Archive for February, 2018

What’s up with Propane?

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

 

Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

At SafeSourcing, we help our clients save money on a wide variety of categories, ranging from sugar to fuel hauling.   There isn’t much we haven’t sourced. One category we source regularly is Propane Tank Exchange. This has consistently proven to be a successful event and we are offering an opportunity for you to become involved. But first let’s learn a little about propane.

Propane is part of the liquefied petroleum gas family and is a gas under normal atmospheric pressure and temperature. Applying more pressure and lowering temperature, will cause that gas to turn to a liquid. Liquid propane is stored in pressurized tanks ranging in many sizes from the little tanks many of us use in our backyard grills, to giant industrial tanks. Propane is two hundred and seventy times more compact in liquid state than when it comes in its gas form. Much like natural gas, propane is odorless and has odorants added to serve as a warning. More than half of the propane used in the U.S. comes from raw natural gas. Raw natural gas contains many components, five percent of which is propane. Propane is processed out of other gasses at natural gas processing refineries. From here, underground pipelines are used to transport propane to distribution terminals. These distribution terminals are operated by many different propane companies. Here these companies “bottle’ the gas and it transported for use.

Propane has many uses.   Some applications include farms, businesses and industry. Uses range from heating and cooking, to brooding chickens, and small machinery operation. The U.S is the single largest consumer of propane in the world. Supplying one percent of our energy, nationwide it falls seventh behind hydroelectric power as an important source of energy. The transportation world makes up about six percent of the total propane usage. Cab companies, to school districts, use propane instead of gasoline. Retail stores across the country use it in many ways, primarily as a resale product for consumer use often for back yard grills.

So what does this mean to you? Many of our retail clients currently have a Propane Exchange offering at their stores. What many don’t realize at first is that there are numerous vendors in every region competing with the larger, national vendors and that this is a very competitive category when sourced using e-Procurement. With the use of SafeSourcing’s services, many of our clients have saved significantly. The last client who sourced this category with SafeSourcing saved over fourteen percent. SafeCollaborative™ is a new way for many companies to pool their procurement needs to aggregate larger savings with higher purchasing volumes. We will be offering a Propane Exchange SafeCollaborative™ RFQ Event in Q1of 2018 which is open for any company that might want to join. If you have any questions or are interested in participating please contact us at 888-261-9070.

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

Sources………………………………………………………….

  1. http://www.lpgasmagazine.com/defining-the-state-future-of-the-propane-industry/
  2. http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=propane&months=240

 

 

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Nuts Pack a Powerful Punch!

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

 

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

Nuts are the little snack that is known to pack a powerful nutritional punch!  There are several tree nuts that are considered a great source of gluten free nutrition. Research has shown that nut consumption has consistently been found to be associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Here are a few nuts that we’ve sourced:

Almonds
The US is the largest market for almonds, with about 30% of the crop sold for domestic use. About 52% of all almonds produced go into retail products, 20% go to foodservice applications, and the remaining 28% is used for bulk sales and snacking. Seventy percent of the almond crop is shipped internationally with Spain, Germany, Japan, China and India being the leading export markets. Today, 80% of the world’s supply of almonds comes from California. When compared ounce for ounce, almonds are the tree nut highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), riboflavin and niacin. Among tree nuts, they are the best source of six of the 13 nutrients for which there are Daily Values (DV), and among the lowest in calories.

Cashews
Today the principal producing countries of cashews are India, Brazil, Vietnam and Mozambique.  Cashews are marketed in the shelled, roasted and salted forms for use as a snack and as an ingredient. Although cashews are one of the lowest-fiber nuts, they are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These include vitamins E, K, and B6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are important for maintaining good bodily function. Cashews contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients, but they also contain a lot of fat. The good news is that these fats are mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (the healthy fats).

Pecans
The principle producing countries for pecans are the U.S., Mexico, Australia and Israel. Pecans are marketed in in-shell or shelled form and can be eaten raw or roasted. Pecans are the top nut and are among the top foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity. This means pecans may help decrease the risk of cancer, neurological diseases and coronary heart disease. Pecans contain over 19 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

Consumption of nuts has been linked to cancer prevention, heart health, and weight maintenance. They are packed with the vitamins and nutrients essential to good health.  Nuts are a great source of healthy nutrition, and SafeSourcing is your source for e-Procurement.

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.

Sources……………………………………………………………..

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2010. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl
Texas Pecan Growers Association, www.pecans@tpga.org

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Do you feel a bit sluggish?

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

 

Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Do you feel a bit sluggish? Are you falling behind on deadlines at work; or are you springing out of bed every morning feeling your best? An active lifestyle can help your mood and improve your productivity. Many people think I just don’t have time. I can’t go to the gym, work, take care of my family, cook, eat properly, etc. Many people also have a distorted view of an active lifestyle; they think I have to spend two hours a day in the gym and sign up for every 5k in a 50-mile radius. While this is possible for just a few people, it is not easy for the 9-5 crowd. So what should you do? Do you embrace the couch potato lifestyle and let it all go or do you want the beach body you have always sought. Just like most things in life, it is a process. You will not see results over night, but do not get discouraged. Make a goal and set checkpoints. Do not run to the scale every day or after every workout. A lot of what you do has to do with that four letter word DIET. And no I do not mean the latest fad that your co-workers are talking about. I mean the understanding that your body is a machine and your food is the fuel and your “diet” should consist of premium fuel. While there are so many options, no two people will have the same results. Go slow andtweak what works for you. If it helps, start simple.   Find the proteins that work for you — the veggies you like, and whatever you do stop drinking soda! Next find local sports clubs that interest you, maybe it was a sport you always wanted to play or that CrossFit club that just opened up around the corner. Don’t be afraid, all of these teams and clubs want people looking to change themselves or stay healthy. They will not judge you and will help you every step of the way. Take advantage of a support group of teammates that want you to be the best you can be. But if you want to go at it alone, and start small, use the following steps as an outline.

  1. Set your Goals
    1. Are you looking to lose weight?
    2. Are you looking to tone your muscle?
    3. Are you trying to bulk and add muscle?
  2. Establish a good diet,
    1. Find the food that you like and are the best fuel for your system
    2. Cut out the bad, high fructose corn syrup, a lot of sugars and bad fats
  3. Find a gym or club in a reasonable range of home and work
    1. Can you take your hour lunch and go workout?
    2. Can you go before or right after work?
    3. Make sure you can make time for the gym and stick to it
  4. Do NOT give up
    1. You will not see immediate results
    2. This will not be easy
    3. Don’t panic if you do not see that scale move
    4. Do remember muscle weighs more than fat
    5. Make reasonable checkpoints
      1. Set a goal to check measurements and weight every 2 weeks this is when you will begin to see some results

You may be wondering what does this have to do with business or my job? Well that’s simple; with an active lifestyle you will begin to see a spike in energy levels. After around the third week, you will get “the fever”, the need for the gym or to go move around. That’s your body telling you that you are now addicted. Great! At this time you may notice you have been following a schedule and sticking to it. You will see that now translates over to your time management and bandwidth at work. You also may notice that you are not passing out at your desk around 2pm because of all that pent up energy just screaming to be released. Well on top of that, maybe you signed up for that local rugby team or now you are one of those crazy CrossFitters. Fantastic, because every minute you spend with that team you are learning how to be a better team player, how to read and work better with others. That’s a no-brainer translation right there. So now you are 3 months into a new routine. Without any intention you now wake up an hour before your alarm, you no longer have that “hangry” feeling before lunch, you notice you no longer get mad at co-workers because you can communicate better. All because a couple hours out of the week you decided to put some real YOU time in.

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.

We look forward to your comments

 

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Motor Oil a Slippery Slope

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

 

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

When you used to get an oil change you would just look in the manual and see what weight the manufacturer recommended for your vehicle.  It was that easy!  Now when you get an oil change you have the option of choosing the type of oil you would like to use as well.  So what are the different types and how do you choose the correct type?  This depends on the type of engine and may depend on the mileage that is on your vehicle.

First let’s start with conventional oil.  This is usually standard motor oil recommended by  most manufacturers.  Carmakers will specify a 5w-20 or 5w30 oil for use in lower temperatures and offer 10w-30 as an alternative in higher temperature areas.  When using this oil it is important to change the oil and filter as recommended by the manufacturer.

Another type of oil is full synthetic oil.  This oil is used for high tech engines such as sport cars or higher end luxury cars.  Synthetic oils are more superior and have longer lasting performance.  The oil is chemically engineered and works better in extreme high temperatures and flows better at low temperatures.  This oil is more expensive and not always necessary for most vehicles.

Synthetic blend oil is a mixture of conventional oil and synthetic oil which adds extra resistance to oxidation.  This oil is usually used in vehicles such as SUVs and pickups because they offer better protection for heavier loads and higher temperatures.  This oil is a little more expensive than conventional and a lot less expensive than full synthetic.

High mileage oil is for exactly what it sounds like.  This oil is made for vehicles that have high miles on them.  This oil contains additives such as seal conditioners that are used to expand and increase the life of the seals within the engine. This oil was designed to be used with vehicles that have over 75,000 miles.

As you can see the different types of oils are manufactured to be specific to the type of engine, type of use, and the amount of mileage.  If you find yourself needing a licensed maintenance company to maintain your vehicles, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.  We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which company 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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Make the Change, Ride The Wave

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

 

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

Who remembers Tupperware parties?  I was recently viewing an actual original marketing promotion of Tupperware products, while watching movies on the Turner Classic Movie channel. It certainly stirred up old memories of a time when everyone I knew owned a set of the colorful, stackable food storage containers. There is also a sales lesson to be learned here.

When Earl Tupper first introduced that molded plastic bowl with the airtight lid, people did not want it.  It sat on the store shelves until a woman named Brownie Wise took sales to a new level by implementing the direct marketing sales strategy known as the “Tupperware Party”. The parties were revolutionary in that they offered an alternative model for commercial success based around female co-operation rather than aggressive competition. It was a “perfect storm” where the product and the sales method were conducive to post-war era housewives who could gather together in a social setting and make money. Sales grew into a world-wide, multimillion-dollar success for Tupperware which continued throughout the 50s and 60s, but fell off sharply after the 70s when women joined the workforce in record numbers.

This formula proved to be commercially successful, but Tupperware was not the first to use this sales model.  The J.D. Larkin Company, a soap manufacturer in Buffalo, New York, dramatically grew company’s annual sales from about $220,000 in 1892 to over $15 million in 1906. “The Larkin Idea” enlisted a dedicated army of small-town and rural women to serve as de facto sales agents. Larkin was among the first large-scale manufacturers to eliminate all dealers—wholesalers, retailers, traveling salesmen, and brokers, representing the entire middle of the distribution chain.

Tupperware enjoyed a huge wave of success and then leveled off in the 90s. It was a big thing, which was good while it lasted.  Sales of Larkin products were buoyant through the 1910s, and tapered off in 1920 at around $28 million. Over the past couple of decades there have been other companies which have adopted the direct sales format, adding their own twist.

The right sales strategy is key, and change is inevitable. There is something to be said for knowing when to make the right change at the right time. Be ready to ride the wave when the next perfect storm comes, or you may just get washed out and eaten by the sharks!

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.

Resources and References————————————————-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupperware

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/from-factory-to-family-the-creation-of-a-corporate-culture#5

 

 

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Five (5) Vendor Evaluation Criteria

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Assistant Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

It’s easy to imagine that procurement managers look at cost alone in evaluating potential vendors.  At SafeSourcing, however, we have worked with procurement managers in fortune 500 companies and small business all over the world, and we understand there are innumerable variables to be considered with any purchasing project. Today we’ll boil down those considerations into our top 5. While these aren’t exhaustive, they should get you the majority of the way to a complete evaluation:

Net Price: Not only is price of the product important, we must take into account tax, freight, rebates, even installation and maintenance in some cases. We must take into account the total cost of ownership, which will vary depending on the use the product gets in servicing your particular business model.

Location: The obvious consideration here is whether or not the vendor in question even services or ships to your area from their’s. If so, what does it cost to get the good or service to you? What are the freight or travel rates? Is the vendor licensed in your area?

Capacity: What is the production rate and MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)? Some categories will have growing seasons or other production considerations that will require a buyer to contract capacity within certain seasons; and, of course, the production run capabilities will have to scale with the size of your typical orders.

Lead Time: How much time will it take between your first order, and delivery? Some products need to setup manufacturing equipment for a specific run, others may have full harvest seasons committed and will need 6 months before they can plant, harvest and pack their crops.

Risk: What variable commodity prices are your product dependent on? Does the vendor you are considering have pricing subject to currency exchange rates? How do they handle fluctuations? Are there any changes in the regional regulations, tariffs or licensers that could disrupt the flow of product? For international organizations these concerns multiply for every country involved in the production of the good being sourced.

What other considerations do you have when evaluating a vendor? Please leave a comment or 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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Do you keep your receipts?

Friday, February 16th, 2018

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Manager of HR and Administration at SafeSourcing Inc..

Many of us use our debit or credit cards every day and by the end of the week, wind up with a stack of receipts. My receipts wind up cluttering my purse and pockets until I make it to a trash can, because the majority of the time I don’t even need them. While having so many receipts was previously a minor nuisance, after learning more about what it takes to make those receipts, avoiding receipts all together may be a better way to go from now on.

Receipts are typically made of thermal paper and are coated in different chemicals that react to heat, which causes the print to appear on the receipt. One such chemical used in thermal paper is Bisphenol A (BPA), which has been noted as a health and environmental hazard. This certainly makes me want to turn down a receipt next time I’m offered one, but sometimes a receipt is necessary.

Last October, a chemical plant in China made headlines that it would be shutting down for environmental reasons for at least several months. That plant produced a chemical that is used in thermal paper and it is estimated that it provided 70% of the world’s supply. At first glance, many might think this has no bearing on their lives, but it may very well affect every one of us.

When that particular Chinese plant shut down, thermal production paper slowed across the market. While other producers of the needed chemicals stepped up production, they struggle to make up for the difference, and that affects pricing. As prices rise, retailers begin looking for new suppliers or alternatives. One of the best ways to do this is to implement your procurement partner in your searches. They can assist not only with cost avoidance, but also with research of thermal paper alternatives, the effects thermal paper on health or the environment, or what it would take to make your point of sale digital.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your organization avoid cost increases or on finding new alternative technologies, 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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Swim Like A Shark

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

As you read this today, imagine the image of a great white shark. Perhaps, you’re picturing it attacking its prey as in one of those nature documentaries. I simply picture the great white shark swimming through the water. I’d wager that when you think of sharks, you don’t immediately equate that image to those of us in the procurement field. But should you? In my own observations, I see sharks as powerful creatures that possess the tools and the skills to execute against their goals. For sharks, those goals are all related to hunting and survival.

Procurement professionals are sharks. Their goals also include hunting and survival. They hunt for savings and they are critical to the survival of any organization.

Sharks, as hunters, have incredible focus. If you try to imagine how to think like a shark, you may imagine being on the hunt looking for the splashing motions of a tasty meal. If you’re in procurement, you are looking for contract expirations, the length of time since categories have been competitively sourced, Market conditions, and other key indicators that tell you when you need to focus on a particular category. Once you have your sights set on a category, you are focused and driven in the hunt for savings.

To swim like a shark in procurement is to adopt the traits of the shark in your own behavior. A shark would not be deterred by some of the traditional objections to sourcing a category. Sharks would not care that the vendor has been a partner for 15 years. Sharks would not care if the vendor rep plays golf with the Vice President every week. Sharks expect a price decrease based on indices, not just increases. Sharks would see the potential savings objectively and would apply determination and ferocity until it had completed the task at hand.

One more interesting trait of sharks is their confidence. Sharks seem to know that they are sharks. Great white sharks appear to realize their place in the food chain. Procurement professionals too should know that they are sharks and realize that they have a very important role to play as well.

Go and swim like a shark. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

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Are you doing business with your suppliers “A” Players?

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

 

Today’s post is our SafeSourcing. archives!

You can classify all employees in an organization into three categories: A, B, and C players. Should an organization strive for 90% of employees being ‘A’ players? No, a healthy distribution of A and B players is what an organization should strive for.

C Players– All employees generally start as C players due to their training and inability to bring a benefit to the company right off the bat. Genuine A and B players will not be C players long. They will eventually bring value to the company and move to an A or B player. The employees that remain C players will eventually be weeded out of the company.

B Players– B players can perform the tasks given to them well, but show no initiative to perform beyond average. B players show more loyalty to a company. In many cases B players are former A players, but do not want the responsibility anymore for whatever reason (age, personal, family, etc.). B players will complete the task given to them and with their loyalty will save companies money in hiring and training.

A Players– Everyone wants a company full of A players. A players are responsible and work to bring great benefit to the company. Sure they are experienced, motivated, and bring great benefits to your company, but how long will they stay satisfied? With the knowledge, motivation, and experience A players have it can be challenging for organizations to sustain their employment. A players find greater opportunities and their loyalty is far less than B players.

What type of player is your company searching for? You cannot run a company with only one type of player. A successful organization will have a healthy balance of A and B players. Understanding who your A and B players are is an important key step.

We all work with the three different players from our suppliers and  we know it can be challenging to receive the results or information you have requested from a B or C player. If a company you are working with has not established  who their A, B, and C players are, then you could end up working with any of them for contract negotiations. At SafeSourcing we have an extensive SafeSourceIt™ Supplier database and  existing relationships with  the suppliers that will deliver the results you request. SafeSourcing finds the suppliers A players in order to bring value to your company from the outside.

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 and appreciate your comments.

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There are 7 steps of the strategic procurement process!

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Ashley Riviello , Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Only being with Safe Sourcing for a few days and knowing absolutely nothing about the company prior to my hire, I have learned a great deal of information in a very short amount of time. In order to fully understand what it is we do I have been doing a little research out side of work. According to sources, no pun intended, there are 7 steps of strategic procurement process.

Step 1: Conducting an internal need of analysis

To start you need to identify exactly what the needs are of your client. You need data including but not limited to, current performance, resources used, costs and potential growth.

Step 2: Collect Information

It is extremely important for you to collect as much information as possible, so you are able to help your client as best as possible. Look for specific requirements that are needed and see exactly what their goal is and how you can help them achieve that goal.

Step 3: Collect Supplier Information

Not only do you need information from your client, you also need to get information form your suppliers. You need to select suppliers carefully. You should only pick certain suppliers that are going to benefit your clients needs. It would also be helpful to learn a little bit about their company.

Step 4: Develop a Sourcing/Outsourcing Strategy

After all, 3 steps are complete you are in need of your Request for Proposal (RFP) or a Request for Quote (RFQ) to all the selected suppliers. You will also need to get your agreement and documents finalized and sent to your suppliers. Getting your business strategy in order will keep you organized.

Step 5: Implement the Sourcing Strategy

Having an Expression of Interest (EOI), a prepared RFP or a RFQ and solicit bids from identified potential suppliers as part of the bidding process is very important at this stage. The RFP should include:

  • Detailed material
  • Product or service specifications
  • Delivery and service requirements
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Pricing structure
  • Financial terms

Step 6: Negotiate with Suppliers and Select Winning Bid

Your procurement team will then evaluate the received proposals, quotes or bids, and use the criteria and a process to shortlist the bidders to provide detailed proposals and give reports to your client. After the evaluation process is complete, your procurement team will then enter contract negotiations with the first selected bidder.

Step 7: Implement a Transition Plan

Winning suppliers should be invited to participate in implementing improvements. A communication plan is a must when developing a system for measuring and evaluating performance.

These are a few things I have learned in the few days working for this great company and I feel that if you follow these few steps you and your team can develop and implement a strategic procurement plan.

Please contact a SafeSourcing customer Services team member about our risk free trial

We look forward to your comments

 

 

 

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