Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

To-do List Management

Monday, January 30th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther; Sr. Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

Today Tyler is discussing methods of managing your to-do lists.

We are all overwhelmed with work. 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.

 

 

Paying too much for your goods?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Steven Belvin, Account Manager at SafeSourcing

How do you know if you are paying too much for a particular item or service? Many companies over the years have discovered they have been paying a vender way too much for an item or service. In some cases, a company may discover that they could be accumulating these items for a cheaper price from their current vender. When trying to determine if your company is paying too much for an item, you will need to keep two terms in mind while conducting your research. Those terms would be Market Value and Total Market Size. The Market Values is the highest price a buyer would pay a vender for a particular good in an open and competitive market. The Total Market Size is defined by the business dictionary as “The number of individuals in a certain market who are potential buyers and/or sellers of a product or service. Companies are interested in knowing the market size before launching a new product or service in an area.” In other words, how many buyer or sellers of a particular product or service are in the market today? That a company will need to know this if they wish to have success with launching a new product or to check the feasibility of continuing to sell a product.

After reading this, it is easy to see where a company could overlook and continue to over pay for a service or good. It is simply too much work to constantly check the market size and the market value. This is where SafeSourcing could be of assistance. We would conduct a supplier research to discover the market size that is available to you and also use our online web tool to discover the Best Market Value of a certain item or service. So if you feel like your company is paying too much for a service, or any items, give us a call and let us review your accounts with you and discover where we could help your company cut back in your procurement process.

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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 “What Is Market Size? Definition.” BusinessDictionary.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

 

 

 

What are my Internet connection options?

Friday, January 20th, 2017

 

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

When looking for an Internet connection solution, there are several types of connections available. The most common are DSL, Cable and Fiber Optics.

DSL(Digital Subscriber Line) uses telephone cable to transmit data. When using DSL you have a dedicated connection that is not shared with others within your area.  The speed is, however, affected by the distance between your location and the location of your Internet Service Provider(ISP).  There are two types of DSL connections, asymmetric and symmetric.  Asymmetric uses the phone line to connect to the internet and still allows you to use the same phone line to make phone calls.  Because of this design, the upload speeds are slower than the download speeds.  Symmetric also uses the phone line for the connection but uses both parts of the phone line for its connection.  This allows for increased upload speeds, but the line cannot be used for incoming or outgoing phone communication.

Cable uses coax cable to transfer data. Cable is generally faster than DSL, but it is not dedicated so you are sharing bandwidth with others in your area.  So there may be peak times during the day when the connection is slower because of the amount of usage within your area.  Since most of the internet usage is used for downloading, cable is designed to give priority to downloading and upload speeds are much slower.  If you are planning to upload a lot of data then you may want to consider DSL or Fiber for your solution.

Fiber Optics, which is the future for transmitting data, uses optical fibers to transfer data. Instead of using electricity and metal cables it uses light and glass to transmit the data.  Because of this, it offers faster speeds because of its ability to move large amounts of data over great distances.  Along with DSL, Fiber is a dedicated connection and not shared with others in your area so your speed will not be affected by other users.  One downside to this technology is that is new and expensive to install so it may not be available in your area.

If you would like some help finding the right Internet solution, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one will 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.

 

Teamwork in a Moment of Crisis or Emergency

Friday, December 30th, 2016

 

 

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

While these guidelines were created for management roles, it is important to note that in a team environment that these suggestions apply to ALL members of the team:

Many of us in businesses are ill-prepared to handle the traumatic events- death of immediate family members, natural disasters, accidents, etc., and yet these events can and do occur in our workplaces. They are events, for which preparation helps.

Let all employees know that you are concerned and doing all you can to help them. You represent the organization to your employees, and your caring presence can mean a great deal in helping them feel supported. You don’t have to say anything profound; just be there, do your best to manage, and let your employees know you are concerned about them. Be visible to your team, and take time to ask them how they are doing.

Let people know, in whatever way is natural for you, that you are feeling fear, grief, shock, anger, or whatever your natural reaction to the situation may be. This shows your employees you care about them. Since you also can function rationally in spite of your strong feelings, they know that they can do likewise.

Share information with your employees as soon as you have it available. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Particularly in the first few hours after a tragedy, information will be scarce and much in demand. If you can be an advocate in obtaining it, you will show your employees you care and help lessen anxiety.

Encourage employees to talk about their painful experiences. This is hard to do, but eases healing as people express their painful thoughts and feelings in a safe environment, and come to realize that their reactions are normal and shared by others. Your team may prefer to discuss the situation among them. Don’t be afraid to participate, and to set a positive example by discussing your own feelings openly. Your example says more than your words.

Build on the strengths of the group. Encourage employees to take care of one another through such simple measures as listening to those in distress, offering practical help, visiting the hospitalized, or going with an employee on the first visit to a feared site. The more you have done to build a cohesive work group, and to foster self-confidence in your employees, the better your staff can help one another in a crisis.

Build on your work group’s prior planning. If you have talked together about how you, as a group, would handle a hypothetical crisis, it will help prepare all employees, mentally and practically, to deal with a real one. Knowing employees’ strengths and experience, having an established plan for communication in emergencies, and procedures can help you “hit the ground running” when a crisis actually strikes.

Be aware of the healing value of work. Getting back to the daily routine can be a comforting experience, and most people can work productively while still dealing with grief and trauma. However, the process of getting a staff back to work is one which must be approached with great care and sensitivity. In particular, if anyone has died or been seriously injured, the process must be handled in a way that shows appropriate respect for them.

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While we, the team at SafeSourcing, are no stranger to moments of emergency or crisis, we pull together as one team and one family ensuring that our customers and suppliers are taken care throughout our crisis. We take pride in offering the best customer service in the industry and will do whatever it takes to ensure that it remains our top priority and invisible to the outside world.

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.

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Resource: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/worklife/reference-materials/traumaticevents.pdf

 

More Bang For Your Buck!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Steven Belvin, Account Manager at SafeSourcing

The Best Market Value is always right around the corner right? Wrong. In fact, it can be quite challenging for a business to find the Best Market Value for their goods. Before finding Best Market Value, we must first understand what Best Market Value mean; and in order to do that, we must break the term down into two separate terms, Best Value and Market Value.

Best Value is defined as the best service or product for the cheapest price that can be acquired by a company. The Business Dictionary defines Market Value as, “The highest estimated price that a buyer would pay and a seller would accept for an item in an open and competitive market.” Now that we understand both terms we can see the Best Market Value is not always the lowest price. There are actually many things that are taken into consideration when determining the Best Market Value. There is the price, the quality of product or service, the quantity, and even experience.

To truly find the Best Market Value, you would have to go through multiple steps. A few of these steps would be to call multiple companies, gather correct contact and pricing, compare pricing amongst the separate companies, and many other steps. As one can see, this might take a little time to find the Best Market Value and it’s not like you have a workshop full of elves at your disposal. This is where SafeSourcing comes into play. Let us be your “workshop full of elves” and take care of all your sourcing needs. We take pride in being able to provide you with the Best Market Value and provide you with a great ROI. I encourage you to put us to the test this upcoming year and see how much we could save your company.

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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market value. BusinessDictionary.com. WebFinance, Inc. December 12, 2016 <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/market-value.html>.

How do you exceed your customers expectations?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther; Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

 

Knowledgeable staff

  • Ensure you are able to answer all questions regarding the business function you provide. If you deal direct with your companies customers, encourage them to ask questions and you must give concise, accurate answers.

 

One-stop shopping

  •  It is good to offer ancillary products complimenting your primary business function that allow your customers to consolidate their efforts without having to involve additional vendors. SafeSourcing for instance, with our procure-to-pay suite of applications, reduces your cost while improving your efficiency.

 

Excellent customer service

  • People always appreciate good customer service. The extra attention and personal service they receive are a few of the reasons they chose to do business with you. You must always offer what is in your customers best interest. Integrity will not go unnoticed.

On-time delivery

  • In today’s age of Amazon almost immediate drone delivery, customers have no desire to wait for their goods or services. Furthermore, if a deadline is established, it must be met. Deadlines serve a purpose and customers want them fulfilled according to timeline.

 

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.

 

 

 

How can I extend the battery life on my laptop?

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

 

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

If you travel and like to work on the road, you probably have run into the issue of battery life with your laptop. Although batteries are getting more efficient, this is still one big complaint for laptop users.  There are settings that can be changed on the laptop to help reduce the drain.

One of the biggest drains on the laptop is the display. Reducing the screen brightness in low light situations can have a big effect.  This can be done on most laptops by holding down the Function Key (FN) and pressing the brightness buttons located on the laptop’s keyboard.  This can also be done by using Windows Mobility Center within the operating system.  For example on Windows 7 this can be done by holding down the Windows Key and pressing the X key.  Other options for controlling the display are to have your display dim automatically or turn off automatically.  This is good practice if you step away from your laptop periodically throughout the day.  This can be done by adjusting your settings within the Power Options Screen.  To access Power Options click start, click Control Panel and then click Power Options.  From here you can adjust the times for dimming the display, turning off the display or putting the computer to sleep.

Another way save battery life is to disable or unplug any devices that are not being used. For example, if you are not using your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth then disable it.  These devices use power when they are enabled.  So, if you are in situations where Wi-Fi is unavailable then simply disable it by holding down the Function Key (FN) and pressing the Wi-Fi button located on the Laptop’s keyboard.

Below are some other tips for extending battery life.

  • Reduce the number of open programs
  • Turn off unused Ports
  • Add more RAM
  • Keep out of extreme hot or cold
  • Upgrade Hard Drive with a Solid-State Drive
  • Replace old battery

If you frequently use your laptop where there is no power available you may consider purchasing a second battery.   If you would like some help finding the right solutions, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide what will 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.

We look forward to your comments.

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

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther; Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

I’ve 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.

 

 

Are you using Bitcoins in your Sourcing?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

 

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

A Bitcoin is an online digital currency that is used to send payments from one to another. Think of Bitcoin as a type of payment such a credit card or Paypal.  The currencies price is very volatile and has had an upward trend since its creation.  It has increased from around $6 in 2012 to over $600 to date.

Bitcoins are created by computers that are connected to the internet. These computers, called miners, work together to process mathematical equations called mining.   Miners use software to complete these equations and are paid with Bitcoins for the processing.  The Bitcoins are rewarded based on computing power so fast computing will equal more Bitcoins rewarded.  The mining software is free to download and there are multiple programs to choose from.

Bitcoins are stored in what is called a Bitcoins wallet. A wallet is like a bank account and without one you cannot send or receive any Bitcoin payments.  There a several types of wallets including software, that can be installed on your computer or mobile device and a web wallet that is hosted online.

Below are some companies that accept Bitcoins:

  • Amazon
  • CVS
  • Dell
  • Home Depot
  • Kmart
  • Microsoft
  • Target
  • WordPress

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently? Like to try a risk free trial? Please don’t hesitate to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. Our team is ready and available to assist you!

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Times, They Are A-Changing

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

The coveted award has been around since 1901, with such famous winners as Jean-Paul Sartre, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway. However, this year’s award has been cited as “redefining boundaries of Literature” because this year’s win marks the first time the honor has been bestowed to a musician. Bob Dylan, a folk-rock singer and songwriter, released his first album over fifty years ago, continues to make music today, and was awarded the prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

It’s been said, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and this recent Nobel Prize winner demonstrates that. The appearance of Dylan and his music in the 1960s, during a time of great cultural changes, had a resonating effect on many people at the time. Not only did he poetically echo the feelings of many people going through such things as war, drugs, and civil rights movements, but he also was able to eloquently summarize cultural happenings in a way people understood, highlighting the wrongdoings of a society undergoing drastic change.

Today, once again, Bob Dylan is front and center during a time of change, from global to political to cultural. This honor should show that even if we do not fit into a traditional category of award, we can still make a widespread and lasting positive impact, and that each of us has the ability to change our world through any means, be it personal or through business. While many of us have goals a bit less ambitious, we can still use what Dylan has taught us, “There is nothing so stable as change,” and we at SafeSourcing can help your business through change.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your business, or are interested in our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

References:

https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2016/

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~zimmerman/students/BobDylan.pdf

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/arts/music/bob-dylan-nobel-prize-literature.html?_r=0