Reverse Auctions Introduction
Scout RFP wants to make Reverse Auctions easy. We’ve built a simple online platform for Sourcing Manager and Suppliers to participate in real-time Auctions from anywhere, at any time.
To make sure participating is easy, Scout Support has created the following Reverse Auctions Guide. This guide will walk you through:
- Creating Your Scout Account
- Logging Into Scout
- Submitting Your Pre-Bid
- Participating in Live Reverse Auctions
Read on to learn more about the Scout Reverse Auctions platform and Auction process so you can hit the ground running!
1. Creating Your Scout Account
Scout can be accessed by invitation only, and all users must create Scout accounts.
When a Sourcing Manager invites you to an Auction in Scout you will receive an email invitation that looks something like this:
Click the green “View Auction” button to open Scout and begin creating your account!
After entering your account information, you will receive a final Confirmation Email. Please click the green “Confirm your Email Address” button in this email to activate your account.
2. Logging Into Scout
Once you’ve created and confirmed your Scout account, you will be able to log into Scout here: https://go.scoutrfp.com
Your Scout homepage will list any Sourcing Events to which you’ve been invited, including Auctions:
Click on the title of the Auction to view the Auction’s details and prepare your Bid!
3. Submitting Your Pre-Bid
If you are accessing the Auction before it officially begins, you will be able to prepare and submit a pre-bid.
***If you have participated in an RFP prior to the Auction, your bid from that Event will carry over into the Auction event as your pre-bid.
Note: If you have been viewing the Auction before it begins, it may be helpful to refresh your page when the Auction goes live. This will ensure that the Auction timer is up-to-date and you are seeing auction activity as it occurs in real time.
4. Participating in Live Reverse Auctions
As you prepare to participate in an Auction, it is important to understand how Auctions in Scout work, as well as the details of the Auction at hand:
Be sure to read the “Auction Notes” button on the side of the page to view any notes that the Sourcing Manager has left for you. The Sourcing Manager may use the Auction Notes space to provide additional details on Auction items, outline the Rules, explain next steps, etc. Always check the Auction Notes to be sure you’re in the know!
When the Sourcing Manager configures the Auction, they have the ability to configure a variety of Auction Rules, including:
The Sourcing Manager can set the amount by which you must decrease your Bid by a certain dollar amount each time you submit a new Bid during the Auction. That dollar amount may be $0.01 or $1,000 - the Sourcing Manager can choose whatever dollar amount they think makes the most sense for the Auction at hand.
The Sourcing Manger can also set time extensions for the Auction. Time extensions are used to extend the Auction when a new bid is submitted near the end of the Auction, ensuring that all Suppliers have a fair chance to Bid. For example, the Sourcing Manager could choose to extend the Auction by 2 minutes if a new Bid is received within the last 2 minutes of the Auction, allowing Suppliers to submit new Bids if they’d like.
Your Total Bid is the sum total of all line item prices that you’ve entered. You can find your Total Bid at the top of the list of line items on the righthand side. You will be able to view the Total Bid for your last submitted Bid, as well as for your currently drafted Bid. As you draft your Bid and adjust prices, you will see the Total Bid adjust in real time.
Line Item Bid
You can enter a Bid for each line item listed in the Auction. Simply click on the white text field next to any line item to adjust your Bid for that individual item.
Notifications of Competition
Scout will let you know where you stand. When you submit a Bid, you will immediately know whether or not your Bid is the lowest or not by the update at the top of your page.
You may be able to see additional competitive information, such as your Line Item Bid Rank and Total Bid Best Price, if the Sourcing Manager has configured the Auction to allow you to view these details.
Submitting Updated Pricing
You are able to submit updated pricing throughout the Auction in two different ways:
1. Line-item Editing
You can adjust the price for any/all individual line items, one by one, or
2. Percent Discount
Discount your Total Bid by a chosen percentage. To do this, simply click the plus or minus buttons located at the top of the list of line items:
As you adjust the percent discount, you will see the drafted Total Bid change automatically, as well as the line item prices. You can always click the “Reset Discount” button to start over.
Submit New Bid
After adjusting your prices, click the blue “Place Your New Bid” button on the action bar to submit these adjusted prices to the Sourcing Team:
When you submit a Bid, you will receive a Warning Message if you do not meet the Minimum Decrement - this message will notify you of the Minimum Decrement that has been set. If this occurs, you must return to your drafted Bid and lower it by the required Minimum Decrement (which is set by the Sourcing Manager).
When will I get my invitation?
You will receive an invitation via email as soon as the Sourcing Manager creates the Auction in Scout.
The Sourcing Manager has two options when creating Auctions which impact when and how you will be able to access the auction:
- Advance Notice - The Sourcing Manager may decide to build the Auction and set a start time at a specified day/time in the future. In this case, you will receive your invitations before the Auction begins. We recommend using the time before the Auction to create your Scout account and familiarize yourself with the tool by reading any Auction Notes provided and submitting a pre-bid.
- Automatic Start - Alternatively, the Sourcing Manager may decide to start an Auction automatically. You will receive your invitation as soon as the Auction is published by the Sourcing Team, and will be able to create your Scout account and start submitting Bids right away.
Can I invite team members?
No, you are not able to invite team members to join you in the auction. The buyer solely determines who is invited to the Auction.
How will I be notified if I am outbid?
Any time that you are passed by a competing Supplier you will be notified immediately both via email and through the Scout Reverse Auction interface. You will also see that your Action Bar updates to show you whether or not you are the lowest Bidder:
How long does the auction last?
Before the Auction begins, the Sourcing Manager determines the expected duration of the Auction. However, the Sourcing Manager can also configure time extensions for the Auction, which may extend the Auction indefinitely (please see Auction Rules section above for additional details).
You can always see how much time is left in the Auction by checking the timer on your Action Bar at the top of the screen:
Is the Auction happening in real time?
Yes, every 30 seconds your Bid will be refreshed, and you will be automatically notified if you have been passed by another Supplier.