Archive for September, 2020

Here’s how to ensure your services sourcing projects results Up Front!

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

 

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Awards of business, contracts and statements of work are all important after a services event has taken place. However, if you want to ensure the savings associated with your new services contract make sure you identify or reference a structured change of control process in your terms and conditions.

Change happens. It can result from poorly designed specifications, terms and conditions, quoting instructions and other data related to a bid. The normal process for managing these changes is a change of control process which governs how any changes to the services being provided as identified in the actual bid.

The change of control is normally managed as a request that communicates the requested changes to the services deliverables. Normally the change request will describe the following at a minimum.

  1. The change
  2. The reason for the change
  3. The effect the change may have on the existing Statement of Work.
  4. Impact on cost or savings

In most cases a project manager or the associate with responsibility for managing the program deliverables will be required to submit a written change request to the contracted or warded supplier.  The supplier will then develop and return the response to the contracting company.

The contracted supplier and the contracting company will then review the proposed change request and either approve it, modify it, or reject it. When approved the contracting company as well as the contracted supplier must sign the change request to authorize the work as well as the implementation of the work and its potential impact on the existing project plan or project timeline.

If you do not want erosion in your savings, make sure you spend the time to cover this process in your bid parameters.

In order to learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate. Be sure to ask them about our Risk Free Trail Program

 

 

 

 

Where do you find potential new sources of supply for your business?

Friday, September 25th, 2020

 

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

In order to achieve maximum savings when using an e-procurement event, you need numerous suppliers aggressively vying for your business. Not just those old standbys that have been around for years, but some newer players, many of whom you have not even heard of yet. Over the course of a work week, the amount of time devoted to researching new suppliers would be daunting.

The great news is that help is here. SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database, an innovative supplier database that boasts over 430,000 Global suppliers of everything from soup to nuts. Searchable by region, state, province, zip code, and proximity to a specific location, etc., SafeSourceIt™ takes an exhaustive look at each individual supplier, so you don’t have to.

SafeSourcing works with buyers to help them significantly reduce costs by providing procurement tools in the form Software as a Service or SaaS partnered with knowledgeable customer white glove services. We are so certain that our solution will reduce your company’s costs that we are offering a full, risk free trial of our RFQ solution including a reverse auction event.

If you’d like more information, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate.

 

 

Why you should consider using eProcurement Tools for your Construction Sourcing!

Thursday, September 24th, 2020

 

Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

During the period of January through October of a recent year a fortune 100  retail company conducted  a total of eighty seven  eProcurement events utilizing the SafeSourceIt™  eProcurement toolset consisting of on-line RFI’s, RFP’s and RFQ’s or Reverse Auctions. Of the eighty seven events (87), twenty five (25) were specific construction events. This represents 28.7% of all events run by this company. This did not include equipment or related products used by the general contractors to complete the construction projects such as roofing, flooring, fascia, concrete, electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and refrigeration, etc. These additional event results are shown below the construction list as in order to offer a more complete picture of the entire construction category.

Included during the general contractor bid submissions were a variety of specific line items related to the following categories.

1. Demolition
2. Site Preparation:
3. Sediment/ Erosion Control
4. Earthwork
5. Environmental and Wetlands
6. Landscaping
7. Asphalt Paving
8. Traffic Signage
9. Concrete Curb and Gutter
10. O.W. Improvement
11. Traffic Signalization
12. Storm water Management
13. Offsite Utilities
14. Water Service
15. Sanitary Sewer Service
16. Natural Gas Service
17. Electrical Service
18. Telephone Service
19. Fencing
20. Retaining Walls
21. Sight Lighting
22. UST

(Figure 2)

Construction Item Sourced and Savings %

1. Strip curtains 39%
2. Walk in Coolers 29%
3. Signage 79%
4. Graphics 35%
5. Impact Doors 60%
6. Roofing 20%
7. Fire Extinguishers 59%
8. Lighting 22%
9. Mill Work Display 40%
10. Concrete 18%
11. Cooler/Freezer Lighting 27%
12. Remodeling 17%
13. Floor Tile 67%
14. Fascia Graphics Package 28%
15. Construction site delivery – Trailers 12%
16. Storage Tanks 8%

These construction bids listed were for new construction sites and resulted in a 9.5% real price reduction from original bid submissions by the general contractors.

If you would like to read my whitepaper titled “Construction Sourcing with eProcurement Tools” please follow the link and go to the bottom of the page, or please contact as SafeSourcing Customer Services associate and ask about our “Risk Free Trail Program”.

 

 

 

I know that your costs are going UP!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

 

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

Its amazing to me that with all the increases in spending due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which would certainly be classified as tail spend that companies continue to not use tools available to them that will help to keep these costs down. Please contact me personally if you’d like to discuss.

At SafeSourcing, we help buyers save considerably on costs by providing tools that enhance the ability to do business in a better, safer, smarter, more streamlined and cost-effective way. Our flexible service offerings and suite of e-procurement tools deliver savings that can be referenced that are greater than 10 times the cost of our services and often much higher. Our annualized savings across all customers and all categories over the last 24 months are greater than 24%

We can help Improve your profitability and increase your efficiency. Both areas that  should and can help during these stressful times.

Here’s what one of our customers had to say. “We would not be where we are with our Indirect Spend if it were not for SafeSourcing.” SR. VP FINANCE OF $20B DISTRIBUTION COMPANY.

If you’d like to discuss our risk free trial, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services professional.

Sourcing in Times of Disaster!

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

 

Today’s post is  a refresh that still applies today from our SafeSourcing, Inc Archives.

Our country has never seen a year like 2020. We certainly have no shortage of disasters what  with COIVID -19, Hurricanes, Wild Fires and  the resulting Economic Impact.  We’ve seen thousands of homes and businesses destroyed, evacuees seeking refuge in emergency shelters and government under extreme stress as a result. We’ve actually  never seen  anything like this in nay of our lifetimes.

As I read about these tragedies, I’m constantly thinking about how our customers and businesses  might recover from the ongoing  devastation? This brought to mind a previous white paper written by our CEO, Ron Southard, entitled, 4 Tips and 3 Pitfalls to Avoid when Sourcing Professional Services, A Little Planning can Save Companies Millions.” In it Ron listed poplar services targeted for new procurement projects: The professional services that could be useful for homes and businesses in Gatlinburg are: Disaster Response (Emergency Cleanup), Environmental Services, Construction Services, Temporary Labor, and Waste Management Services. Yes, Gatlinburg will be great again and sourcing professional services during this tragic disaster can help.

SafeSourcing, Inc. can assist you in times of disaster, and today may be a better time to source most categories than many buyers have seen in their lifetime. SafeSourcing provides innovative eProcurement tools that can increase efficiency and improve profitability for our customers, and 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. To learn more, visit SafeSourcing.com

Let SafeSourcing manage your sourcing projects so that you can continue to focus on other recovery related issues. We enjoy bringing this blog to you daily 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” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

 

Watching the RFQ – Part I

Monday, September 21st, 2020

 

Todays post is from Dave Wenig, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing Inc.

In this post, which will be the first of several, we’re going to take a close look at the online Request for Quote (RFQ) from a different perspective. Rather than focus on measuring the value delivered as savings, let’s examine when that value is created and consider the vendor behaviors that went into that moment. If you need a primer on what an RFQ is, click here.

I honestly don’t know how many of these I’ve watched live over the years, but I suspect the number is in the thousands. Having done that, I’ve picked up on some trends. More recently, SafeSourcing introduced our Graphical View which has brought some of the trends I’ve noticed into focus visually.

Let’s start at the beginning of an RFQ. For years, I have said that many vendors will sit on the sidelines and wait a while before entering their bids. Many other vendors will begin with a higher price to start with. Others choose to start with a very low starting price and try to put their best foot forward. I respect all bidding strategies and it’s important that each vendor has a plan in place when they start. It’s all part of the RFQ process. In the image below, you’ll see a recent RFQ for receipt paper event that illustrates this starting point and the various strategies that the vendors are using in the first 5 or so minutes of an RFQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this example, we can clearly see each of these vendor strategies beginning to play out. Each of the participating vendors were trained by SafeSourcing and knew in advance that this RFQ was scheduled to last 20 minutes plus extensions. As a result, most of them went with a strategy that allowded them to start with somewhat higher price than where they intended to begin. The vendor in green decided to enter in very aggressively low pricing from the start which set them apart. More on that later.

Consider these strategies and what you might take away from watching this unfold. As SafeSourcing’s customer, you would eventually wind up doing business with at least one of these vendors. How would it be helpful to know how they went about arriving at their final price? Does the vendor’s pricing strategy and behavior impact the way you will continue to work with them beyond the RFQ?

In the next installment, we’ll take a close look at the middle of the RFQ and then we’ll move on to the end of the RFQ and see how it all played out.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

 

 

 

Are you Utilizing the Zoom Application Shortcuts?

Friday, September 18th, 2020

 

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

With a lot of people spending more time working from home, you might have been introduced to the world of video conferencing.  There a lot of apps that you can use for video conferencing and one of the most popular right now is Zoom. If you spend a lot of time using the Zoom application, you could save some time and be more efficient by learning some of the built in shortcuts.  The keyboard shortcuts are used by clicking a combination of the keyboard keys.  Two things that you probably do most often while using zoom can be done by using the shortcuts “Alt+V” and “Alt+A”.  These two shortcuts allow you to start/stop the video and to mute/unmute the audio. Besides these two shortcuts there are many more shortcuts available for use.  For example, using “F6” will allow you to navigate among the zoom popup windows and “Ctrl+Alt+Shift” will move focus to Zoom’s meeting controls.  Memorizing the available keyboard shortcuts will make you more efficient because you don’t have to remove your hands from the keyboard to use the mouse.  Below are some other shortcuts that can be used.

Meeting Shortcuts:

➢ Alt+F1 – Switch to Active speaker view in video meeting

➢ Alt+F2 – Switch to gallery video view in video meeting

➢ PageUp – View previous 25 video stream in gallery view

➢ PageDown – View next 25 video stream in gallery view

➢ Alt+F4 – Close the current window

➢ Alt+M – Mute/unmute audio for everyone except host

➢ Alt+S – Launch share screen window and stop screen share

➢ Alt+T: Pause or resume screen share

➢ Alt+R: Start/stop local recording

➢ Alt+Shift+R: Gain remote control

➢ Alt+Shift+G: Stop remote control

➢ Alt+C: Start/stop cloud recording

➢ Alt+P: Pause or resume recording

➢ Alt+I: Open invite window

➢ Alt+N: Switch camera

➢ Alt+F: Enter or exit full screen

➢ Alt+H: Display/hide in-meeting chat panel

➢ Alt+U:Display/hide participants panel

➢ Alt+Y: Raise/lower hand

➢ Ctrl+2: Read active speaker name

➢ Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H: Show/hide floating meeting controls

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.

 

 

 

Project Skills

Thursday, September 17th, 2020

 

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

Have you ever wanted to know how to do a specific task? As an example, maybe you want to change the faucet in your kitchen sink, but do not have the knowledge or experience to do it. You could try guessing at how to do it, but the results may not be the best. You could ask friends, but perhaps none of them have done this either. Or you could look to the internet for instructions, guides, tools lists, and how-to videos.

The latter is what many of us do when faced with small tasks that we do not have prior experience in. If you want to pick up a new skill or begin some kind of project, you likely will look into it before you begin. This will help you in a number of ways.

First, researching a new project can give you an idea of the timeline. Will this project take an hour, two days, or three weeks? Knowing how long you will need can help you better prepare, like knitting. For instance, you can better prepare by knowing that a hat can be knitted in a few hours or that a sweater will likely take days.

Second, you may find out that you do not have all the tools you need. With many home repair projects, there may be large, specialized tools needed to complete all or a portion of a task, like needing a posthole digger to put in a fence. Often these specialized or high priced tools can be leased or rented to you for a fairly low price from your local home improvement store.

Third, you may research your project and find out you will need certain skills. Watching videos and reading explanations can help you understand what is needed and help you work to gain the skills needed. For instance, you may want to build a table, but may need to freshen up on your fractions and math skills before you begin cutting your wood.

There are some projects that, even after doing your research, you find that you will still need help. For example, you may need to hire an electrician to move your wall outlet across the room. Here, the risk of injury or damage is high and is likely better left to a professional. This is where SafeSourcing comes in. While we are not electricians, we are experts in our field and can help you or your organization in your procurement or supply needs. We have not only the tools needed to get the project completed with the best results, but also the experience to help you get through it on the appropriate timeline.

For more information on ways we can with your procurement goals or projects, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

Plexiglass and Tents

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

 

 

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

Plexiglass has become a popular back-to-school item along with the standard notebooks and pencils this year.  Schools and colleges are purchasing protective products in large quantities as they attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus, as well as to calm the nerves of teachers, students, and parents.  The average school district will spend $400,000 on products related to the pandemic, according to the Association of School Business Officials International.  Through the Cares Act, $30.8 billion in funding was afforded to schools and colleges. Plexiglass manufacturers normally do not rely on the education sector as customers, but the pandemic has manufactures straining to meet the current demand. Manufacturers of plexiglass say it’s easier to provide plexiglass for retailers than it for schools districts across the state.  Every school district has a different criteria, government regulations, and building code issues.

The manufacturers of tents for wedding venues and other special events are struggling to hire enough employees to keep up with the current demand.  Schools and colleges are buying tents to use as outside classrooms.  As an example,  Pocantico Hills Central School District has installed two 30×30 foot tents as additional classrooms at its campus in New York’s Westchester County.  Extra desks have been purchased in order to eliminate tables.  Ventilation systems have been installed in each classroom.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk

Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

References……………………………………………………………

Amber Burton, WSJ, 9/4/2020

 

 

 

 

Let’s play supplier poker if you dare!

Monday, September 14th, 2020

 

Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Let’s play supplier poker! Then we’ll find out how good your current supplier data is.

If this were a real poker game, I’d raise our big supplier data versus your existing supplier data.

Locating, managing and updating supplier information that companies choose to do business with has never been more difficult. How many companies that you used to do business with 4-5 years ago are no longer in business? How many new companies have taken their place? I already know the answer you are going to give me. It’s I don’t know.

We keep hearing about big data. With new regulatory requirements emerging daily, economies failing, the supply chain shrinking in some places and expanding in others,  changing  safety factors and  environmental factors ( think LEEDS), detailed supplier information and traceability are but a few of the issues that require regular maintenance in order to mitigate a company’s risk.

Solution Providers like SafeSourcing that provide supplier databases (SafeSourceIt™) that are part of automating the procurement process, need to step up and make sure that their data support these changes on a regular basis to the greatest extent possible by providing tools that interacts with both regulatory agencies and suppliers to insure consumer safety and environmental impact as more new sources of supply and new products enter the supply chain on a daily basis.

Actions that solution providers can take should include but are not limited to:

1. Monitor daily alert data as to product recalls and safety warnings.
2. Trace warnings back to the original source of supply automatically and maintain history.
3. Require that suppliers meet certain safety certifications in order to participate in their database.
4. Require that suppliers meet required environmental certifications or programs in order to participate in their database
5. Provide a regular purge of suppliers that do not comply with necessary standards.
6. Validate the entire database regularly for companies no longer in business
7. Adhere to a strict RFI process for new suppliers requesting participation in their database.
8. Provide a rating system for suppliers that are offered to companies as new sources of supply.
9. Monitor regulatory agencies such as ISO for new standards and include them as further requirements in supplier databases.
10.Conduct on going category research for evolving sources of supply.
11.Compare your best customers GL to your database for additions deletions.

Ask your solution provider what their process is to grow manage and maintain their supplier database for your benefit.

If you’d like more information on the SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database of over 427,000 cleansed global sources of supply, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.