Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Do you feel a bit sluggish?

Friday, February 23rd, 2018


Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Do you feel a bit sluggish? Are you falling behind on deadlines at work; or are you springing out of bed every morning feeling your best? An active lifestyle can help your mood and improve your productivity. Many people think I just don’t have time. I can’t go to the gym, work, take care of my family, cook, eat properly, etc. Many people also have a distorted view of an active lifestyle; they think I have to spend two hours a day in the gym and sign up for every 5k in a 50-mile radius. While this is possible for just a few people, it is not easy for the 9-5 crowd. So what should you do? Do you embrace the couch potato lifestyle and let it all go or do you want the beach body you have always sought. Just like most things in life, it is a process. You will not see results over night, but do not get discouraged. Make a goal and set checkpoints. Do not run to the scale every day or after every workout. A lot of what you do has to do with that four letter word DIET. And no I do not mean the latest fad that your co-workers are talking about. I mean the understanding that your body is a machine and your food is the fuel and your “diet” should consist of premium fuel. While there are so many options, no two people will have the same results. Go slow andtweak what works for you. If it helps, start simple.   Find the proteins that work for you — the veggies you like, and whatever you do stop drinking soda! Next find local sports clubs that interest you, maybe it was a sport you always wanted to play or that CrossFit club that just opened up around the corner. Don’t be afraid, all of these teams and clubs want people looking to change themselves or stay healthy. They will not judge you and will help you every step of the way. Take advantage of a support group of teammates that want you to be the best you can be. But if you want to go at it alone, and start small, use the following steps as an outline.

  1. Set your Goals
    1. Are you looking to lose weight?
    2. Are you looking to tone your muscle?
    3. Are you trying to bulk and add muscle?
  2. Establish a good diet,
    1. Find the food that you like and are the best fuel for your system
    2. Cut out the bad, high fructose corn syrup, a lot of sugars and bad fats
  3. Find a gym or club in a reasonable range of home and work
    1. Can you take your hour lunch and go workout?
    2. Can you go before or right after work?
    3. Make sure you can make time for the gym and stick to it
  4. Do NOT give up
    1. You will not see immediate results
    2. This will not be easy
    3. Don’t panic if you do not see that scale move
    4. Do remember muscle weighs more than fat
    5. Make reasonable checkpoints
      1. Set a goal to check measurements and weight every 2 weeks this is when you will begin to see some results

You may be wondering what does this have to do with business or my job? Well that’s simple; with an active lifestyle you will begin to see a spike in energy levels. After around the third week, you will get “the fever”, the need for the gym or to go move around. That’s your body telling you that you are now addicted. Great! At this time you may notice you have been following a schedule and sticking to it. You will see that now translates over to your time management and bandwidth at work. You also may notice that you are not passing out at your desk around 2pm because of all that pent up energy just screaming to be released. Well on top of that, maybe you signed up for that local rugby team or now you are one of those crazy CrossFitters. Fantastic, because every minute you spend with that team you are learning how to be a better team player, how to read and work better with others. That’s a no-brainer translation right there. So now you are 3 months into a new routine. Without any intention you now wake up an hour before your alarm, you no longer have that “hangry” feeling before lunch, you notice you no longer get mad at co-workers because you can communicate better. All because a couple hours out of the week you decided to put some real YOU time in.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Representative we have an entire team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments


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Motor Oil a Slippery Slope

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018


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

When you used to get an oil change you would just look in the manual and see what weight the manufacturer recommended for your vehicle.  It was that easy!  Now when you get an oil change you have the option of choosing the type of oil you would like to use as well.  So what are the different types and how do you choose the correct type?  This depends on the type of engine and may depend on the mileage that is on your vehicle.

First let’s start with conventional oil.  This is usually standard motor oil recommended by  most manufacturers.  Carmakers will specify a 5w-20 or 5w30 oil for use in lower temperatures and offer 10w-30 as an alternative in higher temperature areas.  When using this oil it is important to change the oil and filter as recommended by the manufacturer.

Another type of oil is full synthetic oil.  This oil is used for high tech engines such as sport cars or higher end luxury cars.  Synthetic oils are more superior and have longer lasting performance.  The oil is chemically engineered and works better in extreme high temperatures and flows better at low temperatures.  This oil is more expensive and not always necessary for most vehicles.

Synthetic blend oil is a mixture of conventional oil and synthetic oil which adds extra resistance to oxidation.  This oil is usually used in vehicles such as SUVs and pickups because they offer better protection for heavier loads and higher temperatures.  This oil is a little more expensive than conventional and a lot less expensive than full synthetic.

High mileage oil is for exactly what it sounds like.  This oil is made for vehicles that have high miles on them.  This oil contains additives such as seal conditioners that are used to expand and increase the life of the seals within the engine. This oil was designed to be used with vehicles that have over 75,000 miles.

As you can see the different types of oils are manufactured to be specific to the type of engine, type of use, and the amount of mileage.  If you find yourself needing a licensed maintenance company to maintain your vehicles, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.  We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which company 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.

We look forward to your comments.

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Make the Change, Ride The Wave

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018


Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Who remembers Tupperware parties?  I was recently viewing an actual original marketing promotion of Tupperware products, while watching movies on the Turner Classic Movie channel. It certainly stirred up old memories of a time when everyone I knew owned a set of the colorful, stackable food storage containers. There is also a sales lesson to be learned here.

When Earl Tupper first introduced that molded plastic bowl with the airtight lid, people did not want it.  It sat on the store shelves until a woman named Brownie Wise took sales to a new level by implementing the direct marketing sales strategy known as the “Tupperware Party”. The parties were revolutionary in that they offered an alternative model for commercial success based around female co-operation rather than aggressive competition. It was a “perfect storm” where the product and the sales method were conducive to post-war era housewives who could gather together in a social setting and make money. Sales grew into a world-wide, multimillion-dollar success for Tupperware which continued throughout the 50s and 60s, but fell off sharply after the 70s when women joined the workforce in record numbers.

This formula proved to be commercially successful, but Tupperware was not the first to use this sales model.  The J.D. Larkin Company, a soap manufacturer in Buffalo, New York, dramatically grew company’s annual sales from about $220,000 in 1892 to over $15 million in 1906. “The Larkin Idea” enlisted a dedicated army of small-town and rural women to serve as de facto sales agents. Larkin was among the first large-scale manufacturers to eliminate all dealers—wholesalers, retailers, traveling salesmen, and brokers, representing the entire middle of the distribution chain.

Tupperware enjoyed a huge wave of success and then leveled off in the 90s. It was a big thing, which was good while it lasted.  Sales of Larkin products were buoyant through the 1910s, and tapered off in 1920 at around $28 million. Over the past couple of decades there have been other companies which have adopted the direct sales format, adding their own twist.

The right sales strategy is key, and change is inevitable. There is something to be said for knowing when to make the right change at the right time. Be ready to ride the wave when the next perfect storm comes, or you may just get washed out and eaten by the sharks!

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business 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.

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Five (5) Vendor Evaluation Criteria

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018


Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Assistant Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

It’s easy to imagine that procurement managers look at cost alone in evaluating potential vendors.  At SafeSourcing, however, we have worked with procurement managers in fortune 500 companies and small business all over the world, and we understand there are innumerable variables to be considered with any purchasing project. Today we’ll boil down those considerations into our top 5. While these aren’t exhaustive, they should get you the majority of the way to a complete evaluation:

Net Price: Not only is price of the product important, we must take into account tax, freight, rebates, even installation and maintenance in some cases. We must take into account the total cost of ownership, which will vary depending on the use the product gets in servicing your particular business model.

Location: The obvious consideration here is whether or not the vendor in question even services or ships to your area from their’s. If so, what does it cost to get the good or service to you? What are the freight or travel rates? Is the vendor licensed in your area?

Capacity: What is the production rate and MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)? Some categories will have growing seasons or other production considerations that will require a buyer to contract capacity within certain seasons; and, of course, the production run capabilities will have to scale with the size of your typical orders.

Lead Time: How much time will it take between your first order, and delivery? Some products need to setup manufacturing equipment for a specific run, others may have full harvest seasons committed and will need 6 months before they can plant, harvest and pack their crops.

Risk: What variable commodity prices are your product dependent on? Does the vendor you are considering have pricing subject to currency exchange rates? How do they handle fluctuations? Are there any changes in the regional regulations, tariffs or licensers that could disrupt the flow of product? For international organizations these concerns multiply for every country involved in the production of the good being sourced.

What other considerations do you have when evaluating a vendor? Please leave a comment or for more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process 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.

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How Much Does FREE Cost? Simple Question right?

Tuesday, February 6th, 2018


Today’s post is from the SafeSourcing Archive

The byline to this post would seem simple but the number of large companies that are taken in by it is staggering.

My brother dropped his phone and to no surprise the screen was cracked. He took it into his wireless provider and without insurance he would have to buy a new phone. A new phone? That sounds great! Right? Well he did not have an upgrade available and without insurance he would have to buy the phone at “full retail price”.

The phone that cost him ZERO dollars when he signed a two-year contract was $349.99! I understand that the contract gets you a better deal, but how do wireless providers make a profit when they are just “giving away” phones.

Wireless providers subsidize the cost of your phone into your wireless plan. They have to pay the manufacturer for these phones, but take such a large hit initially in the contract. It takes wireless providers an average of at least six months to begin making a profit on your wireless contract. Makes you wonder how low your service contract could be a month if you paid “full retail” price for your phone.

Many companies have used the word ‘FREE’ to sell a product or service, but are they really free? If you did not accept the free or significantly low cost coffee maker for the office would the year supply of coffee be cheaper? There is a cost for free and that cost usually falls back on the customer or consumer.

SafeSourcing, Inc. has the knowledge and expertise to eliminate the cost of ‘free’ from your service related plans.  If you’d like more information on how avoid the free pitfall, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

Be careful out there or you might just get what you have not asked for.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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What is a Blister Pack?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018


Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, SafeSourcing Account Manager.

SafeSourcing helps clients save money on a wide variety of categories. From sugar to fuel hauling, there isn’t much we haven’t sourced for our clients. One category that we source regularly is Blister Packs. Blister Packs have consistently provided significant savings for our clients making it a successful event. Currently, we are offering an opportunity for you to become involved in that savings opportunity. But first let’s learn little about Blister Packs.

Blister packs are the unsung hero of the retail world. They are used to package products such as toys, hardware, medication, etc. Blister packs have been around for many years and come in many different forms. Blister packs are commonly used as unit-dose packaging for pharmaceutical tablets, capsules or lozenges. Specifically, that is our focus at the moment. In other regions of the world, blister packs are the main packaging type since pharmacy dispensing and re-packaging are not common. In some parts of the world, the pharmaceutical blister pack is known as a push-through pack.

Materials Used to make Blister Packs:

  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Polyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC)
  • Polychlorotrifluoro Ethylene (PCTFE)
  • Cyclic Olefin Copolymers (COC)
  • Cold Form Foil
  • Lidding Foils

There are many benefits to using Blister Packs. Blister packaging is a cost effective way of showcasing a product. Due to the nature of the material and design, it makes it more cost effective than other types of packages that are on the market. There is a wide range of colors and finishes that blister packaging can be constructed to feature. Manufacturers can use that to help make their products stand out on shelves. Blister packaging allows either the manufacturer or retailer to include promotional materials or advertisements to help build a brand and increase customer loyalty. To prevent retail theft, packages are specifically designed so that the customer cannot “touch and feel” the product. Clear, protective, and durable thermoformed plastic packaging enables the customer to fully view the product while maintaining the security of the product. Blister packaging can easily be sealed using heat sealing machinery.

So what does this mean to you? Many of our retail pharmacy clients use Blister Packs at their stores. What many don’t realize at first is that there are numerous vendors in every region competing with the larger, national vendors and that this is a very competitive category when sourced using e-Procurement. With the use of SafeSourcing’s services, many of our clients have saved significantly. The last client who sourced this category with us saved over thirteen percent.

SafeCollaborative™ is a new way for many companies to pool their procurement needs to aggregate larger savings with higher purchasing volumes. We will be offering a Blister Pack SafeCollaborative RFQ Event in Q1 of 2018 which is open to any companies that might want to join. If you have any questions or are interested in participating please contact us at 888-261-9070

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Representative we have an entire team waiting to assist you today


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Document Management Systems

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018


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

Document management systems (DSM) are computer software tools used to manage and help track the lifecycle of your documents.  Implementing a document management tool allows you to check out, lock and check in your important documents.  Using these features will allow you to maintain older versions of the documents and compare changes that are made.  Because there are multiple versions of the documents stored, you can roll back to an older version if unwanted changes occur.  Each version that is checked in is stored and contains information such as the date, time, description and the user that made the changes.  Using the document management tool also ensures that all of your documents are stored in one secure place and can easily be searched and located when needed.  Another benefit of using a document management system is security.  The access to the documents can be set up so that users or groups can access certain folders and files.  The access can be as finite as limiting a user to access to only a single file.

Below are some of the benefits that can be achieved from a well-designed document management system like our SafeDocument™.

  • Central Repository for Easy Retrieval
  • Enhanced Security
  • Reduced Storage Space
  • Improved Search Capabilities
  • Notifications when changes occur
  • Reliable Backup and Recovery

There are several things to keep in mind before purchasing a Document Management System; such as the number of users and the amount of space you will need.  At SafeSourcing, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide why SafeDocument™ is the right DMS for 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.



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Baseball and Procurement

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018


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

Baseball is widely considered America’s pastime with a colorful history and a nostalgic place in many people’s lives. Some of the lessons learned in baseball can also apply to everyday life, including your business. Here are quite a few common teachings that many of us learned from baseball and how they apply to your business.

  1. Hit a home run – to be very successful. This can mean successfully completing your project, gaining a new client, making your goals, or exceeding your goals. While just one person in baseball will hit a home run at a time, the whole team benefits. In business, the whole team can be responsible for hitting a home run.
  2. A ball park figure – an estimate. When this phrase is used, it can have a wide range of estimation. For example, a person may offer a ballpark figure for a new hire, which may cover a range of a few thousand dollars, whereas a ballpark figure of a company’s entire spend may range from several million dollars to tens of millions.
  3. Strike out – to fail. This phrase is often used in business, and especially sales. Often sales teams will try a pitch a few times, like in baseball, before they deem it a strike out and will not spend any more time or effort continuing, but rather try a new approach.
  4. Batting a thousand – maintaining a perfect record. This is when a person has been exceptionally successful in their ventures to a point where failure never seems to be an option. While such a high record in anything cannot be expected or maintained indefinitely, it is always a goal for everyone to strive for.
  5. Play hardball – use extreme measures to ensure success. This phase can be used to describe individuals or businesses that take more extreme stances when it comes to compromise. They may maintain a firm position on an offer, which may or may not work out in their favor.
  6. Go to bat for someone – to aid or support someone. This can describe when someone comes to your aid in some way, whether to reiterate strategies or points, defend positions, or just take some of the burden of a person or team for an amount of time.
  7. Throw a curve ball – to do something unexpected. This phase is very common in business and many businesses take great care to avoid curve balls, even hiring analysts and researchers to ensure no signs of an upcoming curveball were missed. However, like the definition states, curveballs refer to the unexpected, so being prepared for anything can help your organization combat any curve balls coming.
  8. On the ball – very aware, responsible, and intelligent. This phase in business is commonly used to describe a person or team who takes initiative, is proactive, or generally takes care of the things necessary without trouble, hassle, or complaint.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you cover your procurement bases, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.


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Twelve areas to consider in your spend analysis if you don’t want to lose your hard earned savings.

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018


Todays post is a favorite from the SafeSourcing Archive

This is actually a great questions and a tough one to answer if in fact it has not been planned for during the strategy process. We all know that there are all sorts of saving figures quoted in the e-procurement industry for just about any product or service available.

Here are 12 areas of focus to consider when trying to figure out not only your ROI on these projects, but more importantly how much of the savings made their way to the bottom line and what is your leakage percentage.

1. How clean was your GL data?
2. How clean were your specifications?
3. How long did it take you to award the business?
4. How long did it take you to test samples?
5. How long did it take you to sign a contract?
6. How long did it take you to accept your first delivery?
7. Was the first invoice for the exact price you contracted for?
8. Was the shipping and handling exactly as bid?
9. Were there any SOW change requests that raised pricing?
10. What P&L period are you reporting against?
11. What was the budget for this product or service?
12. Can you trace the spend to a specific P&L line item?

It would not be too hard to add another dozen items to this list. The answer here is that proper planning helps eliminate savings leakage. Don’t plan and it will hurt or erode some or all of your potential savings.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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If All Your Friends Jumped Off A Bridge

Thursday, January 4th, 2018


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

“If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you too?” Usually, when you hear a parent ask this question, then they are saying this because they don’t approve of the child’s decisions. While I understand the sentiment, I’d propose an alternative and that we think about this more in the sense of trying something new.

There are some who have still not jumped off the bridge into e-Procurement. Perhaps they look at their peers who have taken to using e-Procurement with the same dismissive view as the parent who is disappointed in their child. What they have probably not considered is that what they have deemed a questionable decision is actually very beneficial.

The difficult part is being open to alternatives. Many who do not use e-Procurement will point to their well-established procurement practices, their own experience, and their rolodex as the evidence that they should not even consider jumping off the bridge that their friends have jumped off.

But, by allowing for an open mind, you might come to realize that e-Procurement is also very well established, that the providers in the space such as SafeSourcing have incredible experience, and that your rolodex is important and will be included but will be augmented by vendors from a database with hundreds of thousands of global sources of supply.

I’m not suggesting that anyone blindly do as others do or succumb unnecessarily to peer pressure. I’m saying that anyone who has responsibility for purchasing has a fiduciary duty to examine all options. Sometimes, you’ll find that jumping off the bridge is the right thing to do.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  We look forward to your comments.


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