Archive for July, 2011

Four R?s of Preventing Waste ? Recycle

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Today we will be focusing on the Recycle ?R? of the four R?s and touch on some new ways your business can employ recycling to become more green.

Of all of the R?s recycling is most frequently being pursued by both the public and the corporate sectors.?? Recycling glass, paper and plastics have been in the works for years and are some of the most frequently recycled products.? Today we will touch on some new ways to recycle these and other materials in your business.

Start with the basics (Recycling bins) ? Many offices have started putting recycling bins next to their printers, in their break rooms and scattered throughout the office. This is a great way to begin taking the recycling steps needed to becoming a ?greener? organization.? Many times your solid waste removal company will be able to offer bins to help you begin this process.

Junk mail ? Hundreds of thousands of tons of junk mail is delivered to companies on an annual basis but few companies have processes in place to recycle that unwanted mail once it comes into the building.? Many waste removal companies can provide you with containers that will allow you collect this junk mail for recycling rather than waste disposal.

Fluorescent bulbs and tubes ? It is illegal to dispose of fluorescent bulbs, and there are many companies that can help you properly recycle these items including General Electric, IKEA, Home Depot and Waste Management to name but a few.? These companies will properly recycle these items in a safe manner for your business.

Electronics ? Businesses purchase billions of dollars of electronics every year and much of that becomes unusable or obsolete on a frequent basis.? Knowing how to recycle those items can be a huge step to making your company greener.? Sites such as http://www.digitaltips.org/green/corporate-recycling-programs.asp provide lists of companies that will take and recycle your electronic good sno matter what they are.

Office furniture ? Companies such as Office Furniture Warehouse (http://www.myofficefurniture.net/buy-back-program.htm) offer programs to buy back your undated or replaced office furniture.? Companies like these will not only come in and professionally remove your furniture but will also give you fair cash value for that furniture and will recycle it back into the next customer?s hand for continued use.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how you can find even more ways to support the Recycling process or purchase from companies who excel in recycling, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week?s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Four R’s of Preventing Waste – Reuse

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Yesterday we started a series focusing on the Four R’s of Waste Control beginning with a focus on “Reduce” as the first R.  Today we will be looking at “Reuse” and how it can fit into the culture of your business.

Next to reducing your waste amount, reusing your waste is the next best thing for creating a “greener” world.  Reusing an item once its initial purpose has been fulfilled changes it to no longer being waste.

Practical examples of the “reuse” principle are found more frequently in a person’s home however there are still some great ways to incorporate the “reuse” principle into your business.

Printer cartridge and toner reuse – Many printer companies have programs in place to collect empty ink and toner cartridges and refill them at the factory readying them for resell.  This process reduces the number of plastic shells that need to be manufactured by the ink and toner companies, reducing waste.  Some companies are even able to buy ink kits that allow them to fill their own cartridges.

Pallet reuse – Wood and plastic pallet reuse has long been a practice employed by companies to help reduce waste and cost and today there are several programs in place to “pool” pallets that can be shared among many companies without having to incur the cost of using brand new pallets with every shipment.

Reusable transport totes – Like pallets more and more companies are moving toward plastic totes to transport goods within the organization instead of cardboard boxes.  The cost up front is slightly higher, but the savings is huge compared to the waste and cost of using cardboard boxes with only a few uses.

Suppliers that reuse – One of the biggest ways companies can support the “reuse” philosophy is by selecting to do business with and supporting organizations and vendors who are in a position to “reuse” on multimillion dollar scales of volume and economy.  These companies have developed processes and have access to the manufacturing process that allow them to reuse waste savings millions of dollars.  There are thousands of suppliers who have been certified through one organization or another for excelling in this area and can be included when sourcing products.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing with companies that have a commitment to “Reusing” waste and/or have been certified as a leader in this area, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Four R?s of Preventing Waste ? Reuse

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Yesterday we started a series focusing on the Four R?s of Waste Control beginning with a focus on ?Reduce? as the first R.? Today we will be looking at ?Reuse? and how it can fit into the culture of your business.

Next to reducing your waste amount, reusing your waste is the next best thing for creating a ?greener? world.? Reusing an item once its initial purpose has been fulfilled changes it to no longer being waste.

Practical examples of the ?reuse? principle are found more frequently in a person?s home however there are still some great ways to incorporate the ?reuse? principle into your business.

Printer cartridge and toner reuse ? Many printer companies have programs in place to collect empty ink and toner cartridges and refill them at the factory readying them for resell.? This process reduces the number of plastic shells that need to be manufactured by the ink and toner companies, reducing waste.? Some companies are even able to buy ink kits that allow them to fill their own cartridges.

Pallet reuse ? Wood and plastic pallet reuse has long been a practice employed by companies to help reduce waste and cost and today there are several programs in place to ?pool? pallets that can be shared among many companies without having to incur the cost of using brand new pallets with every shipment.

Reusable transport totes ? Like pallets more and more companies are moving toward plastic totes to transport goods within the organization instead of cardboard boxes.? The cost up front is slightly higher, but the savings is huge compared to the waste and cost of using cardboard boxes with only a few uses.

Suppliers that reuse ? One of the biggest ways companies can support the ?reuse? philosophy is by selecting to do business with and supporting organizations and vendors who are in a position to ?reuse? on multimillion dollar scales of volume and economy.? These companies have developed processes and have access to the manufacturing process that allow them to reuse waste savings millions of dollars.? There are thousands of suppliers who have been certified through one organization or another for excelling in this area and can be included when sourcing products.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing with companies that have a commitment to ?Reusing? waste and/or have been certified as a leader in this area, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week?s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Four R’s of Preventing Waste – and then some

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Last week we talked about how the four R’s of preventing waste specifically affects corporate waste disposal and that we would be starting a 5-part series this week on breaking down each of the 4 four R’s and what they mean to your company.Traditionally the four R’s have referred to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rebuy with equally important recover, replenish and rethink being 3 more that could be added to the list.  Today we are going to focus on Reduce, with the rest of this week focusing on Reuse, Recycle and Rebuy on the other the honorable mentions.

Reducing your waste is arguably the most important of all the R’s as it deals directly with the issue of waste.  The less waste you produce the less you need to worry about the other R’s in this equation.

Reducing waste can come in many forms that include the basic processes of change like having employees bring their own mugs and wash them after use instead of continuing to purchase paper or Styrofoam cups to using both sides of printer/copy paper for simple print jobs that do not require a clean sheet of paper.

As a corporation some of the important ways you can begin reducing your waste are:

Purchase more durable goods – By purchasing goods that last longer and come with stronger warranties you can create fewer purchases of that product which equal less waste.  In the process of choosing your vendors and products these two factors should be as important in the selection as price.  While we are on this topic, make sure you are checking the warranties of products before disposing of them.  Many times this option exercised with a repair can drastically reduce unnecessary waste.

Low-waste packaging – Select products (both for individual items and cases) that have the least wasteful packaging.  Avoiding packaging with unnecessary plastic bubble wrap or double packaged products can significantly reduce the waste generated not only your company but that of your customers too.

Energy efficient electronic equipment – The selection process is your opportunity to ensure you are choosing companies and products that support a more energy efficient mission.  These can easily be specified by you during the RFI, RFP or RFQ process in order to evaluate as another important aspect along with price.

Rechargeable batteries – Using rechargeable batteries instead of normal one-time use batteries will require an initial investment up front but will return a greater savings in the long run and reduce the waste generated by multiple battery purchases. 

Tomorrow’s blog will focus on “Reuse” and for more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing with companies that have a commitment to “Reducing” waste, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Four R?s of Preventing Waste ? and then some

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Last week we talked about how the four R?s of preventing waste specifically affects corporate waste disposal and that we would be starting a 5-part series this week on breaking down each of the 4 four R?s and what they mean to your company.Traditionally the four R?s have referred to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rebuy with equally important recover, replenish and rethink being 3 more that could be added to the list.? Today we are going to focus on Reduce, with the rest of this week focusing on Reuse, Recycle and Rebuy on the other the honorable mentions.

Reducing your waste is arguably the most important of all the R?s as it deals directly with the issue of waste.? The less waste you produce the less you need to worry about the other R?s in this equation.

Reducing waste can come in many forms that include the basic processes of change like having employees bring their own mugs and wash them after use instead of continuing to purchase paper or Styrofoam cups to using both sides of printer/copy paper for simple print jobs that do not require a clean sheet of paper.

As a corporation some of the important ways you can begin reducing your waste are:

Purchase more durable goods ? By purchasing goods that last longer and come with stronger warranties you can create fewer purchases of that product which equal less waste.? In the process of choosing your vendors and products these two factors should be as important in the selection as price.? While we are on this topic, make sure you are checking the warranties of products before disposing of them.? Many times this option exercised with a repair can drastically reduce unnecessary waste.

Low-waste packaging ? Select products (both for individual items and cases) that have the least wasteful packaging.? Avoiding packaging with unnecessary plastic bubble wrap or double packaged products can significantly reduce the waste generated not only your company but that of your customers too.

Energy efficient electronic equipment ? The selection process is your opportunity to ensure you are choosing companies and products that support a more energy efficient mission.? These can easily be specified by you during the RFI, RFP or RFQ process in order to evaluate as another important aspect along with price.

Rechargeable batteries ? Using rechargeable batteries instead of normal one-time use batteries will require an initial investment up front but will return a greater savings in the long run and reduce the waste generated by multiple battery purchases.?

Tomorrow?s blog will focus on ?Reuse? and for more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing with companies that have a commitment to ?Reducing? waste, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week?s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Still having supply chain issues?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

It has been 125 days since the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, yet many companies are still struggling to cope with the fallout of their supply chain. Hopefully, our readers are not in this situation. However, if your company is still struggling with a supply chain issue or if you would like to be prepared for a future disaster, please read on.

Yesterday, I spoke with a vendor that had to sit out of a $2.9M opportunity due to such an issue. What?s worse; they told me that they have taken steps to source their products in North America, but that they are still six to eight months away from considering new business. No matter who you are, you simply cannot afford to walk away from sales opportunities of this (or any) size.

So, how could they have mitigated their exposure to this risk?

There are a variety of resources and processes that could (and should) have been in place long before any disaster struck.

1.Only purchase using an RFx service. Hosting an RFI, RFP, or an RFQ would have identified additional sources of supply with contacts in the event that a vendor change is required.

2.Implement a contract management service. In the example I have used, they have had this same source of supply for years. Using contract management, this company would have been prompted to source this product several times during this timeframe based on the appropriate schedule and contract terms.

3.Consult with your strategic sourcing partner. Whether you want to be prepared for the future or work through a current supply chain issue, call on your partner for advice. Their job is to help you succeed.

For more information on SafeSourcing and supply chain interruption preparedness, please contact a Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Green Waste Disposal – Four Rs in Practice

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

There has long been the concept of the three (and now four) Rs of preventing waste, and some argue that there may be a couple more you could add to that list (i.e. recover, replenish, rethink).  Next week will begin a 5 part series on the Four Rs, but today we are going to focus on how this concept applies to corporate waste disposal and how sourcing professionals can learn more about what some companies are doing in these areas to make a “greener” planet.

With so much trash being generated in the U.S. every day, it is increasingly important that business owners begin to look at what can be done to offset this trend and become more “green.”

Composting – Several Solid Waste Management Departments throughout the nation have introduced compost programs allowing companies and residents the chance to take their green waste (grass, leaves, brush) and have them converted into compost that is then used in the city parks and other city facilities.  These programs not only save landfill space in the process, but also help maximize the soil nutrient value and conserves water needed to maintain these areas.

Biomass energy – A few weeks ago we did a series on new green energies such as biomass energy, the processing of organic material to create energy, are how they are being embraced by the large waste disposal companies.  Waste Management, a leader in the waste disposal industry, has introduced several steps to increase creation of this new energy by supplying residents with recycling bags for them to fill with yard waste that will be turned into energy.

Education – As we move further into a new “green” millennium, it is ever more important for individuals and companies to get more educated on what they can do to become more observant of waste and what it means for our planet.  Companies such as Rumpke, are committed to this process by providing training sessions, videos and other material to help educate the public on what they can do to begin the “green” transition in their homes and businesses.

This list could go on, but the important thing is that there are companies that are serious about the long-term affects solid waste has on the environment and are committed to helping change the mindset and culture to begin protecting our planet.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing with companies with this commitment, please contact a Customer Service Representative.

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s series and look forward to and appreciate your comments.

This is a repost from three years ago titled “Thinking Green”.

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Let’s start with an old truism. “You can’t improve what you don’t measure”. This applies to green and safety standard compliance. Importantly, companies also can’t expect their trading partners to know what they are not told. In a 2008 white paper (that you can find on our website) titled “Safety in the Supply Chain, an Irony” I listed nine steps to safer and a more eco-friendly procurement. Although simple, these simple steps go a long way towards accomplishing the most important step in any endeavor. If you don’t write it down, it won’t happen. As a guideline I offer the following:

Nine steps to safer and more eco-friendly procurement

1. Be pro-active in driving not for resale and for resale product safety within your company, and also supporting eco-standards in the procurement process.
2. Pay it forward with all of your trading partners by sharing what you are doing, and asking what they do to support yours or similar initiatives of their own.
3. Educate your employees and trading partners about common safety standards and guidelines such as the SQF Certificate www.sqfi.com  and the Global Food Safety Initiative www.ciesnet.com.
4. Educate your employees and trading partners about common eco-standards such as Green- Energy National Standard www.green-e.org or EcoLogo www.ecologo.org
5. Point associates and trading partners to free educational websites such as www.safesourcing.com to use their free SafeSourcing Wiki or the Sourcebook professional social network for procurement professionals.
6. Only use trading partners that follow your lead.
7. Train your team to understand and use all available tools that insure supply chain safety such the free daily safety in sourcing blog at www.safesourcing.com  or the low cost SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database and Reverse Auction Tools.
8. Write it down and then impose a system of measures and controls to monitor performance against clearly defined goals.
9. Start at the top and engage all levels of your company.

We look forward to your input on this weeks posts.

NAFTA still a challenge at Seventeen and a half?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

It’s hard to believe that The North American Free Trade Agreement went into force on January 1st of 1994 or seventeen years ago. This agreement covers a trade bloc consisting of the United States, Mexico and Canada.

How well this agreement has worked is a completely different subject at least in part. Can you believe that it took until this year for the governments of the United States and Mexico to agree to let each countries trucks travel on each others highways. Arguments, tariffs, security issues and other concerns have kept this vital part of any free trade zone from working as designed.

Maybe we have it right now and sourcing products from our free trade zone partners will be a bit easier.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

How socially focused or responsible is your company.

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Well if that’s the case why not apply for B Corporation certification. In essence this would be putting your money where your mouth is. At this point there are no real hard financial incentives for a company to do this. At least four states  have passed or proposed B Corp legislation, but it is pretty clear that all will in the future.

So just what is a B CORP? I’m glad you asked. If you visit the Certified B Corporation website you’ll learn that Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.  B Corps are unlike traditional businesses because they:
        • Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental    performance standards;
        • Meet higher legal accountability standards;
        • Build business constituency for good business

SafeSourcing is going to add B Corporation certification to our database of supplier certifications and ask companies our customers’ partner with what their plans are to achieve B Corp Certification as part of their current or future CSR initiatives. We do the same for over 30 other certifications today such as Eco Logo, SQF and LEED.

If we do a small part and our customers do a small part and their suppliers do a small part, the parts will add up. Pay it forward and do your part.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Ron Southard CEO SafeSourcing