Archive for April, 2018

Blockchain

Friday, April 27th, 2018

 

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

If you had invested $1,000 dollars in Bitcoin back in 2008, you’d have more than $40,000,000 today. Bitcoin is based on the blockchain protocol. What is blockchain you ask? Blockchain is a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly “we can actually have a look at the blockchain and see evidence of what’s going on.” Blockchain originated in the technology space, which explains slow adoption rooted in its techno-babble jargon.

Marketing and business strategist, Clay Hebert (founder of Crowdfunding Hack), sees a familiar story playing out differently this time compared to how many companies were late to the party when social media emerged. People were very apprehensive about social media, putting your business or yourself out there for the world to see. But it worked, businesses were booming after starting a Facebook or Twitter page. People new about you and everything went viral. “In the mid-to-late 2000’s, big companies missed the social media train. They couldn’t see how Twitter or Facebook would immediately impact their business, so they were slow to adopt these technologies. They don’t want to play catch-up again.” Quoted by CEO of Bitcoin.

This is the same about Bitcoin. People all over are talking about how bad it is or what a scam it is. As Hebert (founder of Crowdfunding Hack) suggests too, we’re already starting to see wider understanding and adoption in blockchain technology from companies big and small. For example:

  • Large consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte are building out entire blockchain practice areas and developing key alliances in the space.
  • IBM recently forged blockchain collaboration with Nestlé, Walmart, Costco and others to improve global food supply chain safety.
  • Some realtors have begun to differentiate themselves by accepting Bitcoin for real estate transactions (CNBC).
  • The hurdles won’t be overcome overnight. Similar to the Internet itself and social media, blockchain will enable new digital transactions that will disrupt traditional businesses like document authentication and title searches.

Smart companies will build skills around blockchain technology to ensure they are the ones doing the disrupting rather than the ones being disrupted.

Bitcoin is becoming bigger by the day and I say we all get on board fast. The Companies are drastically starting to use it around the world. And it’s a matter of time before its being used everywhere and in every aspect of our financial world.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

 

Should you try e-Procurement?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

 

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

Should you try e-Procurement? Recently I met with the owner of a local company to discuss the possibility of helping his company with procurement. We discussed our background and how we have helped clients big and small. One of his first questions was, “I am only one location do you believe I have a spend large enough that warrants help from SafeSourcing?” The answer is a resounding, YES!  We discussed what he currently purchases and what he needs. After talking for quite some time, we found out that there are a couple of things he would like to try to take to market.  The first thing was janitorial and cleaning supplies. With his business there is always cleaning needed to be done; but with only one business is that enough spend to pay an event fee and still see savings? I explained to him our Risk Free Trial and that in recent history, we have saved clients over 27% on the same items. Even with the smallest of spends that is still a sizable amount. We then discussed other possibilities and his future plans. He explained to me that he is expanding and looking to open a new location/warehouse. That is fantastic!  I proceeded to inform him that construction, project management, and general contracting is also something we can help him with. We are not just a one trick pony. We can help with it all, I told him to think outside of the box. From the walk-in coolers and HVAC, to the building itself, we will help him find the general contractor that suits his requirements. I hope to help him grow his business and look to help him expand in the future years

So should you try e-Procurement? The answer is yes, from small goods to large construction jobs, we can help with it all.  In 2017, we have helped our clients save an average of 24% +/- across all categories. So give it a try, challenge us and see what SafeSourcing can do for you!

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.

 

Sourcing Music

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

 

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

There isn’t an organization on earth that doesn’t use music for its business in some capacity. Offices without any background music are awkward, phone lines without hold music makes customers think no one is actually holding for them, and video marketing is incomplete without song. Even though you may feel that the latest hit would be a perfect fit for your multimedia needs, without following the right procedures you could be on the hook for damages much larger than the actual licensing fees. But where do you start?

The rights to any musical composition’s distribution are typically managed by the publishing company under what are known as “mechanical licenses”. Sometimes the rights can be released directly by the copyright holder, but typically only under special circumstances such as when the request comes from a source with strong cross-promotional influence, or a friend of the artist themselves. The major Performing Rights Organizations (PROs) are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. All commercial artists will be affiliated with one or the other organization. However, obtaining a license to use the music of one organization does not give you legal access to the libraries of all three PROs. There are, however, several third party companies who have licensing agreements with the PROs, and will grant access to specific works within their libraries for a fee. If you need to be able to customize how you use the creative work, such as by editing a song to fit within a TV commercial or radio jingle, obtaining licensing through a third party is usually the easiest way to go. However, if all you need is elevator music, obtaining licenses specific to your organization is probably unnecessary.

Typically, the best route for a company to take is to purchase systems with pre-existing music libraries already integrated. For example, many VOIP providers either have their own content created exclusively for their organization, or have purchased rights to creative works themselves. This places the burden of working through the licensing issues on the service provider you are using. However, if you want to make sure your service provider is compliant, you should ask for documentation proving compliance with current copyright laws identifying the corresponding PRO.

Please leave a comment or for more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with your procurement 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.

 

What POS System is Best for Your Business?

Friday, April 20th, 2018

 

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

Changing out a Point of Sale System is not something that a retailer can take lightly.  This is a very daunting task and takes a lot of pre-planning.  Since most retailers are open 7 days a week, there cannot be any or little down time when the transition takes place.  This means that there must be a lot of research and a good team in place to make a successful transition.  Researching all of the components can also be very time consuming.  There are a lot of suppliers that offer excellent solutions that will meet your needs.  Most of the suppliers offer POS systems that include both hardware and software solutions that will help streamline the transaction process.  When doing your research, you must first know what hardware that you will need and the amount of stress that will be put upon it.  Some systems are built to last extreme usage and temperatures where others are not.  It is also important to know all of the components that you will need.  For example, barcode scanners, register screens, payment terminals, cash drawers, and receipt printers.  When choosing a POS system, there are many other things to consider as well.  Below is a list of some things to keep in mind.

  • How many transactions do we average on a given day?
  • How many lanes need to be supported?
  • Are we planning on expanding in the near future?
  • What type of payments do we accept?
  • Does my environment cause the need for more durable equipment?
  • Do we support mobile transactions?
  • Do we need to have multiple locations linked together?
  • Do we need to synch data with other applications?

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.

 

 

The Numbers Are In ​

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

 

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

The numbers are in, and while this might seem somewhat-braggadocios, 2017 was an incredible year for clients of SafeSourcing. As our readers are probably aware, SafeSourcing offers a wide variety of solutions in the Procure-to-Pay space. This includes our SafeSpendAnalysis™, SafeDocument™, the SafeSourceIt™ suite (electronic RFI, RFP, RFQ), and more. Of all these solutions, it is the RFQ that has always been the most interesting to our clients when it comes to value and ROI.

The RFQ, sometimes called the reverse auction, is a long-time client favorite. In 2017, SafeSourcing’s clients were able to benefit from some very incredible savings through the use of RFQs. Across all of the categories we hosted on behalf of all of our clients in various industry verticals, the average RFQ savings in 2017 was 24.81%.

With this level of savings, it is not hard to imagine exactly why there has been, and continues to be, such interest in the RFQ. As we are now well into 2018, we are happy to report that this trend is continuing and our clients are on track to have yet another big year for RFQ savings.

As we pause to reflect and enjoy this success, perhaps you might reflect as well. There is no reason why you should not enjoy this level of savings. By taking a strategic approach to your own categories, and by leveraging established best practices and the proper tools, this opportunity can be realized.

After reflection, if you feel that your own savings might have room for improvement, we should make time for a conversation.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  

We look forward to your comments.

Major Egg Recall Due to Salmonella

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

 

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

Salmonella, a type of bacteria that causes serious illnesses and deaths, particularly among children and elderly people has caused Rose Acre Farms to recall their eggs after federal officials tied illnesses to the company’s facility in North Carolina. Twenty-two people on the East Coast have been sickened by Salmonella braenderup, however, no one has died.

The Food and Drug Administration conducted an investigation of the farm, which is located in Hyde County, N.C., and produces 2.3 million eggs a day from 3 million hens. Eggs produced at the farm are distributed to retail stores and restaurants in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas.

The contaminated eggs were sold under brand names such as Great Value, Country Daybreak, Glenview and Food Lion. They were also sold to Waffle House restaurants. Rose Acre Farms, a family-owned company headquartered in Seymour, Indiana, and has 17 facilities in eight states. This is the largest recall since 2010, when a major salmonella outbreak tied to Iowa egg farms sickened more than 1,500 people, said Bill Marler a Seattle-based personal injury attorney who focuses on food-borne illness litigation.

“More than 500 eggs from two Iowa farms owned and controlled by Austin J. DeCoster were recalled that year. DeCoster and his son, Peter DeCoster, each pleaded guilty to one count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. Authorities said the DeCosters’ company, Quality Egg, Marler said this most recent outbreak involving Salmonella braenderup, unlike the one in 2010, was detected far more quickly, preventing dozens more from being sick. That’s partly because the type of salmonella bacteria is less common, so investigators were able to isolate it quicker, he said.”1

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths every year in the United States.

Allow SafeSourcing to help your business be more competitive with your sourcing needs. For more information on SafeSourcing, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you.

Resources——————————————————————————————————-

1 Kristine Phillips, Business, 4/15/2018

 

 

 

Why e-Procurement?

Monday, April 9th, 2018

 

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

Is e-Procurement the right way to go for your company? Why not just keep doing things the old fashioned way of which there are many. What would the real difference be? There are many benefits that result from using an e-Procurement service provider. A very important benefit is the time it saves a company on everything that goes on behind the scenes of procurement, even a single item or simple service can result in many many man hours on your part in order to complete a project. Why?

First identify the item or service you want to take to market. That first step alone can take some time. If it is a current item or service you already receive, you need to discover if the specifications are something you need and want, or is this something you are sourcing because you no longer believe that is the best product for your needs. Next dig up some invoices because you want to make sure of your current price in order for you to know what you need to beat it. Great, now you know what it is and how much you are paying. Next you need to figure out where to get it. Thankfully the internet helps with this step. Use your favorite search engine and type in what you are looking for along with manufactures or distributors. At this point you may have a list of four or five companies. Now it’s time to get contacts for these companies. Sometimes it is as simple as asking for someone in sales, or maybe if you’re lucky and the person that answered the phone can help you. Often times however you get someone that will take a message and have a customer service representative call you. Guess what you are only a fraction of the way there, if they call back at all.

Once you are finally in touch with a sales rep, it is time to discuss what you need. Typically you have to send them the specifications which require an email or fax of what you are looking for and anything other information that ensures that they know exactly what you want. At this point, they compile pricing and work with their teams and eventually send you their “best price”. So now you have to do that 3, 4, 5 or more times so you can compare these prices. Now that you have prices, it’s time to test the quality of the goods; or maybe it is a service, and you have to do some research to see if this is a reputable company. You will need to research any good or bad ratings they may have. So after waiting a few weeks, you have found the lowest price of the collection, but does that still give you the quality you are looking for?

But was that the best price? Did you get the best “value”? Who knows, you have already put so much time into finding the right vendor or supplier, this has to be the best. That is until you’re at an event with some peers and a counterpart is bragging how they got the same items at a drastically lower price. Now what, do you try to get out of that contract or do you stick it out for the remainder and repeat the process?

This is where we come in. SafeSourcing a full service eProcurement service provider does the leg work for you. We run a live sourcing event from start to finish while you can focus on your other business needs. We research your products; develop specification documents from our comprehensive list of over 470,000 vendors to ensure that we find the right one for you. We ensure low pricing with a live online bidding event for the vendors. After a sourcing event we compile reports on every action taken, as well as request any samples on your behalf with a strict timeline that you agree upon. We actually take the stress out of the entire procurement process.

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

 

 

 

In these days of big data, how should retailers manage their legacy contracts?

Friday, April 6th, 2018

 

We are all aware that the majority of retailers large and small do not have contract management solutions in place. In order to mitigate their risk, where should focus be placed when beginning implementation?

We have conversations all of the time with retailers as to what is the best way to store and leverage the language or data within existing contracts. My answer has always been the same and that is the identification of your critical Metadata.

According to Wikipedia Metadata is loosely defined as data about data. Though this definition is easy to remember, it is not very precise. The strength of this definition is in recognizing that metadata is data. As such, metadata can be stored and managed in a database.

When we think about contract management, we need to be thinking about mitigating risk and not necessarily all of the language embedded in a contract. On many occasions this information is listed on addendums or attachments and not necessarily in the master agreement itself. For sake of simplicity, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list the following twenty items reflect the type of metadata you might want to hi-lite and set alert targets against in your current contracts.

1.  Supplier or Seller Information
2.  Purchaser or Buyer Information
3.  Detail of Goods to be purchased
4.  Detail of Services to be purchased
5.  Delivery Timeline Details of the Goods and or Services
6.  Agreed Upon Price
7.  When and where should payments are to be made?
8.  Payment Terms
9.  Down Payment Terms
10.  Delivery Dates
11.  Delivery Location or locations
12.  Risk of Loss or Damage and transfer language
13.  Is Assignment of this Agreement Allowed?
14.  Detailed Warranty
15.  Trademark infringement language
16.  Origination Dates
17.  Termination Dates
18.  Termination Notice
19.  Additional Clauses
20.  Signature Details

The above should be data that is considered for inclusion during the review process that your solution provider puts in place for you during the early stages of implementation, training and review of any contract management offering.

If you’d like to learn more about SafeContract™ from Safesourcing and the services provided to assist in defining your Metadata please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

What is a price or commodity index and how is it used?

Thursday, April 5th, 2018

 

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

SafeSourcing uses a number of  indices in our sourcing events every day and the same question always comes up from buyers when we do. While this is an older post from our archives I believe you will still find it useful today.

This author has heard a lot lately about prices indexes or indices. Every time we source something we are asked what index should we use. Although there are times when an index is helpful in sourcing in order to manage contracted pricing once a baseline has been determined versus the rise or fall of an index, that is not always the case for every product.

I was reading our local paper today “The Arizona Republic”. In their MARKET TIP on page 3 of the business section they had a nice synopsis of the Consumer Price Index or CPI relative to measuring inflation. It was brief and holds true in terms of how indices are used to measure the rise or drop in prices over time. In your annual contracts you may wish to review them quarterly and have escalator language that locks in price increases or decreases versus a specific index to protect you from volatile commodity markets like the oil market.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. The CPI is used as an economic indicator, a deflator of other economic series and as a means of adjusting dollar values. The CPI affects nearly all Americans because of the many ways it is used.

To learn more about how the CPI index is used please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

If you’d like to learn more about the variety of indices and how they impact the many products that you buy for reuse as well as resale or if you are not in the business of prognostication, please contact a SafeSourcing  customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.