Are you Looking for a New Furnace?

February 21st, 2020

Winter still has a ways to go!

 

Today’s post is by Troy Lowe; Vice President of Development at SafeSourcing.

Winter still has a ways to go and if you are having trouble with your furnace it might be time to purchase a new one. There are several options available when purchasing a new furnace. In this BLOG I will be discussing the differences between single stage, two stage and variable capacity furnaces. A single stage furnace is a furnace that runs at full capacity the entire time that the system is running. The system has a gas valve that opens to 100 percent for the entire run time. For example, if the system is an 80,000 BTU system, it will run at 80,000 BTU rate for the entire duration. A two stage furnace is a furnace that can run at full capacity or less while the system is running. The system has a gas valve that can open to 100 percent or change to about 70 percent during run time. For example with this type of system, if the system is a 100,000 BTU system, it can either run at a 70,000 BTU rate or a 100,000 BTU rate depending on the temperature. A variable capacity furnace is a furnace that can run at full capacity or less while the system is running. The system has a gas valve that can regulate the capacity between 40 percent and 100 percent. For example with this type of system, if the system is a 100,000 BTU system, it can run anywhere between a 40,000 BTU rate and a 100,000 BTU rate depending on the temperature. The more stages your system supports can create better air filtration and make for a better balanced temperature throughout the structure. The better filtration occurs because the furnace runs longer when not performing at full capacity which makes the air flow through the filter more times and removes more of the dust and allergens. If you are considering a new furnace below is a list of other advantages of using a multi stage furnace.

  • Increased Efficiency
  • Quieter Operation
  • Less System Cycling
  • More Even Temperatures
  • Improved Air Quality

If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

References:

https://www.pickhvac.com/faq/difference-between-one-stage-and-two-stage-furnaces/

 

 

February 20th, 2020

But how many of us actually do?

 

 Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Assistant at SafeSourcing.

“You learn something new everyday” is a phrase often used after a person learns a lesson by accident. You simply are learning by circumstance rather than acquiring a new skill set or learning new information or facts.

Harvey MacKay has always been an advocate of lifelong learning or intentional learning. Getting the right information and putting this into practice whether it be to improve his golf swing or learning a new language. Technology today makes things easier than ever before. There are online classes, TEDtalks, YouTube, and instructional videos to name a few. If you are hooked up to WiFi, knowledge is unlimited and is available to fit your schedule.

“Alvin Toffler, author of ‘Future Shock,’ who said, the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”. In today’s world you need to know how to navigate social relationships, keep up with new technology, be informed about politics, be aware of your finances, make intelligent career decisions, choose a healthy diet along with a million other skills in order to thrive in this world.

Learning something the wrong way can have permanent consequences. Some questions you may ask before taking on new learning are:

  •     Why am I learning this information and how will I use it?
  •     What level of understanding do I need?
  •     How can this information be broken down?
  •     What are the most important things to learn based on my personal goals?

Many times knowing a little on a topic can be a conversation starter or could even lead to a sale. You might not commit to learning something everyday , but once a week or month could be a good start. MacKay’s Moral is use it or lose it!

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk

Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

References:

Harvey MacKay, AZCentral, 1/13/2020

 

Are you too Comfortable?

February 18th, 2020

You should be keeping a watchful eye on all costs even in a strong market like todays.

 

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing, Inc.

There is no shortage of news stories that are designed to induce fear in the reader. Surely, it’s up to the reader to decide whether the articles are correct or just more clickbait. While a lot of what we see today falls into the clickbait category, there are still real risks that need to be monitored and managed.

One such headline that affects us all is a question that has gotten plenty of attention in the media recently. Will we see a recession in 2020 or not? I’m not even going to speculate. It’s not my place to do so. Instead, I’ll do my part to make sure that my customers are prepared for a recession or any other potentially devastating situation.

Are you too comfortable?

One of the biggest mistakes I see our prospects and a few customers making is allowing themselves to become too comfortable with their situation. Perhaps a strong economy has been good to them for some amount of time and they have shifted their focus away from cost reductions. Whether they did this intentionally or through negligence, they’ve made a critical mistake. Focusing solely on revenue is an incomplete strategy. It’s like keeping your car perfectly clean and shiny and skipping the maintenance like oil changes. At some point, you’re going to be in trouble.

I’ll admit that this seems dramatic, but the fact is I have personally seen this play out within some of the organizations that SafeSourcing has worked with over the years. I’ve watched companies embrace strategic sourcing, regardless of how weak or strong their sales are at the time, which thrive when the market is strong and survive when it is not. On the other hand, I’ve watched former customers and prospects go through layoffs, having their stock values crash, and shut their doors. At some point, it’s too late to cut costs. The time to be a steward of your organization’s expenses is before it is too late.

Don’t let yourself get too comfortable and caught off guard. Split your focus in a way that still allows for strategic sourcing to be an initiative and make sure the organization understands that this has executive sponsorship. Or don’t. I’ll keep my eye on the news and hope I don’t see more familiar company names in these saddening headlines.

If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

There are 7 steps of the strategic procurement process!

February 13th, 2020

Can your new employees tell you what they are the first day they start?

 

Today’s post is our SafeSourcing Inc Archives.

Only being with Safe Sourcing for a few days and knowing absolutely nothing about the company prior to my hire, I have learned a great deal of information in a very short amount of time. In order to fully understand what it is we do I have been doing a little research out side of work. According to sources, no pun intended, there are 7 steps of strategic procurement process.

Step 1: Conducting an internal need of analysis

To start you need to identify exactly what the needs are of your client. You need data including but not limited to, current performance, resources used, costs and potential growth.

Step 2: Collect Information

It is extremely important for you to collect as much information as possible, so you are able to help your client as best as possible. Look for specific requirements that are needed and see exactly what their goal is and how you can help them achieve that goal.

Step 3: Collect Supplier Information

Not only do you need information from your client, you also need to get information form your suppliers. You need to select suppliers carefully. You should only pick certain suppliers that are going to benefit your clients needs. It would also be helpful to learn a little bit about their company.

Step 4: Develop a Sourcing/Outsourcing Strategy

After all, 3 steps are complete you are in need of your Request for Proposal (RFP) or a Request for Quote (RFQ) to all the selected suppliers. You will also need to get your agreement and documents finalized and sent to your suppliers. Getting your business strategy in order will keep you organized.

Step 5: Implement the Sourcing Strategy

Having an Expression of Interest (EOI), a prepared RFP or a RFQ and solicit bids from identified potential suppliers as part of the bidding process is very important at this stage. The RFP should include:

  • Detailed material
  • Product or service specifications
  • Delivery and service requirements
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Pricing structure
  • Financial terms

Step 6: Negotiate with Suppliers and Select Winning Bid

Your procurement team will then evaluate the received proposals, quotes or bids, and use the criteria and a process to shortlist the bidders to provide detailed proposals and give reports to your client. After the evaluation process is complete, your procurement team will then enter contract negotiations with the first selected bidder.

Step 7: Implement a Transition Plan

Winning suppliers should be invited to participate in implementing improvements. A communication plan is a must when developing a system for measuring and evaluating performance.

These are a few things I have learned in the few days working for this great company and I feel that if you follow these few steps you and your team can develop and implement a strategic procurement plan.

Please contact a SafeSourcing customer Services team member about our risk free trial

We look forward to your comments

 

 

 

Retailers; are you managing your suppliers or are they managing you?

February 11th, 2020

Are you getting the best products and services for the best price available?

 

In to many cases, for many companies the answer to the question above is who knows on both sides of the relationship. And unfortunately this will not change for many companies.

Historically the primary driver associated with the use of reverse auctions and other related e-RFX tools has been to reduce the cost of goods and services and reduce expense in large part, if a retail company saved money it was deemed to be a successful process for the retailer as well as the awarded vendor. What about the other suppliers? What makes it a positive for them?

Supply base management or the attempt at it is the newest focus area of many strategic sourcing suites. Many vendors do not offer this functionality today; in fact some have trouble describing what it is when asked. Although elements of this functionality exist within a variety of surround type service offerings, no one vendor offers complete functionality in this area today even though they may think they do. A significant reason for this is suppliers concern with the thought of being managed at all because it means giving up perceived control. Additionally, retailers, suppliers nor vendors have agreed as to what the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) should be or how to collect the data that would allow you to manage them. As these types of tools are developed, the most successful supply base management tools will be those that can manage the largest supplier database to the continual benefit of both retailers and suppliers that participate and compete for their business

This author believes that the most probable result of this process will be a set of automated robust supplier scorecards that monitor and report on supplier performance versus a range of KPI’S that are applied against well-known quality guidelines resulting in a continuous improvement procurement methodology.

If you’d like to know how SafeSourcing can help improve and measure improvement in your e-RFX process please contact us!

As always, we look forward to and appreciate your comments.

There are many challenges when sourcing freight lanes.

January 30th, 2020

Are you aware of all the areas that impact the cost when sourcing freight lanes?

 

Todays oldie but good post is from our SafeSourcing Archives.

You have to keep your eyes open in this category as there are many moving parts you might never anticipate, like are there actually enough drivers to fill the trucks.

Most people would guess that it is the cost of fuel, new regulations or the age of a providers fleet that keep adding costs for third party freight companies.

An area most buyers of these services might not think about is the cost of and need for qualified drivers. Most 3rd party freight companies are looking for drivers and there are not enough to go around.

Our economy rides on the wheels of the freight companies that ship our goods across the country, in fact all across North America.

So what happens when there is a shortage of drivers? It’s pretty simple, prices go up. Why? Because freight companies have to compete for qualified drivers and when there are not enough to go around, the price for these services go up. It’s a pretty simple supply and demand equation.

In an interesting and  related article in the June 25th edition of USA TODAY titled Trucker jobs go unfilled, leading to delayed deliveries by  Paul Davidson of USA TODAY indicates that the annual driver turnover rate at large carriers rose to a four-year high of 90%.

When you source your freight lanes make sure that you understand all of the dynamics that impact cost.

If you’d like help sourcing your freight lanes, contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Don’t Close the Door on Negotiations

January 29th, 2020

Keeping an open mind will result in significant savings.

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing, Inc.

At SafeSourcing, we believe that any spend of any kind can be negotiated using our eProcurement RFx tools. That may seem pretty bold, but it’s true. We’ve negotiated everything from basic copy paper to private jet services, and all sorts of spend categories in between.

Along the way, we have encountered a certain objection from our customers that causes me to be concerned. From time to time, the customer will believe that they have selected a good or service that is unique and has no competition. They have selected the best of the best and there would be no point in trying to source an alternative or attempt to get a better price.

I appreciate that the product you have selected may be better than some of the alternatives. Or, just as importantly, you may perceive that the product you have selected may be the best. The same can be true of services. You might feel that your current vendor goes above and beyond the scope of their work to perform for you. That may be true, but there’s no reason why another vendor could not do the same.

What I recommend in these cases is to invite well-qualified competitors to participate in an RFx Event against the vendor that you prefer. Let them position their competitive product or service against the product or service that you like and let all of the vendors compete to offer the best price and overall value in a live format. Perhaps once the RFx Event has completed, you will still select the vendor of your choice. It is very likely that if you do, the pricing negotiated will be significantly lower than what you had previously been quoted.

In one recent case, a customer was absolutely set on purchasing a fleet of trucks from a particular manufacturer that was all to include a customized set of accessories and equipment. In the customer’s mind, there really was no other option. That said, they still agreed to keep an open mind and not close the door on a potential negotiation. This was very wise of them. As a result of allowing SafeSourcing to negotiate their truck pricing, the customer attained a 15% price reduction on top of the best pricing they had received from the manufacturer they preferred. Better still, they had options and an opportunity to get more savings from other vendors and they had all of the details they needed to decide if any of those options would work for them.

In that case, there were many ways for the customer to declare victory with a seven-digit savings figure. They never would have been able to attain that savings if they hadn’t kept an open mind and created the opportunity for the savings to occur. If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

The business for athletes!

January 23rd, 2020

Athletes, not just the big ones, like baseball and football, but in all kinds of sports ….

 

 

Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, Senior Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Athletes, not just the big ones, like baseball and football, but in all kinds of sports can make great additions to your company. Being a current Rugby player for a local club, I may be a little biased but I believe that athletes are a great addition to any team. With many reasons to consider, here are four traits that athletes possess that you should look for in potential employees:

They know how to work in teams

Just about anyone that has competed in a team sport has had to learn how to play with teammates. Whether they’re pros or amateurs, without that essential skill, they will not have got very far. Because of this familiarity with teamwork and collaboration, athletes are also often natural born leaders in the workplace, rallying co-workers when the going gets tough and offering help and support.

They have taught themselves to be resilient 

From experience, I can attest to the resilience needed to succeed in sports. You can have the greatest game plan in history, but things will almost never turn out the way you expect. You will make mistakes, give up goals, and lose points. You can’t, however, dwell on these missteps. If you want to win (and not let your teammates down), you need to overcome adversity quickly. More importantly, if you want to become a better player, you need to learn how to embrace these off-plan detours. Everyone makes mistakes, but the difference between success and failure often comes down to how you deal with those mistakes.

Athletes are coachable 

When you’re building your business, you need a team that can take feedback, learn from it, and immediately put it in action. Athletes are receptive for this coaching because they are happy that leadership cares enough to help them grow. Athletes want to be coached and understand that to be the best, they need to learn from the best.

They’re usually hard workers 

When an athlete doesn’t succeed, they don’t just throw in the towel. They look for weaknesses and problems in their game and then work even harder. What happens when they do succeed? They often work even harder, if only to stay on top.

At SafeSourcing we have helped many companies with their Human Resource and Staffing needs. By working with some of the largest staffing companies in the country, we can help you find the right employees for the right price. From helping build position outlines, scope of work, and many other requirements needed for new employees, we have the know how to help you build the perfect team!

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact SafeSourcing  we have an entire team waiting to assist you today.

 

To Buy or Not to Buy

January 22nd, 2020

Over the past year, there have been a number of home meal kit delivery services popping up

 

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Over the past year, there have been a number of home meal kit delivery services popping up in television and magazine ads. I never ventured to try any of them because, in my estimation, it would be costly and unnecessary. Recently, my interest was piqued once I noticed Home Chef meals on display in my local Kroger supermarket.

I’ve been grocery shopping and preparing meals, almost daily, for over 30 years, but here it was right within my grasp, so I picked up a couple of the dinner-for-two meal kits to try out. Since our kids are grown and off on their own this $16.99 option seemed to be worth sampling. All of the pre-measured ingredients were included in the kit along with an easy to follow recipe card. We both enjoyed the meals, so it did not disappoint.

My online search for additional meal options and details led to the discovery of over a dozen different meal delivery services which vary in level of preparation difficulty and specialization including classic, vegetarian, vegan, keto, gluten-free options. The most popular is Blue Apron which boasts recipes inspired by unique seasonal or hard to find ingredients. There is also Sun Basket, EveryPlate, Hello Fresh, Freshly, Dinnerly, Snap Kitchen, and Purple Carrot which specializes in plant-based dishes. Joining the party is Martha Stewart partnering with Berlin-based Marley Spoon, and of course Amazon owns a piece of the action with Amazon Fresh, since acquiring Whole Foods. Amazon meal kits are currently only available to members of Amazon Prime.

Preparation times range from 30 minutes to about 50 minutes, prep-to-plate. The prices generally range from $30 – $79 per week for three meals for two people. That is a huge savings for those who normally opt to eat out which can easily cost this much per meal for two.   For those who typically prepare meals at home, the savings is still apparent because it is less wasteful than purchasing ingredients in full count packaging which sometimes goes to waste if not used. Not to underestimate the time savings of not having to drive to the store and peruse the aisles searching for all of the ingredients which sometimes requires going to multiple locations. Time is money, especially if you have a busy schedule!

My final assessment is this is worth exploring as an alternative. The online reviews are mixed, but there are enough options to suit any preference, palate, or pocket. Most of the services are now offering new customer discounts for your initial order and no shipping charges. Changing or canceling orders seems to be a relatively easy process so there is no long-term commitment. Do your research before you buy, and as John Matarese says, “don’t waste your money.”

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

Are you looking for a new television for the Super Bowl?

January 17th, 2020

In the past, everyone was looking to get an HD television with 1080p resolution, but now we have 4k and 8k televisions!

 

 

Today’s post is by Troy Lowe; Vice President of Development at SafeSourcing.

Well it’s almost time for the Super Bowl and that means that a lot of people are starting to shop around for a new television to watch the big game. Back in the day, everyone was looking to get an HD television with 1080p resolution, but now we have 4k and 8k televisions. The higher resolutions provide more pixels on the screen creating a higher quality image. A 1080p television has 1,920 by 1080 pixels, a 4k television has 3,840 by 2,160 pixels and an 8k television has 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. So a 4k television will have 4 times the amount of pixels as a 1080p and an 8k television will have 16 times more pixels than a 1080p. Now that 8k televisions are available you may be asking yourself, do I need an 8k television, I just upgraded all my televisions to 4k not that long ago. The answer to that question is probably not. The 8k televisions are more expensive and there currently is almost no 8k media content available. So if you have a 1080p television the wise move for right now is to go with a 4k television.

It took video companies a few years to get 4k video standardized for streaming and physical media. So you can assume that 8k will not be available for a few years from now. If you are a cord cutter, then you may know that the over the air channels that you are receiving via an antenna are currently broadcasted in primarily high definition which is either 720p or 1080i. The over the air channels do not even support the 4k format currently and it may be a while for this to occur because most of the equipment is not capable of distributing the signals.

If you are looking to purchase a new television for the big game I would suggest looking into a 4k. If you are looking to purchase new television and would like help researching available options, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one meets your needs. If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.