Online auction host WorldWideRetailExchange has launched a spirited defence of its reverse auction tool, following criticism from suppliers voiced in The Grocer. Reverse auctions were not designed as tools to batter suppliers with, insisted WWRE negotiations and auctions director James Williams. "Bidding in an auction can feel like a gamble," said Williams. "But it's up to the supplier to talk to the buyer beforehand and find out on what basis buying decisions are being made." Auctions save money for both sides, added Williams, as they standardised and symplified the tendering process. "It's about quality and process improvement." Volumes going through the WWRE auction platform were going through the roof, he added. Total member savings from auctions now top $500m. "June was a record month. People are using it on everything from direct goods to cleaning contracts." And collaborative auctions, where exchange members club together to put contracts up for tender, were increasingly popular, he added. {{NEWS }}