Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

To-do List Management at the busiest time of year

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

 

Today’s post is a good reminder from our  SafeSourcing Archives.

Lets  discuss some simple methods of managing your to-do lists.

We are all overwhelmed with work especially during these times. Organizing our to-do lists is a job amongst itself in addition to performing our job duties.

The purpose of a to-do list is to organize your tasks and their deadlines for completion. If you keep adding to them with no method, they can become a roadblock to your efficiency as opposed to simplifying your work.

If you have multiple to-do lists, combine them into one all-encompassing list, and then put the tasks in some kind of logical order for job or project. You’ll find just completing this simple procedure will make you feel less stressed out about what needs to be done because you’ll know what that is.

Another critical step is the prioritization of the tasks on the list. You will need to update and have the list in a fluid form so that the priorities can be set. Prioritize based on target dates, the amount of work anticipated to complete each task, the complexity of each task, and the importance of the task towards the deadline.

Now you’ll need to set completion target dates. When a new task arises you can decide whether it is a critical task. You can have soft, flexible target dates for noncritical tasks.

You need to keep your list updated and relevant. The to-do list should be visited and updated numerous times. If your to-do list is accurate, you track your progress, and refer to it multiple times throughout the planning and monitoring of your project, you will find more success.

Let SafeSourcing better manage your sourcing projects. We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week 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.

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

Thanksgiving and Black Friday is really a story of a supply chain found and developed!

Friday, November 27th, 2020

 

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

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend from SafeSourcing

One hundred and two pilgrims and crew arrived in Massachusetts after a 3,000 mile trip from England on the Mayflower. It is safe to say that as a result of that distance there was no existing supply chain to leverage, so one had to be developed and quickly. This began with basic hunting and gathering and later included trading with the areas indigenous peoples known as the Wampanoag’s for corn, seed and foraging and planting techniques.

The Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today really stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621. Since the pilgrims had only arrived on November 21st of 1620 they had really not been there long enough to develop a fully reliable and renewable supply source. They had however established collaborative relationships with the local Wampanoag people who became regular trading partners and who helped them celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.

The most detailed description of the “First Thanksgiving” comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:”Our harvest  being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.

The fowl referred to above certainly could have included a wide range of fowl that was plentiful in the area such as wild turkey, pheasant, goose, duck, and partridge and unfortunately by today’s standards even eagles.

The pilgrims probably didn’t have pies or much of anything sweet at the harvest feast because they did not yet have ovens. They had brought some sugar with them on the Mayflower but by the time of the first Thanksgiving, the supply had probably run out.

Their meals also included many different types of meats. Vegetable dishes, one of the staples of today’s Thanksgiving, didn’t really play a large part in the feast. Other items that may have been on the menu certainly included sea food such as clams and lobster, Indian corn, wild fruits and nuts, meats such as venison and seal and certain dry herbs and spices.

The Thanksgiving meal that has today become a national holiday is a symbol of supply chain cooperation and interaction between English colonists and Native Americans.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving.

If pricing looks too low, it is for a reason.

Monday, November 23rd, 2020

 

Today’s post is is from our  SafeSourcing Archives.

We’ve all heard this story of a supplier submitting pricing for select items in a commoditized category so far below other quotes that the strategy the team had used to find suppliers was thrown out the window. The supplier was awarded the contract but it soon became apparent that this particular supplier wasn’t at all the right supplier for the job.

As the contract came to fulfillment and the first orders were being received, major inconsistencies were being uncovered. The team discovered that everything was being subcontracted out, even the contract itself. The supplier changed key ingredients of several of the items it had quoted. The supplier had quoted items out of specification tolerance, even altered required pack sizes. It was an unacceptable situation.

The costs of the project skyrocketed which was exactly what was trying to be avoided. My advice is to have policies and procedures in place for price examination. If pricing seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Ask questions.

Let SafeSourcing better manage your sourcing projects. We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week 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.

We look forward to your comments.

 

 

Wi-Fi6

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

 

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

With Wi-Fi 6 becoming more widely available, you may be thinking of purchasing new Wi-Fi hardware.  When purchasing the new hardware you may find that there is another option besides the traditional router that you are probably using now.  This fairly new Wi-Fi technology uses a mesh network.  A mesh network contains a main router that you connect directly to your modem and then one or more satellite modules or nodes that you place throughout the structure for full Wi-Fi coverage.  After connecting the main router to the modem and setting it up, you place the other mesh devices strategically throughout your structure so that all areas of the structure are covered.  The mesh systems come with one or more of the satellite devices but you may need to purchase additional ones depending on the size of the structure that needs to be covered.  Some of the benefits of using the multiple mesh devices is that it can allow for faster speeds, better reliability and greater Wi-Fi coverage because all of your Wi-Fi devices are not connecting through the same router.  Below are some other benefits of purchasing a mesh Wi-Fi system.

  • Better Coverage
  • Easy Configuration
  • Customized Size
  • No Single Point Failure
  • Less Connection Failure
  • Smartphone Management

Because of our current environment with the pandemic and work from home, many of you are looking to purchase new Wi-Fi equipment, devices, and services. Do your company a favor and get them at the best price possible. If you or your company 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, can help you,  please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Time to Give Thanks!

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

 

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

The month of November began with an election that had the highest rate (over 67% of eligible population) of voter turnout in a century, in the midst of a pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 200,000 individuals.  On the following week we recognized our veteran men and women who deserve our gratitude for their willingness to serve this country and help protect our rights and our freedoms.

As we look towards the Thanksgiving holiday, we cautiously proceed with altered plans to observe our day of thanks. We may have limited attendance gatherings or curtailed travel, in order to protect our safety and that of our loved ones. Some will have to spend the day alone, or in the presence of strangers. Our veterans have first-hand knowledge of this experience on a regular basis.

In spite of the current situation, we should all still be very grateful to be here. We should be grateful to live in a nation that is resilient and that has continued to thrive in the face of adversity. The sacrifices that have been made by those before us, allows us to be able to get through this very trying time and while still celebrating the small everyday victories.

Manufacturing companies have stepped up and produced life-saving equipment and materials that were necessary to keep us going. Medical professionals have been working around the clock to save lives. Stores have been open and stocked with the essentials we need. Transportation and logistics companies have been delivering packages to our doorsteps. Educators have worked out plans to teach students in an alternate environment. We are grateful for the scientists who have developed vaccines in record time. Everyone has to make a sacrifice and do their part to get through this, and our military works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep us safe at home and abroad.

We will emerge from this pandemic stronger than we were before. The glass is half full so take a drink, and the next time you exercise the freedom of speech, to vote, to move freely about the country, to protect your family, and gather in your house of worship, you should thank a veteran.

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 RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Watching the RFQ – Part 3

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

 

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

If you’ve been reading this blog series in which we have been looking at the online Request for Quote (RFQ) as it progresses over time, you may be excited to read that this post is the conclusion of that series. In case you’re just joining us now, we normally focus on measuring RFQ value delivered as savings, but instead, we’re examining when the value is created and considering the vendor behaviors that go into that moment. If you need a primer on what an RFQ is, click here.

In part one and two of this series, we reviewed the first fifteen or so minutes of the RFQ. While the beginning and middle of the RFQ can be both interesting and valuable, the end of the RFQ will ultimately determine the success of the RFQ. This is the final opportunity for each of the vendors to participate and compete fully in the live RFQ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the example above, we’re able to see the final quote activity of each of the vendors. This particular RFQ was scheduled for 20 minutes plus extensions and this did not run as long as the average RFQ. You can see that some of the vendors represented by blue and green were caused to compete significantly to try to offer the most competitive quotes. Ultimately, they failed to do so, but the process was successful from the buyer’s perspective. This RFQ created a 47.57% savings opportunity. The green, blue, and orange vendors all happen to be some of the better vendors in this space and each would have been a great vendor partner.

As usual, this process delivered much more value than traditional procurement practices that don’t include an RFQ would have been able to deliver. Frankly, that statement was true in the first several minutes and it only got better as time went by.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Ahead or Around

Monday, November 16th, 2020

 

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

During times of flux or uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring, sometimes the best route to take is to look ahead and sometimes it is best to just look around. Jobs, schools, businesses all face the same uncertainty and much is out of our hands as to what may happen next. Often, people try to predict what will happen next so they may better prepare for what next means. That can mean stocking up on toilet paper, or buying or selling stocks, or spending more time with family and friends. Regardless how you look to the future or what you predict the big challenges will be, it is still important to stop looking forward every so often and look around.

There will always be holidays of some sort approaching. There will be get-togethers and meals. There will be work done and work that needs to be done. So for now, take a look around. People still comment on the weather. People still think about what to do for dinner. People still want to lose that extra ten pounds. Regardless of everything else going on, people are still the same people. While someone may spend a bit less than in the past, there will still be birthday presents being bought. Christmas lights will still go up. Meals will still be prepared. And while we may not visit others so often, we can still connect through technologies that let us talk and see each other from afar.

This same idea holds true in business as well. While we may not be able to fly across the country regularly, expanding sales or business, we can still connect with most people and conduct business. In fact, looking around at what we can do right now with what we have is more than most people realize. This includes finding new products, interviewing new clients, and checking in with our partners. A company like SafeSourcing can help your business with this. We can help you source technologies that your staff might need, like laptops, cell phones, or software as a service. SafeSourcing can also help connect your business to other business with the supplies you might want or already buy.

For more information on ways we can with your procurement goals or projects, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

Collaborative Buyer Organizations, Share Groups and Consortiums are evolving in order to compete with mega retailers.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

 

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

These business structures have been around for a long time. Many have evolved to use cutting edge e-negotiation and eProcurement tools. Their retailer members are also benefiting from their use of these tools in order to reduce their net landed costs in many different ways.

These types of organization can go by many different names such as wholesaler, collective buyer, consortium, cooperative, share groups and more. They all have one thing in common. They consolidate purchasing volumes for a wide array of groups that may have very similar business structures, but for the savvy consortium can also be wildly different.

In the retail vertical, companies may actually belong to several different buying groups because their primary group does not offer expertise in a certain area.

Consortiums are also evolving and beginning to focus mixed markets where it makes sense. In general consortiums tend to be vertically focused such as a drug industry consortium with the members generally representing the drug industry only. However some consortiums are beginning to market them selves outside of their vertical to retailers or other companies who want to take advantage of learned expertise that the consortium possesses in the categories that are common across more than their own vertical and offer increased volumes. An example might be drug stores sourcing very similar products that health care organizations like hospitals source. Although this may seem like a stretch fro most, it is now very common within retail for non vertical specific players to work together.

Today’s advanced e-negotiation or e-procurement tools make it much easier to accomplish collective buying and aggregating outside of a consortiums initial area of expertise. Large and small retailers alike now have the capability of viewing a much broader universe of suppliers and other companies while also coordinating and participating in collaborative events from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Suppliers now have an opportunity to earn business they could never compete for in the past.

Retailers should ask their collective buyers how they plan to make the use of these types of tools and what they have to offer in terms of introductions to other companies for increased volume.

If you’d like to learn more about our risk free trial or how SafeSourcing may be of service to you, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative.

Where’s the Beef?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

 

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

We have experienced wide sweeping effects of COVID-19 on the health of the population of people as well as on the economy.  The meat production industry has been adversely impacted due to the nature of the work environment which includes the lack of social distancing, inadequate air filtration, and noise levels requiring workers to speak louder and spread more particles.  The outbreaks of COVID-19 in meat packing plants had infected at least 2200 workers at 48 plants as of April of this year, forcing some plants to enact mandatory shut-downs.

JBS meat packing company had invested in a robotics company in 2018, to reduce its labor force in favor of machines that can do it quicker.  A New Zealand company called Scott Technology has unveiled its butcher robots. A production line of a dozen robots which can strip meat from 600 lamb carcasses per hour and you only need one human to oversee the process. Many meatpacking plants use automation machinery, but the New Zealand based robotics company is developing fully automated meat processing bots, which can extract different cuts from lamb, pig, and beef carcasses which many companies believe is more efficient. The goal of these robots is to yield more meat, improve the safety of the process and do it with fewer people, eliminating the costs of human error while reducing injuries, but the costs for maintenance on these robots could slow global implementation down considerably.

Reports indicated that these robots could become main stream within the next 20 years, and the idea that a machine could replace human workers brings up all kinds of hot button political issues.  Will robot butchers take the place of human workers? This is a viable consideration, as we now have the realization of the impact on human lives during a pandemic.  The real dilemma is the profitability of the meat packing business versus the cost of jobs and the health and well-being of workers.

Consumers have seen a spike in meat prices due to the meat packing shut downs, and we depend on the availability of ample supply of meat at a reasonable price. The health crisis that we have experienced over the past few months has widened the gap between productivity and safety.  In the future, these questions must be addressed because we do not want do sacrifice our economy at the expense of a safe and healthy work environment.

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 RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Snow Removal-The time is NOW!

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

 

Today’s repost is from our archives at  SafeSourcing, Inc.

Finding a company to maintain your snow removal for multiple locations can be very time consuming and complicated. Currently I am working with a client to help them find a vendor that can do all of their 80 plus locations. According to S&I Management, there are four types of buyers that comprise the S&I industry, including: residential, mainly single-family housing; retail, primarily small businesses; industrial, typically commercial offices and facilities; and other, including hospitals, universities, airports, sports arenas, etc.

  • Residential makes up 34% of the S&I industry, an estimated $7.6B
  • Retail is just over ¼ (27%) of the market, $6B
  • Industrial represents another ¼ of the market, $5.8B – and given the larger footprint of industrial clients, is typically served by regional or national operators
  • Other, such as hospitals, airports, etc. make up the remaining 17%,$3.3B

Snow and Ice services are growing at a fast pace. It’s expected to grow 3.2% every year until 2021. Now is the time to reevaluate what you are spending on your snow removal services. In the last few years we have saved our clients about $22,000 per RFQ. I know every company would love to have an extra $22,000 in their budget. If you are in the market, there are 110,000 companies in the snow removal industry, 88,000 are sole practitioners. The average operator has been in business 15.4 years and about 1/3 have more than 20 years of experience. Finding you a new vendor to do all of your snow removal services would not be difficult to find and there are companies that would love new business. The saving is there, you just need us to go look for it.

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.

References………………………………………………………

  1. https://www.google.com/search?q=snow+removal+and+landscaping+market+2019&oq=snow+removal+and+landscaping+market+2019&aqs=chrome..69i57.16970j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
  2. https://www.buildings.com/news/industry-news/articleid/21059/title/private-snow-removal-a-16-8-billion-industry