Autopilot is an event automation feature allowing automatic opening, closing, awarding and termination of rounds and event stages within Keelvar's eSourcing application. An Autopilot Bot performs these actions based on a configured event schedule. In addition to the article below, you can watch a demonstration video of an Autopilot event setup with multiple rounds of bidding by clicking on this link.
Autopilot can be enabled on the Schedule view. Toggle the setting to On.
Once you enable Autopilot, you will see a "Preferred Scenario" option appear next to each round or stage. This will be the scenario that Autopilot will use to determine the award allocation when a round completes. You can choose the default "Low Cost Baseline" scenario, or configure a scenario with business rules specific to your needs. The most powerful Autopilot options become available with Event Stages enabled and some of the following examples are only available when stages are enabled.
Autopilot stage configuration
Using the example below, we will build up a two stage event. The first stage is a single round running over two days with an automatic award of the "Low Cost Baseline" scenario. Note the "Active" badge across from "Stage 1" that identifies this is the currently active stage. It was configured as a single round and the drop across from "Stage 2" identifies this as a multi-round stage. The multi-round stage has a more advanced configuration that ensures a minimum of three 2 hour rounds, awarding based on the "70% incumbent, 30% newcomer" scenario and finishing when there are less than two active bidders in the latest round.
Configure how stage bidding starts
There are two ways to configure how stages start. In our example above we have set a specific start time.
With Autopilot enabled, the stage will open automatically at this time and bidding will be enabled in the first round of the stage. Another option is to start the stage at a predefined interval after the previous stage closes.
Again, with Autopilot enabled, the stage will open automatically after the configured interval. When Autopilot is not enabled, you will have to manually schedule the second and subsequent stage if you want to keep to your preferred schedule. This is similar to the Publish step where the first stage is scheduled.
Configure round duration
The next setting defines how long a stage round will be open for bidding and how long the system waits until the next round.
If your have enabled feedback, the time between rounds defines how long bidders will have to review feedback on the previous round results before the next round opens. The feedback is based on the allocation defined by the preferred scenario you have configured.
Configure how stage bidding ends
In our example, we configured that no new rounds will be created in the stage when there are fewer than 2 active bidders in the latest round, subject to a minimum of three round. We can optionally configure an end date/time whereby the stage will end at that date & time. The stage will end if termination criteria are met or the end date is reached, whichever occurs first. In the example below, we configure an end date/time in conjunction with our termination condition of "Minimum active bidders in round".
There are a number of stage termination conditions which can be configured that the Autopilot bot will automatically execute at the end of a round.
Number of round since last bid
End bidding if a number of rounds have passed since any bidder has updated their bids. For example, after 2 rounds since last bid.
Minimum active bidders in round
End bidding if too few bidders update their bids. For example, if fewer than 2 active bidders in latest round.
Minimum lots with reserve met
End bidding if reserve met on enough lots. For example, once reserve has been met on 200 lots.
Minimum lots with allocation changes
End bidding if too few allocation changes. For example, if fewer than 2 lots in latest round experienced an allocation change in cost, who was awarded the lot, or a change in the % share of a lot.
Number of rounds since last lot allocation change
End bidding if a number of rounds have passed since an allocation change. For example, after 2 rounds since a change in lot allocation cost, who was awarded the lot, or a change in the % share of a lot.
Minimum change in total allocation cost
End bidding if too small an allocation cost change. For example, if total allocation cost change is less than $2,000.
Number of rounds since last allocation cost change
End bidding if a number of rounds have passed since an allocation cost change. For example, after 3 rounds since a change in allocation cost.
Configure preferred scenario
The Autopilot bot will evaluate and award the preferred scenario you configure once a round closes. Should the scenario not be feasible for any reason, the Autopilot bot will pause and manual intervention will be required to award and resume Autopilot. Once the scenario allocation has been awarded for a round, bidder will see updated feedback if enabled on the event.
The Autopilot agenda can be viewed from the schedule view. It outlines the schedule plan and the actions the Autopilot bot will take.
The event schedule can be graphically viewed on the Bid activity dashboard.
Note the single round in stage 1 that is currently active and the multiple rounds configured in stage 2 that have yet to commence.
Should you require to take back control of the event from the Autopilot bot, you can pause Autopilot from the Bid activity dashboard. Also, if the Autopilot bot no longer has an action to take, or cannot proceed for a reason such as scenario infeasibility, the Autopilot bot will pause itself and send an email notification to all purchasing users who have permission on the event. It is up to the user to manually correct any issue and resume the Autopilot bot.
For detail on what actions the Autopilot bot has taken, or what the bot is currently waiting on, you can view the Autopilot history.