Staffing Agencies May be the Solution

January 21st, 2022

Using a staffing agency may help you save valuable time and money.

 

 

 

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

With the news that 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November, it reminded me that businesses should look at using staffing agencies to help fill the positions that they have open.  Some are calling this event the Great Resignation.  It does not appear that the workers are just quitting and walking away but they are taking a step back and making choices to change careers to better their work-life balance.  With this influx of new workers, it might be the right time for you to look into getting help finding the right talent for your business.  Using a staffing agency may help you save valuable time and money.

Hiring new employees can be a very daunting task.  Sometimes it can be a real struggle finding the right talent.  Even if you find the right talent the new hire may not fully satisfy your company’s needs.  This can result in wasted time and money.  As a result, a lot of companies choose to work with staffing agencies to help them find the right talent.  When done in-house the vetting process for a new hire can be very time consuming and expensive.  Staffing agencies can help with this because they do all of the vetting and may absorb other costs such as skill assessments, background checks, drug screenings, driving records and training.  Because of this, using a staffing agency ensures that you get qualified candidates that can come aboard and start being productive right away.  Below are some other reasons to consider working with a staffing agency.

  • Faster Hiring Process
  • Better Candidates
  • Save Money
  • Superior Market Knowledge
  • Lower New Employee Overhead
  • Performance Guarantees
  • More Effective Job Descriptions
  • More Access to Experienced Candidates

If you are planning to hire new employees and would like help finding a staffing agency, 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 your procurement efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

Procurement Planning​

January 20th, 2022

As companies get the new year underway,

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Director of HR and Administration at SafeSourcing.

As companies get the new year underway, there are likely a whole slew of things they are going over, from modified budgets to new processes. One key aspect that should be on everyone’s list are areas to examine for procurement. Setting up a list of 10, 25, 50, or even 100 different product or services that your organization could take a closer look at can be a great jumping off point to begin with your procurement team or procurement partner.

When reviewing the initial list, a procurement team or a procurement partner like SafeSourcing will look at a number of different aspects around those products or services. Price increases are one aspect that can be reviewed and addressed when undergoing a procurement process. Perhaps the incumbent vendors you have worked with for many years has regular price increases built into a contract that grow despite what market conditions do. This is another great reason to have your procurement team review what options you have for sourcing.

If your organization wants to get started with procurement efforts but isn’t sure where to begin or which categories, they should look at first, talk to SafeSourcing. We can analyze your spend and invoices and begin researching areas that would benefit your organization the most – a truly custom fit dependent solely on what your company hopes to gain and fitting your own goals.

When reviewing data, a procurement partner like SafeSourcing can set timelines that are timely, but do not short any essential aspects along the way. Using a procurement partner can free up your own procurement team’s time to focus on other important roles within your company, all while still delivering the service and value you expect from your own.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Amusement Park

January 19th, 2022

When reflecting on the last two or so years since the emergence of Covid-19

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Director of HR, and Administration at SafeSourcing.

When reflecting on the last two or so years since the emergence of Covid-19 and thinking about all the many things that have happened and changed since then, the best image I can use to express what this whole time has been like would be an amusement park (albeit a pretty unamusing one). There are a number of different ways an (un)amusement park and our world now are metaphorically similar.

First, it’s easy to get lost. Amusement parks are often pretty large, with endlessly winding roads and new shops and attractions around each bend. It’s difficult to navigate through the maze just as it is difficult to traverse through the world now with so many twists and turns. You may find yourself wandering around, looking for a good place to stop, only to find you are back where you started except no way out. Much of Covid-19 has been like this for so many people and there no gleaming exit sign to show us the way to go.

Second, it’s unpredictable. With each new twist and turn in amusement parks as well as Covid life, we can only guess what we think the future might hold and what will be coming next. Just like the roller coasters that go up and down, all around and back again, the market for so many goods or services (or even companies like GameStop) have been completely unpredictable. Many people have struggled to find things that they normally would an abundance of, like toilet paper in Covid life or just a toilet for amusement park life.

Third, it’s exhausting. With so much uncertainty and the inability to find rest both since covid and at amusement parks, naturally we grow weary of it. We may want things to change and go back to normal, but for now we can reminisce about days before Covid or amusement parks and look forward to a time when normalcy returns. Until then, we must keep striving on and doing the best we can, but there is some help out there. A procurement partner, like SafeSourcing can help you navigate the chaos of the market and help to source the goods or services that you have not been able to find.

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

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

 

 

 

What Exactly are you Waiting For?

January 18th, 2022

If you’re waiting for savings, you’re missing on cost avoidance.

 

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

I recently had a conversation with a procurement professional who is responsible for generating savings for his organization. His job is to use his skills to purchase goods and services at a better cost than they have been able to do previously. It’s simple and it’s common.

As you may know, this market has seen astronomical cost increases across nearly every category there is. This poses quite a challenge for the procurement professional as his livelihood depends on his ability to achieve savings.

Yet, there is a tendency within some organizations to view savings as a rigid formula where current cost – new cost = savings. I absolutely get that and have worked for many years to achieve that very goal consistently.

That said, the conversation must shift, and procurement professionals need to be held to a more realistic standard. In this market, cost avoidance is just as valuable. If an organization waits until the market allows traditional savings as defined above, then they will lose out on the savings they can achieve through cost avoidance.

Accepting vendors’ price increases as-is because “not is not a good time” to source a category is to agree to pay more than you have paid before. If you use tools like our eProcurement RFQ, for example, in this market, you might avoid that cost increase altogether.

What exactly are you waiting for?

Contact SafeSourcing with your procurement needs and we can help.  If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

 

 

How e-procurement is used to combat inflation

January 14th, 2022

The rising inflation rate equals no more than the sum of its parts

 

Today’s post is by Patrick Quinn is a Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

The inflation rate from 2021 was a top concern for businesses of all industries and scales, and nearly everyone is concerned about when, and if, rates will drop off.

Fortunately, many economists predict that the rate will fall in a significant fashion. Unfortunately, it will likely not fall at the rate they had hoped just a month ago. Optimistic outlooks predicted inflation will fall to 2.6% by the end of 2022, down from 7% at the end of 2021. Now, the outlook is not so clear. Household necessities such as rent and clothing costs are still rising, but other costs, such as meat and gasoline, seem to already have found a balance in the new market.

As a result, different industries are facing different challenges in 2022, and cost management looks very different from business to business. For example, retailers are focused on managing new demands in labor costs, and manufacturers find themselves getting hit with rising materials costs.

However, by using e-procurement to proactively evaluate the market, these concerns can be highly mitigated. But the severity of a rising market varies from cost to cost. The reason for a price increase can stem from a number of different issues, and by using e-procurement to source suppliers driving different costs, inflation can be met at its minimum rising rate, instead of having your costs rise at the sum of its different components.

To help you find the source of your rising costs, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

 

 

 

Don’t lose your well-earned eRFX savings by delaying your Letter of Intent or Contract execution.

January 13th, 2022

When an LOI or a Contract is delayed, the savings identified in the RFX will not start accumulating until the first invoice from the new supplier or the incumbent supplier arrives post contract.

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

In today’s post, we will be reviewing some of the issues that could occur when a Letter of Intent (LOI) or a new Contract, doesn’t get executed efficiently after a successful eSourcing RFX.

LOI or a Contract is delayed

When an LOI or a Contract is delayed, the savings identified in the RFX will not start accumulating until the first invoice from the new supplier or the incumbent supplier arrives post contract.  If a Contract is delayed, the RFX Host Company will have to pay the current contracts negotiated terms for products or supplies until the LOI and/or Contract is executed.  Depending on the volume of the items, it could equate to a lot of lost savings.

When RFXs aren’t awarded efficiently

One of SafeSourcing’s many service offerings is identifying historical categories to take to market.  Our goal is to create an RFX calendar that outlines future projects extending at least one year out. We then populate the calendar with past eRFXs that should be reruns due to previously negotiated contract expirations. We then identify upcoming potential spot purchases that are a result of our deep dive with our spend analysis tool into all category spending.  When RFXs aren’t awarded efficiently these rerun dates will change and as a result may cause future issues with the strategic selection of targeted dates for new RFXs. If you slip 5 months which we see way to often, and prices are headed up over 41% of your savings may be lost.

For more information on how we can help your business reduce spending and maintain savings 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 and appreciate your comments

 

Crypto Boom!

January 12th, 2022

The rise of cryptocurrency!

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Director of HR, and Administration at SafeSourcing.

Possibly one of the biggest changes we have seen in the last 15 years or so, at least financially, has been the rise of cryptocurrency. Even in the last year or two alone, the number of different cryptocurrencies has soared. Perhaps you have wondered what it is, how you even begin, or what it all means economically.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be bought, sold, traded, or used electronically. In addition, it is also not issued by any country and therefore is not regulated by any origin country, which can allow for more freedom of use and less government regulation. This freedom from regulation and ease of transfer is a leading cause of the rise of cryptocurrency because all you need is a computer to make transactions. There have been downsides to the lack of regulation too. Often hackers will hijack a company website or database and demand cryptocurrency in exchange for the company information release. Because the nature of cryptocurrency being unregulated and secured by cryptography, it means it cannot be traced.

There are good things about cryptocurrencies too. Cryptocurrencies vary and there are a number of different ones out there. With some research, one can discern which currency they think will continue to grow and there are a number of different ways of beginning. One good way to begin is to choose an app or other platform from which you would like to buy, sell, and trade from. While most apps are free, there are varying fees for transactions and finding the right fee base is dependent on how much you plan on spending and how often you think you will make transactions. From there, you can link bank accounts or credit cards to purchase currencies and sell currencies. In some places – which are growing more common – you can even buy goods or services through cryptocurrencies, especially when linked to other pay platforms, like Venmo, PayPal, or others. SafeSourcing  now accepts Bitcoin and Ethereum as forms of payment for all of our services.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Where is the best place for retailers to spend their effort to improve profitability?

January 11th, 2022

This has always been a great question for retailers. Should we attack the bottom line by focusing on shrink, cost of goods or gross margin?

 

Today’s post is an oldie but goody by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing

The answer to this posts byline is of course all three!

Obviously, all retail companies would like to focus on all three areas and there are even sub sections of these top line areas that we could spell out as needing attention. The challenge is where to deploy already taxed resources?

It does not require an accountant to figure this out. If we assume that COGS or cost of goods and services is about 75% of top line revenue that would result in a simple gross margin of 25%. Based on a number of industries reports we are also safe using a shrink number of 3% of top line revenue.

This author is aware that there are a a few companies with shrink below 1% and cost of goods below 75% which means there are also companies with gross margin better than 25%. The obvious question is are these companies that solution providers want to target for profit improvement sales? Probably not.

So, let’s look at an example of shrink improvement with data analysis tools and process improvement tools versus cost compression with SaaS e-procurement tools. Let’s assume we have a company that does top line sales of $1B. Using a shrink number of 3% shrink would be $30M annually. If you were able to reduce shrink by a third in one year, profit improvement would be $10M. If this were a supermarket company with a 1% bottom line or $10M, improvement could be as much as 100%.

Now let’s take a look at reduction in cost. If we assume the same company has COGS of 75% or $750M and that we were only going to address 20% of that number or $150 and only reduce those costs by 20% which is slightly above industry averages the net profit improvement would be $30M or 300% improvement in year over year net profit. If we were only able to achieve 10% savings which is well below industry averages, net profit would improve by 150%.

I’ll leave the gross margin example for you to figure out. In the above case it is clear that attacking COGS has an impact on the bottom line of up to 3 to 1 versus addressing shrink with your already taxed resources.

If you are interested in an immediate impact to your bottom line, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services associate today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Are you having a hard time finding employees?

January 10th, 2022

We grabbed an empty table that had not been cleared off and proceeded to wait for the waiter or waitress.

 

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

With everything opening back up and things starting to get back to a little bit of normalcy, we have been venturing out and starting to dine out at our favorite local restaurants.  The other day we decided to try one of old favorites that we have not been to in over a year.  When we walked in it was about 80 percent full and we said hello to one of our favorite bar tenders.  She said hello and had enough time to say that we chose the busiest night to come in.  We grabbed an empty table that had not been cleared off and proceeded to wait for the waiter or waitress.  After about 5 minutes we went back to the bar tender, and she said that they only had two waitresses working so we decided to leave.  After leaving there we stopped at another restaurant close by that did not appear to be as busy.  As we walked in, this place looked to be about 30 percent full, so we seated ourselves and waited for the waitress.  While we were waiting, I looked around and it appeared they were short staffed as well.  When our waitress finally made it over I asked if she was the only waitress and she said that she was.  She was upbeat about it and said she did not mind and that every time they hire a group of people they only stay a few days and then do not come back.  The next day, I did a little research and discovered that this staffing issue is not only a problem in the restaurant industry alone but across many industries throughout the country.  If this staffing problem is affecting you then maybe we can help.  We can research qualified staffing agencies in your area and run an RFQ to guarantee that you get the best price and service that meets your needs.

Below are some other reasons for you to consider using a staffing agency.

  • Saves Cost
  • Increases Hiring Speed
  • Better Candidates
  • Superior Market Knowledge
  • Lower New Employee Overhead
  • Performance Guarantees
  • More Effective Job Descriptions
  • Access to a wider, better quality talent pool

If you are planning to hire new employees and would like help finding a staffing agency, 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 your procurement efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

Balancing Deliberate vs Emergent Strategy

January 7th, 2022

Even the best laid plans need room for adjustment and adaptation!

 

Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing

People can be unpredictable. Its part of what keeps life interesting. But when a project gets thrown a curveball by someone who missed a deadline, overlooked a requirement, or is just plain uncooperative, the complexities that emerge are not typically the kind of “interesting” we want to experience. Michael Porter and Henry Mintzberg were the originators of the concepts of Deliberate vs Emergent strategy more than 25 years ago, and their views are still relevant today. We can account for most of the variables rational players bring to the table, but human beings aren’t always rational, and therefore not always predictable. This is why a balance between deliberate and emergent strategies must be achieved for any project.

The aspects of your project that should be deliberate are things like financial goals, timeframes, logistical requirements, etc. High level criteria for success often do not change and should be deliberate, pre-planned, and static. When our expectations regarding the execution of this strategy collide with reality in a way that will not resolve without adaptation, our ability to develop emergent strategy is essential.

No two procurement projects have to be run the same, and in fact usually should not be. Often times the optimal strategy for achieving pre-determined goals will not be known until some insight has been gained about the supplier base; how many suppliers are capable of providing the product/service? What is the geographical availability of capacity? Is pricing market regulated? What service level guarantees are available? Is the market experiencing price increases/supply shortages? These variables should influence our strategy for execution, by changing things like baseline pricing, terms and conditions, SOW’s, and freight considerations.

Some managers believe that any form of adaptation is a weakness of strategy. It isn’t. The old way of thinking about strategy is to assume all outcomes can be known and predicted. That’s why most of the Fortune 500 Companies that existed 50 years ago don’t exist anymore. They believed their position to be a product of previous strategy that should never be changed. The companies that have thrived over the years have continuously adapted, reinventing themselves over and over again to stay relevant, and capable of exceeding their customer’s expectations.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process 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.