The Item-Level is a variant of the Reverse Auction event. This article goes through the entire process of participating in an item-level auction to ensure efficient collaboration between all the users of the platform.
The two are distinguishable by the way in which the requested goods/services are approached. If within a normal, reverse auction, the focus is on the macro view, on totals, on both the quotations, the starting price, and the minimum step, on the Item-Level auction, the focus is on the microanalysis of the offer, on the quote, the starting price as well as on the minimum price for each product/service. The buyer can select several winners for the same event, for each distinct item, hence the name.
1. Introduction - how to respond to an item-level auction
Suppliers can use Prokuria without creating an account on the platform.
When a Buyer decides to publish an Item-Level auction using Prokuria, all invited Suppliers receive an email with a link to a secured response page where they can review all the details of the Item-Level Auction, fill in the answer and submit their bids.
2. View the details of the item-level auction. Accept or Decline Participation
Once the supplier receives the invitation by mail, he can click on the name of the item-level reverse auction to open a dedicated page containing all the information related to the event, giving him the opportunity to quote and respond.
The supplier then has 2 options:
Participate – if clicked, the Buyer will be informed by email that the Supplier has decided to participate in the item-level auction.
Decline – if clicked, the Buyer will be informed by email that the Supplier has declined to participate in the item-level auction. However, Suppliers can change their mind, and still accept to participate in the auction, as long as the item-level auction is still active.
3. Placing a Bid
Only after the Supplier accepted to participate in an item-level auction, the fields on the page become active in order for him to bid. However, a Supplier can submit bids only after the event has started.
The item-level reverse auction encourages the participation of a larger number of suppliers, who would not normally be able to bid competitively for the entire event. Thus, they can choose to quote only for one or more items from the entire request stipulated by the supplier.
(A response page includes three sections. These have the following fields and functionalities:)
When placing a bid, a Supplier should take into account the following:
Starting price/total: the maximum value at the item level that the Buyer accepts. Suppliers will not be able to place a quote higher than the starting price for the respective item. The starting price is applied to the total of the supplier's quotation for an item line. Thus, for suppliers, the total quotation (price / um * quantity) for an item must be less than or equal to the Starting Price. For example: Starting price 5000 RON, Required quantity: 10 pieces => Supplier's quote can be a maximum of 500 RON. The supplier's quotation cannot exceed a value of 5000 RON
Minimum step/total: the minimum difference with which a new bid at the item level of the same supplier must be smaller than its previous bid for that item. The minimum step is set by the user, and the supplier can at any time reduce its quotation by a value greater than the minimum step if he wishes. The minimum step applies to the total quotation (price / um * quantity) at the line level. For example: Minimum step 100 RON, Total quotation per article line = 5000 RON => The next supplier quotation must be less than or equal to: 4900 RON. The quotation cannot be for example 4950, because it would not respect the minimum step with which it must fall.
When submitting an offer in an item-level auction, Suppliers can only decrease the bid. Suppliers cannot place the same bid twice and the new bid value cannot be higher than the previous one.
A bid can only be placed after all the unit prices of all the items have been filled in. This is always a mandatory field.
Extension period: is expressed in minutes and represents the period of time before the auction ends. This extension period is also referred to as the “cool-down period”. Whenever a bid that changes the first rank of any of the items in the auction, is placed during this cool-down period, the item-level auction will be extended with the number of minutes specified by the Buyer. This will continue until no bid that changes the first rank is placed during the cool-down period.
Time frame: a Supplier can submit bids only after the item-level auction’s start time, and no later than the end time; as per the above, during a reverse auction the end time can be extended automatically due to the cool-down period settings.
Suppliers cannot place a "0" (zero) quotation. A notification message will be displayed on the supplier's screen if this happens.
If a supplier issues a quote higher than the initial item-level quote, the quote field will be highlighted in yellow. When trying to place the bid to the buyer, a notification message will appear on its screen.
If a supplier has entered a wrong quotation and wishes to return to the previous quotation, then it can proceed as follows:
1. any number entered in the quotation field is deleted
2. the offer is sent with the respective field blank
As soon as step 2 has been completed, the platform allows the supplier to increase the quotation at the desired price.
During the time frame of an item-level auction, suppliers may be able to view the following details related to the rank and best bid value:
Item-level rank compared to the other Suppliers participating in the item-level auction. The ranking is displayed only if the Buyer has enabled this feature. If a Supplier has the best bid (rank 1) for a particular item and another Supplier sends a quote equal to that of the Supplier from the first rank, then both Suppliers will have rank 1 next to that item.
In this case, a red notification will be displayed next to Rank 1 and by moving the cursor over, the Suppliers are informed that they are not the only ones with that quotation.
Bulk Quote (through Excel)
The feature is specially designed for the events dedicated towards a great number of items and services. Thanks to it, Prokuria helps you bid using an excel template. This process can be done in 3 easy steps.
a. Click on the "Import items" button. A dedicated window will open that guides you through the appropriate steps.
b. Click on "Download Template Spreadsheet". The system will download an excel file in which you complete the "Your Answer" column. A maximum 6 decimals is allowed.
c. Click on"Browse File" and select the newly created file and Prokuria will take care of the rest.
4. Cool-down period in item-level auctions
Whenever a bid that changes the first rank of any item is placed during the cool-down period, the item-level auction will be extended to the number of minutes specified by the Buyer. This will continue until no bid changes the first rank during the cool-down period.
5. Communicating during a item-level auction - Chat functionality
Anytime during an item-level auction, a Supplier can communicate directly with the Buyer via Prokuria by using the chat functionality.
If the response page is open and the Supplier receives a message through chat from the Buyer, a red icon will appear near the email address of the Buyer.
If the response page is not open and the Supplier receives a message from the Buyer, the Supplier will be notified by email about the new message.
6. Ending a reverse auction
When the end time for submitting responses is reached, the item-level auction will end, and the Suppliers will no longer be able to submit a new response.
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