Archive for the ‘E-procurement’ Category

Evaluating eProcurement Solutions – Part 3 of 5: Reporting and Audit Trails

Friday, June 2nd, 2023

 

Today’s post is our  SafeSourcing Archives.

Strategic sourcing companies each have their own unique offering whether that is based on a price model, category focus, supplier database or some other defining trait, but the overall goal is to help their customers source products and services easier, smarter and with an end result that creates more value than the customer could achieve on its own. This week we have looked at the importance of data and technology when making a decision on a strategic sourcing partner and today we will be looking at the reporting and audit trail capabilities and how they fit into the mix of successful events. The best supplier research and technology will not be useful without the view of results in a way to make meaningful decisions.

Strong base reports – Every eSourcing solution has a standard set of reporting that they provide their customers when an event is complete. There are certain aspects of this report package which should be present in order to review the most basic details of an outcome. Supplier activity should be captured in a way that timestamps every quote entered in the system and who entered it. This is also part of the audit package described below. Any online notes should be reported on as well as the supplemental documentation many suppliers provide. The final outcome in a detailed and summary view should be provided as well as copies of all of the documents that were involved in the sourcing process. Basic award scenarios and supplier performance during the process should also be included in a standard spreadsheet or executive summary style report.

Capable of additional analysis – As important as the base set of reports you get from event are, the capability of your strategic sourcing partner to be able to provide additional analysis is just as important. There will be times when special circumstances surrounding the event need to be considered, or the way an incumbent factors into an award decision must be reviewed. Your sourcing partner’s ability to provide scorecards, provide additional award scenario details or break down situations where a primary and secondary supplier need to be awarded by location are all realistic and important ways that they can help save your team dozens of hours and allow them to do the other things they need to do for your company.

Audit Packages – There are usually not many times when a company will need an audit trail of what happened during a sourcing project but typically when they do it is of critical importance. So when evaluating technologies or partners make sure they can provide a package that includes copies of all documents and electronic versions of communications that went to any potential supplier. They should be able to provide time stamped documents of all notes and quotes entered into the system as well as who entered them for the supplier. All verbal communication and questions submitted by a supplier to the customer should be captured in a central place that either be accessed by the customer or by the administrators for reporting purposes. This package should be easily available and contain the trail of all communication with the suppliers.

Tomorrow we will look at some of the sourcing tools that are available and being used by many companies. For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you 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 and appreciate your comments.

Evaluating eProcurement Solutions – Part 2 of 5: Data Foundation

Thursday, June 1st, 2023

 

Today’s post is our SafeSourcing Blog Archives

We have begun looking at some of features and characteristics that are important when evaluating a new or existing sourcing partner this week beginning yesterday with technology. While not all characteristics we will cover will carry the same weight from company to company, they are all important factors for consideration when selecting a strategic sourcing partner or solution. In today’s segment we will be looking at the data that supplies the backbone for the projects you work on with your sourcing partner.

Global coverage – While there are obvious advantages from working with National, regional and local providers, it is important to be able to look at other global sources of supply. Having the options gives leverage to be able to make decisions as it relates to primary and secondary sources of goods and services. This is especially true for global companies who need to source goods and services local to their international offices. Working with a supplier that has a global supplier database is important to be able to develop a view that looks at all options of origin.

Feeding itself – Data by itself is useful, but data that gets smarter and fresher be leveraging the fruits of its labor is the key to running a better sourcing organization. For most companies the limited view they have of the supplier community goes only as far as their own experience or research. When you work with a third party strategic sourcing partner and/or tool, you are getting the benefit of experience that company has had with those suppliers, products and services. If a supplier has been great to work with, you should be getting the advantage of knowing that from your sourcing partner or tool. Likewise, if a supplier has not done well with delivering after an award of business, access to that information should be available as well. As thousands of sourcing projects complete each year the data you are looking at should be leveraging that information as much as possible.

More than the basics – Along the same lines as “feeding itself” your data should be more than just the basics about who a supplier is, where they are from and how big they are. Strong supplier databases should provide the level of detail on par with a mini-RFI before a project ever begins. This data should include who their biggest competitors are, what new products or releases they have completed in the last 2 years, who they are doing business with and where their core strengths lie. This should also apply to categories and having access to template libraries with starting documents for RFIs, RFPs, and online bidding specifications.

Data is still the key to succeeding in the business world. The more information you can get to help make informed decisions before projects begin, the quicker your projects and results can be put into effect and realized by your financial department. Tomorrow we will take a look at the points to consider from an audit perspective and how your eSourcing solution should be helping to provide you the trail of communication during a sourcing event. For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you 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.

Maximize your savings with eProcurement

Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

 

Today’s post is by Dave Wenig Sr. Vice President Sales, and Services at SafeSourcing Inc.

Now that you are using eProcurement as part of your company’s procure-to-pay initiatives, you will likely want to get the most ROI from the investment and focus on projects that will be the most impactful to the company’s results.

There are two ways I always advise a client to make sure they are able to reach their goals.

First, source as much as you possibly can through RFQ. You are already buying the product or service, so take one last step of making sure the vendors also go through an RFQ process. SafeSourcing will do most of the work to prepare using whatever specifications or requirements you are already using and SafeSourcing will also work with all the vendors. There is not much more you need to do, but the upside for savings potential vs. traditional negotiation is dramatic. Bottom line: the more dollars you put through your RFQ solution, the more savings dollars you will generate.

Second, once you have concluded the RFQ, you will have an opportunity to make sure you are getting the most from that effort. Take that opportunity. In a typical SafeSourcing RFQ, we are going to report on many metrics. Let us just focus on two, All Low Quotes Savings and Low Company Savings. The All-Low Quotes Savings is a figure that if you were able to split the award and offer each item to the lowest vendor, that would be the savings. In RFQs with many items, it is often higher than Low Company Savings. Low Company Savings is a figure that represents the highest overall savings from one vendor. The piece of advice post-RFQ is to do whatever you can to close the gap between Low Company and All Low Quotes to get your award of business as low as is possible. SafeSourcing can help in that stage too.

That is just two tips to maximize your savings, but if you follow these, you will be setting yourself up for success and finishing strong.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

 

How can you save money very quickly in the current economic environment?

Friday, April 21st, 2023

 

Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

I was reading Spend Matters Weekly Update today and section called A note from Nikhil Gaur

Titled “Reflections from Coupa customers and executives at Coupa Inspire” piqued my interest. I don’t like to mention our competitors in my posts by name as I have done here. However, the message is important and supports companies like SafeSourcing being able to save companies money very quickly. Today we reduced the spend for a customer in a non-retail industry by 45.68% vs, budget on a project of over a million dollars that will be completed this year. That my friend is money to the bottom line. We do it almost every day.

The quote below is from Nikhil’s “Reflections” from our competitor’s event. I have hi-lited  a few items that support this post.

“Of course, the unfortunate subtext is that one byproduct of downward economic trends may influence an organization to deprioritize procurement/supply chain software that can often save money quickly (when implemented successfully). As such, the strength of individual marketing teams — especially those that belong to smaller providers — may have an even greater impact in determining a company’s success in 2023 than previously thought”. 

 You can view my comments from an earlier post titled Just what do we mean by eProcurement White Glove Services that supports why our savings average over 24% better than what companies can do on their own most of the time.

SafeSourcing is a Procure to Pay SaaS based provider of a number of e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services that are part of our SaaS offered SafeSourceIt™ eSourcing suite. That includes our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers.

To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

 

 

Are new car prices finally starting to come down?

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023

 

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

If you have been reading my BLOGs over the past few years, I have written a few about the rising price of items and how we are overpaying for a lot of things.  I finally saw a headline today that caught my attention, and there may be some good news at least for people looking to purchase a new vehicle.  The price of new vehicles has been dropping slowly over the past few months and according to the recent data, March was the first time in months that car buyers did not have to pay more than what the vehicle was listed for.  This marks the first time in almost two years that the buyers did not have to pay more than the vehicle was listed for because of the high markups on the dealer lots.  According to an automotive research company, brands like Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Hyundai, and others saw their average prices for their vehicles decline almost 4 percent in March.  Not all the brands have seen this drop others like Kia and Honda vehicles are continuing to sell between 3 and 6 percent over the sticker price in the non-luxury market.  In addition to this, new car prices have been trending down for a few months and March’s average price that was paid was about $1,000 less than December of 2022.  Like I stated above this is good news for buyers who have been shopping and seen the higher prices and the really low inventory at the dealers since the pandemic started.

If you need help finding new vehicles for your company fleet, please contact SafeSourcing. We have sourced about every type of tractor, trailer, truck, car, sprinter, or van in your fleet. We have also sourced just about everything that keeps them running including M&R. We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide what brand offering meets 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.

How to improve margins on your hot beverage program using eProcurement      

Monday, April 17th, 2023

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

First, I love coffee. I drink too much and always want more. Like many, I often find myself on the road and grabbing a coffee at a gas station. It’s been great to experience the revolution over the past several years as the convenience stores have continued to improve their offering with many now offering delicious coffees including some that are bean-to-cup.

 

 

But you’re not here to read about my habits. You want to know how we attained a >40% savings on the costs of coffee and cappuccino for one of our c-store customers this month. Here’s the breakdown for anyone who wants to immediately increase their margins as well.

Step 1: SafeSourcing will need to understand your spend over a 12 month period. The details are relatively basic and with any luck, you’ll have everything we need in a simple product movement report or invoices.

 Step 2: SafeSourcing will develop a tailored RFQ event based on the details you have provided. Based on our understanding of the market and the vendors, we will suggest a variety of vendors who are well-suited to support your needs.

 Step 3: You’ll review the details and the RFQ as we have developed it. Once the RFQ is set up accurately, you will simply give your approval for SafeSourcing to move forward.

 Step 4: SafeSourcing will take it from here and you’ll enjoy the results after watching your RFQ occur live. In all likelihood, you’ll have between 6 and 10 vendors very actively bidding to earn your business.

 Step 5. You will review samples and make your final decisions.

 One customer just reported that they’re still enjoying the 32% savings they achieved back in 2019 on their coffee and cappuccino. I truly hope you’ll tell me the same in 4 years.

Dave Wenig is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing Inc. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

 

How functional is your procurement team?

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

 

Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

I was reading an article by Kearney titled The future of procurement, with a subtitle of Where procurement is going and how it will get there. It’s a great short read. One quote that caught my attention was credited to an Enterprise leader who said, “Our procurement process is complicated, unclear and slow”. “All it does is create frustration and the illusion of control”. WOW. Whoever said this should be proud of themself because there is mor of this out there than there are exceptional procurement teams.

Sometimes we just try to do too much. We invest in enterprise software without a real awareness of what that means. Are you staffed to use all of the feature functionality? Does someone need to be trained? Has someone else taken over their old role? If you don’t think these issues through, you may just default to old practices with a new tool.  If you bought a sourcing solution, did you also buy a supplier database or are you just using your AP file of the vendors that you already do business with.  Maybe it’s time to look at a company that can do most of the work for you so that you are in the decision mode instead of the doing the work mode. Just a thought.

The article is pretty good so enjoy a quick read. The future of procurement,

If you’d really like to avoid frustration and begin saving money please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate.

SafeSourcing is a Procure to Pay SaaS based provider of a number of e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services that are part of our SaaS offered SafeSourceIt™ eSourcing suite. These include but are not limited to SafeContract™, SafePO™, SafeDocument™ and our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers.

 

Why should suppliers want to participate in eRFX events?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

 

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

Quite often when speaking with new suppliers in order to invite them to participate in an eRFX event like a reverse auction or an on line request for information or proposal the question comes up; “What’s in it for me”? This is almost never the case for suppliers that have been involved in the practice before.

Supplier benefits may include but are not limited to the following:

1.  Suppliers can accurately represent their company and its capabilities to a buyer or group of buyers.
2.  Suppliers benefit from reduced cost of new business acquisition.
3.  Suppliers are exposed to more opportunities for new business.
4.  eRFX events bring more potential business partnerships directly to the supplier’s door
5.  eRFX events are transparent and all requirements are clearly defined
6.  Suppliers can have access and compare their offering to the best pricing during the auction, which helps suppliers position themselves correctly in the marketplace
7.  All of the buyers terms and conditions, product specifications, and other pertinent information is clear and concise which allows for accurate quoting
8.  Suppliers are introduced to tools they can use in their businesses in order to compress their pricing.
9.  Suppliers can instantly submit and modify their bids electronically rather than submitting paper bids, providing a faster, more efficient purchasing process.
10.  Suppliers can upload pertinent CRM data that they would like the host company to consider.

The next time an customer sourcing company like SafeSourcing calls you on behalf of their host company requesting your participation in an eRFX events, ask to be added to their database and what you have to do to be invited to all events in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about the SafeSourceIt™ Global Suppler Database, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager!

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

It’s NOT being braggadocios if you REALLY are better than your peers.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023

 

Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

We are not bragging or being mean spirited; we are that good. Ask our customers. According to them we are invaluable to their company. So why not to yours. Take me to task and I’ll prove it. You nor anyone else on your team sources many of your products and services as often as we do. If you source a category once every one to three years, you are not a category expert because too many changes happen that you can’t keep up with. We can help you!

At SafeSourcing, we help procurement teams save considerably on costs by providing tools and services that enhance the ability to do business in a better, safer, smarter, more streamlined, and cost-effective way.   Our Customer Services team is one of the best in the industry at complimenting existing procurement teams to help structure and develop projects in less time for better results.

Our white-glove service offerings coupled with our suite of e-procurement tools deliver referenceable savings results that are greater than 10 times the cost of our services, improving Gross Margin and Earnings significantly.

So, give us a call.  And ask us about our e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services and our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers. We can get you better pricing on about any category of product or service.

To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

You should consider Lifecycle Costing when calculating savings on new business awards.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

Today is a re-post from a long long time ago. What’s changed you ask? NOT MUCH!

It’s true that a reverse auction can create substantial low quote savings. However, much needs to be considered when tracking realized savings once the event has concluded and the award of business is ready to be made.

Lifecycle Costing is a procurement technique which considers operating, maintenance, acquisition price, and other costs of ownership in the award of contracts to ensure that the items or services to be acquired will result in the lowest total cost of ownership during the time the item’s function is required.

If a category is truly returning event savings, it should be able to be tracked from original delivery to contract termination on a companies detailed P&L. The trick is that many of the associated costs go to different departments on the P&L. If you don’t know which ones, your pre-event discovery was not complete and the odds of getting the actual savings reported are at significant risk.

So, give us a call.  And ask us about our e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services and our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers. We can get you better pricing on about any category of product or service.