Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Are you looking for a new television for the Super Bowl?

Friday, January 17th, 2020

 

 

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

Well it’s almost time for the Super Bowl and that means that a lot of people are starting to shop around for a new television to watch the big game. Back in the day, everyone was looking to get an HD television with 1080p resolution, but now we have 4k and 8k televisions. The higher resolutions provide more pixels on the screen creating a higher quality image. A 1080p television has 1,920 by 1080 pixels, a 4k television has 3,840 by 2,160 pixels and an 8k television has 7,680 by 4,320 pixels. So a 4k television will have 4 times the amount of pixels as a 1080p and an 8k television will have 16 times more pixels than a 1080p. Now that 8k televisions are available you may be asking yourself, do I need an 8k television, I just upgraded all my televisions to 4k not that long ago. The answer to that question is probably not. The 8k televisions are more expensive and there currently is almost no 8k media content available. So if you have a 1080p television the wise move for right now is to go with a 4k television.

It took video companies a few years to get 4k video standardized for streaming and physical media. So you can assume that 8k will not be available for a few years from now. If you are a cord cutter, then you may know that the over the air channels that you are receiving via an antenna are currently broadcasted in primarily high definition which is either 720p or 1080i. The over the air channels do not even support the 4k format currently and it may be a while for this to occur because most of the equipment is not capable of distributing the signals.

If you are looking to purchase a new television for the big game I would suggest looking into a 4k. If you are looking to purchase new television and would like help researching available options, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one 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.

 

 

 

Busting Myths About Milk

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

 

 

Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Assistant at SafeSourcing.

At one time, buying milk was simple. Your local dairy used to deliver it right to your doorstep.

Today, however, we have nonfat, low-fat or whole milk. There are also soy milk, almond milk, hemp, or oat milk. Do you want cow milk or goat milk? With or without lactose? Raw or pasteurized? Plain or flavored? There is controversy as to which drinks can even be called milk.

 Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., a Stanford Nutritionist Scientist, is working hard to clear up some of these myths.   Most of us grew up believing milk was good for us. It built strong bones! It was considered a source of calcium, a factor for good bone health. However, there are countries such as Japan and India where the country is predominately lactose intolerant and milk consumption is low and so is the rate of hip fractures. Many of these cultures also do more weight-bearing activities than Americans. Gardner advises that people are better off on relying on physical activity to build strong bones than consuming milk to strengthen bones. Gardner further advised milk can improve bone density, but whether it prevents bone fractures remains debatable.

Milk can be a healthier alternative to soda. The popular vanilla and chocolate plant-based milks are often laden with sugar. It is important to check the nutrition labeling. Gardner stated, “The nutrition label also allows you to compare the amount of fats, protein, carbs and vitamins in each type of milk. For example, the plant-based milks generally don’t have saturated fat like cow’s milk so they don’t raise LDL-cholesterol as much as dairy milk, but they do have about the same amount as calcium,’ he said. And soy milk has the same amount of protein as dairy milk, but almond milk has much less protein.”1

Another milk misconception is that 2 percent milk means 2 percent of calories are from fat, but it’s 2 percent of the weight (which is mainly water) and 35 percent of the calories. Whole milk has nearly 50 percent of calories from fat, and 1 percent milk has about 20 percent. The old belief was whole milk made you fat and skim milk helped you lose weight was refuted by Harvard in a study that followed over 100,000 nurses over 30 years including their dietary changes. The study revealed switching from whole milk and skim milk did not make any weight change.

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.

Citations:

1 Jennifer Huber, Stanford Medicine Scooe, 8/14/2918

 

Tis the Season

Friday, January 10th, 2020

 

 

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

It is still that time of year again…‘tis the season for retail wars! The holiday time heightens the battle of brick-and-mortar stores vs online retail. Toys R Us is even making a comeback after closing its doors a couple of years ago. They have recently opened two permanent store locations, one in Houston and another in New Jersey, with plans to open 10 more store in 2020, complete with sensors in the ceilings that will monitor traffic patterns and shopper cadence.

I still enjoy taking a leisure trip to the mall during the holiday season, just to enjoy the decorations and do some window shopping. I may even purchase a few items if I find a good bargain or two. My primary shopping is done online and I’ve also taken advantage of purchasing online for in-store pick-up.

Some customers prefer brick-and-mortar shopping for the ability to physically interact with an item before buying, and for the immediate gratification of being able to take the purchases with you instead of waiting for them to be shipped. There are others who prefer online shopping because of the ability to compare pricing and find the best possible deals, as well as the added convenience of not having to drive, park, or stand in lines at the checkout counter.

The best of both worlds is the option to purchase online pick-up at the local store. This allows for price comparison and you are assured that the item is in stock before you drive to the retail location.

There are still deals to be had and sales to take advantage of. There is room for everyone and there are so many options available for shoppers to take advantage of whichever experience they prefer. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and happy shopping!

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

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

Milk Industry

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

 

 

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

The US milk industry has been struggling and two large milk companies have recently filed for bankruptcy. Borden Dairy Company recently filed bankruptcy and Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy in November 2019. Both companies have suffered losses and lower milk consumption from as far back as 2015 is believed to be the cause.

Many believe the decline in milk consumption comes from a better understanding of nutrition and the amount of other drinks available today that provide nutrients. Milk was once believed to be the healthiest drink and people were encouraged to drink several glasses every day. Now, people can get the same calcium and vitamin D from juices and many other drinks, like juice, protein shakes, and milk alternatives. In addition, many people turned away from milk due to the added growth hormones given to cows to increase their milk production. While the hormones are not used much anymore, it still led to many people becoming vegetarian or vegan, furthering the decline in milk consumption.

With these two recent filings from Borden and Dean, we can expect the cost of milk to rise as supplies go down. While other dairy products are still doing well, like yogurt and cheese, we may even see those prices rise, too. The dairy industry as a whole, though, will likely struggle unless milk consumption rises.

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.

References:

  1. http://safesourcing.com/ContactUs/tabid/60/language/en-US/Default.aspx
  2. https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/06/business/borden-dairy-bankruptcy/index.html
  3. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/05/16/528460207/why-are-americans-drinking-less-cows-milk-its-appeal-has-curdled

 

 

2019 SafeSourcing Top 10 List

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

 

 

Todays post is from Dave Wenig, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing Inc.

It’s the end of the year and that means many of your favorite entertainment and news sources are publishing their top 10 lists for the year. In that same spirit, I’ve pulled together a list of my Top 10 SafeSourcing moments in 2019. Let’s get right into the top 10.

10. SafeSourceIt™ Event View now features a graph view. Using this view, SafeSourcing customers have a powerful way to monitor their RFQ Events in real time at a high level that delivers valuable insights.

9. Bottled Water RFQ Events. SafeSourcing customers hosted many RFQ Events for bottled water savings between 16% and 23%. This represents an increase in category savings versus 2018.

8. Waste Removal continues its streak. Waste Removal has historically been a wildly successful category for SafeSourcing customer and that held true in 2019 with the average savings holding steady at about 35%.

7. Reruns won big. SafeSourcing customers that held rerun RFQs at the end of their contract terms beat expectations significantly. Typical expectations for rerun RFQs is about 50% of the savings from the initial RFQ Event.

6. Snow Removal and Landscaping. 2019 was a big year for customers hosting Snow Removal and Landscaping RFQ Events. Often overlooked as a competitive category, SafeSourcing’s customers saw between 16% and 42% savings. Wow.

5. Mobile Phones and Broadband were big. We noticed a huge increase in customers eager to explore their options for mobile service plans and broadband. Good for them, because each of them was very successful.

4. Flyer Distribution (Retailers). Nearly all of our larger retail customers throughout North America sourced their flyer distribution and uncovered savings. In some markets, customers often consider this impossible to source competitively and see it as a monopoly. We disagree and so do our customers who benefited from our assistance.

3. Incumbent margins. 2019 was a year full of focus on incumbent margins. We noticed a fantastic trend where incumbent vendors were awarded business after RFQs at a higher rate than is expected. This is a win for the incumbent who gets to keep their business at rates more in line with the market, and a win for the customer who gets the best pricing available and does not have to go through the process of changing vendors.

2. SafeSourcing in the Top 10. SafeSourcing was recognized as one of the world’s top auction application companies by CIO magazine. Link here.

1. Our customers and partners. We’re truly lucky to have some of the best customers and partners that any business could ask for. 2019 has been a fantastic year of working closely together with all of you. We’ve enjoyed the time spend and our visits and it has been our pleasure to work with you. If you’ve worked with us on a category named on this list, I’m sure you would agree on its inclusion. I look forward to working with all of our current customers and partners and can’t wait to make new connections in 2020. Thank you for an excellent 2019 and see you in 2020.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my picks for the Top 10 list. I’d be interested to hear what I missed and whether you agree with my ranking.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

 

 

What are some of the features of the iPhone 11 Pro Max?

Friday, December 6th, 2019

 

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

I recently upgraded from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 11 Pro Max. I didn’t really have any reason in my mind to upgrade and figured the iPhone 7 was fine for what I used it for. My pictures seemed to be high quality and I am able to still upgrade to the newest iOS. I usually switch out when there is a major redesign of the phone or when the phone can no longer support the newest iOS. I switched to a different carrier because I was having connection issues in our area and they were having such a great upgrade deal that I made the switch to the iPhone 11 with the new carrier.

The first thing I noticed was the battery life. With the iPhone 7, I had to charge my phone half way through the day. With the new phone I am still at about 60 percent battery life when I put it on the charger at night. This was something that impressed me right off the bat. The only downside that I am seeing right now is the fact that they removed the home button. I am so used to using the button to navigate and switch between apps that without it I find myself frustrated with it being gone. I know this will pass once my muscle memory gets retrained. As for the new phone, I am impressed with the battery life and the new features of the camera which I intend on utilizing right away. If you are thinking of making the switch, below are some other features on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

  • 6.5” Super Retina XDR Display
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Water Resistant up to 4 Meters up to 30 Minutes
  • Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto Cameras
  • 4K Video Recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • Face ID
  • Battery Lasts up to 5 Hours Longer than iPhone Xs Max
  • 64GB, 256GB and 512GB Available Storage Capacities

If you are looking to purchase a new phone and would like help researching available options, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Internet

Thursday, December 5th, 2019

 

 

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

Recently SpaceX launched 60 satellites into space as part of their efforts toward space internet. This internet is not just internet for astronauts, but part of a larger effort to create a new way of providing internet access to people all over the globe.

Already, SpaceX has launched over a hundred satellites into space and plans to continue launching until they reach more than 10,000. This is believed to be able to provide low cost global connection. This project is not new, however, but rather began in 2015. It is expected to be completed and Starlink internet, the name they have chosen for this broadband, may be operation by mid-2020.

While space internet may be the future of internet and the answer to how to connect people across the entire globe, there have been some concerns. One concern is about the amount of space junk launching so many satellites may cause. This can come from broken satellites or pieces of them coming loose and may cause further damage to other satellites. This can cause a domino effect by creating even more broken pieces and parts that can bump into and damage other satellites and eventually lead to excessive debris in the orbit or even falling debris into our atmosphere. In addition to this, scientists believe that this many satellites may obstruct the earth’s view of planets, stars, solar systems, and galaxies that are often studied.

While the plans for space internet are moving forward, debates continue whether the benefits outweigh the good. The long term plan for SpaceX is a trip to Mars, and these satellites will help those plans by creating a more direct and open line of communication to Earth. However, until the space internet becomes mainstream, we must still rely on the internet services available to us now. SafeSourcing can help your organization find providers that can fulfill your internet needs while saving money.

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.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlink_(satellite_constellation)

Now That’s Cheesy!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

 

 

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

What’s the difference between Natural and Processed cheese? Processed cheese consists of emulsifiers and food coloring and other substitutes that may prove to be harmful for your body. Natural cheese, on the other hand, is the purest form of processed milk and may not be harmful for the body as it does not contain any chemical or preservatives to keep it fresh. Processed cheese has a longer shelf than natural cheese, majorly because the latter has a large amount of salt and preservatives to keep it fresh. It is recommended that both processed and natural cheese is good only if eaten within limits. Processed cheese is generally consumed in fast foods; hence it is imperative to take care of the amount of fast foods you eat.

What is Processed Cheese?

Processed cheese is basically made from natural cheese; however, it varies in degree and sharpness of flavor. It is a product made from cheese, emulsifiers (two insoluble liquids), sodium citrate, calcium phosphate, sorbic acid (preservative), enzymes, cheese culture, vitamin D3, milk fat, extra salt, saturated vegetable oils, whey and artificial food colorings. Generally, to make processed cheese, a portion of natural cheese is melted, emulsified and held together with preservatives, artificial ingredients and double the amount of salt used than that of natural cheese. It is then poured and reformed into various other forms of cheese products.

Here are some of the processed cheeses that you may or may not have heard of before:

  • Brie cheese
  • Camembert
  • Brick cheese
  • Muenster cheese
  • Stilton cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Swiss cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Gorgonzola cheese

Natural cheese is made of products using only simple and natural ingredients including fresh high quality milk, salt, enzymes and natural colors. The major differences between processed and natural cheese are that natural cheeses have the whey (watery part of the milk) pressed out of them, while processed cheese does not; and processed cheese has a longer shelf life as compared to natural cheese.

Here are some natural cheeses:

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • Muenster

Knowing about your products and who to get them from can help you make educated decisions. At SafeSourcing, we have a growing database of Natural & Processed Cheese manufacturers and distributors. We work directly with these vendors to help our clients save on these products. Contact SafeSourcing and let us help you save on your cheese costs today!

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

 

Citation:

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/processed-cheese-versus-natural-cheese-your-guide-to-cheese-1680557

 

Good Customer Service is a Must!

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

 

 

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

I recently read an article about a gentleman that found a ten-year old claim check for a shoe repair. He went to the store and presented the ticket. He explained he just came across it and had no expectation that the shoes were still there. The store clerk went in the back and said he found the shoes. The gentleman asked how much did he owe him. He was told they weren’t ready, but he could have them in a week.

When asked about service, most people will write about a poor experience. On rare occasions, people will write about amazing service. Harvey McKay gives an example in the envelope manufacturing businesses which he’s been part of for 50-plus years. “We win or lose customers by pennies per thousand. When most of our customers are purchasing between tens of millions to, in several instances, over 500 million envelopes annually, the pennies do add up to thousands of dollars of cost difference.”1 When the cost of product and pricing is so close, it does come down to quality of service. Keeping personnel motivated to consistently provide high-quality service is key for any company. Some basic considerations are:

  1. Hire the right people. It is important to recognize the skills and attitude you want.Ask yourself would you want that person working for your competitor. If the answer is no, you know your answer.
  2. Keep score. Measure performance and let employees know what they are being measured on and how it is relevant to them.
  3. Recognize employees. Make sure to reward desired outcome.
  4. Practice what you preach. If you desire a motivated customer-service rep, you need to be motivated first.

Mackay’s Moral: There is no such thing as too good where customer service is involved.

SafeSourcing strives to give excellent customer service. 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.

References…………………………..

Harvey Mackey, The Arizona Republic, 11/4/2019

 

 

 

 

Want real cost controls? Start getting strategic about procurement.

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

 

 

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

Most will agree that reducing and controlling costs within an organization is important. Certainly, all of SafeSourcing’s customers leverage our services to generate savings and they all do that fairly well. However, just like in many things, the results will vary.

Success in cost control is a spectrum. On the one side, results are good, but may be limited. On the opposite end, the results are spectacular and widespread. As would be expected, SafeSourcing has customers across the entire spectrum. We’re always coaching and pushing our customers to move toward the spectacular savings end of the spectrum.

So, if we identify the spectrum as ranging from “good” to “spectacular,” then what is it that determined where on that scale a customer will fit? One answer is how their organization has approached sourcing with eProcurement. Customers that find good results, meaning they will source some spend and find some savings are typically utilizing eProcurement as a tactical tool. They select an individual category and focus on that alone to find savings. Any use of eProcurement is better than none and their results will be good for that category. This customer will then start to consider what they would like to source next. Again, this approach will deliver good results. We’re always going to try to push this type of customer to do even better and achieve more.

Customers that get closer to spectacular results will invariably have a very strategic approach to sourcing and their approach to eProcurement. As a strategic sourcing company, SafeSourcing is very deeply engaged with these customers to help make sure their results are meeting their objectives. How strategically an organization manages their sourcing will directly correlate to how close to spectacular their results will be. SafeSourcing has a full set of procure to pay solutions and our customers who achieve spectacular results don’t just run RFPs and RFQs. These customers leverage our SafeSpendAnalysis™ to build a roadmap, they utilize our SafeSourceIt™ suite of eRFQx tools to negotiate pricing, they continue that control with our SafeContract™, SafeCatalog™, and SafePO™ tools and more. Customers on this end of the spectrum see results that truly have an impact on the bottom line. The level of cost control available to customers that take this strategic approach, or even part of it, will always be greater than what customers will get with a tactical approach.

Again, with a spectrum ranging from good to spectacular, the point is that participating in eProcurement either with a tactical approach or a strategic approach is better than not using eProcurement. The question an organization needs to consider is; do they want to have good results, or do they want spectacular results? We can’t answer that, but we’ll always try to push them to do more and better.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing