Archive for April, 2016

Are you and your Pest Control provider partners?

Friday, April 29th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Ryan Melowic; VP of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

According to Gregory Pest Solutions, “Working in partnership with a pest control provider, clients’ shared responsibilities fall into three areas. First is the maintenance of high standards of sanitation, which includes thorough cleaning on a regular schedule.  Secondly, communication of pest sightings and documentation in the Pest Sighting Log is a key part of the success of any program.  Thirdly, if any preparations, repairs, or the need to arrange for special access to areas is required prior to treatment, it is the client’s responsibility to make sure that these contingencies are taken care of.

The responsibility of the pest control providers’ personnel also falls into three categories. First, they will thoroughly inspect the facility to determine if pest issues exist. Monitoring of these areas will be provided, as well as documentation of location and type of any pest issues. Secondly they will develop treatment strategies that utilize the least amount of the least toxic material available to control pest issues.  Thirdly, they will provide up to date, complete documentation and information for the facility.  If any sanitation issues or structural deficiencies are noted during the inspection, it will be noted on the service report.”

SafeSourcing has a wealth of knowledge on pest control sourcing. 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.

 

 

Origin story: The whole 9 yards

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

 

 

Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Manager of Customer Services at SafeSourcing

There is some disagreement about where the term “The whole 9 yards” originated, ranging anywhere from WW2, to baseball, to concrete trucks, but I think the metaphor offered by the machine gun story is the most helpful context. The story goes, that early machine gun ammunition belts came in 9 yard lengths, and so it was easy to see the metaphorical application for everyday life. If I could break down the meaning into 2 components and the emotion behind them, it would look like this:

“The whole 9 yards”:

  1. Meaning: Give it all you’ve got. Emotion: Determination.
  2. Meaning: Fight for your life. Emotion: Fear

In war, winning meant living. Either you won the fight, or someone killed you first. Can you recall a time you were in that severe a situation? Where you would either beat what was threatening your survival, or you weren’t going to make it? The closest I’ve come to that was when a malady was threatening to kill my wife, and maybe me along with it. We overcame it, but the win or die situation it created changed me forever by teaching me several things:

Failure identifies the limits we need to overcome. Until you know what your limits are, how can you overcome them? And how can you identify your limits, until you’ve tested your abilities to the point of failure? Take calculated risks, see temporary failure as a necessary step to success instead of a fixed state. Fail forward by getting back up overcoming your limitations. Once you know your limits, you know what needs to be destroyed in order to become more.

Fear is a powerful but dangerous motivator in that it motivates us to destroy what we fear. Externally imposing fear at work or in relationships can cause employees to work harder to preserve their jobs or force significant others to be more agreeable, but can also cause them to see the organization or you as the enemy, creating resentment and causing more long term problems than short term gains. Self-imposed fear caused by identifying your own limitations can cause you to destroy your own weaknesses, breeding humility and self-worth once overcome.

Apathy sells me short of what I’m capable of. How many times have you said or been told “I’m doing my best”? But ask yourself, if your life depended on the task at hand, would you be doing it any better? If the answer is yes, you’re selling yourself short. Why settle for assuming your best is less than it really is?

My worldview had to change to fit my observations. At one point I had to come to the honest realization that the approach I was taking wasn’t working and would probably end up killing me, even though my worldview told me it was the right approach. I wouldn’t have been willing to recognize the solution without the crisis. Once I allowed observation, research, and testing to inform my worldview rather than let my worldview filter what I allowed myself to consider, the solution became obvious.

It’s easy to get distracted from being your best by fear, apathy, lack of belief in ourselves, the opinions of others, or personal biases. Every activity you undertake is a once in a lifetime event that you can’t go back in time to do over. But if you truly give it your all, approaching it as thoroughly as you would if your life were on the line, you’ll never need to do anything over again. Don’t wait for your 9 yards to be spent before deciding the life you want to build is worth fighting for.

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.

 

 

Are you ready for entrepreneurship in your business?

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Christine McConnell, Account Manager at SafeSourcing

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Having team members that are Intrepreneurs (in house entrepreneurs) may be just as important to your company’s success.

Here’s a short quiz to get you thinking:

  • While working as part of a team, do you fade back or step up to the foreground?
    • I like to consider all input but would rather lead
    • I prefer being one of several leaders
    • I am always the leader
  • Are you a risk taker?
    • After I’ve done my research
    • No way Jose
    • Bring it on I’ll try anything
  • How easily do you get stressed out?
    • I only stress under real pressure
    • Every little thing can freak me out
    • I never let ‘em see me sweat
  • What are your views on competition?
    • Crush them
    • Ignore them
    • Collaborate with them
  • What is your main motivation?
    • I have a product/service that is new to the market space
    • I want to get rich quick
    • I’ve always dreamed of being my own boss
  • How do you handle rejection?
    • If it’s not happening I’ll throw in the towel
    • I never give up… it’s a numbers game
    • I go back to the drawing board
  • What is the key to success?
    • Luck: being in the right space at the right time
    • Having the best product /business plan
    • It’s all about passion and persistence
  • What is your money management style?
    • Just call me Frugal Frannie
    • Hey Big Spender
    • It’s a struggle but I‘m working on it
  • What is your work style?
    • I am real worker bee
    • I pride myself on working smarter not harder
    • Party on Garth
  • Do you believe in luck?
    • Yes I do (fingers crossed)
    • I believe that you create your own luck
    • I think that you can be prepared for “lucky” opportunities

So how do you score the quiz? You simply think long and hard about your answers, examine your work style and motivations, and look deep into your heart because at the end of the day only YOU can decide if you’re ready to commit to entrepreneurship. Be completely honest about your responses. Ask yourself: why do I truly want to be an entrepreneur? Again, there is no correct answer. However if you answered “I’m a big spender who wants to get rich quick” then you could be in it for the wrong reasons. Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most challenging life goals you’ll ever take on, so having the right motivation to get you through the tough times will be crucial. Good luck out there!

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently? Like to try a risk free trial? Please don’t hesitate to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. Our team is ready and available to assist you!

 

Self- Awareness in Your Business

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

 

 

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

In my first blog, “What is Emotional Intelligence? Why It Should Matter in Any Business?”, I identified what emotional intelligence (EQ) is and how it applies to any business. In my second blog, “Emotional Intelligence in Action”, I explain the What, How, and Why the competencies of EQ work.  In my third blog, “Five Components of Emotional Intelligence and Your Business” I gave the basic definition of the five components of emotional intelligence. In this installation, I will provide a deeper explanation of Self-Awareness and how it applies to you as a leader and your business.

1). Self-awareness. The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.1

A self-aware person who knows that tight deadlines bring out the worst in him plans his time carefully and gets his work done well in advance. Another person with high self-awareness will be able to work with a demanding client. They will understand the client’s impact on their moods and the deeper reasons for their frustration. People with high self-awareness are able to speak accurately and openly—although not necessarily effusively or confessional—about their emotions and the impact they have on their work.

An example:2

Jordan is a negotiator. He has an important position in the procurement division of his company. He has to purchase 30,000 new gizmos for an important piece of equipment his company produces. He has been in negotiations with two key sellers. Seller A sells the gizmos at a unit price of $15.00, Seller B at $13.00. After several meetings with both sellers, Jordan notices that he always feels energized when he has met with Seller A- the meetings just seem to fly by. In contrast, he always comes away from meetings with Seller B feeling drained and with an uncomfortable, nervous feeling in his stomach. After much thought, Jordan persuades himself to ignore the feelings and to the rational thing; go for Seller B with the cheaper unit price: “This is business after all.”

For several weeks after the decision Jordan continued to feel uncomfortable and anxious about the new supplier. After three months of cooperation the supplier stopped replying to Jordan’s calls and, eventually, when Jordan manages to track him down, explained that they were experiencing staffing problems and would not be able to meet the supply of the gizmos for the next two months.

One thing is certain here: Jordan failed to listen to his emotional brain or intuition. Trust is an important value to Jordan and his intuition was telling him that there was something about Seller B he did not trust. Jordan chose to ignore these clear signals and ended up paying the price.

By developing our Emotional Intelligence in the five EQ domains we can become more productive and successful at what we do, and help others to be more productive and successful too. The process and outcomes of Emotional Intelligence development also contain many elements known to reduce stress for individuals and organizations, by decreasing conflict, improving relationships and understanding, and increasing stability, continuity and harmony.3

Please stay tuned for the next blog on how self- regulation can help you and your business.

We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week 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.

We look forward to your comments.

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References:

  1. http://inspirebusinesssolutions.com/blog/5-main-components-of-emotional-intelligence
  2. Neale, S., Spencer-Arnell, L., & Wilson, L. (2011). Emotional Intelligence Coaching: Improving Performance for Leaders, Coaches, and the Individual. Philadelphia, PA: Kogan Page (p 106).
  3. http://www.businessballs.com/eq.htm

Five Components of Emotional Intelligence and Your Business

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

 

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

In my first blog, “What is Emotional Intelligence? Why It Should Matter in Any Business?”, I identified what emotional intelligence (EQ) is and how it applies to any business. In my second blog, “Emotional Intelligence in Action”, I explain the What, How, and Why the competencies of EQ work.  In this third blog, I will give a quick explanation of the five components of emotional intelligence, and in the next series of blogs, I will present a more thorough breakdown of each and how they apply to businesses and procurement.

I must explain that the five components listed below were developed by Daniel Goleman, a science journalist who brought “emotional intelligence” on the bestseller list as an author of a number of books including “Emotional Intelligence”, “Working with Emotional Intelligence”, “Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships”, “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence” and most recently “A Force for Good” The Dalai Lama Vision of Our World”.1

These are the five components of EQ and their most basic definitions. Also, I have identified the hallmarks of each; a hallmark is a sure sign.

1). Self-awareness. The ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions and drives, as well as their effect on others.2

a.) Hallmarks of self-awareness include self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, and a self-deprecating sense of humor. Self-awareness depends on one’s ability to monitor one’s own emotion state and to correctly identify and name one’s emotions.1

2). Self-regulation. The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods, and the propensity to suspend judgment and to think before acting.1

a.) Hallmarks include trustworthiness and integrity; comfort with ambiguity; and openness to change.1

3). Internal motivation. A passion to work for internal reasons that go beyond money and status -which are external rewards, – such as an inner vision of what is important in life, a joy in doing something, curiosity in learning, a flow that comes with being immersed in an activity. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. 1,2

a.) Hallmarks include a strong drive to achieve, optimism even in the face of failure, and organizational commitment.1

4). Empathy. The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.1

a.) Hallmarks include expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity, and service to clients and customers.1

5). Social skills. Identifying social cues to establish common ground manage relationships and build networks.2

a.) Hallmarks of social skills include effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness, and expertise building and leading teams. Additional traits are Communication: Listening and responding appropriately, Influence and Leadership: The ability to guide and inspire others, and Conflict Management: The ability to diffuse difficult situations using persuasion and negotiation.1,2

By developing our Emotional Intelligence in these areas and the five EQ domains we can become more productive and successful at what we do, and help others to be more productive and successful too. The process and outcomes of Emotional Intelligence development also contain many elements known to reduce stress for individuals and organizations, by decreasing conflict, improving relationships and understanding, and increasing stability, continuity and harmony.3

Please stay tuned for the next blog on how self-awareness can help you and your business.

We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week 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.

We look forward to your comments.

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References:

  1. https://www.sonoma.edu/users/s/swijtink/teaching/philosophy_101/paper1/goleman.htm
  2. http://inspirebusinesssolutions.com/blog/5-main-components-of-emotional-intelligence
  3. http://www.businessballs.com/eq.htm

What is CALS?

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther; Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

CALS (Continuous Acquisition and Life-cycle Support) is based on protocols from the United States Department of Defense for electronically acquiring documentation and connecting associated information.

These protocols have developed a number of standard specifications for the exchange of electronic data with commercial suppliers. These standards are frequently referred to simply as “CALS”.

Effectively adopting CALS procedures requires close coordination among buyers and suppliers, using standard methods (electronic data interchange or EDI), while streamlining business processes (business process engineering), and effective use of business and technical information.

CALS was formerly known as Computer-aided Acquisition and Logistic Support.

Let SafeSourcing better manage your sourcing projects. We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week 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.

We look forward to your comments.

 

Motivation for a Month

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

 

Struggling with motivation at work happens, so how can you inspire others in your company?

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

Regardless which industry you work, an employee’s drive can falter at times. This is a prime opportunity to lead workers toward higher aspirations and meaningful work experiences. With proper inspiration, workers tend to have higher job satisfaction and better performance. One great way to encourage the best from employees is to genuinely motivate them.

Motivational quotes, stories, and memes are a great way to encourage your team and are more than prevalent across the web, but how many actually speak to you? Below are encouraging quotes for each day of the month that may help not only with your motivation, but also to motivate those around you.

  1. Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. – John Wayne
  2. A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. – Henry Ford
  3. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. – Napoleon Hill
  4. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
  5. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. – Steve Jobs
  6. People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success. – Norman Vincent Peale
  7. Quality means doing it right when no one is looking. – Henry Ford
  8. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison
  9. Have a very good reason for everything you do. – Laurence Olivier
  10. One finds limits by pushing them. – Herbert Simon
  11. Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  12. The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do. – Roy L. Smith
  13. Hire character. Train skill. – Peter Schutz
  14. For maximum attention, nothing beats a good mistake. – Unknown
  15. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss
  16. It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin
  17. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. – Thomas Edison
  18. People are best convinced by things they themselves discover. – Ben Franklin
  19. If it really was a no–brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no–brained, harebrained, and otherwise dubiously brained individuals quitting their day jobs and hanging out their own shingles. Nobody would be left to round out the workforce and execute the business plan. – Bill Rancic
  20. Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch. – Tim Berners-Lee
  21. When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. – Unknown
  22. Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine. – Jack Ma
  23. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. – Bill Gates
  24. We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in. – Arianna Huffington
  25. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. – Henry David Thoreau
  26. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. – David Brinkley
  27. What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise. – Oscar Wilde
  28. All progress takes place outside the comfort zone. – Michael John Bobak
  29. Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending. – Carl Bard
  30. Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down. – Charles F. Kettering
  31. If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much. – Jim Rohn

The quotes above may speak to different people differently, so we would like to hear some of your favorite motivational quotes or stories. If you have any motivational trouble in your purchasing and procurement departments, or are interested in our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today

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http://epreneur.tv/motivational-business-quotes/

http://www.servendesign.com/motivational-business-quotes/

http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/75-inspiring-motivational-quotes-about-success.html

 

Balance the power in your negotiations

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

 

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Regional Sales Manager at SafeSourcing.

Dave considers how best to navigate a purchasing decision when external factors are the key drivers.

There are times when a purchaser may feel as though the balance of power in a negotiation is stacked in favor of the seller and factors such as limited sources of supply or external factors are strongly influencing the decision. Let’s consider an example that retailers are still facing today.

Retailers have been navigating through the process of implementing EMV solutions and are expected to have completed this process by October of last year for their in-store POS terminals. EMV, which is short for Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, is a standard for payment cards that is meant to be a more secure replacement than the magnetic stripe cards that we’re used to; although these chip cards do still have the magnetic stripes.

The next deadline for EMV compliance will affect the forecourt. For gas station retailers, the deadline to implement EMV capabilities at the pump is October 2017. After the deadline, the liability for fraudulent transactions will shift to the retailer if the retailer is not leveraging EMV. What this means for the retailer is that they are faced with a significant purchase with what seem to be limited options for implementation based on their existing equipment and other factors.

When faced with a decision such as this, it’s helpful to have a partner with the tools and experience to help guide you through the decision process. This is particularly important when your options seem limited or controlled by external factors like the EMV deadlines. Experience provides the confidence and the competence to develop and execute your commercial negotiation strategy. Your partner’s tools provide the capability and the leverage to balance the power in the negotiation.

Dave Wenig is a Regional Sales Manager at SafeSourcing and is a devoted champion of saving money. Dave, or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing, would be happy to discuss how adding e-Procurement to your sourcing projects can improve your negotiation process. For more information, please contact a SafeSourcing representative.

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

 

Do you need help with your lawn care and other landscaping needs?

Monday, April 18th, 2016

 

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

They say, April showers bring May flowers, but what we all know is they also bring lots of weeds. With the weather warming up and all of the spring showers you can expect your lawn to contain a fair amount of weeds unless it is well maintained.  There are things that can be done to prevent them from taking over your lawn.  Proper lawn care can lower the amount of weeds and help you maintain a beautiful lawn.  When your lawn is not doing well, it is prone to be overtaken by weeds.  Some things you can do to help are mowing to the proper height, applying the right amount of water and proper feeding.  Mowing to the proper height ensures that the grass stays healthy and allows it to shade the ground, keeping it cooler and making it much harder for the weeds to grow.  When watering the lawn, the trick is to water it deeply and intermittently.  It’s usually best to water the lawn early in the morning or in the evening depending on what part of the region you are located.  Feeding the lawn with the proper fertilizer and herbicide will help minimize the amount of weeds.  Using the correct herbicide depends on the type of weed and multiple herbicides may be needed to ensure a weed-free lawn.  Below is a list of common weeds that can be found in most lawns.

Common Types of Weeds

  • Chickweed
  • Common Purslane
  • Crabgrass
  • Dandelion
  • Ground Ivy
  • Prickly Lettuce
  • White or Dutch Clover

If you need help maintaining your lawns and other landscaping needs this season, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which options meet 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.

Business Etiquette 101- E-mail Signature Line

Friday, April 15th, 2016

 

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

Do you ever find yourself frustrated at trying to find a contacts phone number from an e-mail and all you see is a name? No proper sign off, let alone a signature file?

A signature file is fairly simple to create in your e-mail system, and there are many YouTube videos on the internet to walk you through step-by-step how to create it. There various types of signatures you can create, i.e. Standard, Reply, Personal, and more.

The standard signature should be your default and come up automatically when starting a new e-mail.

Start your signature with a proper sign off, such as Thank you, Best Regards, Regards, or Sincerely. By starting the signature with a proper sign off, it is automatic in the email and one less thing to think of when creating

  1. Add your name, if you have a common name then include your middle initial, and of course any post-nominal initials.
  2. Add your full job title.
  3. Add your full company name. Include Inc., LLC, or Corporation.
  4. Add your direct phone number.
  5. Optional Cell phone number.
  6. Add your full website, including the http://

This simple addition to your e-mail will give you a more professional appearance and be greatly appreciated by those reading it and wishing to contact you.

Are you interest 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.