Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Opportunity for Change

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

 

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

As we approach the end of the third quarter of the calendar year, many of us are reflecting and assessing how we faired this year.  Did we accomplish what we had resolved to do?  Statistically, the top ten (10) New Year’s resolutions made, involve making better choices, whether it is for a healthier lifestyle, spending more time with family, or making better financial decisions.1

The end of the fiscal year is the time when businesses take an accounting of how well the company is performing, financially, and making an effort to finish the year strong.  Planning and forecasting financial goals for the next year also focuses on a plan for making better choices.

This calls for better financial management, cost control and less organizational waste.  Many organizations are beginning to re-evaluate their purchasing processes, and identify new ways to control spend.  We have e-procurement tools that will meet their needs.

Identify Opportunities

Opportunities are usually triggered by a business requirement for a product or service.

  • Equipment
  • Components
  • Raw materials
  • Completely finished products
  • Hazardous waste handlers
  • Transportation carriers
  • Maintenance service providers

Supplier Evaluation

In-depth evaluation is required for major purchases of products and services. It begins with a list of potential suppliers. Existing suppliers with good track records should not be ruled out.

SafeSourcing helps buyers save considerably on costs by providing tools that enhance the ability to do business in a better, smarter, more streamlined and cost effective way. To learn more about SafeSourcing’s innovative products and services that have been developed exclusively by retail professionals for retail professionals, please visit the SafeSourcing website.

A goal without a plan is just a wish. (quote: Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

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.

 

1 http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

 

Total Quality Management Part II of II

Monday, September 18th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Robert Rice, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

 

Here are the Eight (8) features of total quality management:

  1. Customer-focused

The customer ultimately determines the level of quality. No matter what an company does to raise quality improvement—training employees, integrating quality into the design process, upgrading computers or software, or buying new measuring tools—the customer determines whether the efforts were worthwhile.

  1. Total employee involvement

All employees participate in working toward common goals. Total employee buy-in can only be obtained after fear has been driven from the workplace, when empowerment has occurred, and management has provided the proper environment. The employee must feel confident when making critical decisions and know the organization will back that decision. The employee will feel more empowered to always strive to get better knowing their importance to the success of the company.

3. Process-centered

A central part of TQM is a focus on process thinking. This is obtained through constantly putting the customer first. TQM focuses on the improvement of products and services that meet the needs and exceed the expectations of key customers. This process involves understanding the companies’ vision, customer feedback, process improvements and quality of product or service.  The steps required to carry out the process are defined, and performance measures are continuously monitored in order to identify unexpected discrepancies.

4. Integrated system

Although a company may consist of many different useful specialties, often these do not follow the same expectations. What is true for the staff must also be the same for the management. The same goes for the quality of service we give both the client and our suppliers.

Every company has a unique work culture, and it is virtually impossible to achieve excellence in its products and services unless a good quality culture has been nurtured. Thus, an integrated system connects company improvement elements in an attempt to continually improve and exceed the expectations of customers, employees, and others.

5. Strategic and orderly approach

A critical part of TQM, and the management of quality, is the strategic and orderly approach to achieving a company’s vision, mission, and goals. This process, called strategic planning or strategic management, includes the creation of a strategic plan that integrates quality as a core factor. The execution and follow through is crucial for this to be a success. Come up with a game plan, test it and make adjustments to achieve precise results.

  1. Continual improvement

A major push of TQM is continual process improvement. Continual improvement drives a company to be both analytical and creative in finding ways to become more competitive and more effective at meeting expectations.

  1. Fact-based decision making

In order to know how well a company is performing, data on performance measures are necessary. TQM requires that an organization continually collect and analyze data in order to improve decision making accuracy, achieve consensus, and allow forecast based on past history.

  1. Communications

During times of company change, as well as part of day-to-day operation, effective communications plays a large part in maintaining morale and in motivating employees at all levels. Communications involve strategies, method, and timeliness. Without good communication, things get missed or wrong information is submitted.

The web site below gives further details.

https://www.isixsigma.com/methodology/total-quality-management-tqm/introduction-and-implementation-total-quality-management-tqm/

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.

Total Quality Management Part I of II

Friday, September 15th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Robert Rice, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

While working for J. Alexander’s Restaurant, we were required to take a TQM (Total Quality Management) class. I was very impressed with their methods and philosophy and was a believer from the start. It really changed the way I approached customer service and have held onto these beliefs since. Here are some of the features of TQM. I hope you will Learn it, Live it and Love it!

Total Quality Management (TQM), also known as total productive maintenance, describes a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction. In a TQM effort, all associates of a company participate in improving processes, products, services, and the values in which they work.

Total Quality Management Principles: The 8 Primary Features of TQM

Total quality management can be summarized as a management system for a customer-focused company that involves all employees in continual improvement. It uses strategy, data, and effective communications to integrate the quality discipline into the culture and activities of the company.

Tomorrow in Part II we’ll take a look at the 8 features of total quality management

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.

Email Etiquette in the Workplace

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

 

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

 

 

Pre-suasion

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Assistant Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing

Although we’d like to think that the decisions we make are deliberated by well thought-out reasoning and “common sense”, the truth is we aren’t even aware of most of what goes on in the brain during the decision making process. Much of what we think is a decision is actually a lot of conditioning by our society, culture, parents, schooling, job training, etc. Unfortunately, no one understands this better than marketing strategists, whose aim is to have the decision made for you before you even aware what you are deliberating about.

“Pre-suasion” is a term coined by Robert Cialdini, who wrote a book in 2016 by the same name, and is a well-known author and researcher in marketing and persuasion strategy. The focus of the term is the timing of your attempt to persuade, because the battle for decisions in your favor are often won and lost long before any actual pitch is made. Here are a few ways in which pre-suasion can be used, either in your favor or against it:

Ask questions that get your audience to think about a positive attribute of your proposal. For example, during an interview, ask “what wasy it about my resume that made you want to see me?”. This brings focus onto the attributes that attracted your audience in the first place, and sets you in a more positive frame of reference.

We give relevance to what grabs our attention most recentlyMost and recently being the key words here, this concept eludes to the fact that if something impacts us greatly, and a short time ago, it is likely to heavily influence our decision. A recent car crash for instance, will often change how much driving someone will freely choose to do, even though the safety statistics haven’t actually changed.

Change what someone thinks about, not what they think. For Example, direct someone’s memory to an association with something terrible to have them avoid a decision of similar association. Are you hoping your spouse will pick the white car? Talk about things they love that evoke the thought of white: White snow, the wedding dress, bright white smiles, white piano keys, etc.

Discuss a number that will make the number you will actually pitch seem favorable. Also known as “Anchoring”, this concept takes advantage of the way in which human beings tend to rely heavily on the first piece of information received (the anchor), and compare it to future acquired information. This is why you see sale signs all the time stating the price “was” $XX.XX, because you would feel better about buying something if you believe you’re getting it at a discount.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process 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.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 1st, 2017

 

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.

It’s a Digital World

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

 

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

The rules of the retail marketplace are changing dramatically. With the development of new technologies for bidirectional communication, consumers can get more information about retailers and their products more easily than ever before. Armed with knowledge gleaned from a multitude of sources, they are spending their money on the goods and services they value most and stipulating how they will interact with retailers. These rules certainly apply to printing processes.  There are many options when it comes to mass print materials.

Offset printing technology use plates, usually made from aluminum, which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber blanket, and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper. It’s called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper.

Digital printing is popular across many markets because it can print multiple custom materials with each individual piece containing different information. This capability is known as variable data printing or VDP which opens up possibilities for customizing print media and printing multiple versions of the same product.

Digitally printed materials are vibrant high-quality products that can be used for practically any project. Some of the advantages of digital printing are:

  1.  Quick Turnaround – Digital printing doesn’t require plates, so there is no need to have a different plate for each color on the label, which means a shorter setup time.
  2. Quality – Digital presses print at a resolution of almost double that of traditional print methods which gives vibrant high-quality graphics with crisp, clear images and life-like colors.
  3. Price – No plates and less press setup time means the costs for digital printing are relatively low for short run printing as compared to offset printing.
  4. Lower Minimum Quantities – This cost benefit is maximized for relatively small quantities of custom print materials or “short run.” You can order only the amount you need right now, rather than ordering in bulk, simply to get the best price.
  5. Design Flexibility – Variable Data Printing allows graphic or text elements to be easily and efficiently swapped out throughout a print job.

In order to be competitive, you should regularly examine whether or not your design works for attracting your target audience.  The production of personalized printed materials with unique information, can allow you to better target specific types of customers.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.

“Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

 

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of Customer Services & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Many years ago, this author wrote a blog regarding being able to source and procure virtually anything, like 5-gallon bottled water for the office. Today, this still holds true, as this author’s previous blog was based on the mantra “If you buy it, we procure it”.

But what does that mean, you ask?

There is nothing we cannot help you purchase. If you buy it today from anywhere, we can run a Request for Proposal or a Request for Quote. These requests will help you determine if your purchase price falls within the market rates today, if you are paying too much in fees and freight, and through our proprietary services based web tools save you 10X ROI. Seriously, there is nothing odd about what we can procure for you. Here are a few examples of unique RFQs and the savings opportunities we achieved for our customers:

  • Cotton Candy 16%
  • Bundled Firewood 13%
  • Ice Bags 29%
  • Mud Flaps 34%
  • Anti-Fatigue Floor Mats 54%
  • Pest Control Services 41%
  • Diesel Exhaust Fuel (DEF) 27%
  • And yes, Baked Goods 37%

Essentially, this author is stating you can have your cake and eat it too, while saving your company money. SafeSourcing can work with your company to identify purchases and potential saving opportunities through our SafeSpend™ analysis. This presents your company with an overview of where not just the large purchases are but where the small purchases that add up to large purchases are and give you the view into saving potential through our company and various services.

“Life is too short to say no to cake”!

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.

 

 

Post Event

Monday, August 28th, 2017

 

The event is over, savings were good, and reports are almost done. What’s next?

Today’s post is by Robert Rice, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

For me, I will spend the next couple of days reflecting back on what I could have done differently. Was all of the data correct and how will I use that knowledge to perfect the next event.

Reflect

I like to do an assessment on how the event went. I ask the project manager and our Director of Sales, Dave, their thoughts. Both have been at this awhile and have helped me better understand how the event went and address any issues. They ask me what I would have done different or did we have the right suppliers and enough coverage? I also like to hear the client and supplier feedback from SafeSurvey that is sent post event. This highlights specific things they liked or disliked.

Correct

The next step is to note where improvements need to be made and start implementing these changes immediately. i.e. Better vetting suppliers, better contacts, have I continued to update the documents, complete coverage from more than (2) suppliers, did I create a spreadsheet breaking down the numbers, are my specs correct, are the dates correct, is my checklist up-to-date, have I had my documents seconded eyed, third eyed?

Perfect

Finally, having a perfect event isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you follow the process, do your research, get complete data, ask the right questions, and get others input, your event should be a grand slam.

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.

 

How do you source that?

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Director of Sales, North America at SafeSourcing.

“How do I source this category?” We field this question often. It’s very common to find that a client selects a category, but it not entirely sure how to go about sourcing that category. Sometimes, the category is complex. Other times it’s a relatively simple category that just hasn’t been sourced in some time.

What makes sourcing challenging is the unknown. If you haven’t sourced a particular category in several years, you might not have a very well documented specification. You might also not know who the players are in that space or what market factors are influencing the price of the category. When sourcing a highly complex category, you may not know all of the different components that will need to be outlined clearly to prospective suppliers.

SafeSourcing has the experience to guide our clients through the unknown to develop successful eProcurement projects. SafeSourcing clients have access to a vast library of specification templates to help develop your specifications. We have a comprehensive supplier database with over 427,000 suppliers to identify the right vendors to include in your eProcurement RFx Event. Perhaps most significant is SafeSourcing’s category experience. We understand that you might only source each category annually or every few years, but we source that category all the time for our clients.

Because SafeSourcing understands the market, the vendors, and the specifications, we are uniquely positioned to help answer the question: “how do I source this category?”

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  

We look forward to your comments.