FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT IOCR

Why IOCR?


Each time when a major disaster occurs it highlights the shortcomings of current procurement processes for emergency-supplies, most recently we have experienced this with the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional procurement processes are unsuitable in times of crisis when purchasing: (a) is time-critical. (b) is dependent upon unknown (and untrusted) suppliers (c) has to overcome supply shortages. (d) exposes buyers to price-gouging. Buyer-challenges: • Standard Request for Quote / Price (“RFQ”/“RFP”) process is too time-consuming. • Difficulties finding trustworthy suppliers, especially in unfamiliar markets. • High-quality suppliers are often inundated and unable to respond, leaving the market to price-gouging intermediaries. • Stretched suppliers focus on the biggest purchasers or those willing to pay significant premiums. • Smaller buyers are often left with nothing. • Internal competition and bidding within own countries and organisations. • Lack of information leads to hoarding and unequal distribution. Supplier-challenges: • Suppliers lose time and business responding to supply and price requests, as it becomes impossible to differentiate between real buyers and opportunistic intermediaries. • Interacting and negotiating with new/inexperienced international buyers takes time and resources. • Forecasting demand, production-planning and raw materials purchasing becomes difficult. • Setting fair market prices is difficult, as prices change by the hour, especially if competition is being unscrupulous. • Some Intermediaries/agents take advantage of the situation, resulting in inflated prices and reputation damage for manufacturers and their brands.




What is IOCR?


IOCR is a members-only, online trading-community where aid-organizations get rapid and trusted access to emergency-supplies from verified suppliers.

As a non-profit we focus on social and environmental impact and we develop tools and services that allow rapid access to critical supplies at guaranteed fair market prices and we help secure fair distribution.

The main functions of IOCR are to:

  • Enable aid-organizations to rapidly procure emergency-supplies and help them to better prepare for emergencies. We do this by providing them with a central, secure and ethical sourcing-platform with verified suppliers and supporting service-providers.

  • Provide manufacturers and their distributors with a central sales- and marketing-platform that gives access to hundreds of recognized and verified aid-organizations, foundations and government procurement agencies.

  • Disseminate relevant procurement and market information to help our members better prepare for emergencies.




What is IOCR's vision & mission?


Vision: At IOCR we believe that no other species on planet Earth can collaborate and solve problems like humans do. When we act responsibly we can use our talents and resources to minimise the negative impact of disasters.

Mission:

IOCR's mission is to minimise suffering in times of crisis by facilitating rapid and trusted procurement of emergency-supplies world-wide.




Who uses IOCR?


IOCR can be joined and used by all organizations and corporations that want to mimise suffering and help save more lives in times of crisis.

The users of our platform and services are:

  • Manufacturers, distributors, stock-managers interested in selling or donating emergency-supplies to recognized aid-organizations.
  • NGOs, IGO’s and Associations looking for more effective, trusted sourcing
  • Institutions and Universities interested in research and developing new solutions for more effective crisis-response
  • Service Providers such as shipping companies, freight-forwarders, insurance companies, financial institutions who want to offer their services to IOCR’s members.
  • Governments and Government Agencies involved in emergency-relief and crisis-response
  • Governmental Trade Organizations such as Trade Missions, Chambers of Commerce, Embassies and Industry Associations involved in trade promotion and/or disaster-management.
  • Foundations, Sponsors and Donors that share our vision and want to support our mission with the financial means to maximize our positive impact.




What is IOCR's role?


IOCR was established to minimize the suffering and loss of lives in times of crisis and we do this by facilitating rapid and trusted access to emergency-supplies. To accomplish its mission, the organization:

  • Establishes partnerships globally with aid-organizations, corporations, foundations and governments to create an effective, impact-driven crisis-response marketplace.
  • Develops and manages a cloud-based trading-platform that allows unprecedented effective global trading and distribution of emergency supplies
  • Connects buyers with donors & suppliers and help them maximise their positive impact.




How can IOCR help buyers of emergency-supplies?


Some of the key benefits for buyers are:

  • Instant global purchasing at fair market prices
  • Verified suppliers and third-party quality-control guarantee risk-free buying
  • Responsible suppliers and charitable organisations donate emergency supplies to members of IOCR
To simplify sourcing and distribution, IOCR establishes partnerships with service providers such as freight-forwarders, insurance companies, banks, etc. many of them experienced in crisis-response and disaster-relief. By centralising all services related to crisis-response procurement, organisations:
  • Don't need in-house international sourcing expertise
  • Save significant time because of the simplified purchase process
  • Face less risks of dealing with fraudulent vendors
  • Minimise the risks of buying faulty, non-compliant goods
  • Are protected against unfair competition and 'bullying' by more powerful buyers
  • Get access to prices and supplies otherwise only available to large volume buyers
Additional benefits for buyers are:
  • Access to a global network of allies for a sustainable future.
  • Opportunities to share your organisations' expertise and knowledge to create more awareness and develop real solutions.
  • Opportunities to promote your organisation and how you make a positive impact
  • Access to funding-sources for your organisation
Opportunities to receive funding and donations from our community. Find qualified, passionate volunteers & staff. Get connected to strategic partners and allies who share your values




How can IOCR help suppliers of emergency-supplies?


IOCR gives its corporate members access to the global emergency-relief market and at the same time, we take away many of the hurdles and challenges companies experience when trading internationally especially in times of crisis.​ Some of the key benefits for companies:

  • Access to key customers from the public and private sector without the cost of sales and marketing
  • A closed market with qualified customers only
  • Information to help with forecasting and production-planning
  • Well-informed price-setting, allows for fair and ethical margins
  • Hassle-free transactions and logistics
  • he quality-label of being an IOCR verified, high-quality and trusted supplier
  • International recognition as a responsible corporation
By centralising all services related to international trading, companies:
  • Need less resources for sales and marketing
  • Save significant time because of the simplified sales process
  • Face less risks of dealing with fraudulent buyers
  • Minimise the risks of international trade
  • Have more control over their market
  • Get fair market-prices by ruling out price-gouging middlemen
Additional benefits for supplier-members:
  • Opportunities to introduce your companies' innovations
  • Opportunities to promote your business and how you make a positive impact
  • Get connected to strategic partners and allies who share your values




Why join IOCR?


Members of IOCR become part of a unique global network for rapid and trusted procurement of emergency-supplies and -equipment in times of disaster.

As a non-profit trade-facilitator, the organization offers a trading-platform where verified buyers, suppliers and charitable donors can rapidly and efficiently cooperate and transact with each other.

BUYERS such as aid-organizations, charitable foundations and government agencies, can rapidly procure the supplies and equipment they need for the crisis-situation at hand, or to be better prepared when disaster strikes.

SUPPLIERS such as manufacturers, distributors and official stock-pile managers can offer and sell emergency-relief products to thousands of qualified buyers.

DONORS such as charitable foundations, private philanthropists and companies can make impactful in-kind or financial donations for emergency-supplies to verified aid-organizations of their choice.

With IOCR we are building an ecosystem of organizations who all share the same mission:

« To minimise suffering in times of disaster by facilitating rapid and trusted procurement of emergency-supplies and -equipment world-wide. »

For more details about the benefits for your organization, please go to the relevant question in this F.A.Q. or send an email to membership@iocr.org




How does IOCR work?


Rapid access to emergency-supplies in times of major crises, when lives and nature are at stake requires the combination of:

  1. A trusted, global mutualistic ECOSYSTEM that consists of qualified and verified participants,
  2. The application of the latest DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES that enable intelligent data-management, instantaneous interactions and secure international transactions.
  3. And last but not least, a digital version of a centuries-old PROVEN TRADING-SYSTEM that enables rapid trading at fair market prices and which also incentivizes fair distribution.

IOCR has brought together all these components and has established a rigorous set of processes to identify and verify the quality and trustworthiness of its participating members.

In practice, IOCR is a cloud-based version of a traditional wholesale marketplace with the significant additional benefit of rapid, trusted transactions because of the verification process of the members and the (digital) trade-facilitation services it provides.





MEMBERSHIP

What are the requirements for membership of IOCR?


Membership of IOCR is available to buyers, suppliers, service-providers, donors and government agencies interested in crisis-response and emergency-relief.

It is open to :

  • Companies which provide market-ready products and/or services for crisis-response and disaster management

  • Aid-organisations responsible for sourcing emergency-supplies and equipement

  • Charitable foundations interested in supporting aid-organisations to be more impactful

  • Governments and their agencies who are either buyers, suppliers or funders of emergency-relief materials and equipement

Details of the information and requirements for each level are available below:

Basic requirements for registration

  • Acknowledgement of the relevant Code of Conduct.

  • Information about the applicant (company name, licence number, address, contact details ...).

  • Information about the countries where the supplier conducts business.

  • Description of the supplier's goods and services

  • Completion of the Application Form

General application requirements

To be a eligible to trade with other members of IOCR, the following requirements must be met:

  • Certificate of incorporation or equivalent document verifying legal status/capacity in English. If the language of the document is not English, a certified translation of the document in English should be provided.

  • Contact information and reference letters of two independent and non-affiliated references, (for suppliers these should be recent clients.) If the language of the document is not English, the certified translation of the document in English should be provided.

  • Name of owners and principals (including the parent company, subsidiaries/affiliates, CEO/Managing Director, and those with controlling interests, if applicable).

  • Name of intermediaries, agents and/or consultants, (if any) used in relation to contracts or bids/proposals.

  • Financial documents (audited/certified financial statements or equivalent) for the last three years. If the language of the document is not English, the certified translation of the document in English should be provided.




What are the reference letters required for membership?


When submitting a membership-application, candidates are required to upload two references letters from independent and non-affiliated references (for suppliers these letters should be from recent clients).

These reference letters should be recent (less than 12 months old), should be issued and signed by the supporter on letterhead and addressed to the applicant, IOCR or to whom it may concern.




What information should the reference letters contain?


In reference letters, the applicant’s supporters usually assess, in a positive way, the applicant’s capabilities and performance. These reference letters must contain at a minimum the following information:

  • A description of the products and or services delivered or projects undertaken by the supplier;
  • The duration of the contractual agreement;
  • An overview of the supplier's performance and capabilities.





APPLICATION PROCESS

What is the membership application process?


Step 1:

Explore the types of membership you can apply for and check the eligibility of your organization.

Step 2:

Register your organization and create a basic membership profile.

Step 3 - FIRST REVIEW:

Your membership profile will be reviewed by the membership committee.

When accepted, you will be invited to complete the full registration process and if you select to do so, your membership profile will be made visible to the members of IOCR .(At random some profiles can be shown on the public pages of the IOCR website.)

Step 4:

Accepted organisations will receive an invitation to complete the detailed registration and verification process required to use IOCR’s fast-track trading services for verified members.

At this level, more details about the organisation’s activities related to crisis-response, emergency-relief and disaster-aid will be asked, as well as reference letters and financial information.

Step 5 - SECOND REVIEW AND VERIFICATION

your information will be reviewed by an independent inspection and verification agency.

Step 6:

When verified, the IOCR member receives the ‘verified member’ status and will be able to use IOCR’s fast-track trading service for buying and selling emergency-supplies.




What are the application and membership statuses?


Your membership status on IOCR can be seen at the top of your organisation’s profile page. It refers to the evaluation of the registration, application and membership with IOCR.

Applicants and members may experience the following registration statuses on IOCR:

Initial

This status appears in your account when you first enter the application form.

Submitted

IOCR has received the information provided in the registration form.

In progress

The registration is currently being reviewed and evaluated by IOCR.

At this stage, the registration form may not be amended. On average, the review and evaluation process may take up to 10 working days from submission to finalization.

To update

The registration has been reviewed and evaluated by IOCR, and some information has been found to be insufficient, incorrect or obsolete.

An email from IOCR membership evaluating your registration will be sent to your email address to inform you about the required changes.

Once the registration has been amended, the registration needs to be re-submitted.

Re-submitted

The registration has been resubmitted for evaluation.

The registration will be reviewed and re-evaluated by IOCR. On average, the review and evaluation process may take up to 10 working days from submission to finalization.

Registered

Application has been reviewed and approved.

The 'registered status' indicates that the organization’s profile is now visible to IOCR members when sourcing for potential suppliers.

!!! Registration does not imply verification !!!

Registered applicants are not full members yet. They are accepted as valuable allies

Registered and Verified

Once the due-diligence process is completed and the credentials are verified by an independent third-party verification agency, your organization becomes a full member and can take part in IOCR’s fast-track trading of emergency-supplies.

Declined

The membership application has been declined based on the information provided in the registration.

In the majority of cases, registration is declined when the applicant’s activities are not relevant to crisis-response.

Applications may also be declined because the verification process was not complying to the criteria for eligibility.

Applicants are recommended to contact IOCR when their application has been declined.





IOCR'S UNIQUE AUCTION SYSTEM

What makes IOCR's auction process so unique?


When people think of an auction, they typically think of a number of bidders, all competing and raising the price until one person wins and ends up paying the highest bid.

IOCR's auction-model is based on a very different format. The ‘Dutch Clock Auction’.

These auctions are so-named because they have been used for centuries in Holland and Belgium to sell perishable goods such as vegetables, fruits and flowers and to lead the auction they use a descending-price clock (see photos below) to indicate the price-evolution.

Clock Auction History

In a Dutch Clock Auction, the auctioneer offers up an item at a high price. The initial set price is higher than the item's typical market value, and neither the auctioneer nor the seller expects to get that price for the item.

The auction starts when the auction-clock starts lowering the price every few seconds in increments until a bidder chooses to accept the current price.

The first bidder then wins the auction at what he/she believes is a fair market price.

For example, if the auctioneer is auctioning a pallet of tomatoes, the bidding may start at $1,500. Potential bidders will wait while the price is counting down to $1,400 to $1,300 to $1,200 to $1,100 and to $1,000. When the bidding reaches $1,000, One bidder decides to accept that price and because he is the first bidder to do so, he is considered the winner and he pays $1,000 for the auctioned lot.

Modern Day Clock Auction

Now, what makes IOCR’s auctions different from fruit and vegetable auctions, is that IOCR’s objective is first and foremost to guarantee fair prices and fair distribution.

And as a non-profit organization, we create incentives for bidders that help secure fair market prices and fair distribution of critical supplies and equipment.

One such an incentive is to auction multiple smaller lots of the same item. Bidders who want to pay a premium, can acquire the first lots, but after each winning bid they are put in a queue to give other bidders a chance to also bid within their anticipated price-range.





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INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION FOR CRISIS RESPONSE