Archive for December, 2021

Covid Excuses are becoming commonplace!

Friday, December 31st, 2021

 

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

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, people across the globe have faced some extreme situations, from hospitalizations and death to lack of workforce and supplies. While the last two years have been a challenge to say the least, there are still lasting impacts on families, society, and businesses. There have been some great advances, however. We have seen the rapid development and rollout of several vaccines, the dedication and creative problem-solving decisions by schools and employers, and the rise of community help in times of need.

While there are many struggles for many people and businesses, the obstacles the world has overcome have been huge. These struggles for the last two years have started causing some consumers to be less forgiving for covid-related excuses. The reason behind this is that some consumers view the covid-related problems as something that can be expected and should be overcome, so not being able to fulfill business promises becomes the business’s failure to meet expectations and has not upheld the needs of the consumer.

Although not all problems may be predicted, some can be. Things like rising costs and lower supplies can be challenges and obstacles, but not without hope. Teaming up with a procurement partner, like SafeSourcing, can help your business or organization overcome some of the obstacles we all currently face and can help you find the products you need and avoid having shelf space go empty.

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.

 

 

 

 

Here are some talking points for developing procurement goals for the New Year.

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

 

Today’s post was written 11 years ago by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

Most if not all of this is still relevant.

Companies with a few customers and companies with thousands of customers are often looking at the same types of issues. The process and the results are very similar regardless of scale and as such require the same careful focus to drive targeted results. If we were to white board what should be included in our procurement goals many of the following areas would be included.

1. Lower costs
2. Consistent and improved quality
3. Products that guarantee safety for your customers
4. Smooth transition to new supplier relationships
5. Quality product specifications
6. Unlimited new sources of supply
7. Well thought out internal and external collaboration and aggregation
8. Support for environmentally focused products
9. Support of CSR Initiatives.
10. Evaluation of low-cost technology solutions
11. Joining and collaborating with share groups or GPO’s
12. Review of Incumbent suppliers
13. E-Sourcing or e-procurement training.
14. Existing procurement tool evaluation
15. Existing contracts evaluation
16. Detailed spend visibility and evaluation
17. Off or Near Shore sourcing opportunities
18. Sourcing and Supply Chain Knowledge transfer
19. For resale sustainable practices review
20. Perfecting The expense category

As your organization develops their list similar to the one above, prioritization and elimination sessions will lead you to a best few focus areas from which you can refine your e-procurement goals for 2011, oops 2021.

Please use the above guidelines as a framework for your thinking. Remember that simple goals written down are the most achievable.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments

Think You Can’t Save On Construction Costs? Think Again!

Wednesday, December 29th, 2021

 

Today’s post is from Dave Wenig is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing Inc

For those that follow the industry, you already know that the constraints placed on the construction industry are causing rising costs and limited availability of key construction materials. While I can certainly understand how this is a challenge for most organizations because they are being challenged on just about every procurement need they have, I also have seen how some rise to the challenge and overcome it.

For an example, let’s looks at a couple of recent RFQ event we hosted for a large real estate development company. Using recent quotes and costs from September, we were able to establish a previous baseline cost for items they needed. These ranged from appliances to doors to windows. What we learned was that the vendor community were telling us that the prices per their initial quotes had risen yet again in the last three months by somewhere between 15% and 20%.

What would you do in that situation?

Here’s what SafeSourcing’s customer did. As a result of their RFQ events, they established savings opportunity between 5.6% and 9.4% against the September prices. That’s remarkable in this market and leaves one to question what the real costs are and just how much of the price increases being passed along by vendors is necessary based on the market conditions and how much is margin.

There’s only one way to know.

The only thing to do as a buyer in the face of frequent cost increases of this size is to push back and verify. The best way to verify whether your vendors’ prices are fair is to invite open competition. The best way to host that is with a full-service eProcurement provider like SafeSourcing. To do anything less is to leave these purchases to chance and to risk becoming a high-margin account for your vendors in the name of “the market.”

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing, or keep overpaying!

 

 

Welcoming the New Year Resolutions Part I of V

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

 

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

As we welcome in a new year, we often speak of our resolutions. Personally, the resolutions that we make are likely to include exercise more, become more environmentally conscious or lose weight. The same concept of resolutions should take hold in your procurement department. Take the New Year as a challenge to drive new initiatives that will reduce spend in a sustainable manner.

If our first resolution was to exercise more, we could also apply that to procurement. That is to say that we could take more steps toward efficient and effective procurement. You may focus your RFI, RFP and RFQ efforts on initiatives that have been deemed the most significant based on spend or some other factor, but what about all of the other initiatives that go unnoticed? How many of these smaller spends are allowed to continue year after year while your focus is on these larger spends? Make a plan to include more of your contracts and share that plan with your strategic sourcing partner.

If you were to say “I want to lose some weight this year”, couldn’t you also say “I want to reduce my spend this year?” Just like it is for a body, exercise will lead to weight loss. Stay on track with your procurement plan and you will see the spend dollars drop. Increasing your company’s strategic sourcing initiatives to involve all projects will have a significant impact on reducing your overall spend.

In the remaining segments of this series, we will continue to explore ways to take advantage of that New Year energy.

Tomorrow, we will take a look at how to get your department prepared for the new (or renewed) procurement initiative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Twas the day after Christmas!

Monday, December 27th, 2021

 

Twas the day after Christmas

When all through the land

People were still smiling and happy

Because their holiday had gone just as planned

With malls to be visited and unwanted gifts to return

And exercise to be done and all those extra calories to burn

Most offices are still quiet as their staff s celebrate

While others rush to close out their years business before it’s too late

There’s a new year  coming full of lots of new stuff

We all hope with this congress life doesn’t get any more tough

For businesses public and private and individuals too

Who would all rather focus on what’s exciting and new

Like jobs and raises and a positive end of year review

So on Trump and Pelosi with congress hopefully in tow

Let’s get back to Washington

And end this year with some glow.

Happy Holidays from Safesourcing

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2021 and the hope for Peace on Earth.

Saturday, December 25th, 2021

If you can indentify these folks below, We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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How SafeSourcing Saved Christmas…

Friday, December 24th, 2021

 

 

Today’s Christmas Eve post from a former associate is from our  SafeSourcing, Inc Archives

As with most children being curious, my 7  year old niece and I were baking cookies last weekend when she said, “Aunt Heather, what do you do for a living? Mommy is a nurse and Daddy is a policeman. What do you do?”

Well, I said, thinking quickly of how to explain what a project manager does in the e-procurement world at SafeSourcing, “I help Santa with getting toys for presents and delivering them to all the children around the world.”
She said, “Aunt Heather, you’re silly! Santa has elves that make the presents, and Santa has reindeer help his pull the sleigh to deliver the presents!”

“Oh Alli, I have to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell a soul what I tell you, ok?” She agrees.

Santa needs help lots and lots of help. Yes, his elves make the homemade toys, but toys like Furbies and Barbie’s have to be made somewhere else and delivered to the North Pole to be wrapped.

With big eyes, she says, “ooohhhh. That makes sense. Elves are mostly boys and boys don’t know anything about Barbies!”

So then I tell her, that Santa comes to me with his list of toys and how many he needs, and it is my job to make sure he buys them all much cheaper than what he can buy them for at the store. In fact, it is my job to make sure all the companies that make and sell the toys compete against each other to make sure Santa gets the best price for them.

“Wow!” she said, you have an important job helping Santa!

I said yes, but that isn’t all I do for Santa. She said really? I said, yes, I help him deliver the presents too. She said, how?

I said that Santa does use his sleigh and reindeer for most of the night, but the reindeer do get tired. So we help Santa by hiring a charter jet to cross the ocean with the presents and reindeer. Saving him money by having the airlines compete against each other to get lower pricing for Santa. This way the reindeer get to rest and Santa can get to the other side of the world much faster.

Also Santa pre-ships the presents to parts of the world to keep the weight down on the sleigh. So we help him with semi-trucks picking up the presents and taking them to all areas of the globe waiting for Santa to pick them up to deliver them to all the boys and girls. I explain to her that this is called transportation logistics. I told her that, like the people who make and sell toys, we ask the trucking companies to compete against each other lowering their prices for gas (fuel rates was too hard to explain to her), and mileage.

My, oh so smart niece, says, “Santa really has a big job to do in one night. He is so lucky he has you to help him!!”

So I ask her, do you understand what I do now?

She said,” yes, you help Santa buy toys and you help him fly across the ocean in an air plane, and you help him ship presents across the world to be picked up and delivered all in one night, AND you save him lots of money!”

So if SafeSourcing can help save Christmas, what can you do to help save you money in your business?

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help energize your self-service program, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

All we Want for Christmas…

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

 

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.  

 

Carefully Laid Plans of Walnuts and Wise Men  

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2021

 

Today’s blog is by Today’s blog is by Patrick Quinn, Procurement Specialist for SafeSourcing.

Did you ever notice how in Christmas movies that on the early hours of Christmas morning, Santa never jumps to the house next door? Instead, he hops back into his sleigh to drop off presents twenty miles eastward instead of taking the more efficient route of going next door. So, when he only has one work shift to get all the presents delivered, why is efficiency not his top priority?

Well, this is just my theory, but I think it is because he just does not have all the wish lists in on time! How many of your kids, when you ask for their Christmas list for Santa, just tell you, “Well, I dunno,” while other kids might have a detailed list, all in alphabetical order, sorted by multiple categories according to how badly they need it? Now, how long does it take for the lists to get to Santa, especially when it is Christmas Eve, and they finally remember what they want? Well, now Santa’s already at work with his carefully laid flight plan in place that little Timmy just forced an addendum on. So, thank you, Timmy, for giving us that scenic shot in nearly every Christmas movie ever made.

If you want your business’s wishlist to be delivered in a timely manner, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our RiskFree trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

Do This To Keep Your Resolutions

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

 

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

Here’s the bad news. Statistically, most of us who set a New Year’s resolution will fail. While there are surely many reasons for this, I wanted to give you some good news as well. It doesn’t have to be like this.

I know that most of us think about resolutions as personal. We say this year I will lose weight or this year I will practice mindfulness every day. But resolutions are really just goals and setting them in your professional life is just as important as in your personal life.

So how do you keep a resolution or meet a goal? The answer is accountability and support. SafeSourcing delivers accountability and support for your procurement goals. If one of your resolutions is to diversify your supply chain, SafeSourcing has the knowledge and the database to support you in that goal. If one of your goals is to focus on more categories in your negotiations, SafeSourcing has the ability to help you stay accountable and to work with you every step of the way to make sure this happens.

Without accountability and without a support network, we’re far less likely to reach our goals and keep our resolutions beyond January. If you want to be successful, you need to have support. Talk to us about your goals and let us assist and we guarantee you will be exponentially more successful in exceeding your goals.

Get ready for a successful New Year!

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.