Archive for May, 2020

Are your nervous heading back to work?

Friday, May 29th, 2020

 

 

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

With states starting to allow the opening of businesses and other activities, there is a debate on whether or not you should wear a mask when in public. This, of course, only means if you are in public and around other people. If you are in an open area and are not within 6 feet of other people, then no mask should be required to stop or spread of the infection. If you are entering a business or other area where people are close together, then they recommend that you wear a mask to help prevent the spread. Experts are now saying that wearing a mask may not prevent you from getting the virus but may help keep you from spreading it to other people if you do not know you are infected.

Wearing a mask can be very constrictive to some people and sparks the debate to whether or not wearing a mask does anything to help protect those around us. This is something that I struggled with when deciding if I should or should not wear a mask because of advice I have been given in the past. My wife became ill last fall and is still seeking treatment and recovering. When she was diagnosed it was the start of flu season so we asked several of her doctors if she should wear a mask when in public. Because of her weakened immune system, we were very concerned of her catching the flu and it leading to other major health problems. Several doctors told us that she did not have to wear the mask because studies have shown that wearing a mask does little to help you from catching the flu. Because of this advice, she did not wear a mask through the fall or winter. But now, after listening to both sides over the last few weeks, we have decided that we are going to wear the masks. If wearing the masks can help spread the disease to even one person we feel it is the right thing to do.

If you are looking to purchase any protective personal equipment and would like help researching available options, 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Should we venture out to the newly opened businesses?

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

 

 

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

With all of the restrictions put in place due to the COVID outbreak, we have been taking drives in the evening to get a change of scenery. It has been weird driving around and seeing way less traffic and all of the abandoned restaurants and businesses. Taking these long drives has been getting us out of the house but it hasn’t taken our minds off of all the problems that exist. But recently our state has started to remove some of the restrictions and now taking these evening drives has become very refreshing. We live around a few small towns and as we drive through them now we are seeing people walking and enjoying themselves as they frequent the local shops. Some of the smaller downtowns are blocking off the side streets and installing tables so that people can buy food from the local shops and eat outside. It’s just refreshing to see that things are starting to look a little more normal. With that being said, I’m not sure when we will be partaking in all of the activities. I think that we will be waiting about another a month or so to see if these new rules on the restriction are affecting the number of infections. If the numbers keep going down, then we will start to venture out into places with larger groups. Maybe take baby steps like eating out at places that have large outdoor patios where there is a lot of air circulating to maybe reduce the risk of infection. Until then we will probably still restrict where we go and don our masks accordingly. If you are planning to go out, have fun and stay safe!

If you are looking to purchase any protective personal equipment and would like help researching available options, 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.

 

 

 

What does “reducing expenses” mean to you?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

 

 

These days more companies are saying that they are focused on expenses, but what exactly does that mean?

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

At SafeSourcing, we’re always focused on expenses. Helping our customers manage their expenses and reduce costs is in our DNA. It’s fair to say that nearly every organization we work with also has some degree of their focus placed on expense management too. The degree to which this is true varies, but expenses are usually an area of at least some focus.

These days, the level of focus on expense management and reduction seems to be higher. At least, that’s what we are hearing. We hear several times a day from many organizations that they are really focused on expenses right now. But what does that mean and what are you actually doing about it?

There are certainly many ways that one might decide tackle expense reduction. There are some very severe measures like furloughs and layoffs that, while effective in reducing expenses, have some other wide-reaching negative side effects on your business. There are some more temporary measures that can be taken such as freezing spending in certain areas. This can also be effective in the near-term, but this too has negative consequences.

In these times, measures such as these are being considered and implemented regularly. We see it in the news and we hear it in conversation.

There is another way to manage and reduce expenses, of course. Our readers already know that SafeSourcing reduces costs for our customers while maintaining current specifications and service levels and the cost reductions are not temporary. On average, we deliver over 24% cost reduction across all spend categories. That means that if you work with SafeSourcing to reduce your expenses, the reduction scales as you go. If you source $100,000 using our services, your new expense may be around $75,000 after working with us. If you source $10,000,000 using our services, your new expenses may be around $7,500,000.

Plus, working with SafeSourcing also means you get to hand off the hard work of finding vendors and negotiating new rates which can be very time consuming, especially if you’ve already reduced headcount.

I thought it was a good time to share a reminder that there are options if expense reduction is your new priority.

What does “reducing expenses” mean to you?

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.

 

 

 

 

Getting Back

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

 

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

Many places and businesses are beginning to reopen after closures from the Covid-19 pandemic. From retailers and salons, to gyms and daycares, many people are planning on getting back, but what does that really mean? The concern over the virus is still present, so in order to even open doors, numerous precautions must be taken.

First, employees must be given masks. There has and still is a shortage of masks that effectively protect people from the virus. There must be enough masks for every employee, which means any business will need to have a supply already. Right now, you can use your procurement partner for help in sourcing the masks you will need to get your business on its way to reopening.

Next, the places where employees are working must be cleaned, thoroughly and often. This means common areas must be disinfected. This likely means a hefty supply of sanitizer and cleaners will be needed and must be available before reopening. Again, your procurement partner can help you source the supplies you need and help find the right supplier for your needs.

Finally, getting back to work will require social distancing. For many, this is especially difficult. For example, restaurants will need to move tables apart, often 6 feet or more, which can reduce the number of tables that can fit in a dining area. This can reduce the number of people seated at a time and can greatly reduce the amount of business. Other businesses will have to make other adjustments, like separating cubicles, reorganizing stores to make aisles wider, and reducing the number of employees in the business at one time. Some businesses may bypass the social distancing altogether and have their employees continue working from home indefinitely.

While it may take some preparation and getting used to, businesses will reopen and things will get back to regular routines. This is where you may rely on others to get through this. A procurement partner, like SafeSourcing, can help your organization find the suppliers of supplies you will need to get things back up and running. They are ready to help and have the experience you might need during difficult times like this.

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.

 

 

Revisiting Your Supply Chain

Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

 

 

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

Many companies have had to make significant changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality is in many cases, businesses have faced the reality that it will be a long time before they are able to get back to where they were at the end of 2019. Whether your company relies on a global or domestic supply chain, it is very likely that some of the vendors that you rely on have faced challenges.

Now more than ever, it is important to revisit your supply chain and be certain that you will have the supplies you need to operate under your new conditions. As part of that effort, it is time to consider whether your previous agreements are still appropriate. For example, you might find that you only expect to do a fraction of the business that you used to. That will mean that you might not be able to meet your previously agreed volume commitments with your vendors. Conversely, you might find that your business now has need for in-demand supply items that you didn’t need before. Many are also under increased pressure to reduce costs as well.

Regardless of your specific situation, the reality is that now is the time to fully assess your needs and to negotiate all aspects of your supply chain which may include renegotiating existing agreements early in light of the new realities.

Whether or not you are currently having challenges with your existing supply chain, this exercise is valuable. In recent online procurement events for customers we have found that many vendors are eager to earn new business and will happily rise to the occasion to be a primary or secondary source of supply. In uncertain times, having your pick between sources of supply might just make the difference in the event of a supply chain interruption caused by COVID-19.

At SafeSourcing, we typically tout the cost savings aspects of our eProcurement services. In this case, our customers have the added benefit of attaining both the cost savings and the added security that comes from ensuring your supply chain is strong.

Stay safe and don’t be shy if you need assistance. We’re all in this together. 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.

 

 

Going Bananas!

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

 

 

Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Assistant it SafeSourcing.

Banana bread has become the unofficial baked good of COVID-19. It seems like everyone is making it. Google searches surged the week of March 15—right after the federal government announced a state of emergency due to COVID-19, and the first week many people were staying at home full-time because of social distancing. Pinterest shows a similar surge in user interest for banana bread recipes starting on March 24. Views of all banana bread recipes surpassed 1 million just in the week of March 29 through April 4. But the question remains: Why did banana bread in particular become the baking status symbol?

This is not the first time in history when people turned to banana bread. Food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson says that the first time anyone made banana bread was likely during the Great Depression. This was another time of extreme economic and social hardship for most Americans. It was thought a housewife had some bananas that were going bad and decided to try and make bread out of it. The ingredients are cheap, bananas are easy to find regardless of the season. Bananas are easy to work with because they are soft. Banana bread doesn’t require proofing, kneading, or rolling. It’s an easy recipe for a novice.

“Fast forward to today, and pandemic aside, there are some pretty clear parallels between the Great Depression and now. Twenty-two million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past four weeks, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the current global recession will be more severe than both the Global Financial Crisis of 2009 and the Great Depression. Yet to Johnson’s point, banana bread ingredients—eggs, flour or alt-flour, eggs, etc.—are still cheap and relatively easy to find, making it friendly to a variety of budgets. (In March 2020, the average price per pound of fresh bananas was $0.58.)”1

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.

References….…………….

1 Emily Laurence, Healthy Cooking, 4/16/2020

 

 

Source Your Supply Items Now

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

 

 

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

With all of the increasingly negative information out there about the COVID-19 pandemic we’re facing, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to share some information that is a bit more positive. Actually, today I’m writing about something that hasn’t changed during these difficult times.

On my LinkedIn page, I often post about recent successes we deliver for our customers. I share about a variety of different categories as we work with our customers to source just about everything they need whether products or services. For example, I’ve posted about reducing charges for consulting services by 22% and 36% on water heaters.

Those posts can be interesting on their own, but what I’ve noticed recently is even more so. I’ve noticed a trend. While that might not seem so interesting, I’ve come to realize that in today’s world this particular trend is something special. What I’ve noticed is that while we’re all facing so much uncertainty and challenge, the results we’re driving in terms of savings percentage for our customers remains unchanged. Specifically, I’ve been keeping an eye on a common set of categories that nearly all of our customers source with SafeSourcing.

Supplies are traditionally a strong set of categories for SafeSourcing and its customers. The savings we drive here are relatively easy to achieve. Recently, I’ve been keeping a close watch on these categories and am happy to report that the discounts we’re delivering on these categories are as deep as they ever are. Regardless of their point of origin, supply items savings are especially strong. While COVID-19 has been causing so much trouble and pain, we’ve still found about 25% savings on plastic cutlery, 26% savings on water filters, 24% savings on reusable bags, and more. That means the average savings at around 25% is still exactly where we would expect it to be. Some categories even seem to be generating a bit higher savings where the markets pricing and/or demand are down as well.

That’s some great news and is as close to certainty as we’re likely to get in the midst of this pandemic. Rather than feel helpless, take this as the opportunity that it is and take action to lock in your savings now. We may as well focus on challenges that are easily within our control.

Stay safe and don’t be shy if you need assistance. We’re all in this together. 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.

 

 

 

Do you have a backup supplier?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

 

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

If you are currently working with SafeSourcing then you know that we are an e-procurement company offering a complete procure-to-pay suite of applications under the SafeSourceIt™ banner that reduces costs, improves efficiency and extends the reach of your current procurement organization. The heart of our family of products is our eSourcing tools which includes our popular reverse auction technology. Our historic ROI is greater than 10x and in many cases companies receive an ROI on their subsequent roll-out during the pilot stage. As part of this service, we research suppliers and find the ones that will meet your needs for the products or services you wish to source. The vetting process leaves us with a list of potential suppliers that you can use for your sourcing needs.

Most companies try to use a single supplier for their sourcing. This is usually done because it is more efficient and there is usually less administrative effort. Are you using a single supplier for your sourcing needs? If so, what happens if there is an emergency that disrupts the supply chain and your supplier happens to be one of those affected? Do you have an alternative supplier that you can turn to? From my experience, a lot of companies do not. This is where we can help. Our supplier vetting process, mentioned above, can also be used to help you find other suppliers when you are in a pinch. We work with a lot companies and when we complete our supplier research they are usually surprised at the many other supplier choices that are available. If you fall into this category and would like help finding alternate supplier feel free to contact us. Below is a list of some of our other offerings.

  • Buyer Training
  • Category Discovery
  • Category to Market Strategy
  • Event Set-Up
  • Event Training
  • ROI Delivery
  • Supplier Safety Certifications
  • Supplier Selection
  • Supplier Training

If you are looking for help finding additional suppliers and would like help, 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.

 

Do you Know the Benefits of the New Wi-Fi 6?

Friday, May 8th, 2020

 

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

The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to adopt a proposal that will open up the 6GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. By doing this it will free up more than 1,200MHz for additional bandwidth for the next generation Wi-Fi 6 devices that are out and others that should be coming out later this year. One of the benefits of the new technology is better high density performance. Everywhere you go there is usually Wi-Fi available at places like college campuses, hospitals, restaurants and coffee shops. Because of the availability, there are usually a large number of users which puts a huge strain on the networks which aren’t usually setup for such high traffic. This high volume of users usually results in poor connectivity and slower network traffic.   The Wi-Fi 6 standard is designed to improve this latency with better high density performance. The access points are designed to help prevent the interference between network devices and transmit the data more efficiently. Below are some other benefits of the new Wi-Fi 6.

  • Faster Transfer speeds
  • Longer Device Battery Life
  • Powerful Coverage
  • Expanded Range
  • Better Connectivity

If you are looking to purchase new Wi-Fi equipment or devices and would like help researching available options, 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.

 

What else can we do to stay positive during these rough times Part II?

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

 

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

During these times a lot of us are displaced and feeling very stressed out. Whether it is from working from home, being secluded or worrying about the health of ourselves and our loved ones. Normally if you have a stressful day you can step out of the house or leave work and do something you enjoy to help take your mind off of everything. Whether that be going out to exercise at the gym or going out with friends for a relaxing diner. During these times it is crucial that we try and find alternatives to our usual social norms and try and find something to do to take our minds off of all the things going on around us. Staying positive and optimistic during these rough times is crucial to our mental health and to our immune systems. One of the things that you can try and do is create a positive daily routine. If you are like many of us your daily routine has been entirely disrupted.   Take some time to establish a new daily routine. Some experts say that having a daily/weekly routine is a way to feel that there is some certainty during this isolation. If you are working from home, make sure you create a work space somewhere outside of your bedroom and get dressed as if you are going to your office. Anything that you can do to create a sense of normalcy will help reduce the stress and promote positivity. Below are some other things that we can do to stay positive during these times.

  • Take a Break from the News
  • Make time to unwind
  • Help Others
  • Re-connect with Friends on Social Media
  • Make a Playlist of your Favorite Songs
  • Be Grateful for the Things you Have
  • Exercise
  • Find Ways to Embrace Laughter and Humor into Your Day
  • Take up an Old Hobby
  • Read Something Uplifting
  • Have Faith

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently? 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.