Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Sustainable Seafood and Lake Food Practices You Should Be Aware Off.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

 

 

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

Whether you like to go fishing, eat seafood and lake food or source it for your business. Please, do it sustainably.

I always liked to go fishing as a kid. It didn’t matter if it was freshwater or saltwater as I could walk to both. The interesting thing is that I didn’t really like to eat fish. My mom was not about to clean and cook what I caught, so the only time I ate any non-shellfish, it came from the store, was not fresh and tasted terrible.

Once I met my wife and became used to eating fresh seafood, I began to like it a lot. I still like to fish today, mostly catch and release. That’s probably a good thing as our fisheries worldwide are severely stressed. Unfortunately, three quarters of the world’s fisheries are fished to capacity or overfished. That’s a really a shame for both sports’ fisherman and our ever-expanding global population in search of sustainable food sources.

A couple of organizations you should know about and visit that are helping in this capacity for seafood, lake food and shellfish are Alaska Seafood where you can learn more about FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management Certification. You can also learn more about Best Aquaculture Practices for shell fish at this link.

It’s nice to benefit from our fisheries and to be able to go fishing in our oceans, lakes and streams. Doing it in a sustainable way will preserve it for our future generations.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help you source your sea and lake food and how we hold our suppliers accountable to local and global standards, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

 

What is 5G?

Friday, June 21st, 2019

 

 

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

If you own a smart phone, then you probably have heard of 5G. 5G is the fifth-generation of mobile communication networks technology. Currently most users are using 3G or 4G/LTE networks which were introduced over ten years ago. Like other generations of wireless technologies before it, 5G will offer faster speeds, more reliable cellular and internet connections. The data transfer speed is projected to be about twenty times faster than what is currently possible with 4G. This will mean a significant difference in sending and receiving videos and images. For example, downloading a high-definition movie that takes about ten minutes via 4G/LTE should take less than ten seconds to download. Along with the faster connectivity you will also have increased connectivity. This will allow for more devices to communicate at the same time and will decrease the amount of dropped signals that we now observe. There will also be shorter communication delays, called latency, that you currently see with the current networks. This lower latency is expected to help 5G deliver mobile networks that could allow us to implement new things such as multiplayer gaming, self-driving cars, and robots. These are things that the current networks struggle with or cannot handle at all. Of course using this new network will require you to upgrade your devices so that they can support 5G. Below are some of the capabilities that 5G will help to unlock:

  • Self-driving cars
  • More Reliable Drones
  • Enhanced Virtual Reality
  • Guaranteed Phone Connection
  • Remote Surgery
  • Home Broadband

If you are interested in upgrading any of your electronic devices, feel free to contact SafeSourcing. We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which devices meet 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Procuring Your Proprietary Product- Part 4

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

 

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of Major Accounts and Special Projects at SafeSourcing Inc.

So you have decided that you are going to take your BBQ Sauce out to market. You have vetted co-packers abilities to make your product and market it to your standards, BUT how do you ensure they keep your recipe secret and not market it for themselves?

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legal contract between two or more parties that signifies a confidential relationship exists between them. The confidential relationship exists because the parties share information among themselves that should not be made available to any other parties outside of those involved, such as competitors or the general public or. An NDA may also be referred to as a confidentiality agreement.”1

Confidentiality agreements typically serve three key functions:

  1. NDAs protect sensitive information. By signing an NDA, participants promise to not divulge or release information shared with them by the other people involved. If the information is leaked, the injured person can claim breach of contract.2
  2. In the case of new product or concept development, a confidentiality agreement can help the inventor keep patent rights. In many cases, public disclosure of a new invention can void patent rights. A properly drafted NDA can help the original creator hold onto the rights to a product or idea.2
  3. Confidentiality agreements and NDAs expressly outline what information is private and what’s fair game. In many cases, the agreement serves as a document that classifies exclusive and confidential information.2

Protect yourself and your proprietary product! When in doubt hire a lawyer to review your NDA and don’t just sign any co-packer’s “standard” NDA without reviewing with a lawyer. This ensures no matter what that your product remains under your control.

In part five of this series, the author will provide the steps for taking a proprietary product out to the procurement market. Meanwhile, SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your proprietary product on our “Risk Free” trial program for RFPs and RFQs, 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. www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nda.asp 2. https://www.rocketlawyer.com/article/nda-101:-what-is-a-non-disclosure-agreement.rl

Coca-Cola Rolls Out Energy Drinks

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

 

 

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

Coca-Cola Chief Executive, James Quincey, has announced the launch of Coca-Cola Plus Coffee in 25 markets by the end of the year. This product appeals to people that want more of an energy boost than just a regular Coke. It also provides a new taste. Coca-Cola acquired the British coffee-shop chain, Costa, in the first quarter of 2019 for $5.1 billion. Plans to launch the first ready-to-drink Costa product is set for this spring. Costa serves roughly 3,800 cafes currently. There are 2,500 in the U.K. and an ever growing presence in China. Coca-Cola owns an 18.5% stake in Monster, the leading energy drink in the U.S. Monster said the launch of this product is in direct violation of an agreement struck in 2015. The companies are currently in arbitration.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola Energy drinks will be launched in Europe. The company has diversified beyond soda into water, coffee, juice and other drinks. A reformulated Coca-Cola Zero Sugar grew by double digits this last quarter. The February launch of Orange Vanilla Coke was the first new flavor in a decade, increasing retail sales by 6%. Monster and Red Bull energy drinks are big in the U.S. and Europe. This market is expanding rapidly and the opportunity to to create drinks that blur the lines between energy drinks and cola is a great marketing opportunity.

PepsiCo Inc. is also trying new brands with three new flavors in the U.S. that contain real juice — berry, lime, and mango. New package designs have also been developed.

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……………………………………………………………

Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, 4/24/2019

 

Retail Seesaw

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

 

 

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

Retail sales for 2019 have been on an up and down swing from January to April. Sales rose by .2% in January and went down .2% in February, followed by a big 1.7% jump in March, and now a .2% drop in April. Economists are not sure how to gauge the mood of consumers this year, as if they have ever.

The retail industry has had to constantly reinvent itself to keep up with the ever evolving market. Brand loyalty is not enough to keep customers engaged, in our extra competitive ecommerce environment. Whether online or in-store, retailers need to find ways to up their game in order to attract customers’ attention.

Most millennials are seeking a more engaging experience rather than merely shopping for products. Companies will have to consider the image their brand conveys to the world, and work to create retail experiences that match consumers’ changing values and world views. Many shoppers will research consumer reviews before ever making a purchase.

When it comes to fulfillment, customers are looking to get their products fast and free. I can recall 30 years ago when Sears didn’t have the product available in the local store, I could opt to order it from the catalog and patiently wait for it to arrive…about three to four weeks later. These days consumers are used to being able to order an item and have it delivered within a day or two. This can be a deal breaker for some, so cutting down on shipping time is a major consideration.

BigCommerce’s 2018 Omni-Channel Retail Report found that only 11.8% of Gen-Z shops on Facebook, while nearly 25% of Baby Boomers shop on the social platform. Millennials, meanwhile, prefer to buy products they discover on Instagram and Snapchat. Convenience, price, and free shipping were the top 3 reasons U.S. consumers across all generations chose to buy an item at a branded online store. Brand reputation and loyalty rewards were close 4th and 5th reasons.

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…………..

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/retail-sales

https://www.stellarising.com/blog/consumer-trends-2018-brands-inside-the-glass-box

The 2019 Omni-Channel Retail Report: Generational Consumer Shopping Behavior Comes Into Focus

Tariffs

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

 

 

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

The global market is something we all rely on in a number of different ways. Whether for personal use or business use, we each rely on products that are bought and sold throughout the world. Part of the global market includes trade between different countries, which can be susceptible to tariffs. Tariffs are nothing new, so how should a business handle the looming tariff increases and what can we do to better prepare ourselves?

One thing many businesses do to avoid tariffs, specifically between two countries, is to simply move to another country. For example, if there are increased tariffs between American products going into China, many businesses may move their production from America to another country, like Mexico or Canada, and import those same products, but with those tariffs.

Another way businesses try to avoid paying extra tariffs is by simply minimizing the market they use. For example, if a company normally buys steel from overseas, they may now seek purchasing within the same country to avoid paying the extra tariffs, which can actually be less than they were spending initially.

No matter how a business handles changes in the global market, a procurement partner may be the best way for a company to obtain the products they need without sacrificing quality. A company like SafeSourcing can even help you obtain the same goods, but at an even lower price, helping your company’s spend and overall help your organization thrive in times of 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.

 

 

 

 

Should you join a Group Purchasing Organization (GPO)?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

 

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

According to Wikipedia a Group Purchasing Organization (or GPO) is an entity that is created to leverage the purchasing power of a group of businesses to obtain discounts from vendors based on the collective buying power of the GPO members.

When is a company a GPO and when are they something else? Many organizations take on procurement functionality based on the spend of their members. They can be industry wholesalers, share groups, consortiums, distributors and a variety of other types of organizations. They may take on all procurement opportunities or specific opportunities like energy. GPO’s can be vertically focused or horizontally focused. They can also be horizontally focused within an industry vertical. An example might be a wholesale grocer that is focused on a retail industry vertical like supermarkets.

The question is should you join one or many? Maybe you shouldn’t join any. The only way to answer the question is to understand your own organization in terms of its strengths and weaknesses relative to the products or services categories you hope to source. As an example; if you are just buying from a wholesalers price book, it’s a good bet you are not getting the best price. It’s also a good bet that other members of the same wholesaler are getting a better price and they may be smaller than you. However you may also have a huge energy spend and this is something that your product wholesaler can’t help you with. As such, there may be a specific GPO for energy that can offer some expertise.

This author believes that your best bet is to focus on a procurement company that is horizontally focused with specific expertise in a number of verticals such as health care, retail, distribution, financial services etc. I have often seen these companies significantly out perform GPO’s by a significant amount as the overall overlap of expertise across multiple industries suggests a level of creativity that GPO’s may not have.

Ultimately understanding what your company’s limitations are as well as the opportunities that are available to you is a first and important step. After that, it’s who can do the most for you with the least disruption across the broadest area of spend.

SafeSourcing is such a company. Please contact a SafeSourcing Project Manager  if you would like further information on how to improve your bottom line in the present quarter.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

 

If you are not sourcing your services with eProcurement tools you are missing the boat!

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

 

Today’s post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing

Professional services represent one of the fastest growing procurement areas for thousands of companies. The reason for this growth includes reductions in staff, efficiencies through outsourcing non-core competencies such as IT, and cost reductions for service on demand versus full time internal resources.

SafeSourcing has completed hundreds of professional services sourcing events resulting in the following overall statistics:

Number of Service Providers Invited:  5 to 9
Average Suppliers Participating:  6
Project Timeframe:  < 30 Days
Average Savings:  24%

Here is a list of 25 of the more popular services sourced using our eprocurement tools!

1. Employee Automobile Reimbursement Plan
2. Accounts Payable Recovery
3. Event Planning Services by Location
4. Armored Cars Services
5. Audio Conferencing
6. B2B Payment Solutions
7. Background Screening Services
8. Customer Satisfaction Program Provider
9. Customer Satisfaction Program Provider
10. Customer Statement
11. Disaster Response (Emergency Cleanup)
12. Event Services
13. Facilities Asset Management
14. Temp Labor
15. Jet Charters
16. Legal Services
17. Managed Print Services
18. Payroll Services
19. Recycling
20.Waste Management Services
21.Lawn Care Services
22.Snow Removal Services
23.Environmental Services
24.Construction Services (General Contractor)
25.Logistics

If you’d like to learn more about how to reduce your current costs for services or get a savings estimate on a specific services category, please reach out to a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Avoiding “change blindness”

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

 

Today’s post is from our  SafeSourcing Archives.

Let’s test how well you can focus on detailed activities. Copy and paste into your address bar, or click the following link: https://youtu.be/Ahg6qcgoay4[1]

How did you do? There are several versions of this type of video, but of course the point of them all is to illustrate our ability to miss the obvious when we are more focused on specific tasks. Perhaps you can relate to more common errors of oversight:

Have you ever been made aware after the fact, that you completely missed a detail about a project you were working on, which should have been totally obvious? Have you ever read over a document five times, only to discover a major error on the sixth read through? Stared at the same computer screen for months before noticing an assortment of buttons that could have made life easier?

Our minds have a bandwidth limitation, often described as being approximately 1.6 conversations at a time (including the one going on in your head)[2]. Focusing on one complex task, requires us to tune out certain others in order to fully process that task. One of the first researchers to call attention to this phenomenon was Dr. Marc Green, who once said “Inattentional blindness is not a mental aberration; it is the norm. Conscious perception is the abnormality”.[3] So there are benefits to our ability to tune everything else out and focus on one task, and there are benefits to being aware of a wide scope of inputs as well. Working Memory[4], the type of intelligence associated with your short-term bandwidth, is uncertain as to if it is static or malleable. So how can we make the most of both sides of our concentration capabilities?

Situationally prioritize your focus – There’s a reason why they say the best way to remember names is to not focus on what you are saying when being introduced to someone new. Knowing what you know now about what you do or don’t notice and remember based on how you’re thinking, you can apply the right strategy for each situation. When you are working on detailed, technical, or financial activities, you probably need to tune everything else out and laser focus. When you are evaluating a new project, finalizing work, or observing a new environment, you probably need to tune yourself out, and take in your surroundings.

Practice “open observing” – Look at all content twice: The first time looking for whatever you were specifically trying to focus on to accomplish the task, the second time not looking for anything in particular, letting the full scope of your capabilities be your frame of reference instead of the specific thing you are being asked for.

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.

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[1] This link leads to content and views not controlled, approved or condoned by SafeSourcing Inc. User views at their own risk.

[2] “Avoiding common RFP mistakes: SafeSourcing Blog.” 2015. 15 Dec. 2015 <http://blog.safesourcing.com/2015/07/30/avoiding-common-rfp-mistakes/>

[3] “Visual Expert Human Factors: Inattentional Blindness …” 2002. 15 Dec. 2015 <http://www.visualexpert.com/Resources/inattentionalblindness.html>

[4] “Working memory definition – MedicineNet – Health and …” 2005. 15 Dec. 2015 <http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=7143>

Better Business Outcomes

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

 

Today’s post is from Alex Borbely, Vice President of Sales at SafeSourcing, Inc.

Over 30 million Americans don’t have access to modern broadband. The Federal Communications Commission announced that it would hold the biggest spectrum auction in U.S. history, aimed at bolstering 5G network deployment. The bidding will see roughly 3,400 megahertz across three spectrum bands auctioned off for commercial use. The auction is scheduled to start in December 2019 and may be the largest in the country’s history. The FCC also stated that there would be more auctions after this one. Three rounds of clock-phase bidding will be held each day at this stage in the auction. The clock auction format being with a “clock phase” that lets participants bid on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds, followed by an “assignment phase” that allows the winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments. Thirty-eight bidders qualified to participate in the auction.

In an auction, the activities are targeted towards researching/inviting suppliers and ensuring that any existing supplier has an opportunity to propose keener prices and better terms. The auction is usually held via e-procurement and has a number of activities concluding with a short time period with dynamic bidding ensuring the pricing moves rapidly downwards. This type of auction provides any number of advantages including:

  • Suppliers are encouraged to bid low and provide good terms in order to win the contract.
  • The process is seen as a fair way of awarding government contracts as well as those from large monopolistic companies.
  • It is a low cost, much quicker method of finding new suppliers.
  • Negotiation costs are almost zero.

SafeSourcing eProcurement, particularly reverse auctions, is a relatively new way to increase your bottom-line and enhance the spend process. Utilizing new technologies will add profit dollars without selling one new customer buying your products or services. The savings are traditionally 10X your investment in e-Procurement tools. You’re just accepting a different way to silicate bids/pricing even with your incumbent vendors that you currently work with.

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