How ‘Win-Win’ Sourcing Optimization Reduces Supplier Friction

Chris Walsh

November 25, 2022

Cultivating your purchaser-supplier relationships can boost service levels for your business, mitigate risks, improve transparency, and even boost revenue for both parties. In a survey by McKinsey of 100+ large organizations, companies that regularly collaborated with suppliers demonstrated higher growth, lower operating costs, and greater profitability than their industry peers. 

Good procurement and sourcing teams are adept at managing purchaser-supplier interactions, but a user-centered e-sourcing tool can enable teams to maintain robust relationships at scale. This is why having systems in place that increase the likelihood of supplier engagement is so important. 

Establishing Win-Win Partnerships

As a top performing organization, you need to make sure that friction on the supplier side is as low as possible. And as a vendor, breaking barriers to supplier engagement is of critical importance to Keelvar as we look to enhance the features of our optimization platform.

A central tenet of the product vision from Keelvar's inception has been to focus on the user experience of not only the buyer, but also the supplier. Some of the standard features of our Sourcing Optimizer product include:

  • A smooth supplier experience with fast, frictionless onboarding that requires no prior experience of the tool.
  • A single Keelvar user account for any event run by any organization — no need to configure a new account or login for each organization.
  • Simple bid UIs to make bidding as streamlined and efficient as possible.
  • The ability of bidder accounts to add team members to events.

To further enable strong win-win partnerships between buyers and suppliers, Keelvar has recently enhanced our optimization platform with additional features, including:

Event update notifications: This feature has the ability to automatically notify all bidders when changes are made to the round or event, essentially eliminating the overhead of manually contacting bidders to inform them of changes to the round duration, when an event is paused, when it is resumed, when a round is closed early, and when a round is reopened.

Purchasers can identify what changes constitute a need for automated mass communication, and bidders are instantly and reliably informed of event updates, removing the need to query the business contact or technical support.

Reminders: Another automated communication enhancement that enables purchasers to schedule email notifications that automatically send at a specified time to remind bidders who have not accepted the event invite or users who have not yet bid. 

These reminders can be configured to the exact minute, enabling purchasers to target key moments in a round to nudge passive or otherwise occupied bidders into action with minimal effort. Suppliers may be working on many tenders in multiple tools and this feature can remind them of events that may have fallen to the bottom of their inbox.


Negotiation guide: This new feature helps purchasers better understand and review top-ranked bids on a lot-by-lot basis and easily review winning bids against a range of losing bids to help you better negotiate with suppliers and understand the cost tradeoff when choosing non-optimal award outcomes.

And for suppliers: better engagement, with the most competitive bids being highlighted and allowing faster, targeted engagement with relevant suppliers, reducing the time to award, and speeding up supplier communication.

Negotiation guide report

Award communication: A recent addition to the awarding flow for purchasers, this automated feature simplifies award communication and streamlines bidder correspondence at a key stage of the sourcing process. With a few clicks, purchasers can notify all bidders — both awarded and un-awarded suppliers  — whether they have won lots or not and what percentage of a lot they have been awarded. 

This all happens within Sourcing Optimizer's in-app messaging tool so bidders can view their messages and quickly navigate to the bid sheet for the details of the award. Everyone is informed of their status at the same time, meaning unsuccessful suppliers need not be left hanging post-award. This simple courtesy that we effectively automate may help with supplier engagement and retention for subsequent events. 

Award communication


Ease of use for both buyers and suppliers alike in our Sourcing Optimizer is what sets us apart from our competitors. At Keelvar, our focus has always been on ease-of-use so that your team can get set up on our system very quickly and you will see your team become proficient users within days and weeks rather than months. 

Of course it’s critical that the same user-friendliness flows through to the supplier side, making it as easy as possible for them to engage with your tenders and communicate with buyers efficiently. As a result, your sourcing team will have less overhead, allowing them to spend less time on back-and-forth communications with suppliers and more time on critical strategic work.

Want to see our Sourcing Optimizer in action? Contact us for a demo today.

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