Archive for May, 2015

Contract review is tedious work?

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

 

Todays post is from Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Many large companies have law departments and at least as many don’t. Most small companies don’t either. Which company is in better position to review and evaluate existing contracts?

The answer is neither or maybe both. The first important question for each type of company is who is actually evaluating the contracts, and just because they have a law degree does not mean that contract evaluation is a specific skill set this individual may possess. This author strongly recommends choosing who will provide this function within your company or as a service and then make absolutely sure that they have the skill set required to do the job and stay up to date.

There are any number of contract management certificate programs available from prestigious and well know institutions. To name a few, there is Villanova University, The University of California Irvine and St. Louis University. In addition there are organizations that also offer this type of training. Probably the most well know is, the National Contract Management Association or NCMA that has been around for over 50 years.

Many of these organizations offer on line courses that can be completed within a reasonable period of time. Many of the University and College courses are actually accredited as well as affiliated with NCMA.

Once you have resources that are certified, provide them with the tools they need to do their job. All companies have 100’s if not 1000’s of contracts and most do not have a contract management solution. These solutions today are available via the cloud in Software as a Service model for very little investment. You can buy what you need when you need it. Most of good providers will also assist with evaluating your existing contracts in order to create your Meta data and populate your  contract database.

SafeSourcing offers a cloud based Software as a Service contract management solution called SafeContract™ which is supported by these types of services.

Please contact a SafeSourcing  customer services representative in order to learn more.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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Toilet Paper…Who needs it?

Friday, May 29th, 2015

 

Today’s post is by Alyson Usserman, Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

Usable Paper Products can result in a massive spend category, does this sound like your company?

Usable paper products can be a company’s highest spend category because it typically goes unmonitored. If you are a retailer with public bathrooms, you could be paying hundreds of thousands  of dollars a year  to maintain the usable products within the bathrooms.

When sourcing usable bathroom products and toilet paper, the specification can be pretty standard depending  if you utilize coreless toilet paper rolls or not. Sourcing bathroom products can still be complex depending on the nature of the spend. Are you currently using more than one supplier? Can your janitorial staff couple this with their supplies and lower the cost of their services? Do you have space to store the additional cases.

These questions become vital when sourcing usable products like toilet paper. Are you over paying?

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.

We look forward to your comments.

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Why is the cost of Beef so high this year?

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

 

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

In today’s blog, Gayl discusses the reason for the high cost of beef this year.

With summer fast approaching, barbecuing is on lot of families’ minds.  Because of the drought of 2012 in the Midwest, backyard cooks can blame the increase price of beef this grilling season.  The average price of sirloin is up 20 percent from last year.  An 8-ounce filet mignon is approximately $15 more at some Kansas City area stores.  Two pounds of lean ground beef may cost a few dollars more than a year ago.  Although beef is pricier, it’s hard to resist the smell of beef on the grill!

Many cattle farmers decreased their herds two or three years ago when the grasslands dried due to drought conditions.  Cattle, unlike fast growing chicken and pigs, require three years from breed to slaughter.  The gestation for a cow is nine months to deliver a calf.  We are about a year and half away from the price of beef to show a reduction.  This is good news to the cattle farmers, as they can reap the rewards of the higher price of beef now.

According to Tampa Bay Times, dated May 13, 2013, “’A year ago last November, for 350-pound calves I paid $1.80 a pound,’” Mc Intosh said.  “’Today, I might pay $3 to $3.50” a pound’”.  Cattle farmers have been trying to satisfy pickier consumers since the 1980’s when the shift from beef to poultry shifted.

Fortunately, if you prefer pork or chicken, those prices have barely increased, in fact bacon, on average, is cheaper.

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.

We look forward to your comments.

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Most of the time the devil is in the detail

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

 

Today’s post is from our from our  SafeSourcing archive.

When you are planning out purchases, whether it’s for a business or a personal purchase,  for most people and companies it is planned out as part of a budget.  Just looking at the price tag can give you a false sense of security as to what you are going to pay and ultimately blow your budget if you don’t plan for it properly. There are any variety of adders that you will have to take into account in order to fully set and adhere to your budget for any purchase.

Let’s take Van Trailers for example. The mandatory taxes that you have to pay vary state by state, and also vary by your company. For trailers, in the state of Ohio, manufacturers have to pay a 12% Federal Excess Tax upfront in order to sell a trailer to anyone in the State of Ohio and include that in their price.  You also have to know what your sales tax will be for the purchase. If you are using the trailer as a transportation company, sales tax will not apply to you.

At SafeSourcing we know what to ask and what to include in your scope of spend. We understand the tax issues and other types of duties mandated by the federal and state governments for specific industries.  For more information as to 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.

We look forward to your comments.

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Memorial Day Observance

Monday, May 25th, 2015

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

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The article below is sited from: http://www.cute-calendar.com/event/memorial-day/5719-usa.html

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 25 in 2015). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars take donations for poppies in the days leading up to Memorial Day; the poppy’s significance to Memorial Day is the result of the John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields.”

In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also used as a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. The Coca-Cola 600 has been held later the same day since 1961. (From: Wikipedia, license: CCA-SA)

Whether you are observing Memorial Day by volunteering your time placing flags on the graves of soldiers, volunteering your time to spend with wounded soldiers, or are just spending family quality time together, we at SafeSourcing wish you a safe and memory making Memorial Day.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your business needs,  or information 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.

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Do you need a home warranty?

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

 

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

Do you own a home or are looking to buy one?  If so, you may want to consider purchasing a home warranty.  A home warranty covers numerous items around the house with a small service fee.  When you have an issue, you call the company and they will send out one of their approved service providers to diagnose the problem.  If the item can be fixed, the service provider will fix the item and if it cannot be fixed, then it will be submitted to the warranty company for replacement.  If this was a major component, such as a heating and air conditioning unit, having the warranty could save you thousands of dollars.  Below are a few items that may be covered by a warranty.

• Heating and Air Conditioning
• Water Heater
• Plumbing
• Electrical
• Appliances
• Garage Doors / Garage Openers

There are many companies out there that offer warranties, so be sure to read the contracts carefully and that you understand what items are covered and which are excluded.  If you would like some help finding the best warranty for your home, Safesourcing can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which option 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.

We look forward to your comments.

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Procurement and you didn’t even know it!

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

 

Even if you aren’t familiar with procurement, there is a good chance you are already doing it.

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

Recently, I had to make a trip to a large retail store – one of the large ones where it’s almost impossible to find what you need. With overcrowded aisles, long checkout lines, and no help if needed, I dreaded going there, even though this store consistently had the lowest prices on every item. But as much as I disliked going there, I had to go there because it was the only place that carried a particular item that I needed.

Now, there are several large chain retailers near me, ranging from clothing, to household goods, to groceries. Typically, I learn which stores are the best to purchase the particular items I need. I may go one place for dog food and Coca-Cola, and another place for dog bones and milk. I would make it to every store on some occasions, just to get the best deal on the items I required. Ultimately, I wanted to get the best value for my money. This is what procurement basically is.

But if the one chain store has the lowest price on everything I need, why don’t I get everything there?

This is where SafeSourcing procurement can help.  Just like I do, SafeSourcing procurement looks at more than just price; they look at overall value. Many like myself would spend a little bit extra to shop in a place that is comfortable, where there is help if needed, and that provides an enjoyable shopping experience, rather than a place where one feels lost and herded around like cattle. Businesses, too, would prefer to pay a little more for a better quality of service.

But there are cases like above, where only one place carries an item I need. This situation happens in business as well.  If the item I needed was available at any of these other stores, I would have gone there, even if it meant spending more money. Because this one store has a corner on the market, I must go there, but visits there are short, to the point, avoided when possible, and happen only when necessary. This company could potentially be getting all of my business, but they lack that little extra of customer service and get less business directly because of that. Quality customer services give businesses an edge over their competition, and this is where SafeSourcing excels.

For more information on how SafeSourcing raises the industry standard for customer service, how they can help you procure quality suppliers, 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 and appreciate your comments

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CONEG Legislation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing supports the proper recycling, recovery and handling of waste associated with packaging. Therefore, it is appropriate that we inform our readers about CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors) LEGISLATION. CONEG laws have been around in some states for 20 years.

The law was originally developed by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.  The legislation calls for a ban on the use of packaging that use any of the below specified heavy metals during manufacture or distribution.

According to the  pvctech-CONEG-web-summary-02.04.15.pdf, “On February 2015 ,The goal of this legislation is to reduce the sum concentration levels of four incidentally introduced heavy metals, namely lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent Chromium present in any package or packaging component to not exceed 100 parts per million by weight.”

A variation of enforcement instruments are available, including injunctive relief and civil penalties, but no doubt the potential disruption to product distribution is likely the harshest penalty of all.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.  The CONEG Legislation is an example of one of the many requirements that SafeSourcing tracks.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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Is it part of a good strategy to allow suppliers to pre bid in a reverse auction?

Friday, May 15th, 2015

 

Todays post is from Ronald D. Southard, CEO at  SafeSourcing

In the many industries, preliminary price quotes are normally used as part of a Request for Information (RFI) or Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The actual reverse auction event is normally the Request for Quote phase or RFQ and historically has been used for final price compression. However there are large events that may change this strategy.

In large retail events with hundreds of products such as a prescription drugs, retailers may allow early quoting just due to the magnitude of the information requiring entry by suppliers. There are however many other categories that might also benefit from this strategy. Transportation Lanes, Office Supplies (entire catalog), Safety Products, MRO and Waste Management come immediately to mind. This process can take place several weeks prior to the live reverse auction but in many cases today may actually happen within 48 hours of the actual compression event.

At times, this may also be a good practice when there are a large number of new suppliers participating in order to familiarize them with the use of the tool set beyond their normal training session. For a new supplier auction day can actually be a stressful.

There are many who don’t believe that there is a strategy to participating in a revere auction. Seasoned suppliers would argue that point. In fact, suppliers that use the SafeSourceIt™ eRFX system have a variety of ways to enter pricing including uploading spreadsheets and then downloading them immediately that contain low quote indicators. Suppliers can then focus on individual items, groups of items (lots and market baskets) and decile based category sets. In these large events, this allows suppliers to split the data entry amongst multiple analysts and enter pricing strategically.

Ultimately it’s the responsibility of the e-procurement providers to train all suppliers on the use of the tool set and its flexibility so that they can determine how they might strategically stage their input. That is of course if the solution provider has data entry flexibility as part of their toolset.

If you’d like to learn more about the SafeSourceIt™ family of creative sourcing tools, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services associate.

We look forward to your comments.

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Are you getting ready to source bottled water?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives.

Did you know there is a new technology that can produce clean drinking water out of humidity in the air? A new company, Quest Water, has successfully built and put in place the first system of this type in the South African country of Angola.

The system is called WEPS, Water Extraction and Purification Systems, and claims to be a pure source of water without exploiting current freshwater resources. It has a capacity to produce from 500 to 20,000 liters of water a day and does it without the use of chemicals or harmful by products. It uses solar-powered energy utilizing an array of photovoltaic solar panels along with purification and disinfection technologies.

Now I’m not suggesting that we will soon be seeing another type of bottled water on our grocery store shelves sitting beside spring water and purified tap water anytime soon, but I’m not ruling out the idea for some time in the future either. 

As you probably know, bottled water is big business. The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA), in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC), released 2011 bottled water statistics showing total US bottled water consumption increased to 9.1 billion gallons, up from 8.75 billion gallons in 2010. The figure represents a 3.2% increase over 2010 which calculates to an average of 29.2 gallons of bottled water consumed for every person in America.

How do you maximize your profits from all of this bottled water success? Join other SafeSourcing customers who recently saved 20% on their name brand bottled water purchases. To find out more  please contact a SafeSourcing Project Manager. 

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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