Archive for December, 2016

Teamwork in a Moment of Crisis or Emergency

Friday, December 30th, 2016

 

 

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

While these guidelines were created for management roles, it is important to note that in a team environment that these suggestions apply to ALL members of the team:

Many of us in businesses are ill-prepared to handle the traumatic events- death of immediate family members, natural disasters, accidents, etc., and yet these events can and do occur in our workplaces. They are events, for which preparation helps.

Let all employees know that you are concerned and doing all you can to help them. You represent the organization to your employees, and your caring presence can mean a great deal in helping them feel supported. You don’t have to say anything profound; just be there, do your best to manage, and let your employees know you are concerned about them. Be visible to your team, and take time to ask them how they are doing.

Let people know, in whatever way is natural for you, that you are feeling fear, grief, shock, anger, or whatever your natural reaction to the situation may be. This shows your employees you care about them. Since you also can function rationally in spite of your strong feelings, they know that they can do likewise.

Share information with your employees as soon as you have it available. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Particularly in the first few hours after a tragedy, information will be scarce and much in demand. If you can be an advocate in obtaining it, you will show your employees you care and help lessen anxiety.

Encourage employees to talk about their painful experiences. This is hard to do, but eases healing as people express their painful thoughts and feelings in a safe environment, and come to realize that their reactions are normal and shared by others. Your team may prefer to discuss the situation among them. Don’t be afraid to participate, and to set a positive example by discussing your own feelings openly. Your example says more than your words.

Build on the strengths of the group. Encourage employees to take care of one another through such simple measures as listening to those in distress, offering practical help, visiting the hospitalized, or going with an employee on the first visit to a feared site. The more you have done to build a cohesive work group, and to foster self-confidence in your employees, the better your staff can help one another in a crisis.

Build on your work group’s prior planning. If you have talked together about how you, as a group, would handle a hypothetical crisis, it will help prepare all employees, mentally and practically, to deal with a real one. Knowing employees’ strengths and experience, having an established plan for communication in emergencies, and procedures can help you “hit the ground running” when a crisis actually strikes.

Be aware of the healing value of work. Getting back to the daily routine can be a comforting experience, and most people can work productively while still dealing with grief and trauma. However, the process of getting a staff back to work is one which must be approached with great care and sensitivity. In particular, if anyone has died or been seriously injured, the process must be handled in a way that shows appropriate respect for them.

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While we, the team at SafeSourcing, are no stranger to moments of emergency or crisis, we pull together as one team and one family ensuring that our customers and suppliers are taken care throughout our crisis. We take pride in offering the best customer service in the industry and will do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains our top priority and invisible to the outside world.

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

We look forward to your comments.

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Resource: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/worklife/reference-materials/traumaticevents.pdf

 

It’s Time to Plan Your Procurement

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

 

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

With the year coming to a close, many companies are focusing on the upcoming year and what changes they may have in store. Whether the change is increasing head count in the office, opening more locations, or even trying out a new product in your store, changes need to be planned out.

Typically, a business needs to plan for its year financially, budgeting money for labor and overhead and trying to plan for goods and services expenses, plus any changes they foresee in the upcoming year. Opening new locations, buying new products, and hiring more employees require financial planning.

With all the other planning at year end, what many companies overlook, though, is planning for procurement. If a company will need temporary labor in the next year, they should reach out to their procurement partner sooner rather than later to identify needs. A procurement partner can help get the right services for you at a competitive price. If, like many other businesses, a company needs to hire landscapers to maintain company property in the spring and snow removal companies in the winter, now is the time to begin the procurement process.

With proper planning and with help from your procurement team, your company can not only have the financial year planned, but also have vendors and suppliers in place ready to begin whatever work might need done. On top of that, many of those suppliers and vendors could be even less than you initially thought, all through the help of your procurement partner and tools like the ones offered by SafeSourcing. This could, in turn, lead to even more financial means to grow your company even more in the upcoming years.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your procurement needs, 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 appreciate and look forward to your comments!

 

More Bang For Your Buck!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Steven Belvin, Account Manager at SafeSourcing

The Best Market Value is always right around the corner right? Wrong. In fact, it can be quite challenging for a business to find the Best Market Value for their goods. Before finding Best Market Value, we must first understand what Best Market Value mean; and in order to do that, we must break the term down into two separate terms, Best Value and Market Value.

Best Value is defined as the best service or product for the cheapest price that can be acquired by a company. The Business Dictionary defines Market Value as, “The highest estimated price that a buyer would pay and a seller would accept for an item in an open and competitive market.” Now that we understand both terms we can see the Best Market Value is not always the lowest price. There are actually many things that are taken into consideration when determining the Best Market Value. There is the price, the quality of product or service, the quantity, and even experience.

To truly find the Best Market Value, you would have to go through multiple steps. A few of these steps would be to call multiple companies, gather correct contact and pricing, compare pricing amongst the separate companies, and many other steps. As one can see, this might take a little time to find the Best Market Value and it’s not like you have a workshop full of elves at your disposal. This is where SafeSourcing comes into play. Let us be your “workshop full of elves” and take care of all your sourcing needs. We take pride in being able to provide you with the Best Market Value and provide you with a great ROI. I encourage you to put us to the test this upcoming year and see how much we could save your company.

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.

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market value. BusinessDictionary.com. WebFinance, Inc. December 12, 2016 <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/market-value.html>.

What do I need to keep in mind when purchasing an external storage device?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

 

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

When looking for a backup solution, the most ideal solution for most people are external storage devices. The prices of these devices have dropped significantly over the past few years which make the option even more attractive.  When looking for an external storage device to keep your important documents and files on, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind such as storage, size and speed.  Storage is the amount of space that is available for saving information.  There are lots of options available, but for the most part 1 terabyte should be enough for most users.  Size is the physical size of the device.  If you are traveling or carrying the device with you, you may want to purchase a smaller device that can easily be stored in your laptop case.  Along with that you may want to look into purchasing one that is more durable.  For example there are manufacturers that make the devices with protective covers that can withstand shock, drops, dust and water.  Speed is not as important as an internal storage device because the device is usually used for backup purposes and not accessed on a regular basis like an internal drive.  If you will be accessing the drive regularly, then you may want to purchase a storage device that contains desktop based components.  Another factor to consider is the software packages that come with the device.  This is usually the main difference between the different manufacturers of the devices.  Some of the software packages offer the ability to do backups and automatically upload files to cloud offerings.  Below are some other things to consider when doing your research.

  • Connectivity
  • Price
  • Security
  • Warranty
  • Durability
  • Failure Rate

If you would like some help finding the right solution, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which device will 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.

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2016 and a continued hope for Peace on Earth.

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

If you can indentify these folks below?  We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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How SafeSourcing Saved Christmas…

Friday, December 23rd, 2016

 

Today’s holiday repost is written by Heather Powell, Director Customer Services at SafeSourcing, Inc.

As with most children being curious, my 7  year old niece and I were baking cookies last weekend when she said, “Aunt Heather, what do you do for a living? Mommy is a nurse and Daddy is a policeman. What do you do?”

Well, I said, thinking quickly of how to explain what a project manager does in the e-procurement world at SafeSourcing, “I help Santa with getting toys for presents and delivering them to all the children around the world.”
She said, “Aunt Heather, you’re silly! Santa has elves that make the presents, and Santa has reindeer help his pull the sleigh to deliver the presents!”

“Oh Alli, I have to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell a soul what I tell you, ok?” She agrees.

Santa needs help lots and lots of help. Yes, his elves make the homemade toys, but toys like Furbies and Barbie’s have to be made somewhere else and delivered to the North Pole to be wrapped.

With big eyes, she says, “ooohhhh. That makes sense. Elves are mostly boys and boys don’t know anything about Barbies!”

So then I tell her, that Santa comes to me with his list of toys and how many he needs, and it is my job to make sure he buys them all much cheaper than what he can buy them for at the store. In fact, it is my job to make sure all the companies that make and sell the toys compete against each other to make sure Santa gets the best price for them.

“Wow!!” she said, you have an important job helping Santa!

I said yes, but that isn’t all I do for Santa. She said really??? I said, yes, I help him deliver the presents too. She said, how???

I said that Santa does use his sleigh and reindeer for most of the night, but the reindeer do get tired. So we help Santa by hiring a charter jet to cross the ocean with the presents and reindeer. Saving him money by having the airlines compete against each other to get lower pricing for Santa. This way the reindeer get to rest and Santa can get to the other side of the world much faster.

Also Santa pre-ships the presents to parts of the world to keep the weight down on the sleigh. So we help him with semi-trucks picking up the presents and taking them to all areas of the globe waiting for Santa to pick them up to deliver them to all the boys and girls. I explain to her that this is called transportation logistics. I told her that, like the people who make and sell toys, we ask the trucking companies to compete against each other lowering their prices for gas (fuel rates was too hard to explain to her), and mileage.

My, oh so smart niece, says, “Santa really has a big job to do in one night. He is so lucky he has you to help him!!”

So I ask her, do you understand what I do now?

She said,” yes, you help Santa buy toys and you help him fly across the ocean in an air plane, and you help him ship presents across the world to be picked up and delivered all in one night, AND you save him lots of money!”

So if SafeSourcing can help save Christmas, what can you do to help save you money in your business?

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help energize your self-service program, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

The “Pole” is in!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Jericia Stevens, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Christmas Edition

Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of year. According to a 2005, a CNN/USA Gallop poll, half of the Americans polled said that it is a “great time” or the “best time of year.” (Jones, 2005)

Do half of the Americans still believe this to be so in 2016? In recent years, Christmas starts the evening of Thanksgiving. Busy shoppers stand in long lines; defy the weather and busy crowds in hopes to get the best value for their buck. Christmas has become more about spending and buying power than caroling and delivering baked goods. It is all about great value and savings. In a poll conducted by WPMT Fox 43 Christmas Poll on their website, 82% of the people polled believe that September 21st is too early for stores, shops, and other locations to begin advertising for Christmas. On the contrary, 18% believed it was not.

Whether you are the late shopper or the deal seeker, or the overwhelmed business owner, we want you to enjoy the experience. Remember, even Santa Clause has sourcing needs. Enjoy your holidays and ‘Tis the season to great savings!

SafeSourcing, Inc. provides innovative eProcurement tools that can increase efficiency and improve profitability for our customers, and provide superior value for all stakeholders. In addition to providing information, tools and services, SafeSourcing proactively supports consumer safety and environmental standards throughout the global supply chain management process. To learn more, visit SafeSourcing.com,

Let SafeSourcing 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.

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Ahearn, Cale (2016, September 21). : http://fox43.com/2016/09/21/poll-is-september-21-too-early-for-stores-shops-and-other-locations-to-begin-advertising-for-christmas/

Jones, Jeffrey M. (2005, December 05).: http://www.gallup.com/poll/20587/christmas-good-time-most-americans.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

How do you exceed your customers expectations?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

 

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

 

Knowledgeable staff

  • Ensure you are able to answer all questions regarding the business function you provide. If you deal direct with your companies customers, encourage them to ask questions and you must give concise, accurate answers.

 

One-stop shopping

  •  It is good to offer ancillary products complimenting your primary business function that allow your customers to consolidate their efforts without having to involve additional vendors. SafeSourcing for instance, with our procure-to-pay suite of applications, reduces your cost while improving your efficiency.

 

Excellent customer service

  • People always appreciate good customer service. The extra attention and personal service they receive are a few of the reasons they chose to do business with you. You must always offer what is in your customers best interest. Integrity will not go unnoticed.

On-time delivery

  • In today’s age of Amazon almost immediate drone delivery, customers have no desire to wait for their goods or services. Furthermore, if a deadline is established, it must be met. Deadlines serve a purpose and customers want them fulfilled according to timeline.

 

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.

 

 

 

Enjoying the Benefits of eProcurement Part II

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

 

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

Recently, I wrote about “Enjoying the benefits of eProcurement.” In this post, I wanted to elaborate on that same topic. Specifically, my aim is to highlight strategies to perpetuate your enjoyment of the benefits of eProcurement while minimizing the impact on your organization.

Once you start enjoying the benefits of eProcurement in your organization, you may find an unusual challenge. You might feel that you are generating savings faster than you can actually realize those savings. As previously discussed in me last post, there are several reasons why you might feel that way, from sample reviews to internal discussions about the results. That said, you need a plan in place so that you continue to generate savings and so that you wind up with rogue spending outside of your eProcurement process.

One way to address this challenge is to have a clear understanding of your timelines. Work with your eProcurement partner to identify the milestones in your larger Procure-to-Pay lifecycle. Once you understand when each milestone will occur, you can better manage the timing of all projects. For example, you might be able to time lower-priority projects so that your team does not become inundated with samples. Properly timing these projects will also help keep the contracts from piling up as it comes time to begin working with a selected supplier.

Another way to address this challenge is to work closely with your eProcurement partner to identify areas in which you can take advantage of their expertise to streamline key steps in the Procure-to-Pay lifecycle. For example, are you leveraging your partner to help you track and manage sample requests? While this task may seem fairly routine, it is very important to the award of business decision making process and can also become time-intensive. Work with your eProcurement partner and ask them to help. Lean on them as you would an internal resource.

While these are not the only two ways to create efficiency in the eProcurement process, they are two great ways to ensure that your organization is constantly generating savings and is constantly enjoying lower costs as a result of eProcurement.

Dave Wenig is the Director of Sales, North America at SafeSourcing. Dave or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing . can help you attain and quickly realize savings. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

 

You can procure anything, including Candy Canes Part IV!

Friday, December 16th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Heather Powell, Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing Inc.

What does it take to make a candy cane, package it, market it, and distribution? All of these involve procurement. Today, the candy cane makes up a significant amount of the $1.4 billion Christmas candy market. In fact, billions of candy canes are made and consumed each year.

We have learned the history of the candy cane in part 1 and what ingredients are needed to make candy canes and how to procure the raw ingredients in part 2, and yesterday we learned how to make a candy cane and package it. Today we will cover how to market your product and how SafeSourcing can help you.

How to market your candy canes?

There are multiple companies out there who will help you in your areas of packaging, production and marketing. These companies can handle all of these areas in house for you or you can hire each area out individually. As with purchasing or procuring anything it is best to do your research.

Typically using a company who serves all your needs in house will be the most cost effective, however it is still worth running a request for proposal to find out who they are, who their current clients are, areas of service they can provide, examples of product they have created, a prototype of an idea for your product, their solution on how to market your product, and a pricing model. Even with this helpful tool, it is still beneficial to interview the company.

An in house company should be able to provide at a minimum:

Brand management:
o Data Management
o Project Management
Printer
Color Lab
Artwork
Proofing
Prepress
Brand Protection

In addition to having the best product, best packaging, and best marketing you need to have the basic business 101 logic to selling your product according toan article in entrepreneur.com

Get the correct buyer: One of your biggest challenges is finding the right buyer within a large organization, so do your homework. If you’re experiencing roadblocks, consider hiring a distributor or manufacturer’s rep who already has established relationships in your industry.
Be prepared: Develop a presentation and have professional-looking sell sheets ready. Your product should also have packaging that’s ready to go.
Know your target: Understand what products they already carry and how yours will fit in. Don’t waste your time pitching to a retailer who’s unlikely to carry your product.
Take advantage of special programs: Some mass retailers, such as Wal-Mart, have local purchase programs that give managers authority to try local items. And other retailers may have different initiatives, such as minority business programs.
Be patient: It can take up to a year or longer before you see your product on store shelves, so don’t get frustrated. And if the final answer is no, try to turn it into a learning experience.

Finally, remember there are other sales channels besides the traditional brick-and-mortar retail store. Catalogs, TV shopping networks and online stores can also be excellent methods to enable you to learn how to market a product online.

SafeSourcing, Inc. can help you source your packaging, production, and prepress services, create and run a Request for Proposal and compress the suppliers pricing by running a Request for Quote. 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.