Archive for the ‘Business Sourcing’ Category

Source-to-Pay vs. Procure-to-Pay. What’s the difference?

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig; Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

You may have heard of the terms Procure-to-Pay and Source-to-Pay. While both terms can be used to describe solutions that aim to improve the procurement process, they each have different meanings. The objective here is to provide some clarity around what we mean when we refer to Source-to-Pay.

Most will agree that a Procure-to-Pay solution is one that enables a cross-functional workflow to streamline and improve the process from the act of purchasing to accounts payable. Source-to-Pay takes this a step further, expanding the scope to include the process of actually sourcing the products or services to be purchased.

The objective of a Source-to-Pay strategy is to be inclusive of all activities related to procurement from sourcing using RFx capabilities through financial reconciliation with your organization’s systems of record. Implementing a Source-to-Pay solution that incorporates each step of your organization’s procurement process maximizes the value of your strategy.

The end result of a Source-to-Pay solution is a more tightly controlled procurement process that drives greater reductions in spend than you might achieve using Procure-to-Pay solutions alone. Plus, you will enjoy a more efficient supply chain.

At SafeSourcing, we advocate implementing a Source-to-Pay strategy and applaud organizations that have incorporated these solutions. For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or to discuss how you can improve your own strategic sourcing strategy, please contact a SafeSourcing representative. 

We look forward to your comments.

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Say Yes To New Business! Participate in Request for Quotes!

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

 

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

Do you ignore the invitations to participate in Request for Quotes? Do you overlook the “Please click HERE too for your acceptance to participate in the Request for Quote (RFQ)”?

As a business owner, how do you make any money if you do not do business? Why would you turn down an opportunity to earn new business? If it costs you nothing monetarily but a total of an hour’s worth of time, why not participate?

  •  Through the SafeSourcing process, the RFQs are paid for by the client/host, which means you are not paying to participate or paying to earn new business.
  • Specifications and Terms and Conditions are provided to give you very clear details of the expectations of the items or services required within the RFQ.
  • Accepting to participate in a SafeSourcing RFQ is a very simple process that allows you time to ask specific questions about the items or services and a scheduled training of the system tool to enter pricing. The training itself is very detailed and is done in a very short period of time. We at SafeSourcing understand your time is money.
  • Our RFQs are blind. Just as in a traditional RFP or RFQ, the electronic view of our system is customized to show you your price and your price only, and if you have the lowest quote will be indicated by a specific color. Also different from traditional methods of price collection, is the opportunity to lower your pricing if you do not have the lowest quote. Traditionally, you submit your best and final, walk away and then never know if you had dropped your pricing just another dollar or two that you would have had the advantage of having the lowest quote.

Again, time is money, so 90% of the RFQ Events that SafeSourcing runs for our clients are 20 minutes with 2 minute extensions. Rarely are the RFQs longer. Many of the clients are on a tight timeline themselves and do not have hours to dedicate a person to watch the live event.

The author hopes with this blog that it will open the eyes to businesses wanting new business to participate in future RFQs. Should you have questions regarding our system tool and process or are interested in how SafeSourcing can run a RFQ or RFP 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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We got what you need!

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

 

Today’s Post is by Eli Razov an Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

What is your procurement process? How do you find the products that are required to keep your company operating? Weather it is the raw materials to create your products or the packaging you use to ship it out, there are multiple places to choose these products from. But how do you choose the best? Is it based off of price or maybe the quality? What do you consider value? From sugar to corrugated cardboard there will always be options. Maybe you go with the simple approach, call vendors you hear of from word of mouth. Or perhaps a friend or co-worker works with someone from a particular company and can get you that “in”. You can also take the tech approach and become best friends with Google or a similar search engine.

Great now you have found a few companies, so what to do from here? You call or email for a quote. You talk to someone on the sales side of things and get the information you need by divulging every aspect of your business to try and get a lower price. It doesn’t end there because now you have to do that maybe five more times because you’re not doing yourself any favors by stopping at the first price you get. So now you maybe have five or six quotes. What is the next step? Not sure? Maybe you haven’t gotten this far before or maybe you have and are a seasoned vet.

Well the next step is to discuss terms and nail down specifications. Now what? Where do we go from here? Do you choose the lowest price or maybe look up some reviews? The next logical step is to get samples and compare them to what you have, want or need. Excellent! Now maybe you found the right one but wait, it’s the most expensive! Do you go back to the drawing board or just fork over the dough? All of this process can take weeks and a lot of time out of a company’s already hectic schedule

That is where we come in! Here at SafeSourcing we take the headache out of the procurement process. From start to finish we help with it all. We will find the vendors for you; tailor the specifications to your exact needs. On average, across all companies in many different markets, we drive down pricing around 21% on average. We will do the leg work for you and open up your schedule to do what matters, your business.

Contact us please.

 

 

 

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Holidays and your Business

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

 

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

Many of you may have noticed stores beginning to stock up on decorations and goods for the next big holiday. While it may seem a bit early for your Christmas shopping or buying Halloween candy, you may be surprised that most businesses plan for these holidays months in advance.

Generally, companies begin sourcing holiday goods about six months before the actual holiday. This means that they already have a plan of what and how much will be purchased. Accurate planning and forecasting is of great importance when trying to predict an upcoming holiday, so researching what and how much was sold historically must be done first.

This general rule of 6 month plus prep work not only applies to holiday goods purchasing, but for other seasonal items and services. If a business will need its lot cleared of snow during the winter, it may need to begin sourcing in the spring or summer. Likewise, if mowing and landscaping are needed, the plan should begin during fall or winter.

Next time you are browsing your local shopping spots and see holiday goods out a couple months before the holiday, remember how long the planning must’ve been and how much prep work went into getting all those goods ordered, sourced, shipped, and displayed.

For more information on SafeSourcing can help with your holiday or seasonal 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.

 

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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/

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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