Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

The Importance of Good Leadership in the Workplace

Friday, March 17th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Jericia Stevens, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Good leadership is a direct correlation to the success of a company, because of this good leadership cannot be overlooked or over emphasized. Leadership is the substance that makes all other elements come together. Great leaders know the importance of being in tune with the needs and issues concerning the business as well as his/or employees.

As a leader of an organization or business, it is also important to stay abreast of new developments in leadership theories and methods in order to maximize effectiveness.

Rebecca Hourston stated it best, “The substance of what you do—the result you deliver—is pretty fundamental in today’s economy. But working on the way that you do it is what will launch you into a different sphere of success altogether—even if you already count yourself as pretty successful.”

An effective leader trains others to become leaders. A good indicator of your ability to lead is how well the company operates in the mist of his/her absence. A company should not falter in the absence of its leader; it should operate business as usual.

An important thing to remember is leaders and leadership styles may need to change at times to accommodate the changes within the business or organization. For example, when new people are hired and join your team; when a leader is promoted or moved to another department.

Leadership also effects productivity.  A good leader knows the strength of their team and knows how to delegate task efficiently, resulting in increase in work productivity.

Also, good leadership can improve employee morale and make workers more loyal to the company.

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.

Resources——————————————————-

Hourston, R. (Ed.). (2014, June 09). 7 Steps To A Truly Effective Leadership Style. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2013/04/24/7-steps-to-a-truly-effective-leadership-style/#62e15e411ce5

 

How to Determine the Best Bid

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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

After six years, our house needed to be repainted. This can be an overwhelming process.  Picking the right painting crew, the type of paint to be used, the prep process, and warranty are all important aspects to be considered.

There is really no difference in sourcing and evaluating vendors to paint your home than there is for a business. However the percentage of your income that is spent on this task may be much higher than it is for a public or private company. All the more reason to ask the correct questions the 1st time around so that everything is covered in your vendor’s proposal.

The following information should be helpful and get you off to a good start.

  1.  Why do some five-year old paint jobs peel and flake while others look like they were applied last week. The simple answer is quality paint and a properly prepped surface. Consumers have a wide range of paint to choose from -nationally known paint to locally produced paint.
  2. Oil paint versus water-based paint?       Water-based paint wins hands down for exterior paint jobs. The US Department of Agriculture Forest Product Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wisconsin, showed water-based paints expand and contract with siding.       They also allow water vapor generated inside the house to pass through the paint film. Oil-based paint dries to an inflexible coating that blocks moisture. Also, water-based paint is gentler to the environment because they are lower in volatile organic compounds.
  3. Because the cost to paint the exterior of your home is primarily labor, it makes sense to go with premium paint that offer a longer warranty.
  4. The proper prep process is important. Only prime if the paint has cracked or flaked. If you need to scrape to bare wood, then prime that area.
  5. Clean up. Your property needs to be cleaned up after it is painted. All tarps, taping material, and compounds used to fill in cracks needs to be removed from your property.
  6. Make sure you walk your property with your contractor to make sure you are both satisfied with the job. I used a painting company from a national referral company. The contractor is motivated to do a good job, as a survey is completed after the job is done. A bad review can seriously damage a contractor’s reputation.

When sourcing goods and/or services, SafeSourcing can provide you with all the information necessary to make a decision on a vendor. 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 a entire customer services team waiting to assist you.

Part II of II. Are reverse auctions a good tool to use in the retail distribution cost plus arena?

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

 

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing

Yesterdays post reviewed why and how this author felt that reverse auctions were potentially good for both the distributor and the retailer alike. So just what is cost plus?

According to Wikipedia  Cost-plus pricing is a pricing method used by companies. It is used primarily because it is easy to calculate and requires little information. There are several varieties, but the common thread in all of them is that one first calculates the cost of the product, and then includes an additional amount to represent profit. It is a way for companies to calculate how much profit they will make. Cost-plus pricing is often used on government contracts, and has been criticized as promoting wasteful expenditures.

Once unit level cost has been established for the distribution of products it’s easy to turn that into a percentage and add it to the price of a product coming up with a distributed unit price or category price. The most important part of this pricing exercise for the distributor is to get the distribution costs correct. This can include price of storage, freight, length of travel, driver cost and any number of other costs. This is an area where a distributor can lose a lot of money if they are not very careful.

So, are revere auctions a tool that can help distribution companies?  The answer is a clear yes both above and below the gross margin line. If you like to know more please contact me at ronsouthard@safesourcing.com.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Gross Domestic Product

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Jericia Stevens, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. The GDP figure is released quarterly. We use GDP to measure economic output. The growth rate in GDP is closely evaluated by the Federal Reserve to determine whether the economy is growing too slowly or too quickly. (Bankrate.com)

I recently read an article concerning the GDP and if it can still effectively measure the economy. This was being questioned because the economy has shifted from being a production driven economy to a more service driven economy. The economy used to be driven by the production of things, such as refrigerators, cars, shoes, etc.

Today the economy thrives from services and technologies. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the quarterly data by industry reports that finance and insurance; wholesale trade; and information services were the leading contributors to the increase U.S. economic growth in the third quarter of 2016. The Bureau also reported, 20 of 22 industry groups contributed to the overall 3.5 percent increase in real GDP in the third quarter.

SafeSourcing, Inc. is part of the service industry. We provide innovative eProcurement tools that can increase efficiency and improve profitability for our customers; as well as provide superior value for all stakeholders. In addition to providing information, tools and services, SafeSourcing proactively supports consumer safety and environmental standards throughout the global supply chain management process.

To learn more, visit SafeSourcing.com.  Let SafeSourcing manage your services, goods and projects. We can handle your sourcing needs. 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.

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https://bea.gov/newsreleases/glance.htm Ahearn, Cale (2016, September 21).

 

 

What is an Onboard Diagnostic II (OBD-II) Scanner?

Friday, February 24th, 2017

 

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

An Onboard Diagnostic II (OBD-II) scanner is a device that is used to read information from the computer within vehicles that were built after 1996. There are two types of OBD-II devices.  The first are basic code readers which can read and clear codes.  The second are scan tools which can provide more information about specific codes and provide access to recorded and live data.  The scan tool is the more expensive of the two and offers a variety of features not found in the basic reader. The devices are fairly simple to use and connect to a standard connector usually located under the dash.  Some of the devices are Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled and can connect to your smart phone using apps that are available for download.  There a many apps available that offer different features, you just need to make sure it is compatible with your OBD-II device you own.  To use the scanner, simply plug the device into the vehicles connector, connect to the device using your smartphone and then open the OBD-II application.  The most common use for the device is reading current trouble code(s).  These are codes that can be given off by the check engine light, check transmission light, ABS light, airbag light or other modules.  These codes can be accessed and cleared by using the downloaded application.  Depending on the application you may also be given additional information about the trouble codes such as possible causes and possible fixes for the recorded code.  Below are some other diagnostic features that are available with a scan tool and compatible application.

  • Engine Temperature
  • Fuel Rate
  • O2 Sensors
  • MAF Airflow Rate
  • Batter Voltage
  • Vehicle Speed
  • RPM

If you would like some help finding the right scanner, 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.

 

Ready, Set, Gone

Monday, February 20th, 2017

 

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

With a world of information at our fingertips, it can be difficult to no not only gain people’s attention, but also to sustain that interest. It is believed that a person forms an opinion of a product, company, or another person within eight seconds. On top of that, most people visiting websites only average 10-20 seconds before leaving. Viewers visiting websites and online articles will likely only read about 20% of the words on the page. This is a growing challenge for businesses and especially marketing groups, but they have found a few ways to not only get more viewers, but to keep their attention even longer.

First, keep messages short and to the point. While lots of information and expanding on a variety of topics is great for research and academic papers, most consumers retain short simple messages. If the message happens to resonate with a consumer, short and clear facts help to keep their attention.

If the message you want to relay is a long and complex one, there are ways of getting viewers invested in what you are trying to say. For example, telling a story or using real life examples can be highly effective. Presenting a common problem or situation with your message embedded into the story can leave a lasting impression.

Second, make things easy. Majority or viewers prefer watching a video to reading a block of text. Often, just putting text over a video can be just as effective. However, if a video is not an option, using graphics and images is a way to keep attention and even inject humor into topics.

With our ever-moving, fast-paced digital age, getting your message across effectively can not only get the attention you seek, but also change the processes of how business and marketing approach consumers. Different tactics can yield different results, and sometimes stopping to smell the roses is an underrated activity.

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

Sources:———————————————————

http://www.socialmediatoday.com/social-business/shortening-human-attention-span-and-what-it-means-marketers-infographic

 

 

Sourcing in Times of Disaster!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Jericia Stevens, Account Manager at SafeSourcing, Inc.

Recently, Gatlinburg, TN experienced a historical wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. The residents of the city where forced to evacuate and seek refuge in emergency shelters. Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters said, “This is a fire for the history books,” Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said, “The likes of this has never been seen here.”

As I read about this tragedy, I thought, can this beautiful and lucrative tourist town recover from such devastation? Ironically, that same week I read one of the White Pages written by our CEO, Ron Southard, entitled, 4 Tips and 3 Pitfalls to Avoid when Sourcing Professional Services, A Little Planning can Save Companies Millions.” In it Ron listed poplar services targeted for new procurement projects: The professional services that could be useful for homes and businesses in Gatlinburg are: Disaster Response (Emergency Cleanup), Environmental Services, Construction Services, Temporary Labor, and Waste Management Services. Yes, Gatlinburg will be great again and sourcing professional services during this tragic disaster can help.

SafeSourcing, Inc. can assist you in times of disaster. We provide innovative eProcurement tools that can increase efficiency and improve profitability for our customers, and provide superior value for all stakeholders. In addition to providing information, tools and services, SafeSourcing proactively supports consumer safety and environmental standards throughout the global supply chain management process. To learn more, visit SafeSourcing.com

Let SafeSourcing 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.

 

Could YOUR Company be saving more money?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

 

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

What prevents a business from reducing costs by engaging in eProcurement best practices? The most common obstacle we see is simply a limitation in mindset, or the lack of will to change practices that maintain the status-quo. eProcurement practices have been around for as long as the internet has, and yet we still find businesses that aren’t aware of the most up to date tools for sourcing, and for whom suggesting a change in practice is akin to blasphemy. What is the barrier to change, and how can you overcome internal objections to improving procurement practices within your organization?

A concept that has come back into the spotlight this election cycle is The Overton Window. This concept is sometimes called “the window of discourse”, and signifies the range of ideas that your audience will accept. Though typically applied to political ideas, it simply relates to what ideas a group of people is willing to consider, and not willing to consider. However, the effort to enact any type of change within an organization will come up against this concept, and will require that The Overton Window be widened. Once the window is widened/the range of concepts willing to be considered has grown in scope, you can begin to garner buy-in of improved processes. So how can we accomplish this in the procurement space? Here are a few recommendations:

  •  Let the results speak for themselves: We run risk-free pilot events for new customers to demonstrate what can be accomplished with eProcurement practices. We routinely saving upwards of 20% on spends in excess of a million dollars using our process. Seeing one category save hundreds of thousands of dollars can quickly get your team to see the possibilities open to them for other categories across the business.
  • Implement cost reduction goals: If you create goals that can’t be accomplished by maintaining the status-quo, your team will have to open their expectations to considering new possibilities. “Necessity is the mother of all invention” as they say.
  • Find examples of being overcharged: We often do analysis of a company’s spend categories and uncover situations where companies are being charged 50% more for products/services than other clients of ours being charged. The only difference is that they’ve never addressed that spend and taken it out to market. If your boss isn’t interested in eProcurement, find a spend he’s losing money on that a category RFP has high historical savings in to demonstrate how much money is being left on the table with current purchasing practices.

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.

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.