Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Are you aware of CertiPur-US® Certification?

Thursday, June 30th, 2022


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

Flexible polyurethane foam is widely used as a cushioning material in the production of many specialty items that we all use every day. The question is what type of standard are adhered to when they are manufactured and does it support emerging circular economies.

According to the CertiPUR-US® website “the CertiPUR-US® program was developed to provide the comfort and confidence of knowing the flexible polyurethane foam meets standards for content, emissions and durability and are analyzed by independent, accredited laboratories. Today, foam producers from all countries may participate in the program, as long as they meet our rigorous certification guidelines.

CertiPUR-US approved foams are:

  1. Low emissions (VOCs) for indoor air quality
  2. Made without ozone depleters
  3. Made without PBDEs
  4. Made without mercury, lead, and heavy metals
  5. Made without formaldehyde
  6. Made without prohibited phthalates

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can assist in properly helping to ensure your current suppliers or new ones from our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database are using certifications like CertiPur-US®, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.



Organic Certification

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Are the organic foods you are buying certified? Do they need to be?

As many more small farms continue to evolve with specialized offerings that make it to our grocers’ shelves, it is more important than ever that your buyers make sure to check for the proper certifications as they expand their sourced locally initiatives.

An Organic Certification is given by National Organic Program (NOP) which is a USDA accredited agent. Each of these certifying agents is authorized to issue an Organic Certificate to operations that comply with the USDA organic regulations. The NOP is a regulatory program housed within the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. They are responsible for developing national standards for organically produced agricultural products. The standards assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can assist in properly helping to ensure your suppliers are adhering to all organic or safe food standards, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

The recent pandemic and resulting supply chain impact has caused so many new retail format modifications, are you sure that your contractors are following LEED certification standards and principles.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system is the nationally accepted benchmark for design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED is an ecology-oriented building certification program run under the auspices of the U.S. green building Council (USGBC). LEED concentrates its efforts on improving performance across five key areas of environmental and human health: energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, sustainable site development, and water savings.

LEED has special rating systems that apply to all kinds of structures, including schools, retail and healthcare facilities. Rating systems are available for new construction and major renovations as well as existing buildings. The program is designed to inform and guide all kinds of professionals who work with structures to create or convert spaces to environmental sustainability, including architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, private sector executives and government officials.

On its Web site, the USGBC says that LEED defines “a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance Green Buildings” and “provides building owners and operators with the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance.” According to the American Institute of Architects, the 69 LEED points that make up the program’s specific design points and considerations can be reviewed in a two-hour meeting, during which time the design team and the owner can decide what level of LEED compliance is desirable for their building project.

State and local governments around the United States are adopting LEED for public buildings of all kinds, and LEED initiatives at the US Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy and State drive activity at the federal level. In addition, various types of LEED projects are currently underway in over forty other countries, including Canada, Brazil, India, and Mexico.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can assist in properly helping to insure your contractors are adhering to all LEED standards,  please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.



Are you paying the same for less?  

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022


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

With all of the prices rising some companies are deciding to keep the prices the same but reduce the amount of product that goes into the packaging.  If you are not yet aware of this, it is called shrinkflation.  Shrinkflation is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its original sticker price.  This practice is usually used by companies in the food and beverage industries to increase profit margins or maintain them when there are rising input costs.  This practice is not new but it does escalate during times of inflation.  Companies are trying to find ways to deal with the rising costs for their ingredients, labor, packaging and high cost of transportation.  One of the main reasons for this practice is that manufacturers know that customers will notice if a product increases in price but they may not realize that a package may contain less product.  Most consumers do not pay attention to the weight, quantity or number of sheets contained on a roll of toilet paper.  But they would however notice if the price increased from their last time of purchase.  So when you are out shopping next time you may want to pay attention to the products you purchase and maybe search for an alternative one instead.  Below are some products that have been reduced.

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Paper Towel Rolls
  • Tissues
  • Chips
  • Gatorade
  • Ice Cream Cartons
  • Yogurt
  • Family Size Boxes of Cereal
  • Candy Bars
  • Coffee
  • Cat Food
  • Dog Food
  • Trash Bags
  • Toothpaste

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company save money during these challenging times?  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.


Customer Service Expectations

Monday, June 20th, 2022


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

As a consumer, it was understandable that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to adjust our expectations. There were legitimate challenges that companies had to find a way to navigate through before we could even hope to get back to normal.

Now, there have been such drastic changes in the expectations of consumers that it is easy to wonder if we will ever see services return to their previous levels.

One example I have found is call centers. After years of being told by a recording to expect a longer than usual wait due to COVID, the messages are gone and the longer wait times have stayed. It is not uncommon to have to wait hours for a representative if you need live support for some services like for travel. We have recently waited hours online just to talk to someone in a chat window for a specific service provided by a resort because the resort is pushing everyone to register online rather than in person. This was for their benefit but was very costly for us.

Another example is while shopping. Companies continue to move toward a kiosk approach to checkout and ordering, such as for quick service food. I recently went to a large national retailer and decided to also grab some lunch. I tried to pay cash at the register, but the employee was the only one in that area and pointed me to a kiosk to order. The kiosk does not accept cash. I asked if it were possible to pay cash and was told it would be “a while.”

I wonder if or when we will ever get back to pre-pandemic service levels. I believe we will not until the companies find an external force that makes them adjust. The reality is that over the past years, these service providers have adjusted their staffing models to run with less resources and found that consumers continue to pay. Beyond that, consumers are paying more for these reduced services and longer waits. If that trend continues, expect the services to maintain their current levels at best.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.




The Interest Rates Will Increase Until Morale Improves

Friday, June 17th, 2022


Today’s post is by Patrick Quinn is a Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc

Lock in your mortgage rates everyone because the gravy train has officially ended. The Fed has announced the biggest increase in interest rates since 1994 in an all-out effort to reduce inflation. So now, we can all expect to see the usual activity during times of increased interest rates. Fewer auto loans, lower mortgage limits, higher credit card rates, and among the consumer commodities hits come more difficult aspects such as lower hiring rates as spending slows down.

This long-term strategy is sound economic theory, but not one without its struggles. Since business growth will be reduced because of reduced consumer spending, the focus now shifts from revenue growth to spend reduction to weather the storm. Long term contracts at a competitive rate are now far more valuable than jumping from short term contract to short term contract seeking out world-beating prices. Fortunately, the Fed only seems interested in increasing the rates as little as possible to mitigate the subsequent unemployment as it recognizes the worse of two evils. Unfortunately, that does mean incremental rate increases for the foreseeable future. So, lock in your contracts yesterday, everyone, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

To help secure your next contract, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.




Overcoming Short Supply

Thursday, June 16th, 2022


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

With the ever increasing and frustrating situation with supply chain interruptions, many of us are wondering what can be done?

Most likely you have seen some shortage of good or supply lately. If not, you may have at least noticed prices going higher and higher. Prices go higher as demand gets higher, and demand gets higher as availability goes does. But as we are seeing now, sometimes there simply just is not any of what we are looking for. This is when having a strategic sourcing partner, like SafeSourcing, can help.

SafeSourcing can help your organization find alternatives to what you are looking for or even come up with plans to obtain the supplies or services you need. For example, collaborating with other organizations can provide a greater buying opportunity for you since it will increase, often dramatically, the volume of the item to be bought. This in turn provides a selling opportunity for a manufacturer or distributor that may have otherwise not been able.

Finding alternatives is another fantastic way to source the goods or services you need. For example, if you need honey, you may not be able to get imported honey you have in the past, but you may be able to source it locally. This adds another benefit of keeping business and revenues local and supporting the investment of a community.

Another option is to find items that are comparable. While this is trickier than the other methods, it can still greatly benefit an organization. For example, if 12-ounce plastic bottles are proving difficult to source, you may weigh the costs and benefits of looking at either a ten ounce or 16-ounce bottle. Sometimes the price difference covers the additional cost of product in those bottles.

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

Does your company have a Buying Committee?

Thursday, June 9th, 2022


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

SafeSourcing has found that many companies achieve improved results by having additional eyes available to review complex categories before final contract award. Often, SafeSourcing is asked to be a part of these committees as we are generally very deeply involved in the data and meta data. Additionally, many companies only source service type categories annually while SafeSourcing may host these categories dozens of times in a single year and be more aware of nuances that can improve final negotiation.

A buying committee is an organization’s committee that analyzes and selects new products, deals, and offers special promotions. The buying committee has been implemented in many industrial organizations, hospitals, and government. The salesperson must provide information to all the members of the buying committee and should target the real sales efforts.

SafeSourcing is an eprocurement company that operates across multiple industries. As such we have specific experience in almost any commodity, service or capital related spend. To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

How are you keeping costs and expenses down this year?

Friday, June 3rd, 2022


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

The role of all for profit businesses is to make a profit. In a perfect world, you will increase sales, reduce cost of goods, improve gross margin, and reduce expenses. Since we do not have a perfect world ever, you will ask your finance team to make up a bunch of excuses based on a variety of global conidiations such as inflation, recession, war, supply chain issues, goodwill, weather, and anything else that will cause analysist to not devalue your shareholder value after missing your quarterly or annual plan numbers. Tell me I am lying! I am already laughing.

The question I have is what questions have you been asking of your finance and procurement teams during the year? Do you just believe what they are telling you? If so, I might have a bridge that be be resold in Brooklyn if you are interested.

Here is the thing, I agree that we have issues. However, that does not mean that there is not money to be saved and a lot of it. The trick is to understand the markets and commodities well enough to source what you can save money on while also trying to mitigate cost increases where there are factual issues.

There are categories whose prices are down year over year 2021 vs 2022. An example might be mobile phone technology, audio technology and even TV’s. I know all these items are used in retail stores. So, are you taking advantage of these items in your technology budget or just believing that chips are hard to get so technology is not a good category to source? If you are opening new stores or upgrading existing stores, I would suggest you take a serious look. In your cost of goods area there are improvements in some produce subcategories and protein subcategories. Do not just believe your supplier of your procurement team. If your pricing has gone up 8% on commodities, have you just accepted it or have you challenged it and kept increases to a minimum.

At SafeSourcing we stay abreast of all areas of impact in the cost of all categories. We understand global and regional issues as well as where there may be alternatives sources of supply. Here’s a couple of examples.

  • Bottled Water 30.7% below current cost.
  • Print Fulfillment 36.04% below current cost
  • Construction Windows and Doors 13.84% below current cost
  • Refrigeration 22.61% below current cost
  • Many more examples upon request

If you lack specific detailed product and commodity knowledge or only source certain categories less than annually, and would like to understand current market drivers, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.



Category Captain

Thursday, June 2nd, 2022


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Does your company have a Category Captain (Subject Matter Expert) for all of your spend areas?

Within a category, a category captain is the manufacturer‘s representative responsible for analyzing the product movement, assortment, inventory management, promotion, buying, and profitability for a specific geographic area or an entire chain. They will be expected to have the closest and most regular contact with the retailer. In order to do the job effectively, the supplier may be granted access to a greater wealth of data-sharing.

At SafeSourcing we offer SaaS based eprocurement solutions, as part of our SafeSourceIt™ family of products. Each product is backed by white-glove services with battle tested statements of work.

If you lack specific product knowledge or only source  certain categories less than annually, and would like to understand current market drivers,, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.