Archive for December, 2020

What are your Procurement related New Year Resolutions?

Monday, December 28th, 2020

 

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

Here are ten (10) procurement focused resolutions that may align with your plan. While they may seem straight forward, the fact is in many cases companies do not focus on these even within more broad based annual business plans.

Here is a typical Example: Your company has new  store construction planned for this year. You have suppliers for all your construction needs and materials including signage, lighting, checkouts, floor tile, ceiling tile, loss prevention equipment, technology, electrical engineering, plumbing, doors, environmental systems, freezer cases, shelving, kitchen equipment etc.. I could go on and on. As this is a new location there is a budget for this build and it is part of your capital plan. You have bids in place and are focused on getting the location open and delivering revenue.

Here is the question, have you checked to make sure that your pricing is as low as it should be, or are you just going with your internal teams RFP evaluations? If you are, you are not doing your capital plan justice.

Resolutions:

  1. Reduce the Capital Plan through improved pricing.
  2. Reduce Cost of Goods and Services through improved quality and pricing.
  3. Reduce you Expense Plan through improved service and pricing.
  4. Use external sources and tools to help your procurement team achieve maximum results.
  5. Do not hire any more people for your procurement team unless they are a replacement.
  6. Always ask all functional departments if current purchases have been taken through a price compression exercise with at least three (3) suppliers. Not Contract review, price compression.
  7. Make sure that all contracts contain statement of work procedure outlines with specific out-of-scope price submission language
  8. Make sure that your internal teams have a well-defined sourcing execution plan.
  9. Identify additional sources of supply to mitigate risk of out of service or out of stock situations.
  10. Eliminate all Rogue spending.

While these seem simple, all CPO’s, CFO’s and other executives will tell you they have this covered. Unfortunately, in most cases they do not.

If you would like to learn more about SafeSourcing’s white glove services, SafeSourceIt™ family of SaaS products, or our world class six (6) step process containing thirty-nine (39) specific you do or we do touch points, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative, and ask about SafeSourcing’s Risk-Free Trial.

 

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2020 and the hope for Peace on Earth.

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

If you can indentify these folks below, We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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All we Want for Christmas…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

 

Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing continues to work with hundreds if not thousands of vendors and clients during the year, and here are some things we’d like to see Procurement professionals deliver to all of us this festive season.

Let’s get clients talking to us again. You can’t sit back and think clients are chomping at the bit to call us. So let’s have a chat. Things change quickly and you might be surprised about what we can do for you now. With a new year upon us, it is a perfect time to talk about your upcoming procurement challenges and areas where you see savings. And, while we’re on the subject…

Let’s bring back a new level of interest for vendors. Start the New Year by contacting those vendors (email survey) who have participated in more than two or three events. Access their level of interest in participating in future events and/or find out ways we can improve our process.

Say what you mean. Request for Quote documents are often hard to interpret, and the specifications can lack important detail. With better instructions and better details, any vendor with a bit of common sense will be able to bid more confidently. That’s good for everyone.

Provide a timetable that has a response period that’s fair and reasonable. We run a pretty tight ship these days; our staff is stretched and it can be difficult to keep up with complex requirements and decreasing deadlines. Pressing us for time because you’re late to respond, only means you get rushed and submit sub-par results. On the other hand…

Don’t issue a timetable only to issue a last-minute extension just before the deadline. This unfairly disadvantages (and discourages) the vendors that are prepared, and have made it a priority to respond to our request.

Please Client, answer our questions. We don’t ask many, but often, we don’t get meaningful answers (or any answers). Giving us better data will mean better proposals for you to evaluate. And finally…

If you give us a service or supply to run, mean it! We have a hard working dedicated team that loves working on your projects. We pride ourselves in getting back to you the necessary data for you to approve to run an event. But please, let’s not waste either of our time.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a successful and prosperous 2021.

SafeSourcing associates are focused on our customers and vendors in order to deliver the best possible white glove service that there is. We would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement planning. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  

 

A Christmas related spend cube analogy. “Little Jack Horner sat in corner eating his Christmas Pie.”

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

 

Todays post is an oldie but goodie from Ron Southard CEO at SafeSourcing.

And it’s still true today.

The rest of the Little Jack Horner spend cube analogy might go like this. He stuck in his thumb and pulled out a peach and said what the heck is a peach doing in a plumb pie?

If you look to Wikipedia, there is no definition of a spend cube. You can find information relative to spend cubes in a discussion about spend analysis. However t the original discussion we are talking about data in this case multi-dimensional data about spend information. Consultants love to talk about it because it allows them to charge you a lot of money without necessarily delivering any results other than, well a spend cube.

Quite frankly you are going to hear terms like data model, data warehouse, data scrubbing, data cleansing, data access, data sources and incomplete data. All of which allow consultants to charge you more money in order to develop yours from what is likely incomplete data kept in many places like GL’s, ERP systems and the like.

Once you get your model or cube, I promise you additional discovery is going to be required in order to determine what categories or products should go to market. One category manager’s category is another category mangers product. So now what?

Don’t get confused by consultants touting their spend cube analysis software because if you do, you will be in for a dime in for a dollar and continue to get peaches when you are looking for plumbs.

If you’re totally confused, SafeSourcing can help with our SafeSpendAnalysis™, and we deliver results very quickly. Contact a SafeSourcing representative.

 

Normal Procurement for Unusual Needs

Monday, December 21st, 2020

 

 

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

All companies, big and small, have had to make adjustments to the way they operate their business in 2020. For those that have survived or even thrived, the adjustments are ongoing. One adjustment that we’re seeing more of lately is an adjustment back toward normal practices.

There are still items and services that are challenging to source. PPE and sanitizers are sometimes a challenge. Certain paper supplies like bathroom tissue can be as well. The challenges become apparent in cost increases and limited availability. With certain services, the challenges are centered around resources and new restraints placed around how services can be provided.

These challenges have caused buyers to purchase outside of their normal models and without following best practices. This has led to higher pricing and more variance in specifications, but was done in order to remain in business.

Now that we have all had time to settle into our new operational realities, we’re seeing improvements in a return to normal practices. We’re having more and more conversations and hosting more RFx Events about bringing some of these ongoing needs back into the standard procurement practices including using RFx Events.

While it is understandable that in times of great need and urgency those processes weren’t followed, now is the time to get back on track for your future needs. You will be surprised just how much the markets have changed recently in favor of the buyer.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk?  

Friday, December 18th, 2020

 

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

While I was reading some tech news today I came across something that I hadn’t heard of.  Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk?  Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth long-range wireless networking protocol that was developed by Amazon Inc. that helps network devices work better.  It is operated by Amazon and offered to their customers at no charge.  Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth range of devices and help the devices stay online even when they are outside the range of your Wi-Fi.  Sidewalk uses a small fraction of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth to pass wireless Bluetooth and 900MHz radio signals between compatible devices which will offer greater distances that the Wi-Fi is not capable of on its own.  Amazon is estimating that in some cases it could reach as far as a half a mile.  This is done by Amazon designating many of its Echo and Ring devices as Sidewalk Bridges.  These bridges will use a small amount of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth and will transmit it to all of the Sidewalk-compatible devices.  However, these Sidewalk networks work a little differently that your current home Wi-Fi.  The network is not just available for your enabled devices but your neighbors enabled devises as well.  Because of this some people are worried about privacy and security and may want to turn this feature off.  This is something that you will have to do manually because the feature is being pushed to all compatible devices and is turned on by default.  If you would like to turn this feature off until you can do further research, it can be done by opening the Alexa app on your phone, tap More, tap Settings, tap account Settings, tap Amazon Sidewalk and swipe the button next to Enabled to the left. Below is a list of Amazon devices that are able to become Sidewalk Bridges:

  • Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
  • Echo (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen) for Kids
  • Echo Dot with Clock (3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Plus (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
  • Echo Show (1st Gen, 2nd Gen), Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, Echo Show 10
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Studio

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, can help you,  please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Procure?

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

 

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

Every business or organization has or will need to procure something at some point, whether it is a service, an item for resale, or things that help run your business. Because so many businesses need these things, there have been different ways to go about getting those goods or services. So, how do you procure?

For smaller organizations, purchasing is often done through just one person or a few people, whereas often with larger organizations, they have their own purchasing or procurement teams. However large or small the procurement team is, most procurement is done the same few ways.

First, there can be simple procurement. These can vary in size, but are fairly simple items or services that do not need customized or are standard items. These items are sourced fairly easily and do not require specific details. This can include things such as standard size T-Shirt bags or copy paper.

Second, some items or services may become more complex and can be more challenging to procure. These require more details on the product and it may narrow down the number of vendors that can supply the item. This may include items like beverage cups and their matching lids or IT Equipment.

Lastly, there are highly complex procurement efforts. These are often very detailed goods or services or require very particular qualities. These may be more challenging to find vendors and often require highly detailed specifications. Services such as design or engineering can fall into this category and often requires a great amount of detail on the project.

Despite the different levels of procurement, utilizing a procurement partner like SafeSourcing can help your organization. It doesn’t matter the size of your business or the complexity of your procurement project, a procurement partner has the tools and experience to help you get the good or service you need, often with greater savings than procuring alone.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your procurement needs or on our

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

 

You can procure anything, including Christmas Candy Canes Part I!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

 

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.

On the Twelve Days of e-Procurement Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

 

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 and services 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 and services.
  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.

Continued best wishes for a very Merry Christmas  the rest of the 2020 Holiday Season.

Vaccines for Food Suppliers

Friday, December 11th, 2020

 

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

David MacLennan, Chief Executive of Cargill, Inc., a 155-year-old company with 155,000 employees in 70 countries, steered one of the world’s largest food suppliers through COVID 19’s world-wide spread this past spring.  Cargill “straddles the global food and agriculture-supply chains, processing farmers’ crops, packing meat and distributing sugar, salt, cotton and other commodities.  Its plants supply some of the world’s biggest consumer brands, supermarket chains and restaurants.”1.  In the spring meatpackers fell sick by the thousands.  Practices to adapt to the pandemic were implemented.  Partitions between process-line work stations were installed, workers temperatures were taken routinely, masks were required, and spaced out seating in break rooms was provided.  As the virus is on the rise once again, MacLennan has urged employees to follow similar guidelines in their homes.

McLennan stated he visited one of the beef facilities recently and said it was running at 98% capacity.  That is a huge improvement from last spring where many meat plants had to shut down.  He believes people are more informed now.  Although MacLennan realizes the vaccines will be issued to the health workers, the vulnerable population, the elderly, and people with pre-exiting conditions, he is advocating that essential workers (including the supply chain workers) should be right at the top.

MacLennan stated that people are becoming more aware of the food supply chain going back to the farmers, the ranchers, and the manufactures of ingredients,  Before the pandemic, most people didn’t think that way.

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……………………………………………….

1 Jacob Bunge, WSJ, 11/25/2020