different
  3. Quality and service levels are different
  4. Switching costs are incurred with a new supplier
  5. Preference given to incumbent suppliers
  6. plus others

If we need reverse auctions to be conclusive in themselves, then they cannot be applied in such scenarios. This can be a challenge for companies trying to establish reverse auctions as a norm for supplier negotiations.

The way to address this is via Transformed Price bidding. How does that work? The bids placed by suppliers are transformed by applying ‘Price Transformation Factors’, thus normalizing the bids received from suppliers i.e. ‘Transformed Price’.

Illustration:

Lets take an example of a lot of Gears being purchased from 3 suppliers.

ItemQtyUOMUnit PriceExtended Price
Gears30each$ 800$ 24,000

Switching Cost is applied to a couple of new vendors, B and C. It’s not applicable to the incumbent Supplier A.

Invited SuppliersSwitching Cost
Supplier A (incumbent)$ 0
Supplier B (new)$ 1,000
Supplier C (new)$ 2,000

Transformation Formula would be:

Transformed Price = Submitted Price + Switching Cost

Invited SuppliersSubmitted PriceTransformed Price
Supplier A (incumbent)$ 24,000$ 24,000
Supplier B (new)$ 23,500$ 24,500
Supplier C (new)$ 23,000$ 25,000

Here we can see that transformation factors are applied on the prices submitted by suppliers. It does not make sense to shift to the new suppliers though their unit pricing is lower than that of the incumbent supplier.

A suggestion to teams conducting such events is to document the transformation factors and the values for each supplier along with the transformation formula being applied on supplier bids. Additionally, have these documents signed off by the relevant authority. This can be an area of internal audit in future and the right documentation helps.

It does not end here though. The reverse transformation is then applied to compute one supplier’s bid’s view by other suppliers. In some way, this is similar to how multi-currency bidding works, just a tad more complex.

An added benefit of using Transformed Price bidding is in convincing other stakeholders that reverse auctions are not just about cost reductions (cost is often perceived to be directly proportional to quality) and that better and more capable suppliers can be given a (fair) advantage.

A suggestion to teams conducting such events is to document the transformation factors and the values for each supplier along with the transformation formula being applied on supplier bids. Additionally, have these documents signed off by the relevant authority. This can be an area of internal audit in future and the right documentation helps.


Krinati‘s eSourcing solution allows customers to conduct transformation bidding for RFPs and well as Reverse & Forward Auctions.


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