What You Should Expect of Excellent White Glove Level Customer Service

August 11th, 2020

Customer Service, Great White Glove Service is more than just helping a customer in the now…

 

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Inc Archives.

This author defines excellent  white glove customer service as going above and beyond  the expectations of your internal and external customers in all facets of your engagement with the business.

Customer Service is more than just helping a customer in the now, there are multiple and unique ways that  SafeSourcing provides excellent  white glove customer service. Below are just a few highlights:

  1. Good customer service is a team sport. One weak link in the chain can lead to a negative experience that affects business and the bottom line. Educate our employees on rules for customer engagement. We begin with a set of simple rules, such as be courteous, listen carefully and be prepared to say “yes” rather than “no.” The best way to teach is by example. We believe, when you treat your employees well, they’ll be more likely to treat your customers well, in turn. (Open Forum, 2011)
  2. After you and your employees, nobody knows more about your business than your customers. Customers can be your biggest fans or your harshest critics. We ask the customers how we are doing, what they like about our business and what they don’t like. This is not about collecting compliments, it is an open the channel to all customers. Negative feedback can be especially helpful, though it can be a little uncomfortable. We put mechanisms in place for anonymous feedback, such as a “Contact us” button on our website and feedback surveys for our suppliers to complete. (Open Forum, 2011)
  3. While all customers deserve to receive courtesy and respect, our long-term and loyal customers merit treatment that goes above and beyond. Special offers of extra hours, special reports, loyalty and appreciation help give our best customers something extra. Far from alienating new customers, these programs demonstrate that loyalty has its rewards. (Open Forum, 2011)
  4. Nobody’s perfect, and our customers understand that. When we make a mistake, we acknowledge it, apologize and then move quickly to correct it. We use the opportunity to improve our business processes and let customers know what actions we took to prevent the mistake from happening again. Customers will feel more comfortable doing business when they see that we took the problem seriously. (Open Forum, 2011)
  5. The key to customer loyalty can be embodied in two simple words: Thank you. Nothing else sets the tone for our relationship with our customers better. Essentially, every “thank you” says, “I appreciate your business and I won’t take it for granted.” And it can be just as powerful whether it’s delivered in person or on a printed page. E-mails, invoices and phone calls are all opportunities to let our customers know how important they are to us. (Open Forum, 2011)

Providing excellent white glove level customer service is integral to any successful business. Taking care of our customers helps encourage them to continue doing business through good times and bad.

We enjoy bringing this blog to you and hope you find value in it. For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

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Reference: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/

Perception vs. Reality

August 10th, 2020

Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality.

 

 

Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.

Psychiatrist Jim Taylor said: “Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality. Our perceptions influence how we focus on, process, remember interpret, understand, synthesize, decide about and act on reality. In doing so, our tendency is to assume that how we perceive reality is an accurate representation of what reality truly is.”1. In reality we are all predisposed genetically by past experiences, prior knowledge, emotions, self-interest and cognitive distortions. For example, if you were to ask several people that witnessed a car accident, many would say they saw it differently. The focus of the witness’s memory is on the action that took place and not on the circumstances under which it took place. Just because the witness is confident about their version does not make their accounts accurate.

Organizations and businesses need to pay attention how they are perceived by prospects and customers. “Does your target audience see your signature products as innovative, well-priced, useful and available? Are customers swayed by comparison advertising that presents your goods as inferior or not worth the cost?”2. You may be the best, fairest-priced, but still have a bad perception. One bad review online review can damage years of building a good name for your company and it will a lot of work to undo the damage. Unfortunately, you may never know were that review came from. It’s not fair, but it’s reality. Use every option to keep your public image positive. Customer service must be at the top of your list for every employee.

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…..……………………………………………..

1, 2 Harvey Mackey, AZcentral.com, 7/20/2020

 

 

 

 

It’s a real crime that so many companies continue to stay on the sidelines!

August 7th, 2020

Particularly when they could have an ROI of 17X or greater and an immediate improvement to their bottom line?

 

 

Todays post is from Ron Southard CEO at SafeSourcing

Unfortunately some 70% of companies still do not use eprocurement tools. If they did, their results would be better. SafeSourcing can give you customer references that exceed the 17X ROI mentioned above. So what happens when you combine your spend with another company?

Generally speaking, the greater the spend amount, the more interest you will get from potential vendors. As a result, many of our customers have been turning to collaborative eProcurement events in order to benefit from the additional savings that higher volumes can generate. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of getting involved.

1. Higher savings due to aggregate volumes
2. Improved payment terms
3. Larger vendor pool
4. Greater ROI
5. Source smaller category spends

Based on the five benefits listed above, perhaps it’s time to try a collaborative event. You may ask; “how would we become involved?” The answer is simple. Contact your SafeSourcing customer services representative and ask if there are any open or upcoming opportunities in which you could participate. Similarly, if you have any upcoming projects either large or small, ask your partner to attempt collaboration within their customer base.

Here’s an example of savings generated from a recent collaboration. In this scenario, our customer was in need of a relatively small spot buy for replenishment purposes. Their spend in this category was actually quite low and was actually the lowest overall amongst the participating companies. In this example, the customer saved almost 37%. I find it difficult to imagine that they would have done so well without the eProcurement process. Further, this is evidence of the benefits of the collaborative process as their pricing was likely much better off as a result of the aggregated spend.

So, are you ready to get involved, or will you continue to stand on the sidelines?

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

During a Pandemic like COVID-19, Is there benefit to a large retail supplier database?

August 4th, 2020

Maybe your current supplier can't handle your volume any more. What you don't need is the yellow pages!

 

Todays simple post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

Maybe you’re looking for KN95 face masks, gloves or other medical safety equipment. Do you know all of the off shore suppliers and how to contact them? We do!

Maybe your current supplier can’t handle your volume any more because of the Pandemic! Where do you look.

Once you are armed with a robust Global Supplier Database such as  SafeSourcing’s  SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  and it’s easy to use query tool.

If you need assistance, just contact us at 1-888-261-9070 or  marketing@safesourcing.com.

We’re here to help!

“You Buy It, We Procure it”

July 31st, 2020

There is a difference.

 

Today’s post is from our archives at  SafeSourcing Inc.

When working with current or new customers, I often ask what’s next in your pipeline or purchases. Too often I get a response similar to we don’t have anything coming up or we aren’t buying anything big today/this month/this year. A purchase doesn’t have to be considered big in the moment of ordering, but over time the expense adds up. For instance, copy paper is bought for almost every single office or location. While it might be a ream or case at time, added up might be in the thousands of dollars annually. Perhaps you own a fleet of vehicles and purchase tires multiple times a year. Without a pricing agreement in place to ensure the best possible pricing all year round, you are losing money.  Within each of these purchases, it might seem small or a onetime purchase, however, an annual spend or general ledger (GL) will show at the end of the year as a significant spend to the company.

SafeSourcing can work with your company to identify purchases and potential saving opportunities through our SafeSpend™ analysis. This presents your company with an overview of where not just the large purchases are, but where the small purchases are that add up to large purchases. This will give you the view into saving potential that SafeSourcing can offer with various sevices. Remember… “ If you buy it, we procure it”!

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

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

 

How is SafeSourcing different from the competition?

July 30th, 2020

White Glove Customer Service and Industry best results! TEST US!

 

Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing Inc.

 

customersat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SafeSourcing’s professional service offerings support our mission of providing information and services to our customers through e-procurement best practices that proactively support e-procurement events from category discovery to results analysis. As part of our full service offerings, this also includes ROI delivery and focus on consumer safety and environmental standards in the global supply chain. Our offerings include, but are not limited to:

  • Buyer Training
  • Category Discovery
  • Category to Market Strategy
  • Event Set-Up
  • Event Training
  • ROI Delivery
  • Supplier Safety Certifications
  • Supplier Selection
  • Supplier Training

partner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you interested in learning more about SafeSourcing and how we can help your company? SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

The Advantages of e-Procurement

July 29th, 2020

The challenges and implementation made easy in working with a cloud based SaaS e-procurement company.

 

Today’s post is from our archives  at SafeSourcing Inc.

It is not easy to implement e-procurement and it can have its challenges; additionally, it takes time for business managers and procurement departments to fully accept it. However, with SafeSourcing as your partner, we can show you the advantages of e-procurement and make the transition to e-procurement much smoother by the following:

Reducing Costs

Costs can be reduced by leveraging volume, having structured supplier relationships and by using system improvements to reduce external spend while improving quality and supplier performance1. E-procurement eliminates paperwork, rework and errors1.

Visibility of Spend

Centralized tracking of transactions enables full reporting on requisitions, items purchased, orders processes and payments made1. E-procurement advantages extend to ensuring compliance with existing and established contracts1.

Productivity

Internal customers can obtain the items they want from a catalogue of approved items through an on-line requisition and ordering system1. Procurement staff can be released from processing orders and handling low value transactions to concentrate on strategic sourcing and improving supplier relationships1.

Controls

Standardized approval processes and formal workflows ensure that the correct level of authorization is applied to each transaction and that spend is directed to draw off existing contracts. Compliance to policy is improved as users can quickly locate products and services from preferred suppliers and are unable to create maverick purchases1.

Using technology

E-procurement advantages can only be fully realized when the systems and processes to manage it are in place1. Software tools are needed to create the standard procurement documentation: electronic requests for information (e-RFI), requests for proposal (e-RFP) and requests for quotation (e-RFQ)1.

These are proven methods to source goods and make the framework agreements that offer the best prices. For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

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References: 1) http://www.purchasing-procurement-center.com/e-procurement-advantages.html

Say Yes To New Business! Participate in Request for Quotes!

July 28th, 2020

Do you ignore the invitations to participate in Request for Quotes?

 

Today’s post is from our Archives at SafeSourcing Inc.

Do you ignore the invitations to participate in Request for Quotes? Do you overlook the “Please click HERE too for your acceptance to participate in the Request for Quote (RFQ)”?

As a business owner, how do you make any money if you do not do business? Why would you turn down an opportunity to earn new business? If it costs you nothing monetarily but a total of an hour’s worth of time, why not participate?

  •  Through the SafeSourcing process, the RFQs are paid for by the client/host, which means you are not paying to participate or paying to earn new business.
  • Specifications and Terms and Conditions are provided to give you very clear details of the expectations of the items or services required within the RFQ.
  • Accepting to participate in a SafeSourcing RFQ is a very simple process that allows you time to ask specific questions about the items or services and a scheduled training of the system tool to enter pricing. The training itself is very detailed and is done in a very short period of time. We at SafeSourcing understand your time is money.
  • Our RFQs are blind. Just as in a traditional RFP or RFQ, the electronic view of our system is customized to show you your price and your price only, and if you have the lowest quote will be indicated by a specific color. Also different from traditional methods of price collection, is the opportunity to lower your pricing if you do not have the lowest quote. Traditionally, you submit your best and final, walk away and then never know if you had dropped your pricing just another dollar or two that you would have had the advantage of having the lowest quote.

Again, time is money, so 90% of the RFQ Events that SafeSourcing runs for our clients are 20 minutes with 2 minute extensions. Rarely are the RFQs longer. Many of the clients are on a tight timeline themselves and do not have hours to dedicate a person to watch the live event.

We hope with this post that it will open the eyes to businesses wanting new business to participate in future RFQs. Should you have questions regarding our system tool and process or are interested in how SafeSourcing can run a RFQ or RFP for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

What happens when your supplier forgets that you are the customer?

July 24th, 2020

Sometimes, maybe more often than not some vendors forget who the customer is.

 

Today’s is from our archives at  SafeSourcing.

After contract negotiation, sometimes a vendor will forget who the customer is. This can be detrimental if it occurs in the quality of their perishable products.

When it comes to the quality of perishable products sold, it is important to have a quality check in place.  This is important when it pertains to perishable foods that don’t meet minimum standards and agreed upon expiration dates.  Without a quality check in place, there will be an opportunity with spoilage which will result in additional shrink then originally budgeted.

Two of the most effected categories in retail grocery are produce and dairy.  Fresh produce is a minimum requirement or your customer.  Typically produce is one of the first products you see when you enter a retail grocery store.  It has to look great.  The relationship you have with your vendor is important.  Sometime vendors try to implement a standard reduction for spoilage credits which is the same across all stores regardless of their actual spoilage.  This standard helps some stores and hurts others.  In the world of retail grocery, every penny counts and it is important that all credits are accounted for properly by store location. With dairy, you are only getting 7 days to sell your products due to sell dates; therefore, you set yourself up for spoilage.  Vendors should be held to giving you at least 14 days to sell the product before spoilage.

It is important to not allow your suppliers dictate to your company’s product expiration dates.  Regardless of the price set during negotiation and contract time, there was an agreement with the supplier that they would supply you quality products.  They need to be held to that agreement.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure all proper terms and specifications are included in the documents to set minimum standards and expectations.   These documents serve to remind suppliers of the quality and service expectation agreed upon at negotiation and contract time.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring fresh perishable products, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments!

 

The Difference between Procurement and Purchasing and the Primary Role of a Purchasing Department

July 23rd, 2020

The terms purchasing and procurement are used interchangeably, but.......

 

 

Today’s  post is from our archives at  SafeSourcing Inc.

The terms purchasing and procurement are used interchangeably, but despite their apparent similarities they do have different meanings. I can’t tell you how often we are asked, what do  you mean by procurement or eProcurement?

Procurement involves the process of selecting vendors, establishing payment terms, strategic vetting, selection, and negotiation of contracts. Procurement is concerned with acquiring (procuring) all of the goods, services, and work that is vital to an organization. Procurement is, basically, the  umbrella term that includes purchasing.

Purchasing, then, is a subset of procurement. Purchasing generally refers to buying products or services whos prices have already been negotiated  this may include shipping and receiving details and payment terms as well.

Because purchasing is a process within the overall procurement process, both procurement and purchasing are often used interchangeably. In the business world, the practice of using similar terminology seems to work, although it can sometimes be a little confusing and cause problems like rouge sourcing and or tail spend mismanagement.

To sum up: Procurement deals with the sourcing activities, negotiation, and strategic selection of goods and services that are usually of importance to an organization. Purchasing, however, is the process of how goods and services are ordered. Purchasing can usually be described as the transactional function of procurement for less vital goods or services.

Purchasing departments are responsible for procuring supplies. The development of strategic planning and the arrival of just-in-time purchasing, make purchasing a more crucial business function. Today, purchasing is often referred to as part of supply chain management and the purchasing department has taken on a larger and more vital business role. Purchasing departments often work alongside product development teams to source materials and determine cost of the finished product. Purchasing departments may use e-procurement companies, like SafeSourcing, Inc., trade publications, source suppliers, or go straight to the manufacturer. Finding the correct item at the correct price can be difficult, and purchasing departments may also work to assist suppliers in  helping to manufacture the item needed. This can involve providing considerable assistance to the supplier.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your Purchasing Department procure goods and services please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments