Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

This post is from a year ago! I know that your costs are going UP! And they still are!

Friday, September 24th, 2021

 

Today’s post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Its amazing to me that with all the increases in spending resulting and continuing  from COVID-19 Pandemic, some of which would have been classified as tail spend that companies continue to not use tools available to them that will help to keep these and other costs down. Please contact me personally if you’d like to discuss.

At SafeSourcing, we help buyers save considerably on costs by providing tools that enhance the ability to do business in a better, safer, smarter, more streamlined and cost-effective way. Our flexible service offerings and suite of e-procurement tools deliver savings that can be referenced that are greater than 10 times the cost of our services and often much higher. Our annualized savings across all customers and all categories over the last 24 months are greater than 24%. You can not do better on your own!

We can help Improve your profitability and increase your efficiency. Both areas that  should and can help during these stressful times.

Here’s what one of our customers had to say. “We would not be where we are with our Indirect Spend if it were not for SafeSourcing.” SR. VP FINANCE OF $20B DISTRIBUTION COMPANY.

If you’d like to discuss our risk free trial, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services professional.

Healthcare Becoming More Predictive  

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

 

Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Vice President of Administrative at SafeSourcing.

As tech and data sharing become more prevalent, healthcare will likely be more predictive, and telehealth will evolve, giving rise to new modalities of care.

The coronavirus pandemic set a cascade of changes in healthcare, and no sector was impacted more than digital health. Patients began receiving care outside of the hospital or doctor’s office into a necessity, instead of a luxury.  That acceleration has continued into 2021.  The global healthcare industry revenues are expected to exceed $2.6 trillion by 2025, up from $2 trillion last year, with the majority of that growth propelled by artificial intelligence and telehealth, according to consultancy Frost

Artificial intelligence is a key facet of this change. Proponents of the technology believe AI has the potential to transform healthcare functions, from clinical trials and drug discovery, to back-end administrative processes, to complex illness diagnosis.

Investment in AI has exploded. With the advent of the cloud, which allows organizations to ingest and analyze large amounts of data, AI could help drive major insights in care while saving the industry a lot of money. According to a 2019 Optum survey, senior health executives plan to spend $40 million over the few years on AI-related projects, compared to an estimated $32.7 million in 2018.

In 2021, industry could see further oversight of AI for healthcare use cases, especially those in the exam room, to try to address these questions of data bias.  “If an AI makes a mistake, who’s liable for that?,” said Karen Howard, the director of science, technology assessment and analytics for the Government Accountability Office, at a late January webinar on AI policymaking.

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……………………………….

Rebecca Pifer, HealthCareDive, 1/29/2021

We Wear the Masks

Monday, September 20th, 2021

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

We have gotten used to regular mask wearing while in an enclosed space with others, and it appears that we will be wearing them for a while longer than expected. I believe we have all heard numerous conflicting facts regarding mask wearing and their various levels of protection.

Most of us have been used to wearing a cloth mask, which is intended to trap respiratory droplets that are released when we talk, cough or sneeze, and provides a barrier to protect us from inhaling droplets released by others.  The most effective cloths masks are made of multiple layers of tightly woven fabric like cotton. A mask with layers will stop more droplets from getting through your mask or escaping from it.

The more commonly available surgical face masks are generally graded through ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), but not all masks are graded. You need to make sure that you are purchasing a mask that is graded by the ASTM and it is from a reputable manufacturer. It will have the ASTM level printed on the box and are rated numerically.

  • Level One: Low barrier protection. Only for general use, not used for aerosols, spray or fluids.
  • Level Two: Moderate barrier protection. Use for low to moderate levels of aerosols, spray and/or fluids.
  • Level Three: Maximum barrier protection. Use for high risk of fluid, spray and/or fluids.

Masks are tested to five key performance criteria, bacterial filtration, particulate filtration, fluid resistance, breathability, and flammability. The more resistance it provides, the higher the grade. Surgical masks are loose fitting and do not provide a reliable level of protection from inhaling smaller airborne particles and is not considered respiratory protection because leakage can occur around the edges of the mask.

A respirator mask is designed to reduce the risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles, gases, or vapors. These are graded by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The most commonly used respirator is the surgical N95, which has been tested to filter out at least 95% of airborne particles, and must be fit-tested for each individual to ensure proper protection.

Although the availability of surgical and respirator masks have improved, there is still a limited supply.  Let SafeSourcing help you source the right masks from a reputable manufacturer.  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.

We look forward to your comments.

 

Empathy in Your Business

Monday, September 13th, 2021

 

 

Today’s post is from our archives at  SafeSourcing Inc.

This is the seventh blog within the author’s series of Emotional Intelligence in Business explaining empathy and how it will affect and help your business. Despite a bevy of research and best-selling books on the topic, many managers still downplay emotional intelligence as a “touchy-feely” soft skill1. The importance of characteristics like empathy and self-awareness is understood, sure, but intelligence and technical capability are seen as the real drivers of professional success1. Evidence suggests quite the opposite: that high emotional intelligence (EI) is a stronger predictor of a success1. In fact, high EI bolsters the hard skills, helping us think more creatively about how best to leverage our technical chops1.

“Empathetic people are superb at recognizing and meeting the needs of clients, customers, or subordinates. They seem approachable, wanting to hear what people have to say. They listen carefully, picking up on what people are truly concerned about, and respond on the mark,” (Goleman, 2015, pp 3).2

4). Empathy. The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. A skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.

a.) Hallmarks include expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity, and service to clients and customers. (In an educational context, empathy is often thought to include, or lead to, sympathy, which implies concern, or care or a wish to soften negative emotions or experiences in others.)3 

Three Kinds of Empathy: Cognitive, Emotional, and Compassionate:

The first is “cognitive empathy,” simply knowing how the other person feels and what they might be thinking. Sometimes called perspective-taking, this kind of empathy can help in, say, a negotiation or in motivating people. A study at the University of Birmingham found, for example, that managers who are good at perspective-taking were able to move workers to give their best efforts.4

The second is “emotional empathy,” – when you feel physically along with the other person, as though their emotions were contagious. This emotional contagion, social neuroscience tells us, depends in large part on the mirror neuron system. Emotional empathy makes someone well-attuned to another person’s inner emotional world, a plus in any of a wide range of callings, from sales to nursing.4

The third is “compassionate empathy,” also known as “empathic concern”, with this kind of empathy we not only understand a person’s predicament and feel with them, but are spontaneously moved to help, if needed4. It is not out of place at work: you see it when a leader lets people know that he will support them, that she can be trusted, that they are free to take risks rather than maintain a too-safe defensive posture5.

Please stay tuned for the next and final blog in Emotional Intelligence on how social skills can help you and your business.

We enjoy bringing this blog to you and hope you find value in it. 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.

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References:

  1. http://www.dce.harvard.edu/professional/blog/emotional-intelligence-no-soft-skill
  2. http://cultureofempathy.com/references/Experts/Daniel-Goleman.htm
  3. https://www.sonoma.edu/users/s/swijtink/teaching/philosophy_101/paper1/goleman.htm
  4. http://www.danielgoleman.info/three-kinds-of-empathy-cognitive-emotional-compassionate/
  5. http://www.danielgoleman.info/empathy-101/

It Is Time for Cost Avoidance

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

 

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

At SafeSourcing, we are all about savings. If you are a reader of this blog, you will know we talk about savings quite a bit. That is for good reason. Creating savings through online RFQs have a huge impact on profitability and the savings is often attained very quickly.

A close relative of savings that gets less attention is cost avoidance. Ultimately, both cost reduction (savings) and cost avoidance are valuable, but cost reduction gets more attention. That might not be fair these days with costs fluctuating rapidly and many commodities on the rise.

For example, I recently spoke with a customer who confessed that we were able to create value far beyond the savings we initially portrayed in our RFQ. This customer had the benefit of locking their pricing in because of the RFQ. In the terms and conditions for their RFQ event, we had included a one-year price lock term that each participating vendor had to agree to. In today’s market, the inclusion of that term has caused this customer to get millions more in value from the RFQ because of this cost avoidance.

At the end of the day, by the time their agreement is up for renewal next year, the cost avoidance value created by the price lock will have far exceeded the initial savings from traditional value derived in savings from the RFQ.

While I am not saying cost, avoidance is better than cost reductions, I am saying that there is a strategic way to make sure that you are able to get both, but it is difficult to do this without the use of tools like online RFQs that put the necessary pressure on vendors to compete and agree to more favorable terms.

Do not keep accepting cost increases and wishing you could create cost reductions. Contact SafeSourcing with your procurement needs and we can help.

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.

 

 

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

 

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

Do you know how many products are affected by the price of corn?

Here are an easy bakers dozen of the more than hundreds for you to ponder. How do they affect your purchasing? Many of you probably have no idea! The good news is that SafeSourcing can help.

1. Alternative medicine
2. Chemicals
3. Bio-fuel
4. Food
5. Feed
6. Sweeteners
7. Starch
8. Beverage Alcohol
9. Plastics
10. Fabrics
11. Adhesives
12. Fish Bait
13. Herbal Supplements

If you’d like to understand how SafeSourcing takes into account this type of commodity information when sourcing your products, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Believe it or not! The Holidays Are Coming​

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021

 

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

There is no denying that there is a period of time that lasts from mid-October through sometime around the Super Bowl. This is certainly not a new phenomenon. Over the years, I have taken to considering this period of time as a season all of its own. In this way, the “holiday season” falls outside of the normal bounds of seasons. While most seasons can be characterized by the weather, the holiday season is best characterized by its negative impact on productivity. There are clear reminders that the season is upon us. There are more candies in the aisles. There are costumes everywhere, and there is a pumpkin spice version of nearly anything readily available. If you intend to deliver positive results during this season, read on for some words of warning and advice.

What is the impact of the holiday season on productivity and how can we take steps to mitigate that impact? In the US, as the holiday season reaches its peak around Thanksgiving, we’ll start to feel the full weight of the season. One of the positive aspects of this time of year is that many people make the time to visit with their families and loved ones. This is great, but often requires travel time spent away from one’s responsibilities, including procurement. While you are likely well aware of your own travel plans and how to make sure that they don’t have a negative effect on your responsibilities at work, it’s more difficult to account for the travel plans of your colleagues and vendors. This is an unknown and will leave you open to unforeseen delays if left unchecked. All of this very often means that while we have the best intentions to remain productive and accomplish the projects that we have planned, we often fall short of achieving the results we desired in the holiday season.

So, how do we avoid this failure? Just like any other challenge, we have taken a huge step toward a solution by identifying that we are facing a challenge in the first place. In this case, open communication and an increased focus on teamwork will help us prepare for and reduce the effect of the holiday season on our goals. If you are in a position where you will require assistance or cooperation from others during this time, it is best to be upfront about your requirements. When working internally, have frank conversations with your colleagues about your own planned out of office time. If your colleagues aren’t offering their own such plans in response, consider how best to ask them to draw out any potential obstacles that you will need to overcome. When working with vendor partners, be explicit about project timelines and milestones. Beginning this process early will achieve the best results by setting expectations and providing ample time for the vendor to react appropriately.

At SafeSourcing, Inc., we remain incredibly focused on our customers’ needs during this time of year. Having seen the pitfalls that come with the season, we’re here as a guide to ensure that you achieve your procurement goals.

Some Thoughts on Disaster Recovery

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

 

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

Ida reminds us that  hurricane season is still here,  meteorologists indicate there  three more potential storms are lined up right behind her.  There are areas that are still in recovery from the last  several seasons.

We can’t fight the forces of nature, but we can be prepared as we enter the hurricane season.  Safety is the initial concern during a weather disaster, but the residual damages can be far reaching. Whether the damages are resulting from hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, or blizzards, it could greatly affect business operations.   An event that disrupts your business could actually put you out of business if you don’t have a plan in place. Your organization may not be directly affected by such an event, but your key suppliers and vendors could be.

A disaster recovery plan is essential to keeping your organization running in the case of a natural disaster. It is a good idea to utilize the National Weather Service’s national preparedness calendar as a guide for year-round reminders to identify potential disasters and review your organization’s disaster recovery plan.

Some questions that an organization should keep in mind are:

  • How will your data be affected?
  • Do you have remote systems in place?
  • Do you have backup vendors?
  • Is there a secure alternate operations site?

Disaster recovery involves a set of policies, tools and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster.  It’s not enough to have the procedures in place; you need to know what’s in the plans to be able to execute them when the time comes.  Have a plan and be ready for action, but most of all be safe!

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.

 

References ————————————————————————————–

  1. http://fortune.com/2018/05/14/2018-hurricane-season-forecast-possible-tropical-storm-in-gulf/
  2. https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2018-04-19-2018-hurricane-season-forecast-the-weather-company-ibm-april
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disaster_recovery

 

Are your prices going up to much from your Wholesaler?

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

 

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

What is a fair price increase? What type of margin should your vendor make? These are tough but fair questions. So, maybe in some cases it’s time to consider other than single source opportunities. Maybe in other cases its time to consider multiple suppliers. Do you have a fair pricing policy? Does your Supplier have one? Competing for your business is a good thing, its how the world works.

If your interested in getting your cost back in line with reality, contact SafeSourcing because we have done this many times for many companies.

Email Etiquette in the Workplace

Tuesday, August 24th, 2021

 

Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Vice President of Administrative at SafeSourcing.

Employees spend approximately one-quarter of their day reading or writing emails. The following are some basic guidelines on email etiquette.

  1. Include a clear, direct subject line.
  2. Use a professional email address.
  3. Think twice before hitting ‘reply all.’
  4. Include a signature block.
  5. Use professional salutations.
  6. Use exclamation marks sparingly.
  7. Be cautious with humor.
  8. Know that people from different cultures speak and write differently.
  9. Reply to your emails — even if the email wasn’t intended for you.
  1. Proofread every message (do not rely on spell check).
  2. Add email address last. Keep your fonts classic. Nothing is confidential — so write accordingly.
  3. Emojis do not belong in your emails.
  4. Keep tabs on your tone – you could be misinterpreted.
  5. Double-check that you’ve selected the correct recipient(s).

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