Archive for October, 2018

As Services Expand So Do Sourcing Needs

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Todays post is from our SafeSourcing Archives!

In today’s increasingly competitive landscape, retailers are getting more and more creative with the types of services they are offering their clients to get them into the stores. Dine-in space that offers music, internet access or scheduled events such as wine-tasting are becoming more popular every year as retailers compete for the customer’s time, attention and money.

With so many of these services being implemented quickly and by the individual stores, at least initially, the opportunity to consolidate and organize the entire spend for the company presents a very big and potentially profitable opportunity.

One growing service retailers are offering is in-store internet access. Customer internet is a service that can easily be sourced for the entire company either through one national vendor, or a handful of regional vendors. Leveraging the purchasing power of all of the company’s locations for internet services can be a highly successful process as there are so many more providers today than there were even 5 years ago.

The music played in these new areas is also another service that can be sourced as there are many suppliers that can either supply music that can be played and sold at the point of purchase creating yet another new revenue stream or that provide internet streamed music complete with customized marketing messaging in between songs.

Another way for retailers to successfully reduce their spends by purchasing for the whole company is with the supplies being used for their coffee or dining services. In many cases these new areas are not treated as their own profit centers and the materials needed to run them are purchased on a store by store, as needed basis. Napkins, utensils, cups, condiments as well as all of the ingredients that go into the finished product are examples of items that could be taken to the vendor community for more competitive pricing.

So many of these new ideas for bringing customers are highly affective and are difference makers for someone shopping at one location over another and by bringing the services and products they offer under solid sourcing practices they can also be highly profitable new channels of revenue for the company.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can assist your company with sourcing these goods and services, please contact a Customer Service Representative for more information.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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How much is your time worth as a procurement professional?

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Today’s blog is by Alex Borbely, Director of Sales at SafeSourcing

How much is your time worth as a procurement professional? It’s probably at least $40 an hour, likely as much as $60 an hour, and could be as high as $100 or more per hour. Significant savings are rarely achieved by picking at minuscule price variations. Procurement leadership will agree that the practice of spending $100 to save $50 needs to stop so you can start spending your time on implementing strategic changes and improvements that will drive larger savings, such as conducting a spend analysis project or automating or implementing a full service e-procurement strategy, where the work is handled outside of your expensive procurement team and only those individuals become involved for approvals. A full service e-procurement partner consistently provides negotiations of better terms and pricing with suppliers. SafeSourcing consistently provides our clients with 10X ROI. With SafeSourcing, it is not uncommon to have on average of six or more suppliers/vendors participate in a sourcing event. The leg work is done by SafeSourcing and the results are superior to in-house procurement results. As soon as you stop wasting time to find minuscule savings and start to utilize a full-service provider to do the heavy procurement lifting, you’ve already cut costs. Our clients will agree that, additionally, every hour of your time you are able to put towards higher value activities is an investment of the company’s budget that will produce bigger results and a positive return.

The use of the right tools, specifically the right full-service procurement service that allows you to readily have spend analysis reports, can help you identify which suppliers, categories, and commodities are receiving the majority of your spend dollars. These are the areas where investing time to achieve pricing reductions will be most lucrative. Additionally, the right full service provider for e-procurement will give you the ability to drive user spending to preferred suppliers and contracts, which results in longer-term savings and value. Finally, utilizing SafeSourcing’s 10-year plus catalogue of strong suppliers will allow you to not only compile supplier data, but also score and rate their performance as your vendor. This will support your efforts to ensure you have the optimum supplier base for your business. SafeSourcing Inc. is a pivotal part of the full service procurement industry. We provide innovative e-procurement tools that can increase efficiency and improve profitability for our customers, as well as 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.

Have a call with our sales team at SafeSourcing to learn more about how we can fully manage your services, goods, and projects. We can handle your sourcing needs. We enjoy bringing this blog to you 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 Pilot program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We have an entire team ready to assist you today. No savings, then no charge!

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Where to Start in Re-Evaluating Your Purchasing Habits

Thursday, October 11th, 2018



Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of Major Accounts and Special Projects at SafeSourcing Inc.

Do you own one business or are you a corporation with thousands of locations? How do you look at your purchasing needs for internal business or goods for resell? Do you rely on the sales person to tell you they have the best product and can get you the best price? Do you research your suppliers? Finally, how do you know you are getting the best product at the best price?

The process in re-evaluating your purchasing habits are the same, regardless of the size of your business, and it applies for goods as well as services. With a careful focus in following areas you can redefine your purchasing habits; you can use this list as a guideline or create your own:

  1. Lower costs
  2. Consistent and improved quality
  3. Products that guarantee safety for your consumers
  4. Smooth transition to new supplier relationships
  5. Quality product specifications
  6. Unlimited new sources of supply
  7. Well thought out internal and external collaboration and aggregation
  8. Support for environmentally focused products
  9. Support of corporate social responsibilityinitiatives
  10. Evaluation of low cost technology solutions
  11. Joining and collaborating with a share group
  12. Review of incumbent suppliers
  13. E-Sourcing or e-procurement training.
  14. Existing procurement tool evaluation
  15. Existing contracts evaluation
  16. Spend evaluation
  17. Alternative geography sourcing
  18. Sourcing and supply chain knowledge transfer
  19. For resale sustainable practices review
  20. Perfecting the expense category

As you brainstorm the above list, think of other ways you can do a process improvement for your purchasing habits and create your own list. Prioritize and elimination sessions will help you focus on the areas that are more important to your business needs.  Please use the list above as your guideline and make your goals simple and achievable.

Are you overwhelmed and need assistance? SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program for RFPs and RFQs, 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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Sourcing Project Fingerprints

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018


Todays post is from our SafeSourcing Archives.

The day we are born we all get a set of identifying marks that make us unique; our fingerprints. Not one us have the same set of fingerprints and so they have become one of the things that identify who we are to the rest of the world.

In much the same way our physical fingerprints identify us, how we approach and handle tasks in our everyday lives have characteristics similar to our fingerprints that identify us as the ones involved with those tasks; how we write; how we speak; how we lead; how we organize; how we communicate. Each of us puts fingerprints on our work that identify us as being involved with a project. Let’s look at a few areas to help you determine what fingerprints you are leaving behind.

Research: Every sourcing project begins with the research. Research includes understanding what you are buying, how much you are buying, who you are currently buying that product from and who else sells that product that you could buy it from. The diligence you show in digging up the documents, emails, contracts, potential new vendors leaves your fingerprint on a project a major way.

Tool use: Tools range from pencil & paper to Excel spreadsheets to fullblown eSourcing solutions that intelligently help you organize the procurement process. Knowing what tools you have at your disposal and how to use them can mark a project with your involvement. Also, knowing when the tools you have aren’t sufficient is equally important.

Organization: Knowing all of the details does no good unless the organization of a project is done well. Great procurement professionals can assess a project; determine who needs to be involved; determine what each phase of the project should be and who should be brought in to assist with each step of the process. Knowing what to expect and organizing appropriately can be the difference between a successful project and one that fails to meet expectations.

Communication: Communication is tightly connected with organization. Without effective communication among all parties involved in the organized project, including what the expectations of each member are, many projects fail before they ever begin.

Desire: The wild card to the fingerprint you leave on a project is desire. Desire can originate from many different sources but the goal is always the same; completing a successful project in the time it was expected to happen. Among each of the five components mentioned here, desire will mark projects as yours and will many times be the difference-maker in a project being completed correctly and in a timely manner. When you strongly care about a project being successful, the majority of the time it will be.

For more information on SafeSourcing or how you can leave better fingerprints on your sourcing projects, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to your comments.

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It goes well beyond the savings.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

When running an eRFX event there are many benefits that go far beyond savings. Most all benefits will eventually save you money, but it has value-added benefits that won’t show savings right away.

During the sourcing process it is best to establish goals that your company wants to achieve. What part of the current process is costing you money, where is there room for savings? The following goals are achieved when running a sourcing event.

Fewer Suppliers– Managing suppliers can be very costly to your company. All suppliers come with different invoices, contracts, contacts, and terms. The amount of time it takes to manage all the different suppliers will hinder any savings you originally planned on receiving. Lower the amount of suppliers will be great value in minimizing time with managing them.

Location– Are your shipments coming from across the country because the cost was so low? But are you washing away those savings in expediting shipments due to a current process and standard freight takes too long. Finding suppliers within closer proximity will save you shipping time and result in savings.

Standardizing Items– When sourcing item(s) in the customer-facing industry it is best to have a standard appearance and be able to control costs with identical item at a larger volume. Whether it is for new construction or remolding, standardizing the specifications and gathering a quote on the total volume/spend can save your company money.

Here at SafeSourcing we will work with achieving all your goals, however many there may be, and we can also help you create goals for sourcing events.

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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Believe Me, You could be improving your profitability by up to 73%.

Sunday, October 7th, 2018


Today’s post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

I wouldbe glad to personally discuss this premise with any Retail CEO or CFO that wants to challenge it!

Lets review exactly what a reverse auction is, how simple they are to use and the potential financial benefits?

Reverse auctions are web based or Software as a Service (SaaS) tools that let retailers and other companies find the best suppliers for any resale or not for resale product or service they wish to source. Using a web based reverse auction tool, retailers, other business or even large holding companies can locate and invite many more suppliers to take place in reverse auctions than they could possibly find or manage using traditional sourcing methodologies or even tools like BING or Google. During the reverse auction they can review on one screen all of the responses from suppliers, data about the suppliers, notes from the suppliers, product specifications and other necessary information in an instant. Upon auction conclusion which is typically less than 30 minutes including extensions host companies can review potential savings scenarios and award business right from their desktop. Sound simple? That’s because it is.

Now let’s get to the simple financial benefits. Let’s assume a $150M smaller Retail Company with industry average earnings of one percent or $1.5M. Additionally cost of goods for this company is 70 percent or $105M. Let’s also assume this company were to only source ten percent of their for resale goods spend or roughly $11M. With well below industry average savings of just ten percent, total savings generated would be $1.1M which is a direct impact to net profitability. If all other segments of the P&L perform to plan and all savings are recovered during the same business calendar year net profitability would increase to $2.6M or a 73% improvement. Again this assume no tributes to Caesar or other funny accounting associated with new capital plans and the like

So, why don’t many companies use reverse auctions and other e-procurement tools? That’s a great question! Maybe someone out there has an answer.

If this author were you, I just could not ignore this type of opportunity.

If you’d like some examples of the types of savings SafeSourcing can generate for you by size of spend and category, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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Water-Soluble Plastic Bags

Friday, October 5th, 2018



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

In 2014, the world produced 311 tons of plastic. If the production rate continues, there will be 1.2 billion tons of plastic by 2050.  A new biodegradable plastic bag, SoluBag, may be the answer to replacing currently used plastic bags as it contains no oil derivatives and is not harmful to the environment.  This new plastic bag has gone on sale this month in Chile.  Roberto Astete and Christian Olivares, researchers from Chile, are behind the new biodegradable plastic bag.  The formula was discovered while experimenting with biodegradable detergent.  “The team used PVA, a polyvinyl alcohol that dissolves in water, as their chemical base and then replaced the oil derivatives to ensure the bag would degrade over time.”1. Oil derivatives in plastic bags are what cause plastic bags not to degrade, but remain in the environment and then cause serious problems with natural environments and marine life. The product that these Chilean researchers are using come from limestone.

The Chilean government banned the use of plastic bags in August 2018. “The main difference between traditional plastic and ours is that traditional plastic remains between 150 and 500 years in the environment and ours only lasts five minutes.  You can decide when to destroy it.”

The SoluBags dissolve in cold water. What remains is carbon, which has no effect on the human body.

A side benefit of the SoluBag is that it protects against asphyxia. The bag dissolves when it comes in contact with a person’s tongue or tears.  Existing plastic companies can easily produce these bags by simply changing their formula.  Pricing of these SoluBags are similar to the plastic bags currently produced.  Chile has launched this product in their country, however, testing on SoluBags has only just begun in the US.

Plastic bags area frequently sourced category at SafeSourcing. 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.


Melissa Kitson, El PAIS in English, 8/1/2018






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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018


Todays  post is our SafeSourcing Archives

Although we’d like to think that the decisions we make are deliberated by well thought-out reasoning and common sense, the truth is we aren’t even aware of most of what goes on in the brain during the decision making process. Much of what we think is a decision is actually a lot of conditioning by our society, culture, parents, schooling, job training, etc. Unfortunately, no one understands this better than marketing strategists, whose aim is to have the decision made for you before you even aware what you are deliberating about.

Pre-suasion is a term coined by Robert Cialdini, who wrote a book in 2016 by the same name, and is a well-known author and researcher in marketing and persuasion strategy. The focus of the term is the timing of your attempt to persuade, because the battle for decisions in your favor are often won and lost long before any actual pitch is made. Here are a few ways in which pre-suasion can be used, either in your favor or against it:

Ask questions that get your audience to think about a positive attribute of your proposal. For example, during an interview, ask what wasy it about my resume that made you want to see me? This brings focus onto the attributes that attracted your audience in the first place, and sets you in a more positive frame of reference.

We give relevance to what grabs our attention most recently. Most and recently being the key words here, this concept eludes to the fact that if something impacts us greatly, and a short time ago, it is likely to heavily influence our decision. A recent car crash for instance, will often change how much driving someone will freely choose to do, even though the safety statistics haven’t actually changed.

Change what someone thinks about, not what they think. For Example, direct someone’s memory to an association with something terrible to have them avoid a decision of similar association. Are you hoping your spouse will pick the white car? Talk about things they love that evoke the thought of white: White snow, the wedding dress, bright white smiles, white piano keys, etc.

Discuss a number that will make the number you will actually pitch seem favorable. Also known as Anchoring, this concept takes advantage of the way in which human beings tend to rely heavily on the first piece of information received (the anchor), and compare it to future acquired information. This is why you see sale signs all the time stating the price  was?  XX.XX, because you would feel better about buying something if you believe you?re getting it at a discount.

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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Fall is falling and you should already be planning for 2019!

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018


Now that fall is here and the holidays are right around the corner, how are you planning for 2019?

Today?s post is from our  SafeSourcing Archives

Procurement professionals our success is dependent on how well we are continuing to think forward to the coming months so that we are prepared when the business is ready to go out and make spend decisions.? This usually can?t be done in just a few weeks, it requires looking months in advance at new projects, new spends and existing contracts and reviews of the market for the best offering.

Typically this type of planning involves sitting down with your department heads to understand what their budgets, spends, and plans for the business are in the future so that you can get ahead of what is coming.

With fall just beginning and the holiday season right around the corner, now is the time to begin scheduling those sessions with the departments and looking at the contracts that are due to expire in the first and second quarter in 2019? Coordinating these meetings can take time and the larger your company, the more lead time you are likely to need to get on the appropriate peoples? schedules.

Waiting until after the first of the year to do this when budgets have officially been set may be too late to get this done, as people are generally coming back from the holidays and catching up on the other items that have been awaiting their attention.? It can be the end of January or early February before you get your meetings scheduled which will likely mean you will lose an opportunity to help them source some items in the first quarter.

Get your meetings scheduled by the first or second week in November.? Using a three step approach like the one followed by SafeSourcing Managers, look for those departments which have a higher number of easy, high opportunity categories.? This includes spends with fast approaching contract deadlines.? Also look at those departments that have more complex projects but with high dollar spends followed by the departments involving the most complex spends but with high opportunity.? This last group can generally take more time to gather information and strategize so make sure you include time with these departments to get ahead of the projects.

Going through the projects these departments have planned for 2014 is a great exercise in understanding how the procurement department can help them select the right products and services for your company providing better overall value.

For more information on scheduling your internal department head planning sessions or for templates you can use during those sessions to help collect the data you need, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative!

We look forward to your comments.

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Zero Waste Initiative

Monday, October 1st, 2018


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

Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery store chain, recently announced that it will begin phasing out plastic bag use and expects to be plastic bag free in all of its 2,800 stores by the year 2025.  This shift is part of Kroger’s ‘Zero Hunger / Zero Waste’ initiative in response to the growing concerns of customers and the community, and is a reflection of their commitment to “live our purpose through social impact”, according to Kroger’s chief operating officer, Mike Donnelley.

The transition from single-use to reusable bags will ultimately eliminate 123 million pounds of garbage annually sent to landfills. That would quadruple the amount of plastic the retailer currently recycles. Kroger will ramp up the availability of their reusable bags which costs $1 each, and customers will still have the option of asking for paper bags.  Future plans also include a phase out of plastic bags for produce and meat.

Other major U.S. corporations have joined the shift to reduce waste, which include Disney, Starbucks, Marriott, and McDonald’s.  These companies have all committed to getting rid of plastic straws.  Dunkin’ Donuts will be phasing out polystyrene foam cups, and Ikea has plans to eliminate single-use plastic products by 2020.

In a previous blog, I covered the many benefits of recycling.  Although there has been a growing awareness of environmental conservation which dates back to long before the first Earth Day in April of 1970, we are still a long way away from being a totally waste conscious society.  Only 30% of recyclable materials actually get recycled. The move to produce less waste is a step in the right direction in the quest for a zero waste solution.

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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