Archive for June, 2017

Is the Internet helping or hurting us?

Friday, June 30th, 2017

 

Todays’s Post is by Eli Razov, SafeSourcing  Account Manager.

The internet has to be one of the greatest tools of our time. Or is it? The invention of the internet has brought with it changes that have completely altered the way we do virtually everything. From the way we shop, to the way we conduct business. The world is at our fingertips. We need to simply type in what our heart desires and viola the answer appears; but is that helping us? Not too many years ago research reports for school, or gathering information about a potential client required a lot of leg work with just as much paper; but it involved the researcher. It made researcher learn more about what they we searching for. Today it is very simple to find the answer and just copy and paste it into a document . Some may believe this makes us lazy or removes our involvement all together. Some may also say that this is expanding our horizons and gives us the ability to learn more at a faster pace. But what is it doing for us? Is there a correct answer? Look at what we do here at Safesourcing. We help clients in many ways, mostly by helping save a lot in the procurement process. We use the internet and our vast database of companies, locally and internationally to find the right supplier and vendors for our clients. Whether it is helping find a service or a product, we can do it. Communication is a large part of it. From emails, to instant messages, or the VOIP phone services that most companies use, almost every aspect of communication is driven by the internet. Our online tool that we use to run our events depends on the internet to have a seamless successful campaign from start to finish. But that’s not all. We are constantly improving our website and online tools to keep up with the demands of an ever-changing digital age.

Coming from an age where the internet was just coming into play and seeing the changes it has made in almost every aspect of life, from ordering my coffee, to getting live directions to the nearest shoe store, I believe the internet has had a great impact on the advancement of humankind. Yes, there are downsides. Fake news is spreading like wildfire, seeing horrific images that may scar younger viewers, as well as the darker sides of the internet. But just like everything in life, with good there is always bad. It is all up to you, the user, how you weld your power so choose wisely and try to make the world a better place, even if it is just by helping each other by passing on uplifting words or helping to teach younger generations learn to cook.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Representative we have an entire team waiting to assist you today

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Why “Green Bar” Copy Paper?

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

 

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

What is the benefit of using a type of copy paper that is not very recycle friendly.  There are actually many benefits to using Green/Blue Bar copy paper; however, before I explain that, let us understand what Green/Blue Bar Copy paper is.

Green/Blue Bar copy paper is a type of paper that is commonly used in printing terminals such as DEC writers. A few noticeable discrepancies behind this paper, and your standard copy paper, would be the alternating colors on each line of the paper. This is to help people separate the text that is printed out on each line of the page. Another difference to this type of copy paper would be the tear off edges. The edges help the paper flow through the machine, and in some cases keep the top and bottom copy of the paper perfectly aligned.

That also leads us to another noticeable difference. That difference would be that in this type of copy paper has a bottom “Carbon Copy”. This bottom copy can be used for multiple reasons. The most popular reason would be to provide a costumer a “Receipt or Carbon Copy”. You will primarily see these type of “Receipts” in just about any auto parts store. This style of paper is beneficial because not only is it easy to read, but it makes two copies of one page at once. Also, as opposed to your standard copy paper, the Green/Blue Bar copy paper is thinner than your standard paper. Another benefit would be that you would not need to load the printer as much. This is because, with most Green/Blue Copy, paper the pages are connected until they have been torn apart. One can obviously see the benefits of both Green/Blue Copy paper and standard copy paper. Whatever style you prefer, SafeSourcing can help you source it and find the best value for all your paper needs.

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.

References…….

Green Bar Paper Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2017.

 

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Old Glory – The Red, White and Blue.

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

 

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

We have recently celebrated Memorial Day and Flag Day and the Fourth of July is coming up quickly. We certainly see a lot of Old Glory this time of year.   The following is just a little flag trivia:

  1.  Betsy Ross is credited with designing the flag, but there is almost no evidence to support this. The only evidence was from her own grandson in 1870, when he presented The Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia with affidavits from his own family members as evidence. Early journals from the Continental Congress claim Francis Hopkins deserves the credit.
  2. Karen Burke of Walmart’s Corporate Communications stated Walmart sold 115,000 flags on September 11, 2001 compared to 6,400 on the same day in 2000.
  3. A 17-year old student by the name of Robert G. Heft, designed the flag as it appears today. With the addition of Alaska and Hawaii as states, he designed the 50-star flag as a history project. He got a B- from his instructor that was later changed to an A when President Dwight D. Eisenhower chose Heft’s design.
  4. Six flags were planted on the moon during the Apollo missions. Only one flag fell. According to Buzz Aldrin, the one that fell was blown over by Apollo 11 liftoff from the moon’s surface.
  5. According to the US Department of State, the official colors are “old glory red” and “old glory blue.
  6. Flag Day is not an official federal holiday outside of Pennsylvania and New York. New York doesn’t observe Flag Day on the 14th, but rather the second Sunday in June.
  7. Richard Williams the animation director of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” said he modeled the rabbit’s colors after Old Glory (red overalls, white fur, blue tie). It looked like an American flag and subliminally everyone like it.
  8. There are federal regulations governing the handling and display of the flag (the U.S. Flag Code) in advertising or printing or anything intended for temporary use or display.
  9. Old Glory was a nickname for a particular U.S. flag. It was owned by a sea captain given to him by a woman in his home town of Salem, MA. He named it Old Glory after seeing it on his mast in 1831. The name became synonymous with the American flag.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can help you with your sourcing 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.

 

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Retaining Traditions

Friday, June 16th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Director of Sales, North America at SafeSourcing

Even the best planned eProcurement initiatives, sponsored as they should be at the executive level, are susceptible to one common challenge. Moving to eProcurement, just like any change, will require an organization’s resources to support the change. It’s important to understand that the individuals required to support eProcurement must be coached and must buy into the program. Sometimes, however, individuals or teams within the organization will be reluctant to adopt to the change.

It’s understandable that we all believe our own techniques and processes are best. After all, we’ve learned and honed these over the course of our careers. That makes it more difficult to accept change. Some people may even feel threatened by change.

Knowing this, I’ll offer a couple suggestions to help ease the transition and provide an atmosphere that encourages each individual resource to embrace the change and not fear it. This does not necessarily mean that existing techniques and processes are no longer valuable. In fact, certain traditional purchasing concepts will continue to play as integral a role in eProcurement as they did before eProcurement. For example, vendor relationships will continue to be necessary.

Encourage culture: Spread the good news. Did Marketing just have a great month of savings? Share that with your other business units. We’ve seen tremendous momentum generated by posting a scoreboard where BU’s savings percentages are posted on a regular basis. This often drives friendly competition.

Keep positive: Focus on the wins. When you see big savings, applaud it. The worst thing you can do is to ask why you were overpaying before. Instead, focus that energy on targeting the next category for savings opportunity.

By using these and other techniques to encourage adoption of your eProcurement process and retaining certain key elements of traditional purchasing, you will pave the way for success.

Dave Wenig is the Director of Sales, North America at SafeSourcing. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  

We look forward to your comments.

 

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Distributor vs. Manufacturer

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Robert Rice, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

Distributors have been selling products and equipment since the early days of the industrial revolution, but are they still the best choice for companies in pursuit of products?  The answer is sometimes and here’s why…

Typically, full service, distributors make their name by providing excellent, personal service to their customers.  In most cases, they work a small territory and are “local” to the companies they serve.  They usually offer 24/7 service and have emergency spare parts and consumables on hand.  Full service distributors are in the business of developing relationships with their customers.

The same is true when purchasing commodities.  In most cases there is more than one manufacturer who offers a product capable of satisfying your application for a fair price.  In the end, you probably purchase your equipment from someone you have developed a relationship with or from someone you can see yourself developing a relationship with.  In most cases, a distributor fits the bill due to their locale and ability, and willingness, to service you.

Most manufacturers are engineering and manufacturing focused.  Typically they do not specialize in sales and service.  This is not a bad thing, however.  Manufacturers are expected to spend their efforts on developing great products.  They are the pioneers of innovation, and all of us depend on them.  This is not to say that they have no place selling or servicing their products.  It is important for them to be involved in understanding the marketplace and issues with their products.  But from the end-user point of view, manufacturers’ efforts are not always apparent.  Although very critical, their efforts are typically behind the scenes in R&D.  It can be difficult for an end-user to develop a sales/service relationship with an organization that operates with an engineering and manufacturing focus. But not so fast…..

Unless you work with SafeSourcing, although a lot of what I said above is true, it is still possible to work and purchase from both manufacturers and distributors. The keys are who are you speaking with and what you are purposing. At SafeSourcing, we engage both, why? Because some manufacturers see the benefits to selling directly to our clients, while some distributors cannot meet all needs and visa versus. The SafeSourcing staff asks the key questions and talk to the right people to determine who is best fit for our clients. This vetting process saves our clients time and money and getting what they want at a considerably lower cost.  And you can still develop a strong and long-term relationship with either.

To sum it up, manufacturers and distributors do play specific roles in the purchasing process, but not reaching out to both could affect your bottom line.

Robert Rice is an Account Manager at SafeSourcing. Robert or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement planning. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

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The Importance of Marketing your Brand

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Inc. archives

How are you marketing your brand? Is it bringing in the customer base you desire? Are you achieving your desired results?

Your company brand is your mark of distinction; it’s what sets you apart from your competitors. When you establish your brand, it is important to also develop a plan of execution by implementing a brand marketing strategy. Your level of commitment reassures consumers, suppliers, and anyone else that your company does business with that they can trust you.

“Brand management is so important that Reputations Corporation, a Vancouver-based consultancy group, reports that 72 percent of consumers say reputation influences their buying decisions; 80 percent of employees will accept less pay to work with a company with an excellent reputation; while another 89 percent say reputation is a tiebreaker between equal products. Whether you’re trying to influence key decision makers or attract and retain top talent, you’ll want to consider the following tips on managing your company’s brand.” (Fenn, 2010)

If you need help with: buying marketing tools, hiring the right marketing consultants or with any advertising avenues. We can assist you with your sourcing needs and look into the potential savings in the process.

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). : Read more: Business Ethics Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-ethics.asp#ixzz4Vx9u5zDh Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

 

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Overcoming Cognitive Dissonance in Purchasing

Monday, June 12th, 2017

 

Today’s post is  from our Archives by Michael Figueroa then an Account Manager and now Assistant Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing

Cognitive Dissonance is the state of having a set of beliefs, attitudes, and ideas, and being faced with information that conflicts with those concepts. Leon Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance theory holds that all people attempt to keep all of their beliefs, attitudes, and information in harmony. The problem that often comes up, however, is that we sometimes unconsciously suppress or modify correct information in order to avoid having that information conflict with what we already believe.

An example of this in purchasing would be when a procurement decision is made, and the project turns out badly. Often times the decision will be defended and even REPEATED, rather than the decision maker admitting fault. Why? Because most people automatically feel they need to defend their decisions in order to preserve what they believe about themselves. If you believe you are a great decision maker, you will look for information that supports that belief, and avoid information that conflicts with that belief. Here are a couple of ways to help avoid pitfalls on both sides of the purchase:

The Enthymeme

An Enthymeme is a truncated form of syllogism, where a premise or conclusion is left out of the argument. It is always easier to let someone convince themselves of something than it ever will be for you to, even if your audience’ belief is fallacious. When we pose a logical argument, but don’t explicitly state the conclusion, we allow our audience to extrapolate on their own instead of risking putting them on the defensive because we are demanding they believe what we are advocating. Example; “XYZ Company isn’t certified and the manufacturing process requires certification”. This type of statement can be much more effective than shooting straight for the conclusion “Don’t go with XYZ Company.”

The Ben Franklin Effect

When we do a favor for someone, we tend to justify our actions to ourselves that we did the favor BECAUSE we liked them. We naturally tend to avoid Cognitive Dissonance by changing other beliefs, in favor of holding onto beliefs we have about ourselves. Be on the lookout for people who would use this concept against you; how often have you heard a sales pitch that starts off by asking you for a small favor? It’s a commonly used tactic to use your beliefs against you in order to obtain something the sales-person wants.

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

We look forward to your comments.

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What is rPET?

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives.

RPET is recycled polyethylene terephthalate. When consumers recycle plastic bottles and packaging it can be cleaned and made into a federally approved material suitable for direct food contact applications. Below is a list of examples for reusing the material:

1. Beverage Bottles

2. Clam Shell Containers

3. Trays

The rPET is fully compatible with virgin PET and can be used for up to 100% rPET content.  There are numerous advantages for these second-life products listed below:

1. rPET bottles reduce the amount of waste taken to a landfill

2. rPET has a more stable price than virgin PET because it is not tied to the oil market

3. rPET improves society’s carbon footprint

The three advantages above give enough data to support the effort to change to rPET. Now, what do you need to know when sourcing these products? SafeSourcing is experienced in sourcing rPET packaging. Whether you are looking for private label spring water in six sizes or a clam shell container, we can help; we can work with your company to define your needs. In addition, we know which vendors are in the market and their offerings.

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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Failure to Communicate

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

The importance of clear and concise communication should never be underestimated. We live in a time where, more than ever, we are receiving multiple streams of communication on a continuous basis.

Failure to communicate in a concise manner can result in an outcome that ranges from minor delay, to missed opportunity, or even major destruction; as in the case of the 1981 skywalk collapse at the Kansas City, Missouri, Hyatt Regency Hotel.

In the collapse, the structural failure was due to a change in the initial design drawings, by the fabricator, which the design engineer reviewed and returned to the fabricator, stamped with the engineering review seal, authorizing construction. The fabricator built the walkways in compliance with the directions contained in the structural drawings, as interpreted by the shop drawings. The change was not clearly communicated through all channels of the construction team, and the load capacity was never tested.

There have been publications and lectures which have come from this unfortunate incident, such as, “Avoiding ‘Failures’ Caused by Lack of Management” and Gerald W. Farquhar’s “Lessons to be Learned in the Management of Change Orders in Shop Drawings.”

When working with or clients for national and international associations, from various time zones, communication tends to be done through email.  People are busy. According to a report prepared by The Radicati Group Inc., in 2015, the average business professional received/sent 125 email messages in one day. This is one reason why long, rambling emails have become such a scourge. Providing a clear concise message will help a person use their time wisely while managing their in-box. Simple, direct language keeps people tuned in to what’s important. These are things that need to be considered when sharing information via email with a group of people working together on the planning of an event.

The 7 Cs provide a checklist for making sure that your meetingsemailsconference calls, and reports, are well constructed and clear – so your audience gets your message.

Communication needs to be:

1) Clear

2) Concise

3) Concrete

4) Correct

5) Coherent

6) Complete

7) Courteous

“Simple messages travel faster, simpler designs reach the market faster and the elimination of clutter allows faster decision-making.” – Jack Welch

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.

References:………………………………………………

http://www.engineering.com/Library/ArticlesPage/tabid/85/ArticleID/175/Hyatt-Regency-Walkway-Collapse.aspx

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_85.htm

http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Email-Statistics-Report-2011-2015-Executive-Summary.pdf

 

 

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Fleet Management Services, what values do they offer?

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

How can companies benefit from using Fleet Management Services?

Fleet Service companies provide turnkey solutions for fleets.  Typically they provide solutions for Asset Management, Operating Cost Management and Risk Management.  Please see the details on services below.

Asset Management:

1. Title and Registration Services
2. Vehicle financing, acquisition, delivery
3. Used vehicle marketing
4. Violation Management

Operating Cost Management:

1. Fuel Expense Management
2. Telematics
3. Managed Fleet Maintenance
4. Vehicle expense management
5. Fleet management outsourcing

Risk Management:

1. Motor vehicle records and vehicle monitoring
2. Vehicle accident management
3. Safety Services

Fleet Service companies can help identify savings and improve fleet productivity.  In addition, they maximize your company’s fleet investment by benchmarking your fleet against the industry.  They also can recommend specific steps to improve fleet effectiveness.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your Purchasing Department evaluate Fleet Services please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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