What are they? Reverse Auctions and Real-time Reverse Auctions are conducted over the Internet during an allotted time period, allowing numerous suppliers and or manufacturers to bid on government requests, usually referred to as an RFQ for specific goods and services. The main difference between the two is a Real-time Reverse Auction will take place over a small amount of time with all parties involved joining the auction at the same time. A standard Reverse Auction usually takes place over a two-week period and participants can come and go as they please.
How do they work? The concept of Reverse Auction is comparable to traditional manual sealed bid procurement processes in the sense that its sole purpose is to save the County money. As the qualified suppliers (bidders) -place their bids, their identity is masked from competing suppliers (bidders) while the public sector purchasing personnel is able to view each suppliers identity as well as their current bid price. It is important to note that in this format, like any other, price is not always the determining factor when a County finally decides to accept a bid. Quality, warranty and shipping time may also be factors.
What are its advantages? The key benefit to Reverse Auctioning and Real-time Reverse Auctioning is the ability to bring the price down in a competitive, timely and cost effective manner. Reverse Auctioning goes to the next level in that it is done online and can even be done in real-time creating a more competitive environment thus driving the price lower than the County may have obtained these goods and or services for in the past. This tool streamline communications with County suppliers.
When would I use this? This is a tool for Counties issuing a Request for Quote (RFQ) for certain goods and services. This is a useful tool for Counties to use to drive prices down to levels otherwise unattainable.