Archive for December, 2018

Welcoming the New Year Resolutions Part I of V

Monday, December 31st, 2018

 

Today’ s post is by David Wenig;  Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

As we welcome in a new year, we often speak of our resolutions. Personally, the resolutions that we make are likely to include exercise more, become more environmentally conscious or lose weight. The same concept of resolutions should take hold in your procurement department. Take the New Year as a challenge to drive new initiatives that will reduce spend in a sustainable manner.

If our first resolution was to exercise more, we could also apply that to procurement. That is to say that we could take more steps toward efficient and effective procurement. You may focus your RFI, RFP and RFQ efforts on initiatives that have been deemed the most significant based on spend or some other factor, but what about all of the other initiatives that go unnoticed? How many of these smaller spends are allowed to continue year after year while your focus is on these larger spends? Make a plan to include more of your contracts and share that plan with your strategic sourcing partner.

If you were to say “I want to lose some weight this year”, couldn’t you also say “I want to reduce my spend this year?” Just like it is for a body, exercise will lead to weight loss. Stay on track with your procurement plan and you will see the spend dollars drop. Increasing your company’s strategic sourcing initiatives to involve all projects will have a significant impact on reducing your overall spend.

In the remaining segments of this series, we will continue to explore ways to take advantage of that New Year energy.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at how to get your department prepared for the new (or renewed) procurement initiative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Procurement of Potato Salad Part I

Friday, December 28th, 2018

 

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

Procurement of potato salad? How many types of potato salad can you name? What are your favorites? What ingredients make the potato salad your favorite?  Do you walk up to a deli counter and get overwhelmed by the sheer number of potato salad behind the glass? Do you spend your valuable time to make your own potato salad?

The types and number of potato salad is limitless. Every region and continent has their type of potato salad. If you can imagine an ingredient to be included into the potato salad, then a recipe or manufacture has probably created it. There are varieties of potatoes that can be used for potato salad, as well as, the various types of “sauce”. There is even a debate if potato salad can be served hot, such as the German potato salad.

This author’s mother would often make her own potato salad, but in her later years she would buy cheap potato salad and “doctor it up” by adding additional ingredients like more mustard or celery seed, eggs, onion, or whatever else she could imagine. This often created some very tasty salads and only one time in this author’s memory can remember a not so great potato salad with an overzealous garlic powder version of potato salad.

You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with procurement.  I often use potato salad to explain to family, friends, and even strangers what procurement is and why it is important. Potato salad has so many facets of purchasing requirements, whether the salad is pre-made by a manufacture or homemade. Where do the potatoes come from? How are they processed? Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip? Yellow Mustard or grain mustard? Eggs? Spices? Celery? Even bacon?

Why there are three to five different types of potato salad behind the glass at the deli counter and why do the price per pound vary so much if the potato salads visually look similar? How would you choose which one to purchase? In explaining what procurement is, it is also important to explain why sampling is critical to making a purchase.  The best deli departments are the ones who will let you sample each of the potato salads and be able to tell you what makes each one unique to be behind the glass and not in some plastic bucket in the refrigerator section to be purchased by the gallon.

This author hopes that you find this series fun and educational. In part two of the Procurement of Potato Salad, this author will start at the “root” of procurement of the potatoes for potato salad.

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.

 

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2018 and the hope for Peace on Earth.

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

If you can indentify these folks below, We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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Benefits of Using a Staffing Agency

Friday, December 21st, 2018

 

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

Hiring new employees can be a very daunting task.  Sometimes it can be a real struggle finding the right talent.  Even if you find the right talent, the new hire may not fully satisfy your company’s needs.  This can result in wasted time and money.  As a result of this, a lot of companies choose to work with staffing agencies to help them find the right talent.  When done in-house, the vetting process for a new hire can be very time consuming and expensive.  Staffing agencies can help with this because they do all of the vetting and may absorb other costs such as skill assessments, background checks, drug screenings, driving records and training.  Using a staffing agency ensures that you get qualified candidates that can come aboard and start being productive right away.  Below are some other reasons to consider working with a staffing agency.

  • Faster Hiring Process
  • Better Candidates
  • Save Money
  • Superior Market Knowledge
  • Lower New Employee Overhead
  • Performance Guarantees
  • More Effective Job Descriptions
  • More Access to Experienced Candidates

If you are planning to hire new employees and would like help finding a staffing agency, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one 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.

 

 

Staying Alive

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Amazon is now in the oil business, with the release of its Amazon Basics Full Synthetic Motor Oil. Amazon’s private label oil is a competitor to Valvoline, Quaker State and other leading brands. Proving, that there isn’t an industry Amazon can’t enter.  According to former Amazon executive BrittainLadd, now a consultant specializing in digital transformation and strategies, Amazon is becoming so powerful that even Walmart can become marginalized in as few as 10 years.

Private label is becoming extremely strategic to Amazon. As of July 2018, Amazon has a total of 76 private label brands and Ladd estimates Amazon will have over 2,000 private-label brands within 3 to 5 years. Companies can no longer afford to operate as if Amazon doesn’t exist.

Known as the “Amazon effect”, more and more people have become online shoppers which has rapidly changed the retail landscape. This increase for e-commerce businesses comes at the expense of brick-and-mortar retail stores, with the most recent victims Toys R Us, and Sears closing its doors. Some stores are adapting by providing an electronic retail option or E-tailing, with online shopping portals which allow online ordering and a pick-up option at a nearby retail store.  E-tailing helps traditional brick-and-mortar stores reach more consumers worldwide and increase sales.

Another adaptation has been the surge of pop-up retailing.  Pop-up stores are temporary retail locations that offer a unique experience to the customer with minimal overhead to the retailer. Pop-up store customers have the chance to touch, try on, and demo products in person before having to make a purchase. The retailer gets an opportunity to interact with customers face-to-face which allows them to address potential concerns on the spot. Best Buy, J. Crew and Nordstrom have all recently ventured into the world of pop-ups.

Reinventing how we do business in this quickly evolving economy is the key to survival.  Staying relevant can be the difference between staying alive or becoming the next casualty of e-commerce.

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……………………………………………………………………………………..

https://zurb.com/blog/the-amazon-effect-and-how-retailers-can-s

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/09/14/amazon-is-in-the-oil-business/#7c168e3648f8

https://www.retailtouchpoints.com/features/special-reports/pop-up-stores-become-more-than-just-a-trend

 

It’s About Time​

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

 

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

As we wrap up another year of providing eProcurement services to our customers, it’s a good time to consider what categories you’ll be sourcing in the new year. In an effective eProcurement program, every spend category should be considered at the appropriate time. But how do you know when it’s time to source a category?

One of the first considerations is contract timing. Unfortunately, many organizations today don’t have good controls in place to monitor contract terms. In some cases, the contracts are even missing because they were not saved in a central repository.

That’s where a contract management tool comes in. SafeSourcing’s contract management tool, called SafeContract™,  is a great way to manage contracts and avoid the issues caused by losing track of your contract terms, or even entire contracts.

SafeContract™ is an online contract repository that stores, tracks, and monitors your contracts. SafeContract™ puts you in control of your contract and notifies the user when it’s time to consider a category for eProcurement based on contract termination. For example, if the contract requires 30-day written notice before termination, a user might set a 60 or 90 day reminder so that they remember to take action. With SafeContract™ as your contract management tool, you’ll know when it’s time to consider sourcing a category. Not only will you know when to source your categories, you’ll also avoid missing deadlines for automatic renewals and other unfavorable outcomes.

Please Contact SafeSourcing if you’re interested in learning more about our contract management tool or any of our full suite of Procure to Pay tools.

 

 

 

 

 

When is the Best Time to Procure?

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

 

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

When is the best time to procure? This is a question we get often and the answer varies. For many different goods and services, particular times of the year are best to take to market. For example, services like air conditioning repair often yield greater savings if they are taken to market during the winter or spring. This is generally because it can guarantee a provider a certain amount of work and they can budget their time ahead of time. If you seek pricing for air conditioning repair in the heat of the summer, providers may already be booked and may charge much higher rates than normal.

Another factor to consider when determining the best time to procure is market conditions. These can vary month to month, but paying attention to any recent news or trends in the market can delay the timing of your procurement event. For example, if you are seeking maple syrup and there have recently been any devastating natural disasters in Canada or the northeast US, you may want to delay your procurement efforts until the product is more readily available and more competitive pricing can be obtained.

These are just two different factors that can affect the timing of your procurement efforts. There are many other things that could expedite or delay them further, like contract expirations, anticipated tariffs, etc. While we often get questions regarding the best time to procure, we can always give one piece of advice– talk to your procurement partner to plan the best timing for your procurement needs well beforehand. They can help you with all the factors that go into running a successful procurement project.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help in 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.

 

 

 

On the Twelve Days of e-Procurement Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

 

Todays post is a holiday favorite by our CEO Ron Southard from our SafeSourcing Archives.

  1. On the first day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, a streamlined procurement process.
  2. On the second day of Christmas our e-service provider gave to us, more suppliers to source our goods from.
  3. On the third day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, pricing that works for smallest categories..
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, consistent and customized product specifications.
  5. On the fifth day of Christmas our e-procurement service supplier gave to us, more time for other priorities.
  6. On the sixth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, improved quality in our products.
  7. On the seventh day of Christmas our e-procurement service supplier gave to us, better supplier education.
  8. On the eighth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, a simple award of business process.
  9. On the ninth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, support for a better carbon footprint.
  10. On the tenth day of Christmas our e-procurement service supplier gave to us, total category e-procurement.
  11. On the eleventh day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, safer products for our customers and planet.
  12. On the twelfth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, a sustainable e-procurement process and improved corporate net earnings.

Now, ask yourself if all of these goals are accomplished on your company’s behalf by your present e-procurement service provider. If n0t, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager. Click CONTACT US!

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Continued best wishes for a Merry Christmas  the rest of the Happy Holiday Season.

You can procure anything, including Candy Canes Part I!

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Inc. Archives

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

First the history of the candy cane: from the HomeBoy Media Network!

The candy cane is a Christmas tradition that many hold dear but nobody really knows why. Let’s face it, the only things we really know about candy canes is that they taste good and that they are red and white.

Whether the story of the candy cane is a legend or if it is true is not certain, but this is how the story goes: About two hundred-thirty years ago at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, the children that went to church there were really loud and noisy. They often moved around and would not pay attention to the choirmaster.

This was especially difficult for the choirmaster when they were supposed to be sitting still for the long living Nativity ceremony. So to keep the children quiet, he gave them a long, white, sugar candy stick. He couldn’t give them chocolate or anything like that because the people at that church would think it was sacrilegious. So he gave them the stick and he bent it on the end to look like a cane. It was meant to look like a shepherd’s cane, and so it reminded the children of the shepherds at Jesus’ birth.

In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant in Wooster, Ohio put candy canes on his Christmas tree and soon others were doing the same. Sometime around 1900 candy canes came to look more like what we know them as today with the red stripes and peppermint flavoring.

Some people say the white color represents the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the wounds he suffered. They also sometimes say that the peppermint flavoring represents the hyssop herb used for purifying and spoken of in the Bible. The shape also looks like the letter “J” for Jesus, not just a shepherd’s cane. It is possible that these things were added for religious symbols, but there is no evidence that is true.

Around 1920, a man in Georgia named Bob McCormack wanted to make candy canes for his family and friends. He later started mass-producing candy canes for his own business which he named Bob’s Candies. This is where many of our candy canes come from today.

Tomorrow we will discuss the raw materials needed to make candy canes.

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.

Recycling Crisis

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

 

 

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

It is the time of year when holiday packages will be arriving on people’s doorsteps across the country; however gift boxes this year might not become recycled gift boxes next year. Recycling is now a crisis in the US.  China, America’s go-to nation for processing recyclables into boxes, is now requiring the cleanest, purist loads. This decision has left recyclers without a market causing recyclables to pile up and prices to fall. Waste Management, the trash hauling giant, reported it has become more expensive to recycle glass, plastic and paper. UPS reports that they will deliver 800 million packages this holiday season, an increase from 762 million in 2017. FedEx will add another 400 million, if they match last year’s total.

After years of conditioning Americans to throw all of their reusable containers and papers into a recycle bin, cities across the US are charging higher collection fees, as well as eliminating certain items they will not pick up. Nearly 35% of the nation’s waste is diverted to recycling from the solid waste stream. That accounts for millions of tons of material that can be repurposed, saving energy and time rather than making product from scratch. Mixed paper was worth $85 to $95 a ton to recyclers a year ago. Today the price has dropped to $6.50 to $8.50. Lesser-quality plastics were worth $45 a ton. Now it costs $35 to get it recycled. Cardboard prices fallen too.

There are about 100 Waste Management recycling processing facilities in the US. The cost of processing recyclables was $85 a ton, now sorted loads only bring in $65 a ton. Instead of receiving a check for recyclables, some cities are being asked to pay to have them removed.

Waste Management reported that 25% of recycled material is contaminated. Junk such as dead batteries, hoses, broken lawn furniture, plastic grocery bags, greased-stained pizza boxes, are some of the items that should not be put into recycle bins.

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 today.