October 2016 Release

This article summarizes the major features and enhancements introduced in the October 2016 release.

Support for Secondary Cost Functions

Users can now evaluate scenarios based on more than one cost function. First, follow these steps to create secondary cost functions:

  • From the 'Cost Calculation' screen, click on the 'Settings' icon above the formula bar
  • Select 'Manage secondary calculations'
  • Click 'Add a formula'
  • Give the formula a name
  • Click 'Edit formula' to enter the applicable cost function (Figure 1)

Additionally, users can specify whether the formula result is a currency or number from the 'Display Type' drop-down field at the top right corner of the formula bar.

Figure 1: Secondary Calculations

Once the secondary cost calculations have been created, utilize them in a scenario by clicking the down arrow button to the far right of the scenario, and selecting 'Settings'. Then, select the formula from the 'Cost Function' drop-down field (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Select Cost Function

Updated 'Scenarios' Screen

The 'Scenarios' screen has been redesigned to display additional details about evaluated scenarios. The new table layout includes the following information about each scenario (Figure 3):

  • Rules - the number of rules specified
  • Lots - the number of lots awarded
  • Winners - the number of winning bidders
  • Adjusted Total - the total adjusted cost (based on applied supplier-specific bonuses and/or maluses)

Furthermore, separate buttons for 'View results' and 'Edit' are always visible (Previously, a single button would display either 'View results' or 'Edit rules' - based on whether the scenario had been evaluated or not).

Figure 3: 'Scenarios' Screen Enhancements

Scenario Settings

The new settings page (Figure 4) for a scenario (accessed by clicking the down arrow icon next to a scenario and then selecting 'Settings') contains the following options:

  • Cost function: Select the cost function that'll be evaluated. The primary formula is applied if no cost function is selected.
  • Problem type: Determine whether Sourcing Optimizer needs to solve a minimization or maximization problem. The default is 'MIN' (minimize).
  • Child scenarios: This feature allows the user to embed results from other scenarios into this scenario. For example, there may already be a scenario that allocates business for lots 1 and 2 to preferred suppliers, but doesn't include any other lots (3, 4, and 5). By including this child scenario (and not allowing any changes), the system will evaluate lots 3, 4, and 5 only and use the child scenario results for lots 1 and 2.

    For example, shortest delivery time may be more important than cost for some lots. If you create a cost-based scenario that uses the delivery time scenario as a child, the system will show the cost of selecting an award strategy that favors delivery time.

  • Maximum allocation change: This pertains to child scenarios; specifiy whether there is any flexibility in changing the lot allocations for the child scenarios. By default, null means that no allocation changes are allowed. Entering "6" would allow the system to modify the child scenario results by up to 6 lots.
  • Minimum allocation change: This pertains to child scenarios; by entering a value here you're forcing the system to make a certain number of allocation changes (e.g., entering "4" means that the allocation for 4 lots in the child scenario will change).
  • Bundle bidding evaluation: Decide whether Bundle Bids should be taken into consideration when evaluating the scenario (default is 'On').
  • Volume discounts evaluation: Decide whether Volume Discounts should be taken into consideration when evaluating the scenario (default is 'On').
  • Bidder capacity constraints evaluation: Decide whether Bidder Capacity Constraints should be taken into consideration when evaluating the scenario (default is 'On').
  • Purchaser capacity constraints evaluation: Decide whether Purchaser Capacity Constraints should be taken into consideration when evaluating the scenario (default is 'On').
  • Supplier comparison factors: Decide whether bonuses and maluses entered on the 'Bidder Configuration' screen are considered (default is 'On').
  • Detailed bid summary: Please see the 'Detailed Bid Summary Report' section below for details.
Figure 4: Scenario Settings

Detailed Bid Summary Report

The 'Detailed bid summary' report is accessed from the new scenario settings screen. By default, it provides bid values across all lots and bidders. However, users can enable the following advanced options to make it even more powerful:

  • Coverage analysis: Shows the number of complete bids per lot/group as well as the number of complete bids per bidder.
  • Absolute gap analysis: Shows the difference between each bidder's bid and the first place bid for every lot/group.
  • Proportionate gap analysis: Shows the difference between each bidder's bid and the first place bid as a percentage for every lot/group.
  • Rank analysis: Shows the top N ranked bids and bidders per lot/group.
  • Highest rank: Consider the top N bids when performing a rank analysis.
  • Lot scope: Select a lot group to use as a filter (i.e. only the lots in the selected lot group will appear in the report).
  • Aggregation attributes: These allow the user to group lots according to unique values in the bid sheet (e.g., Country, Business Unit, etc.). Bidder performance is then aggregated at that level.
  • Substitution strategy: This section provides options on how to handle partial coverage situations when aggregating lots into groups. There are four options:
    • Allow partial coverage - no modifications; the results will be based on incomplete coverage
    • Allow full coverage only - Excludes bids that don't cover all lots in a group (e.g., if Supplier A bid on one of two locations for the group 'Alberta' then Supplier A won't be considered for that group).
    • Use max value substitution - This will replace any missing bid values with the highest bid of a competitor when calculating group totals.
    • Use min value substitution - This will replace any missing bid values with the lowest bid of a competitor when calculating group totals.

Round Announcement Emails

In multi-round RFQ events, the user can elect to send a round announcement email to all bidders when scheduling the round from the 'Award' screen (Figure 5). The 'Send round announcement...' option is checked by default.

Figure 5: 'Send Round Announcement' Option

Other Enhancements

This release also contains the following enhancements:

  • The 'Reject Partial Bids' setting on the 'Event Settings' screen is now enabled by default
  • Users can now re-open auction events from the 'Bidding Management' screen
  • When validating bids on the supplier side, the system now displays up to 20 errors at a time rather than just the first one
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