Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is CircleSource?
CircleSource is a cloud based business services marketplace that enables specialist external business services providers to be sourced and engaged. Initially, we’re focussing on four business services verticals: Human Capital, Property and Facilities Management, Business Transformation & Project Management and Strategy and Management Consulting. We’ll extend to other business services areas as the marketplace grows.
The brand name and business philosophy is about “sourcing” people, skills and services for your business to grow your trusted network “circles”, people you have actually done business with and recommend.
2. Can anyone join CircleSource
Yes, anyone who is a buyer or supplier of business services, whether in their own business or part of a larger organisation can join CircleSource. The more members, the bigger the marketplace with greater chances of finding quality suppliers and being found by the buyer market.
3. So why is CircleSource any different from other collaborative marketplaces?
At CircleSource, we want to be recognised and famous for being the most trusted collaborative marketplace that you turn to first to source and engage specialist business services providers. Where buyers can easily identify, follow, access and connect with the providers they need, when they need them. And where suppliers of business services can showcase their capabilities and be confident they’ll be found by buyers and recognised for the expertise and quality services they deliver.
CircleSource is more than just a matching service. It’s a value added business application where members can manage their business service engagements in real time in one easy to use application. Organise and manage events, exchange briefs or proposals and hold discussions all from your desktop, tablet or smart phone, anywhere, anytime.
You’re in charge at every stage, there’s no-one behind the scenes matching possible suppliers or second guessing what you’re looking for.
Ultimately our purpose is to provide a marketplace where buyers and suppliers derive a mutual benefit and achieve successful business outcomes, evolve and extend their network circles and where outstanding providers are recognised and celebrated.
4. What are the benefits of CircleSource?
CircleSource will enable you to manage all of your business service engagements in one easy to use business application.
- Access supplier profiles that detail capability, extensive Areas of Expertise, recent supply engagements, endorsements, service locations and more. Find the best matches for the expertise you need, when you need it.
- CircleSource provides the most comprehensive expertise and skill filters in each of the four business service areas to ensure you can search for and identify the best supplier matches.
- Saving up to 40% of the time taken to find service providers with the expertise you need.
- Buyers can view the marketplace at any time to track and follow suppliers you may want to engage in the future.
- Suppliers can see all opportunities in an open and transparent marketplace and choose what they pitch for and when.
- Facilitates the efficient exchange of briefs and proposals as well as discussions between buyers and suppliers invited to pitch for work in one easy to use business application.
- CircleSource offers the lowest fee structure of any collaborative marketplace currently open. And, unlike others, fees are only charged on acceptance of offers and are capped at a MAXIMUM of $950, that’s the most a supplier will ever pay for even the largest engagement.
- Access on desktop, tablet or smart phone anytime, anywhere.
5. As a buyer, how much detail should I put into my profile?
Profiles are an important feature in CircleSource. By doing business with suppliers through CircleSource, you become part of each other’s inner circles and can access your suppliers circles which we refer to as your outer circle, thereby extending and evolving your network circles.
As a buyer of business services, your profile can be as little or as extensive as you would like it to be. The more complete it is the greater understanding and awareness suppliers you may engage will have of you, your business environment and needs when pitching for work.
6. As a supplier, how much detail should I put into my profile?
CircleSource provides a wonderful opportunity to market your specialist capabilities and areas of expertise to a captive audience of buyers wishing to access services like yours. Because of CircleSource’s comprehensive filters and search functionality, the more extensive and complete that your personal profile is, the more likely you are to be identified and matched to buyers wishing to engage your services.
Most importantly, the more work you successfully complete and get endorsed for through CircleSource, the more you trend in the marketplace and be seen and recognised for your capability and specialist skills.
7. Why is there a Company profile and why do I need to be connected to it?
All business services are essentially developed, represented and delivered through relationships established by people working in a business. Accordingly, CircleSource makes the important connection of individuals to the company they work for to appropriately reflect the brand reputation of your business while providing a level of transparency and governance to all supply engagements undertaken.
8. Who can see my profile?
As a buyer, your profile is only available to suppliers you do business with. Once you accept a supplier offer, you will become part of their inner circle and they’ll be able to see your profile.
Supplier profiles will be transparent and available in the marketplace. However your personal email information, telephone numbers will be hidden until such time as you are engaged to deliver services through CircleSource. You will then become part of each other’s inner circle and be able to access email addresses and telephone numbers etc.
9. How are Company Profiles managed?
Each Company profile may have one or more company administrators appointed. Only Administrators have rights to edit the Company profile, enabling you to maintain the integrity and brand reputation of your company. Importantly, this will ensure only people employed in your business are actually linked and doing business on your behalf. Requests to be linked to your company must be approved by an administrator.
10. As a buyer, how do I create an activity and find suppliers?
All Activities and Tasks are created and recorded through the My Activities dashboard in CircleSource. Our Quick Reference Guide can be found within the CircleSource application and provides a step by step guide to creating Activities and Tasks, sourcing and inviting suppliers.
11.What is the difference between an Activity and Task?
An Activity is essentially the high level specifications describing the engagement you are creating, setting timelines, budget, location etc.
Each Activity must have a task attached to it that specifies the Area of Expertise required as well as more detail on the key deliverables. An activity can have one task or many tasks (Multi Task Activity) attached to it and you review, select and invite matching suppliers for each Task.
12. What is a Multi Task Activity?
An Activity with more than one Task is what we call a multi-task activity. An example could be an offsite conference where you may require different suppliers for things like venue, catering, facilitators, key note speakers, activities, transport etc. If your event or program of work evolves, you can continue to add Tasks as needed. Other examples of multi-task activities include an OHS Program, Learning and Development Programs, Health and Wellbeing Programs or other events where more than one supplier is needed.
13. Why do I have the option of inviting selected suggested Suppliers or making the opportunity available to the whole marketplace?
Given CircleSource is providing a comprehensive and transparent marketplace; buyers will have the flexibility to identify and invite only the suppliers that most closely match their requirements, thereby limiting being inundated with offers and the associated time to review. Alternatively, buyers can publish to broader market groups, even the whole marketplace. You can do a combination of both options here and invite selected suppliers and also publish to the open market to see who else might be out there that can meet your needs that may not have matched to the exact Area of Expertise specified.
14.What does CircleSource cost?
CircleSource is FREE for both buyers and suppliers of these business services to sign in, create a profile and view the marketplace. A small fee of between 5.5% and 7.5% (based on the value of the service) will only be incurred by the supplier when their offer is accepted. Most importantly, fees are capped at a MAXIMUM of $950. These fees are the lowest of any similar collaborative marketplace currently open.
Fees payable by suppliers will only be introduced from 1 January 2017. Until then, all supply engagements sourced through CircleSource will be FREE.
Refer to our Fees & Charges for more information.
15.What is the ‘Marketplace’?
The Marketplace is where all business service suppliers registered in CircleSource can be found as well as Opportunities made available to suppliers in an ‘open market’. You can refine searches for suppliers with the skills and expertise you need as well as view open market Opportunities.
In the SUPPLIER tab, Filter down on Area of Expertise or CircleSource status; even perform keyword searches to narrow down the supplier list.
In the OPPORTUNITIES tab, suppliers will be able to see any tasks that have been published to the Open Market.
16. How do you manage my privacy.
17. Who can access my personal information?
18.What is meant by inner and outer circle?
Your Inner Circle is represented by people you have directly done business with. Your Outer Circle is made up of people your Inner Circle connections have done business with. Once you do business with a supplier in CircleSource, you become part of each other’s Inner Circle thereby growing and extending your trusted network circles.
19. As a supplier, how do I grow my ranking?
CircleSource has five status rankings from “New to CircleSource” to “Highly Recommended”. Our comprehensive algorithm considers the number of supply engagements completed through CircleSource, along with the number of endorsements and comments provided by buyers. These are translated into your CircleSource ranking and essentially determine the order you appear in searches for areas of expertise and how you trend in the marketplace.
You will increase your status and trend in the marketplace by securing more opportunities through CircleSource and being recognised and endorsed by buyers on completion of Tasks.