Archive for November, 2021

Vendors or Partners?

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

 

 

Recently, it’s been easier than ever to tell who are vendors and who are partners.

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

Times are tough for many businesses. For many business the road to a full recovery is still long, even as some businesses boom and others find they haven’t been overly impacted. Regardless of how long or short your road to recovery is, I suspect you’ve had an opportunity to see how some of your vendors have behaved during this difficult time and have taken note.

We’re no different. Typically, the stories I share are those of our clients. In this case, we have been able to make observations both through our clients and in our own dealings with vendors.

We’ve seen some real partners out there. Even while their own business might have been struggling, they are still looking for ways to help their customer. Some are doing so an downright creative ways. One example would be offering up less expensive alternative products for consideration instead of the passing along outrageous price increases caused by increased demand for many supply items globally. Another example we’ve seen is partners considering and allowing changes in agreements to accept lower volume orders than had been agreed to previously.

Vendors taking steps like these are great partners. When the dust finally settles and we are all back to normal, the customer will remember that these great partners were there for them during their time of need.

We’ve also seen some vendors out there who have proven to be bad partners. In the face of adversity and when their customers needed them, they chose to take advantage or to refuse to provide any assistance. I previously talked about price gouging in another blog post. The sad reality is that this is also happening.

Vendors who prove through their actions that they are not your partner will also be remembered when this is all over. The reality is, your customers are not going to forget that you didn’t help them or that you decided to try to help yourself at their expense. While I don’t have a crystal ball, I can tell you what the future has in store for you if you fall into this category. Your customers will leave you as soon as they have the chance to do so.

Right now, SafeSourcing is helping customers replace some of their vendors with partners. Right now, our customers are saying no to price gouging. Right now, all vendors have the chance to show that they are great partners. 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.

 

Thanksgiving and Black Friday is really a story of a supply chain found and developed!

Friday, November 26th, 2021

 

Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend from SafeSourcing

One hundred and two pilgrims and crew arrived in Massachusetts after a 3,000 mile trip from England on the Mayflower. It is safe to say that as a result of that distance there was no existing supply chain to leverage, so one had to be developed and quickly. This began with basic hunting and gathering and later included trading with the areas indigenous peoples known as the Wampanoag’s for corn, seed and foraging and planting techniques.

The Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621. Since the pilgrims had only arrived on November 21st of 1620 they had really not been there long enough to develop a fully reliable and renewable supply source. They had however established collaborative relationships with the local Wampanoag people who became regular trading partners and who helped them celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.

The most detailed description of the “First Thanksgiving” comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:”Our harvest  being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.

The fowl referred to above certainly could have included a wide range of fowl that was plentiful in the area such as wild turkey, pheasant, goose, duck, and partridge and unfortunately by today’s standards even eagles.

The pilgrims probably didn’t have pies or much of anything sweet at the harvest feast because they did not yet have ovens. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the first Thanksgiving, the supply had probably run out.

Their meals also included many different types of meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the staples of today’s Thanksgiving, didn’t really play a large part in the feast. Other items that may have been on the menu certainly included sea food such as clams and lobster, Indian corn, wild fruits and nuts, meats such as venison and seal and certain dry herbs and spices.

The Thanksgiving meal that has today become a national holiday is a symbol of supply chain cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend 2021 from SafeSourcing. Who were the Pilgrims?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

 

Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

According to the Mayflower Society, as history has evolved, any of the 102 Mayflower passengers who arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower and survived the initial hardships is now considered a Pilgrim with no distinction being made on the basis of their original purposes for making the voyage.

The Mayflower Pilgrims and their fellow travelers were authors of the first true governing document created in a New World colony. The Mayflower Compact is considered to have set the stage for the Constitution of the United States.

These were the same pilgrims that were responsible for the holiday we celebrate today called Thanksgiving.

We wish you and yours a peaceful and happy extended holiday weekend.

How are you managing price increases for your customers?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

 

Today’s post is from SafeSourcing’s  monthly newsletter that goes out to over 6500 subscribers.

Here’s some examples of where price increases rising and according to sources, why!

McDonald’s Raises Menu Prices In order to keep up with rising costs, including a 10% increase in employee wages this year, McDonald’s has increased their menu pricing. The company is struggling to hire enough staff to keep their doors open even with higher wages as an enticement. The company is paying more for paper, food, and supplies. The commodity costs for the year have risen 3.5% to 4%, up 2% from earlier in 2021. It is expected that menu prices will increase by 6% compared to last year. “Companies across the globe are raising consumer prices in response to growing costs spanning distribution and freight to fuel and food. U.S. inflation in September remained at its highest rate in more than a decade, Labor Department data showed.” Starbucks Corp. will increase the average employee pay to $17 an hour from $14. Baristas that have been with the company will get a 5% pay increase and employees that have been with the company for five years or more will be eligible for up to 10% pay increase. Many restaurants have increased menu prices to offset higher wages for cooks and servers, as well as increased prices for meat, packaging, vegetable oil and other commodities.

At SafeSourcing we help our B-to-B customers keep their costs down so that their B to C customers do not have to suffer huge price increases. You can too if you contact SafeSourcing.

References

Heather Haddon. WSJ, 10/28/2021

When Life Gives Us Lemons…

Friday, November 19th, 2021

 

 

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

Depending on who you talk to, most executives responsible for procurement will tell you the road ahead for procurement is either going to be difficult for a while longer or a whole lot longer. The reality is there are a bevy of challenges putting pressure on the markets for nearly all goods and services and it will take a while for enough of that pressure to be relieved to see a measurable improvement. If you are in the procurement space, that sure sounds like life giving you lemons.

It has been this way for a while though, so there is no sense on dwelling on the challenges. It is better to face the challenges head on. The best procurement teams and most savvy executives will – like always – find a way to make lemonade.

Much has been said already about the constant price increases we are all seeing. You cannot read the news or watch TV without seeing or hearing about the prices of everything going up. But it is not all about price. Sure, price is an important piece of procurement, but price is not everything. Price is merely a symptom. Right now, what is more important is ensuring that you will be able to receive the products or services you need on time or even at all.

Not too long ago, this was a given. You order products and the products arrive. You contract for services and the services are rendered.

With this shift of importance, the ability for a strong procurement team to source what they need becomes a competitive advantage. The construction company that cannot source their windows is one who cannot open a new office building. The ever-growing importance of a robust database of qualified vendors and the ability to source and negotiate well in times like this can be the difference between failure and success. Sourcing activities now require even more attention and resources to complete. More complex negotiations are commonplace just to achieve normal results. The stakes are much higher for procurement than the cost reduction goals of the past.

Yes, you have been handed lemons. Make sure your team realizes that now is exactly the right time to make lemonade and that this can be done well.

You have the ability to do this too. Do not keep accepting cost increases and wishing you could create cost reductions. Contact SafeSourcing with your procurement needs and we can help.  If you would like 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.

Should we Switch to even More Video Conferencing?

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

 

 

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

If your company is like most companies these days, you have people working in all dissimilar locations and serving people across multiple regions and countries.  With work habits changing over the last couple of years a lot of employees are working from home (WHF). Whether this is full time or just a few days a week it can put a strain on communication throughout the organization.  One thing that can improve communication is video conferencing.  Video conferencing can offer businesses countless opportunities.  Whether it is connecting remote workers, allowing collaboration between departments, managing suppliers, or interviewing potential employees.  From what I have found by using video conferencing for most of my remote meetings is that everyone involved in the meetings feel more connected than they do when we have a normal audio conference call.  When using audio calls only, it is easy for participants to get distracted and multitask and not apply their full focus on the call.  Adding the video makes people more attentive by knowing that others in the meeting can see them and allows them to stay focused on the meeting at hand.  Also using video conferencing allows for more effective communication and a more personal experience during the meetings.  Being able to see all the members makes you more inclined to use communication skills that we all have learned from face-to-face conversations. If you are thinking about adding more video conferencing calls to replace the audio, below are some other benefits.

  • Improves Communication
  • Improves Efficiency
  • Helps Build Relationships
  • Saves Time
  • Saves Money on Travel
  • Connects Departments
  • More Personable and Engaging
  • Flexibility Improves Attendance
  • Adds More Structure
  • Improves Associate Lifestyle

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently?  If you would like 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.

 

 

 

Ethanol Prices Still Climbing  

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

 

Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, VP of Administration at SafeSourcing.

As drivers return to the road, ethanol prices are reaching record highs.  Ethanol, the corn-based fuel, is a common gas additive, has risen about 50% in 2021.  The price pushed to over $2 a gallon earlier this year, the first time since 2014.  Gasoline prices are the highest they have been in seven years, averaging $3.41 a gallon as of November 8 reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.   The increase equates to $1.31 from last year.  Commodity prices in general have risen.  Agricultural prices have risen as the supply chain has been clogged.  It has been reported that refineries have been producing more fuel but have not been able to keep up with the demand.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the production of ethanol fell to all-time low last year as people stayed off the roads, leading to ethanol production to stop and the closure of unprofitable plants.  “ The ethanol margins that we’re seeing right now in the market are extremely healthy,’ said Ray Young, ADA’s chief financial officer, on the company’s  earnings call.  ‘And that is just reflective of a very tight supply-demand situation right now.”1.

Farmers have indicated the price for fertilizers used in corn crops have increased substantially.  This has pressured farmers to plant less corn (a fertilizer intensive crop) in favor of soybeans that use far less fertilizer.

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. Kirk Maltais, WSJ, 11/11/2021

 

 

Source Local

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021

 

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

With the rising problems with shipping, the global market, and product shortages, it may be time to take a look at what you can do to overcome your challenges and prosper.

With shipping rates up and packing supplies in high demand, if you can get something locally and avoid shipping altogether then you are in luck. You may be able to avoid shipping altogether. This may only work on small scale items but could be a fantastic opportunity with the upcoming holiday season.

With the global market being where it is now there may be a rise in local businesses. Businesses located nearby your home or office could mean shorter wait times for goods or services, which may in turn help you get back to business sooner. While local or small businesses can often cost more than big box stores, there is the benefit of investing your money and support to your community and helping it grow. This can work to not only keep products on your shelves, but also drive more business in the area you supported.

One other benefit to sourcing some of your goods and services locally is that you may find something you like and never expected. Often, some of the tastiest goodies or well-made items are hand-made and sourced locally. Having unique items that are well received can even bring more business in to your organization because of its uniqueness and originality.

Whether or not your organization has sourced locally, you may benefit from attaining the assistance of a procurement partner like SafeSourcing. We can help to find the products or services you need and maybe even find something you never knew you needed.

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.

 

 

 

 

Vendor Training!

Friday, November 12th, 2021

 

 

Today’s post is by Patrick Quinn, Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Ensuring the consistency of any of your business activities is always top priority, and for SafeSourcing, that means making sure each of our events runs as smoothly as possible. In an eRFX event, many participants will be competing for the business of our clients, and that means that each of them must be focused on their pricing, and not on how to properly submit their quote with a ticking clock running.

In order to provide a consistent experience for our participating vendors, we invite each associate who plans on submitting quotes to attend a brief one-on-one training session with us. Our training will cover the basics of how to submit a quote as quickly and efficiently as possible, what each listed piece of information on the screen means, the rules and procedures of the event, and how to know if you have submitted the lowest price for an item. In addition, we’ll also allow time for questions on your end at the end of the training in case there’s something that we didn’t cover.

This may seem like a lot of hassle just to compete for a sale, but with twenty to thirty minutes of your time, you’ll be able to quickly jump into any event that we run in the future, and strategize with your sales team without having to worry about what each and every number on our interface means, and if it even applies to your bid at all. So, if you are a new vendor about to participate in your first eRFX event with us, give a call to schedule a brief training session!

For more information, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services specialist.

Remember to say thanks to all veterans today, and every day!

Thursday, November 11th, 2021

Todays post if by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc. and proud USAF Veteran.

Thank you to all my veteran brothers and sisters for your service past present and in the future.

SafeSourcing is proud to be a Veteran owned company.


wall01