Fortunate Farmers Water Case

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This is a simple illustration of Visual Blind Bidding applied to a single-issue negotiation using Smartsettle ONE. Once you understand how Visual Blind Bidding works in this simple case you will be able to better imagine how the same technique can be applied to negotiations of any shape and size using Smartsettle Infinity.

Smartsettle ONE is optimized for the simplest single-issue cases and designed to eliminate the tedious negotiation dance that characterizes many ordinary negotiations. A unique algorithm motivates parties to reach agreement sooner by encouraging collaboration. The following narrative illustrates a simulation in which Smartsettle ONE is used by two parties to reach an agreement after just one visit to the negotiation panel from each of them.

The context for this simulation is a negotiation between a Potato Processing Company and Farmers that grow the potatoes. Company has been using water from the nearby river and polluting it with the waste so much that potato yields have decreased. The parties have tentatively agreed that Company will recycle some of the water in order to reduce pollution. The parties have been invited to use Smartsettle ONE to negotiate the percentage of the water that will be recycled. Prior to beginning their negotiations with Smartsettle ONE, a Smartsettle Facilitator helps the parties draft a Single Negotiating Framework. Parties consult with their lawyers to ensure that the wording is clear and concise… more detailed account of the case background.


Company is first to arrive at the negotiation panel that has been created with the agreed negotiating range. Company sets the green flag to their initial proposal of 24%. Farmers are expected to arrive shortly and also make an initial proposal. Both proposals will be revealed at that time.

Company also sets a secret acceptance of 64 by sliding the yellow flag to the left. Company signals that they are finished in Session 1. Now they are waiting for Farmers’ proposal.

Farmers’ icon turns green when they arrive. Farmers’ Initial Proposal of 72% appears. Company is notified that Farmers have also made a secret acceptance. Company is waiting for Farmers to end the session.

At the end of a session, agreement is reached if  there is an overlap  among the accepted values. Otherwise, the  negotiation continues with the  next session. In this case Company is pleased when Smartsettle declares that the outcome is 60%.



Following is Farmers’ point of view. Farmers have taken time to inform themselves and enter what they believe is a realistic Initial Proposal of 72% with some room for concession. Company’s proposal of 24% appears immediately.

This seems  rather extreme but Farmers are not that surprised given the discussions that have gone on. Farmers set a secret acceptance of 52% and end Session 1. Wow! They’ve already reached an agreement of 60%, just like that. Farmers are very pleased.


Smartsettle automatically generates a complete final agreement for download in PDF form (60% in this case).

Reward Early Effort (aka Favouring the Smallest Last Move)

After following this negotiation from each side, you can see that Farmers were favoured by the outcome because they had taken time to inform themselves and were most realistic with their Initial Proposal.

The following schematic graphs the events in this negotiation to illustrate the unique Reward Early Effort (Smallest Last Move) algorithm used by Smartsettle to favour the party that was most realistic with their early moves. In this case more of the overlap is given to the Farmers.

Farmers moved a distance of 20 percentage points from their initial visible proposal of 72% to their secret acceptance of 52%. Company moved a distance of 40 percentage points from their initial visible proposal of 24% to their secret acceptance of 64%. The resulting overlap, labeled as the Zone of Agreement, is 12 percentage points. The overlap is divided between the parties in the same proportion as the distances moved by each of them. The resulting agreement revealed by Smartsettle favours Farmers because their initial proposal was more realistic. If there was no overlap in Session 1, the same principle would apply to each following session.

The key thing to remember is: “Win Favour by Moving early to Fair”. 


If no agreement is reached in a particular session, parties may continue with another session. Each party may wish to make a visible concession before making another secret acceptance. If a party has already conceded as far as they are willing to go, they may declare Final Session.


In case of impasse, Smartsettle’s Expert Neutral Deal-closer (END) can quickly settle the difference. The middle opinion of fair from three Expert Neutrals is compared to the last secret acceptances of the parties and then Smartsettle declares a settlement that favours the one closest to fair.


You now know how to use Smartsettle ONE to complete negotiations in a timely and professional manner. Thank you for supporting Smartsettle and helping us maintain Smartsettle’s reputation as a world leader in eNegotiation technology and innovation.

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