Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019


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

Every year there are highly anticipated movies and televisions shows that many of us just can’t wait to see. Two shows that have been highly anticipated, the final Avengers movie and the final season of Game of Thrones, are both set to be released April, 2019.

Because these shows are so highly anticipated with large fan bases, security surrounding filming, scripts, plot-lines, effects, etc. has been tighter than ever before. Despite all the added security, much is known or speculated about what these fan favorites will bring. One thing we know about these is that filming has long been over. Game of Thrones filming ended in July, 2018, nine months before its release, while Avengers: Endgame finished in January, 2018, a full 15 months before its release. So, why such the long gap in between?

The reason for the long gaps after filming is to allow ample time for all the work that needs to be done behind the scenes. This is a key part in any production and is often the most overlooked by those not involved in the process. For filming, this could include video editing, sound editing, special effects, and many other final touches. While actors and directors often get the spotlight for their work on a film piece, there are many more people working just as hard to create the final successful film or show that we all see and enjoy.

The ways the work is set up in film brings the idea that there are many other industries where a significant amount of work is done behind the scenes – procurement being one of those industries. A procurement partner is someone who works with your organization to help you obtain the goods and services you need, but there is a lot of work that goes into the position that may not be known to most. While a company can enjoy the end result benefits of getting exactly what they need at a competitive price, the procurement partner has done a lot of behind the scenes work along the way, from spend analysis, market research, supplier research, data analysis, product details and specifications, to term details. Just like the behind the scenes team for television and movies, a procurement partner can help make your sourcing efforts as successful and enjoyable as possible.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help in 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.



What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Monday, January 7th, 2019


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

Did you know that tea is the second most widely consumed beverage worldwide? Global tea production exceeds $73-billion in sales and produces about 5.2 million metric tons of product a year.  About half of the world’s tea production comes from China, while India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia make up a large portion of the remaining tea market.  The tea market is broken into four segments: ready-to-drink tea (RTD), the traditional market; the specialty segment and the foodservice segment. So what does this have to do with us? Although coffee is often thought of as America’s preferred beverage, tea has quickly proven itself to be very popular in homes nationwide. A survey among U.S. consumers showed that 23 percent of participants drink tea every day, while only ten percent of consumers never drank tea at all. That is roughly 74,911,000 Americans whom drink tea every day! The majority of the tea consumed in America comes from the foodservice industry and ready to drink segments of the tea market. Most of this tea is purchased in gas stations, c-stores, and restaurants around the country. With that much consumption on a daily basis, the US tea market is a $7-billion industry.

We here at SafeSourcing have helped many of our clients run tea e-Procurement events, both separately and with other warm beverages together. With an average savings of 23%, we have helped clients save money on an ever growing market. A lot of foodservice companies sell tea and other beverages so it is easier to reach a higher spend when you combine the buying power of all your hot beverage needs. There are some instances where specialty companies need to be contacted for more particular blends of tea. That is where our vast database of suppliers and knowledge of the industry comes in. By working with SafeSourcing you can grow your pool of suppliers and save even more money on all of your tea needs!

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



Distributor vs. Manufacturer

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019


Today’s post is from our  SafeSourcing. Archives

Distributors have been selling products and equipment since the early days of the industrial revolution, but are they still the best choice for companies in pursuit of products?  The answer is sometimes and here’s why.

Typically, full service, distributors make their name by providing excellent, personal service to their customers.  In most cases, they work a small territory and are “local” to the companies they serve.  They usually offer 24/7 service and have emergency spare parts and consumables on hand.  Full service distributors are in the business of developing relationships with their customers.

The same is true when purchasing commodities.  In most cases there is more than one manufacturer who offers a product capable of satisfying your application for a fair price.  In the end, you probably purchase your equipment from someone you have developed a relationship with or from someone you can see yourself developing a relationship with.  In most cases, a distributor fits the bill due to their locale and ability, and willingness, to service you.

Most manufacturers are engineering and manufacturing focused.  Typically they do not specialize in sales and service.  This is not a bad thing, however.  Manufacturers are expected to spend their efforts on developing great products.  They are the pioneers of innovation, and all of us depend on them.  This is not to say that they have no place selling or servicing their products.  It is important for them to be involved in understanding the marketplace and issues with their products.  But from the end-user point of view, manufacturers’ efforts are not always apparent.  Although very critical, their efforts are typically behind the scenes in R&D.  It can be difficult for an end-user to develop a sales/service relationship with an organization that operates with an engineering and manufacturing focus. But not so fast…..

Unless you work with SafeSourcing, although a lot of what I said above is true, it is still possible to work and purchase from both manufacturers and distributors. The keys are who are you speaking with and what you are purposing. At SafeSourcing, we engage both, why? Because some manufacturers see the benefits to selling directly to our clients, while some distributors cannot meet all needs and visa versus. The SafeSourcing staff asks the key questions and talk to the right people to determine who is best fit for our clients. This vetting process saves our clients time and money and getting what they want at a considerably lower cost.  And you can still develop a strong and long-term relationship with either.

To sum it up, manufacturers and distributors do play specific roles in the purchasing process, but not reaching out to both could affect your bottom line.

Robert Rice is an Account Manager at SafeSourcing. Robert or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement planning. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

Staying Alive

Thursday, December 20th, 2018


Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Amazon is now in the oil business, with the release of its Amazon Basics Full Synthetic Motor Oil. Amazon’s private label oil is a competitor to Valvoline, Quaker State and other leading brands. Proving, that there isn’t an industry Amazon can’t enter.  According to former Amazon executive BrittainLadd, now a consultant specializing in digital transformation and strategies, Amazon is becoming so powerful that even Walmart can become marginalized in as few as 10 years.

Private label is becoming extremely strategic to Amazon. As of July 2018, Amazon has a total of 76 private label brands and Ladd estimates Amazon will have over 2,000 private-label brands within 3 to 5 years. Companies can no longer afford to operate as if Amazon doesn’t exist.

Known as the “Amazon effect”, more and more people have become online shoppers which has rapidly changed the retail landscape. This increase for e-commerce businesses comes at the expense of brick-and-mortar retail stores, with the most recent victims Toys R Us, and Sears closing its doors. Some stores are adapting by providing an electronic retail option or E-tailing, with online shopping portals which allow online ordering and a pick-up option at a nearby retail store.  E-tailing helps traditional brick-and-mortar stores reach more consumers worldwide and increase sales.

Another adaptation has been the surge of pop-up retailing.  Pop-up stores are temporary retail locations that offer a unique experience to the customer with minimal overhead to the retailer. Pop-up store customers have the chance to touch, try on, and demo products in person before having to make a purchase. The retailer gets an opportunity to interact with customers face-to-face which allows them to address potential concerns on the spot. Best Buy, J. Crew and Nordstrom have all recently ventured into the world of pop-ups.

Reinventing how we do business in this quickly evolving economy is the key to survival.  Staying relevant can be the difference between staying alive or becoming the next casualty of e-commerce.

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.



Recycling Crisis

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018



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

It is the time of year when holiday packages will be arriving on people’s doorsteps across the country; however gift boxes this year might not become recycled gift boxes next year. Recycling is now a crisis in the US.  China, America’s go-to nation for processing recyclables into boxes, is now requiring the cleanest, purist loads. This decision has left recyclers without a market causing recyclables to pile up and prices to fall. Waste Management, the trash hauling giant, reported it has become more expensive to recycle glass, plastic and paper. UPS reports that they will deliver 800 million packages this holiday season, an increase from 762 million in 2017. FedEx will add another 400 million, if they match last year’s total.

After years of conditioning Americans to throw all of their reusable containers and papers into a recycle bin, cities across the US are charging higher collection fees, as well as eliminating certain items they will not pick up. Nearly 35% of the nation’s waste is diverted to recycling from the solid waste stream. That accounts for millions of tons of material that can be repurposed, saving energy and time rather than making product from scratch. Mixed paper was worth $85 to $95 a ton to recyclers a year ago. Today the price has dropped to $6.50 to $8.50. Lesser-quality plastics were worth $45 a ton. Now it costs $35 to get it recycled. Cardboard prices fallen too.

There are about 100 Waste Management recycling processing facilities in the US. The cost of processing recyclables was $85 a ton, now sorted loads only bring in $65 a ton. Instead of receiving a check for recyclables, some cities are being asked to pay to have them removed.

Waste Management reported that 25% of recycled material is contaminated. Junk such as dead batteries, hoses, broken lawn furniture, plastic grocery bags, greased-stained pizza boxes, are some of the items that should not be put into recycle bins.

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








Why it is Important to Know What you are Buying…

Friday, December 7th, 2018


Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of Major Accounts and Special Projects at SafeSourcing Inc.

For years you purchase from the same supplier, expect the same product level, anticipate some price increases due to market changes. You think you know what you are ordering; however, when you want to take your product out to test the market prices from other suppliers is when you realize you have not been purchasing what you thought you were.

In procurement we see this often whether it be elastomer requirements in an O-ring or broiler chickens. History has told us that elastomers are critical to the function of mechanics, as we lost the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 due to an O-ring failure. There are over 24 synthetic rubber and thermoplastics that make up O-rings and over 8,000 different sizes. Does your product require heat and freezing variables? Does your product require a specific lubricant that is EPDM compliant?

In another example, recently a client wanted to test the market for their diced chicken needs. They provided their current product specifications and pricing and quickly found out that the major manufacturers could not meet the client’s needs. Why? Because the client thoughts they were getting broiler chickens from their current supplier and they were receiving fowl chickens. Fowl chickens are the older chickens that can no longer produce eggs and the meat is considered by some to be a tougher meat. Needless to say, this was a big awakening for the client and they needed to re-evaluate their needs for their product manufacturing.

Are you sure you are purchasing exactly what your specifications require? Are you testing your suppliers products to ensure quality, quantity, safety expectations are met? Are you paying a fair price for your product needs? If you answered no to any of these questions, SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business or on our “Risk Free” trial program for RFPs and RFQs, 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.



Don’t Cut before Measuring

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018


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

Don’t cut before measuring. It’s a common phrase and probably one of the first things someone learns when doing any kind of construction – measure before you cut. In fact, many people would recommend measuring a board multiple times before ever making any cuts. While this saying is primarily woodworking, home improvement, or construction specific, the idea can prove useful in multiple industries.

The idea here is that each and every time you are about to execute a project, first make sure you are doing it right. Then make sure again. Sometimes, we can miss important details or overlook glaring errors. For example, while sending an email and forgetting to attach a document is a minor detail, sending an email to a wrong person can be much more serious.

SafeSourcing, however, can help with some things that are often overlooked. For example, when sourcing a product, we analyze the data and the specifications and check them against invoice and industry standards. This ensures that the data is correct and that the savings you see after your procurement project completes is true. We can work with your own procurement, purchasing, or finance department and determine which categories would best be taken out to source. Do you know if you are getting the best price on the goods you already purchase?

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help in your procurement efforts or to help analyze your data, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We have an entire team ready to assist you today.


Rapid Growth of Foodservice Disposables

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018



Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

The global foodservice disposables market is experiencing rapid growth, linked to growing online food ordering and home delivery services, according to a report by Persistence Market Research.

North America dominated the global food service disposable industry with 21.4 billion in revenue in 2015. The food service disposable market in North America is anticipated to reach 27.50 billion in 2021. This is largely due to increasing population, expanding commercial markets, and the convenience of single-use service ware.  Busy lifestyles and low consumer preference towards cooking at home also acts as a major driver for the foodservice disposables market.

An increasing number of food and coffee joints for hanging out are another predominant factor driving growth of foodservice disposables market. The increased focus on gourmet coffee and specialty cold drinks by restaurants and convenience stores has heightened interest in higher-cost environmentally friendly products. In an effort to mineralize wastage, multiple shops have started offering reusable cups and plates. With foodservice business experiencing impressive growth, the increase of foodservice disposables market has become unstoppable and is not likely to slow down anytime soon.

Plastics are the most widely used raw material for the manufacture of disposable foodservice products. When compared to paper, paperboard, and aluminum, plastic is expected to evolve as the preferred raw material in the foodservice disposables industry. With the recent push for eco-friendly products, manufacturers are emphasizing the use of recyclable plastics. Due to this sustainability trend, several vendors are slowly moving toward the use of compostable and eco-friendly raw materials to manufacture foodservice disposables. Although, governments across various nations are executing various regulations on the use of plastic, popularity of plastic is not likely to come down drastically, as it has widespread acceptance.

Disposable service ware, including single-use cups, dinnerware and utensils, will remain the largest product type through the year 2021 and beyond. However, the fastest demand growth is expected in the disposable packaging segment, which includes foodservice containers, lids and domes, wraps, bags, and trays.

The food packaging industry has become extremely competitive and manufacturing companies are continually improving their products and availability of efficient and sustainable products. Let SafeSourcing source your foodservice products!

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.




Knowledge is Power

Monday, November 19th, 2018



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

At SafeSourcing, we host many eProcurement Request for Quote (RFQ) events. In fact, this is a large portion of our services because of the savings that this generates for our customers. If we’ve spoken before, you’ve probably heard me talk about this. Specifically, that while each of SafeSourcing’s customers might source a particular category once a year or once every two years, SafeSourcing is likely sourcing that same category many times a year.

This is where SafeSourcing’s knowledge can become your power. I’ll offer this following example, but just know that this is one of many examples that we could share.

Many of our retail clients sell hot and cold beverages. Of course, these come in a variety of cups with different lids and different straws, but for this example, I’m talking about foam cups. Many of our customers are aware of 1-2 suppliers that offer these cups. We actually have more. That wider supplier base generates real savings in an RFQ scenario. It’s easy to talk about recent savings percentages or to speak generally, but consider this next specific statement.

At SafeSourcing, our retail convenience store customers have saved an average of about $5,000 per store on their foam cups, lids, and straws in the past year while still awarding to their incumbent vendor.

What this statement means is that there is a very strong likelihood that you can save on this category too. If you are a convenience store operator, and you have 50 stores where you use these products, that could be a quarter of a million dollars that you’re overpaying per year. Maybe it’s not the exact case for you, but the data tells me that it’s very likely. Shouldn’t you use SafeSourcing’s knowledge to your benefit?

As I said, this was just one specific example out of many. The only way to really tap into SafeSourcing’s category knowledge is to talk with us.

  • Ask us a specific question about category savings.
  • Ask our opinion on the current market conditions for a category.
  • Ask about the timing of a category due to harvest seasons.

I’ll share one more thing that we know at SafeSourcing; if you aren’t using SafeSourcing for our knowledge and our RFQ services, then you’re overpaying on all your spend.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing. 


Kroger Offers a new way to Shop

Friday, November 16th, 2018


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

I was in my local Kroger the other day and saw a kiosk full of scanners.  So, when I got home I decided to go online and see what they were all about.  It turns out the scanners are part of their new shopping experience called Scan, Bag, Go.  This new way of shopping is available for people that would like to scan and bag the items as they walk throughout the store.  Not only can you use the scanners, but you can also download an app to your device and use the device instead.  To start, you need to log into the scanner or app with your account and as you shop you just scan the item and place it in your bag or cart.  You must scan each item one at a time, and for produce, you bag the items, scan the barcode on the item or the shelf tag, scan a barcode on the closest available scale and follow the directions for weighing the items.  As you are shopping, you can see your running total and fuel points accumulated.  So using a calculator or cell phone are no longer needed for those who like to keep track of their spend during the shopping process.  When you are finished shopping, just head to self-checkout and scan a barcode on any available machine and complete the pay process.  This new offering is a speedy way to get what you need and avoid the hassle of the long checkout lines.

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently? Like to try a risk-free trial? Please don’t hesitate to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. Our team is ready and available to assist you!

We look forward to your comments.