Archive for July, 2019

Customer Satisfaction vs CRM!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019



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

According to a CEI Survey, 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations. Increasing the percentage of consistently happy customers by 5% goes a long way in retaining customers. Many organizations utilize Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions to maintain customer communications.

There is a rise in the use of CRM solutions for a number of reasons. Initially, the CRM industry was primarily geared towards sales and public relations and offered a way to store customer information and track communication with customers. Currently, CRM solutions cover several areas of business, including customer relationship management, marketing, analytics, communication, and even project management. Some CRM systems even have built in chatbot and calling capabilities, so organizations can communicate with clients directly in the system.

Even small businesses can afford to invest in customer relationship management software, due to the increase of affordable SaaS solutions, which delivers functionality without the complication of a major software implementation project. Tiered pricing structures and lots of competition means small businesses have a variety of CRMs options that optimize the customer relationship management process.

From the dozens of CRM systems available, depending on what you would like to track and how your team works, you will find everything from expensive apps you run on your own servers to customizable web apps with dozens of plans and features, to the simple contacts apps. The main point is CRM should work for you, not the other way around. An over complicated and over customized CRM is just as bad as having no CRM at all. The most common features are:

  • Contact Management
  • Account Management
  • Order Management
  • Opportunity Management
  • Sales Process Automation
  • Campaign Management
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Call Center Automation
  • Service Automation
  • Task Management
  • Partner Management

In this automated environment, there are many ways an organization can communicate with their customer. While CRM solutions help to manage information and data, ultimately, nothing can replace “real” customer relationships. Knowing your customer is the best way to meet their needs and improve the customer experience.

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.

We look forward to your comments.






Procuring Your Proprietary Product- Part 5

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019



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

Reminder of what proprietary foods are: those which are not standardized under regulations and may contain primary ingredients and some generic additives. For examples, energy drinks and custard powder which contain starch, dextrose, flavor and color. These foods can be made from milk or milk products, from carbohydrates, with or without a basis of milk, from meat, fish, or eggs, from vegetables, fruits, or nuts, and sometimes from fatty substances.1

So why would you expose your proprietary food item to potentially be copied or even the recipe stolen?

You will have the opportunity to grow your business, your bottom line, and depending on how hands on you are with your product will be added time. Some people have the opportunity to take out parts of their proprietary recipe to bid. What are the most expensive items you purchase to make your product? Are there items that have pricing tied to a market index? Do you just go to a wholesale club or foodservice provider for your ingredients?

Looking at your spend and looking at your savings opportunity may open the opportunities for you to engage suppliers in a bid. In many summer salads, mayonnaise is a key ingredient. Do you have a flavor profile preference? Do you prefer a specific brand? Did you know that you can take your specific requirement to bid? Many of the major manufactures of mayonnaise have participated in online request for quotes through SafeSourcing and our clients have received an average of 20% savings from their preferred brand or flavor profile of mayonnaise.

Determine your item(s) you want to take to market and the volume or quantities you will need, be prepared to have the discussion of a 1-year agreement with no price increases versus a 2- year agreement with an index escalator/de-escalator percentage added. You will also need to provide current pricing, purchase history, invoices, or past contracts to your e-procurement company. Where do you store your item(s)? How often is it shipped to your location? Is freight included or added to your pricing? All of these details will make sure your needs, wants, and expectations are met throughout the process.

In the final part, part six of this series, the author will provide the details of why it is important to test and sample the proprietary product before signing that final contract. Meanwhile, SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your proprietary product 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.



Baseball Season and eProcurement Part 4

Thursday, July 18th, 2019



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

For those keeping score at home, this is the fourth installment in the Baseball Season and eProcurement series. In the previous posts in this series, we highlighted some examples of how SafeSourcing customers have achieved and enjoyed hitting singles and doubles in their online Request for Quote (RFQ) Events. A triple is an Event that creates savings between 15% and 19.99%.

In the past, we had reviewed a couple of different examples for each. In today’s post, we’ll focus in on one interesting example of a triple. In future installments of this series, we’ll focus on Home Runs and Grand Slams.

Today’s example is one that many might not think of when they consider eProcurement or reverse auctions. Often, when considering categories for eProcurement, many of our customers first look to indirect spend items with many focused on supplies. While those are great items and reducing the cost of copy paper and other suppliers is fantastic, there are many more opportunities that are often left out of consideration.

One great example of this type of overlooked item is prepared chicken salad. Because this is an item that will vary in style, taste, and quality from supplier to supplier, many of our customers would not consider sourcing their prepared chicken salad using SafeSourcing’s RFx tools to reduce costs. That said, one of our more experienced customers did just that with really incredible results. This customer, a retailer, had a very large annual spend in their chicken salad that they utilize in their foodservice offering. Their savings was an incredible triple that generated a triple with their current supplier and some alternatives. What that meant was that not only could they have gone elsewhere if the samples from the competitor were of the right perceived quality, they could also get that savings from their current supplier and not change a single thing other than the price they pay. That is exactly what any customer would want to happen in this scenario. This proves that even if the item can’t be defined as precisely as a ream of copy paper can, the process and the tools used by SafeSourcing will reduce your costs. This customer knows that’s true and has over $650K in savings to remind them.

By the way, after this particular Event, the incumbent supplier also called SafeSourcing to reduce their costs and they were successful in that as well. So far, that customer has hit a double and a home run.

There are many results like these and there are interesting stories including great savings dollars behind each. In the next entry in this series, things will get pretty exciting as we look at some examples of Home Runs.

Contact SafeSourcing, Inc. if you’re interested in learning more about how RFQ Events can help your company advance the bases and achieve savings.



HEY! Leadership Teams!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2019


Todays post is from Ron Southard CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Let’s also assume that you want to drive the greatest possible savings across the broadest range of categories in the shortest amount of time, like the next budget period; and want a sustainable process moving forward. Are you comfortable with your teams answer?

A number of issues you might consider are whether you have the requisite headcount, specifications, strategy, research skills as well as knowledge of new sources of supply to accomplish these lofty goals yourself.

Once you have settled on the fact that your existing team cannot achieve the above goal, the next question should be; what type of event services can an e-procurement solutions provider offer to help us if we can’t this ourselves?

By now, let’s assume you have come to the conclusion that there is no way possible for your team to do this alone. You now need to find a reputable eProcurement solutions provider. A quality e-procurement solutions provider should be able to ramp up to your task immediately. They should possess skills that are the foundation of their past success. These are very specific skills that enable them to run large volumes of e-procurement events in a full service mode with little guidance from you that have historically driven impressive savings on products and services over a long period of time. They should be able to provide reference to where they have done this in the past and how they were able to augment other company’s staff with little interference of their day to day work. Remember, knowledge transfer; passion, skill and required headcount to carry out these practices on a day by day basis are what drive results.

This process is provided by people behind the scenes with a very specific skill sets. If you really want to drive the greatest possible savings across the broadest range of categories in the shortest amount of time, like your next budget period. And, you already know that you cannot do this by yourself, reach out to a Safesourcing customer services account manager to see how quickly we can be of assistance.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


Monday, July 8th, 2019



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

There has been a growing concern in the decrease number of honey bees due to pesticides killing them and parasites that get into the hives.

The global consumption of honey is due to exceed 2.8 million tons by 2024. This is largely driven by the growing consumer consumption preference of natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners. The health benefits of honey range from home remedies such as weight reduction, improved digestion, prebiotic support, acne cure, and a natural exfoliator. China is the largest producer and consumer of honey worldwide.

A few interesting bee facts:

  • Honey bees have pockets in their legs to store pollen called corbiculae. By the end of the day these filled pockets will result in a weight increase of 15%.
  • When it comes time for an older queen bee to be replaced, the worker bees know it and they build new queen cells in the hive. They load the new cells with healthy pupae and flood the cells with royal jelly. They “ball” the queen which means they cluster around her causing her body temperature to rise and she dies. There is only one queen bee per hive. If two are produced, they fight until there is only one survivor.
  • Bees are cold blooded. When the temperature drops below 50 degrees, they can’t fly. Honey bees do not sleep. They remain motionless at night to conserve energy for the next day.
  • The drones’ job is to mate with the queen; however not with the queen in their hive. They travel to other hives. After they mate, they die. They represent 15% of the hive. When temperatures drop in the fall, the drones are kicked out.
  • “Bearding” refers to a form of bees that hang out of the hive (or a cluster of bees) that allow the hive temperature to regulate when internal temperatures get too high.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments. For more information please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative.


Dorothea Benton Frank, Queen Bee, pp 409-411, 7/3/2019