Stephen Mack-Director of University of Missouri Procurement Services was asked to be one of three (3) National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP) representatives involved in an RFP process for the purpose of selecting a reverse auction supplier for the Educational and Institutional Cooperative (E&I). Through the selection process Procurex was picked to be the reverse auction supplier and during final negotiation meetings in New York at E&I’s headquarters there was a discussion around holding a live reverse auction at the NAEP Annual Conference in April 2012. Steve volunteered the University of Missouri as a reverse auction pilot for the live event. The selected commodity for the reverse auction was coarse paper (toilet paper and hand towels).
What is a reverse auction? Is it like eBay? These were a few of the questions leading up to the University’s first reverse auction. The answer to those questions can be best described with a simple definition; a reverse auction is when suppliers compete against each other to obtain business through a process to undercut or out-bid each other.
Wade Jadwin was selected to work on this project with David Silvey providing valuable knowledge of this commodity from past bid events. Through meetings with representatives from every campus and UMHC it was determined that current products would not be modified in the bid and that no alternatives would be accepted. The initial plan was to have multiple institutions around the country involved with the reverse auction thus improving the aggregate spend. Several California based institutions showed interest but in the end could not participate. The bid was a one line item bid (line item break was supplied to Procurex after the reverse auction) with the supplier providing service and deliveries to all locations.
Tony Hall, Steve Mack, Cathy Barker and Wade Jadwin attended the NAEP Annual Meeting and represented the University of Missouri during the reverse auction. The reverse auction was conducted in front of a live audience of 70-80 people at the 2012 NAEP Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA on April 3rd. The audience was very engaged and asked Procurex staff members numerous questions during the reverse auction. Based off of 2011 usage numbers, the results of the reverse auction show a savings of $37,500 to the University of Missouri System. The details of the reverse auction are still being reviewed with a contract being awarded soon.