Archive for the ‘E-procurement’ Category

Procurement Planning​

Thursday, January 20th, 2022

 

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

As companies get the new year underway, there are likely a whole slew of things they are going over, from modified budgets to new processes. One key aspect that should be on everyone’s list are areas to examine for procurement. Setting up a list of 10, 25, 50, or even 100 different product or services that your organization could take a closer look at can be a great jumping off point to begin with your procurement team or procurement partner.

When reviewing the initial list, a procurement team or a procurement partner like SafeSourcing will look at a number of different aspects around those products or services. Price increases are one aspect that can be reviewed and addressed when undergoing a procurement process. Perhaps the incumbent vendors you have worked with for many years has regular price increases built into a contract that grow despite what market conditions do. This is another great reason to have your procurement team review what options you have for sourcing.

If your organization wants to get started with procurement efforts but isn’t sure where to begin or which categories, they should look at first, talk to SafeSourcing. We can analyze your spend and invoices and begin researching areas that would benefit your organization the most – a truly custom fit dependent solely on what your company hopes to gain and fitting your own goals.

When reviewing data, a procurement partner like SafeSourcing can set timelines that are timely, but do not short any essential aspects along the way. Using a procurement partner can free up your own procurement team’s time to focus on other important roles within your company, all while still delivering the service and value you expect from your own.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk

Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

 

 

Where is the best place for retailers to spend their effort to improve profitability?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

 

Today’s post is an oldie but goody by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing

The answer to this posts byline is of course all three!

Obviously, all retail companies would like to focus on all three areas and there are even sub sections of these top line areas that we could spell out as needing attention. The challenge is where to deploy already taxed resources?

It does not require an accountant to figure this out. If we assume that COGS or cost of goods and services is about 75% of top line revenue that would result in a simple gross margin of 25%. Based on a number of industries reports we are also safe using a shrink number of 3% of top line revenue.

This author is aware that there are a a few companies with shrink below 1% and cost of goods below 75% which means there are also companies with gross margin better than 25%. The obvious question is are these companies that solution providers want to target for profit improvement sales? Probably not.

So, let’s look at an example of shrink improvement with data analysis tools and process improvement tools versus cost compression with SaaS e-procurement tools. Let’s assume we have a company that does top line sales of $1B. Using a shrink number of 3% shrink would be $30M annually. If you were able to reduce shrink by a third in one year, profit improvement would be $10M. If this were a supermarket company with a 1% bottom line or $10M, improvement could be as much as 100%.

Now let’s take a look at reduction in cost. If we assume the same company has COGS of 75% or $750M and that we were only going to address 20% of that number or $150 and only reduce those costs by 20% which is slightly above industry averages the net profit improvement would be $30M or 300% improvement in year over year net profit. If we were only able to achieve 10% savings which is well below industry averages, net profit would improve by 150%.

I’ll leave the gross margin example for you to figure out. In the above case it is clear that attacking COGS has an impact on the bottom line of up to 3 to 1 versus addressing shrink with your already taxed resources.

If you are interested in an immediate impact to your bottom line, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services associate today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Do you know how a price index plays into e-procurement best practices?

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

 

Todays post is a repost by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Todays post is a little long in the tooth, but still relevant for sourcing professionals.

Being overly simplistic an index is a system used to make finding causal information easier! There are any numbers of indexes or indices available to help procurement knowledge workers insure they are sourcing products at the best possible pricing. The key word here is price as what we will be discussing are specifically price indices.

According to Wikipedia a price index (plural: “price indices” or “price indexes”) is a normalized average (typically a weighted average) of prices for a given class of goods or services in a given region, during a given interval of time. It is a statistic designed to help to compare how these prices, taken as a whole, differ between time periods or geographical locations.

Price indices have several potential uses. For particularly broad indices, the index can be said to measure the economy’s price level or a cost of living. More narrow price indices can help producers with business plans and pricing. Sometimes, they can be useful in helping to guide investment.

Normally an index reflects the current and historical price of a variety of commodities ranging from metals to grain. A common index used in sourcing petroleum products is OPIS or the Oil Price Information Service which you can learn more about by visiting www.opisnet.com.  However in order to drive the best possible fuel pricing there are other dependencies such as whether you are doing spot buys or bulk purchases and these strategies will determine what specific index you would want to review as well as it’s relation to other product information sources such as Platts or the Gulf Coast spot assessments.  This will put you in a better position to determine how to bid the product and also earn a discount relative to the lowest common denominator.

All other commodities have similar sourcing issues dependant on what the highest cost item is in their product makeup. An example here might be the cost of grain in the feeding of cattle or poultry.

Ask you solution provider to explain these tools to you and to recommend how you might use them toward the best outcome.

If you’d like more information, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

All we Want for Christmas…

Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

 

Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing continues to work with hundreds if not thousands of vendors and clients during the year, and here are some things we’d like to see Procurement professionals deliver to all of us this festive season.

Let’s get clients talking to us again. You can’t sit back and think clients are chomping at the bit to call us. So let’s have a chat. Things change quickly and you might be surprised about what we can do for you now. With a new year upon us, it is a perfect time to talk about your upcoming procurement challenges and areas where you see savings. And, while we’re on the subject…

Let’s bring back a new level of interest for vendors. Start the New Year by contacting those vendors (email survey) who have participated in more than two or three events. Access their level of interest in participating in future events and/or find out ways we can improve our process.

Say what you mean. Request for Quote documents are often hard to interpret, and the specifications can lack important detail. With better instructions and better details, any vendor with a bit of common sense will be able to bid more confidently. That’s good for everyone.

Provide a timetable that has a response period that’s fair and reasonable. We run a pretty tight ship these days; our staff is stretched and it can be difficult to keep up with complex requirements and decreasing deadlines. Pressing us for time because you’re late to respond, only means you get rushed and submit sub-par results. On the other hand…

Don’t issue a timetable only to issue a last-minute extension just before the deadline. This unfairly disadvantages (and discourages) the vendors that are prepared, and have made it a priority to respond to our request.

Please Client, answer our questions. We don’t ask many, but often, we don’t get meaningful answers (or any answers). Giving us better data will mean better proposals for you to evaluate. And finally…

If you give us a service or supply to run, mean it! We have a hard working dedicated team that loves working on your projects. We pride ourselves in getting back to you the necessary data for you to approve to run an event. But please, let’s not waste either of our time.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, and a successful and prosperous 2021.

SafeSourcing associates are focused on our customers and vendors in order to deliver the best possible white glove service that there is. We would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement planning. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  

 

On the Twelve Days of e-Procurement Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

 

It is actually twelve days until Christmas and today’s post is a holiday favorite by our CEO Ron Southard from our SafeSourcing Archives.

  1. On the first day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, a streamlined procurement process.
  2. On the second day of Christmas our e-service provider gave to us, more suppliers to source our goods and services from.
  3. On the third day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, pricing that works for smallest categories.
  4. On the fourth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, consistent and customized product specifications.
  5. On the fifth day of Christmas our e-procurement service supplier gave to us, more time for other priorities.
  6. On the sixth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, improved quality in our products and services.
  7. On the seventh day of Christmas our e-procurement service supplier gave to us, better supplier education.
  8. On the eighth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, a simple award of business process.
  9. On the ninth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, support for a better carbon footprint.
  10. On the tenth day of Christmas our e-procurement service supplier gave to us, total category e-procurement.
  11. On the eleventh day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, safer products for our customers and planet.
  12. On the twelfth day of Christmas our e-procurement service provider gave to us, a sustainable e-procurement process and improved corporate net earnings.

Now, ask yourself if all of these goals are accomplished on your company’s behalf by your present e-procurement service provider. If n0t, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

Continued best wishes for a very Merry Christmas the rest of the 2021 Holiday Season.

So you think you can do it yourself and do it better than an e-procurement service provider?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

 

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

That is if you want to drive the greatest possible savings across the broadest range of categories in the shortest amount of time; and have a sustainable process moving forward.

The question one needs to ask is; what type of event services does my e-procurement provider offer? If your company is deciding to try self service, which is to be 100% self-sufficient, you need to know if your provider offers readily available classroom education that can be conducted on-site in order to train your team in all the nuances of event creation and support. These skills are the foundation that allows e-procurement providers to support large volumes of events in a full service mode, which drive greater savings over the long term. Knowledge transfer in this area is one thing; the passion, skill and headcount to carry out these practices on a day by day basis are what drive results.

Typically event services falls into two broad categories:

1. Event management
2. Event monitoring and support.

Event management provides end to end e-sourcing support that begins with a companies overall strategy and ends with the actual execution of the e-procurement event. This is a true cross category effort that includes a rather lengthy list of services that may include buyer training, supplier selection, category discovery, supplier communication, data analysis and the overall strategy for taking a specific category to market including timing, training and overall supplier expectation management.

Event monitoring and support is actually the tactical implementation of the over all e-procurement event management process. This may include all communications with suppliers on the day of an event including making sure they have access to the system, get logged in properly, don’t have problems placing quotes, monitoring supplier and buyer system communications techniques during an event such as notes and texting and being available post event for questions as needed.

These services are normally provided by people behind the scenes with a very specific skill set. If you plan to do self service it would be very wise to make sure you have them covered at the same quality level.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

This post is from a year ago! I know that your costs are going UP! And they still are!

Friday, September 24th, 2021

 

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

Its amazing to me that with all the increases in spending resulting and continuing  from COVID-19 Pandemic, some of which would have been classified as tail spend that companies continue to not use tools available to them that will help to keep these and other costs down. Please contact me personally if you’d like to discuss.

At SafeSourcing, we help buyers save considerably on costs by providing tools that enhance the ability to do business in a better, safer, smarter, more streamlined and cost-effective way. Our flexible service offerings and suite of e-procurement tools deliver savings that can be referenced that are greater than 10 times the cost of our services and often much higher. Our annualized savings across all customers and all categories over the last 24 months are greater than 24%. You can not do better on your own!

We can help Improve your profitability and increase your efficiency. Both areas that  should and can help during these stressful times.

Here’s what one of our customers had to say. “We would not be where we are with our Indirect Spend if it were not for SafeSourcing.” SR. VP FINANCE OF $20B DISTRIBUTION COMPANY.

If you’d like to discuss our risk free trial, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services professional.

Why should suppliers want to participate in eRFX events?

Friday, July 30th, 2021

 

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.

What’s the difference between a non-responsible and a non-responsive bidder.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

 

 

Today’s post is our archives at SafeSourcing.

The California Court of Appeals offered a good explanation of the difference between responsive and responsible. “A bid is ‘responsive’ if it promises to do what the bidding instructions demand; a bidder is ‘responsible’ if it can perform the contract as promised.” [1]

Non-responsibility is determined based on whether the bidder can actually fulfill the Invitation to Bid (ITB). Does the company have the necessary facilities and delivery capabilities to fulfill the required products? Determining if a vendor is responsible would have you assessing if the bidder is capable of fulfilling the products as specified, not if the bid itself meets the specifications.

Every ITB has product specifications, terms, and deliverables that each bidder must abide by. For a bidder to be considered non-responsive,  they will not conform or meet one or any of these requirements. When determining if a bid is responsive, you would assess if the bid offered meets the product specifications, terms, and deliverables; not at how well the bidder will actually perform.

When a bidder is categorized as non-responsive there are normally three steps. First, you will notify the bidder with indications of their non-responsibility. Second, the bidder will be given the opportunity to contest those indications. Finally the bidder should be permitted to present evidence that they are qualified to fulfill the products.

Please contact SafeSourcing for any needs with your non-responsible and non-responsive suppliers. 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.

[1] http://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/195/1331.html

Understanding the Relationship Between Procurement and Marketing

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

 

Todays post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

The relationship between a retailer’s Marketing and Procurement Departments has been one struggling to maintain cohesiveness in many companies for quite some time.

While the Marketing team is continually trying to find creative and cutting-edge ways to increase sales within a retail organization, Procurement is constantly looking for ways in which to not only reduce costs, but find the best fit of suppliers with their company.

In many cases, marketing will expend a good deal of effort to find vendors to work with them on projects that when turned over to the procurement team can’t even be considered because their price is too high.  In the end this costs the company money, creates continued division between departments, and causes unnecessary lost time and sales.

Studies and reports have shown, and we at SafeSourcing agree, that the involvement of the Procurement department, even at the most basic level, into marketing projects can reap huge benefits as both departments work toward finding partners in their suppliers to achieve both their marketing and procurement objectives.

Retailers whose Marketing departments can leverage the database of the Procurement department’s suppliers will find a positive effect on their spend while achieving the ROI they are looking for on their campaigns and will create a better team environment within the company to achieve like-minded goals.

For more information about how the SafeSourcing database of known suppliers can help your company’s marketing and procurement departments work together to achieve these goals, please contact a Customer Service representative today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.