Reverse Auctions Programs

CKS is one of the European leaders in the organisation and administration of electronic auctions.

Our CKS Auctions Business Unit has been managing the reverse auction programmes of major European industrial groups and large public organisations for fifteen years.

    Key figures 2019
700 Auctions organized
50 Customers located in 50 countries
€3 Bn Amount of purchases negotiated on behalf of our customers

CKS has a team entirely dedicated to the conduct of auctions that will accompany you from start to finish:

  • Support in tender structure and sourcing assistance
  • Analysis of the relevance of the use of auctions
  • Upstream advice on appropriate strategy
  • Setup help
  • Legal framework of the auction process
  • Regular communication with the purchasing team
  • Setting up of an auction platform
  • Supplier training
  • Administration of the event on D-Day
  • Follow-up of post-bidding actions

Scope of the auctions

The scope of reverse auctions is relatively broad. CKS has feedback from several thousands of auctions organized on numerous purchasing families.


This expertise enables the approach to be adapted to the specificities and constraints linked to the nature of the products or services purchased. Our consultants regularly carry out audits of the Purchasing portfolio to identify the Purchasing families most suitable for the reverse auction methodology.

Examples of reverse auction negotiation events organised by CKS:


  • Manufactured components: industrial processing of steel, other metals or plastics, ...
  • Electronics and electromechanics: bare printed circuits, capacitors, assembled printed circuits, cable harnesses, control panels, ...
  • Industrial supplies: bearings, screws, nuts, bolts, fasteners, cutting tools, industrial hardware, protective equipment, plastic packaging.…


  • Facility equipment (assembly lines, robots, industrial printers)
  • Building work (site construction, fitting-out)


  • Energy (electricity, natural gas)
  • Transport (air, sea, road)
  • Supplies (office furniture and supplies)
  • IT / IS (telephony, workstations, application maintenance, software distribution and maintenance of production and management IT applications)
  • Facility Management (guarding of sensitive sites, outsourced catering service, cleaning of premises)

Customer/supplier benefits

Conducted at the end of a phase of analysis and equalization of the offers, the reverse auction process implemented by CKS brings very interesting economic and productivity gains.


The benefits cited by our Clients are of several kinds:

  • Shortening of negotiation schedules
  • Significant productivity gains in the negotiation process
  • Additional rigour in the comparison and technical equalization of offers
  • Refocusing buyers on their core business by relieving them of the iterative and tedious process of negotiation rounds.
  • Ability to exploit the opportunities of a market situation at a given moment allowing significant economic gains

Electronic reverse auctions also have advantages for suppliers:

  • Increased transparency on the negotiation and competitive field, allowing the supplier to improve its knowledge of market prices
  • Shorter time spent on the various negotiation meetings and substantial savings on travel costs
  • Ensuring fairness of treatment between suppliers through the involvement of CKS as a trusted third party

The regulatory framework for auctions

The use of reverse auctions is, in some cases, governed by rules of law.


The framework for the use of reverse auctions is set out in a number of international law standards, including the texts of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and several European Directives (in particular Directive 2014/24/EU and Directive 2014/25/EU).

Several countries have also legislated on reverse auctions, specifying the scope and legal framework within which they are to be conducted. France, for example, has recently incorporated a number of requirements in this area into both the Commercial Code and the Public Procurement Code.

CKS will be pleased to provide you with a legal analysis.

Case studies and testimonials

Upon request, we can provide you with case studies and the contact details of our Clients who will be able to testify about our services.

Added value

Our Clients rely on our services at a critical stage of their consultation processes. Our consultants fully adhere to the standards of integrity and anti-corruption required by our Clients.

  • English is the working language at CKS Auctions. Our consultants are all polyglot and are trained according to our internal standards to be able to support all suppliers in many languages but also those who have difficulties with the platform or IT in general. Languages spoken include French, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.
  • At least one consultant is fully dedicated to training, which allows him to have all the necessary patience and provides you with the assurance that the suppliers will be fully operational on auction day.
  • CKS is accustomed to determining the most suitable auction strategy based on the type of good or service, the number of suppliers and the bids of the suppliers. CKS will discuss with you to optimize and set up the best auction according to your objectives.
  • You will be able to attend the auction as an observer and thus follow the evolution of prices and supplier behaviour live.

Case studies and Publications

Training buyers of an automotive manufacturer on reverse auction strategies


Training buyers of an automotive manufacturer on reverse auction strategies

In 2022 & 2023, CKS Auctions consultants supported a Swiss Tier-1 autoparts manufacturer deploy best practices about reverse auctions on its new procurement suite. [...]

Resourcing of transport flows using e-auctions


Resourcing of transport flows using e-auctions

A major equipment manufacturer has reaped many benefits from organizing the resourcing of its main transport flows using e-auctions. Discover how. [...]



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