Accounting for true TCO/TVO across a range of input factors is not a simple task without the right toolset.

Our customers asked us for a better method to buy direct parts and materials.

Auctions are shown to be the most effective negotiation technique for items that are highly engineered and clearly specified; however, ‘effective’ dictates ensuring that all bids are compared equally, and that the outcome is beneficial for both parties.

Accounting for true TCO/TVO across a range of input factors (whether relating to onboarding the supplier for a particular engagement or whether affected by the part/material production, delivery limitations, or risk factors), is not a simple task without the right toolset.

We introduced ASTRAS’ auction capabilities in 2000 - less than 5 years after the first online forward auction tool, OnSale, became commercially viable. The reasoning: Our customers asked us for a better method to buy direct parts and materials.

4 Must Haves

Having full insight and control of the 4 “must haves”, our customers are equipped to ensure successful auctions.

Because success isn’t solely determined by price, payment terms and quality, but by also considering the supplier’s own interests, whether utilization of production, predictability or other.

Diagram of supply chain management auction

Ease of Set up


Live Monitoring

Wizard-assisted creation

English (reverse/forward)
Dutch (golden/silver)
Japanese (first/second price)
Selling (discount/sequential)

Track against target objective

Template library

Absolute and relative weighting (bonus/malus)

Pause, extend, or stop
Edit auction
Exclude bidders
Delete quotes
Quote submission by admin
Chat messages
Real time reports

Transfer from eRFx


Supplier classificaitons

Cost allocation

Stored procedures

Roles and authorizations

ERP/PLM integration

Milestone Management

Reservation price

Supplier Transparency



Participant conditions

Full export to Excel

Purchasing team activity

Live feedback (e.g., traffic lights, ranks, best price, reservation price, etc.)

Award templates

Version management

Timing and demand

Audit logs

‘Features’ do not paint a whole picture. Hear from Stephanie Spiegel, Head of Technical Solution Engineering at Allocation, on her thoughts regarding our auction capabilities…

Stephanie Spiegel - Head of Technical Solution Engineering at Allocation


Stephanie Spiegel

Head of Technical Solution Engineering at Allocation

What is your favorite feature of ASTRAS’ auction functionality and why?

“The options showing a supplier their position relative to their competitors. For example, you can make a small English reverse auction with just one price and showing the ranking. Very simple. On the other hand, you can have an auction with a detailed cost breakdown, and 20+ positions, to show a ranking, traffic light or best price in any combination, thereby putting pressure on the suppliers to perform better in certain parts of their quote. Whether ‘quick and dirty’ or ‘super complicated’, I haven’t found an awarding situation we don’t have a possible auction design for.”

Tell us an interesting ASTRAS’ auction story?

“We have the benefit of seeing the inside of many companies, and be a part of so many interesting situations.

  • We’ve advised customers to plan auctions better, yet have seen a ticker auction end in less than a minute because they didn’t account for a massive reduction in a raw material a week prior. All suppliers accepted their ‘scare’ price, and they had to rerun the auction again a week later. This time they worked closer with our team to plan appropriately and we are proud to say that there haven’t been any similar mishaps since.
  • We have been a part of auctions where the prices were in KWh and the result was setting prices with energy providers.
  • My favorite is when we are conducting full-service auctions where the buyer organization and a few supplier organizations are both users of ASTRAS. Naturally without success, the supplier contacts will try to squeeze additional information out of our auction team. It is fun to see, though, the reach ASTRAS has made in the market, and the relationships our project teams have established.”

Reduce cost

Increase market efficiency

Increase process efficiency

Image of Allocation Astras supply chain software portal
Allocation parts and material lifecycle supply chain management software system

Benefit From:

  • Lowering process costs by up to 80%
  • More effective sourcing events
  • Shortened cycle time to part qualification
  • Strong compliance
  • Increased supplier collaboration
  • Reduced supplier and part risk
  • Complete visibility, across functions
  • Assurance that your processes and best practices are followed every time
Allocation Clients Include The BMW Group
Allocation Clients Include Siemens
Allocation Clients Include Magna
Allocation Clients Include Schmitz Cargobull