Archive for the ‘E-procurement’ Category

e-Procument is like Couponing

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016


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

Relating my life to e-procurement

e-Procurement is a lot like couponing, in the sense you have to approach it with a different mindset. For example, with couponing you have to leave behind the old way of shopping and open your mind to something new.

The old way of shopping:

  • long grocery lists planned out without considering price
  • weekly menu planning
  • bulk shopping trips to the local wholesale store

The new way of shopping :

  • Meal planning according to sales
  • Shopping at various stores for discounts and savings
  • Buying more while spending less because you stock up on product while it’s on sale

This same concept applies as it relates to procurement versus e-Procurement.

The traditional procurement way involves:

  • procurement was paper- and conversation-based
  • done face-to-face, or via telephone
  • longer turn around approval time

The e-procurement way involves:

  • an online procurement process to cut out steps and save money
  • Simplified software and faster turnaround times
  • Real-time interaction with pre-approved suppliers
  • Orders can be approved online and completed within minutes

We, at SafeSourcing want to you to see the savings and ROI the way couponers get excited about the saving in their pocket. 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.





Account Manager – Easy Enough Correct

Monday, November 7th, 2016


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

An Account manager is a person who is responsible for handling the accounts of a company, right?

Correct. However, there are many more things an Account Manger may handle for a company. According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) website ( an Account Manager can be defined as “In the hierarchy of sales positions, an account manager is responsible for managing the relationship with a series of accounts. Typical responsibilities include diagnosing business opportunities, planning communications, managing relationships, negotiating agreements, reporting and troubleshooting problems.” (CIPS). As I step into the Procurement world as an Account Manager, I see where this is very true. As Account Manager we are all responsible for understanding a company’s needs and how to get them that fast and efficiently. Also, it is important for us to maintain relationships with different companies and figure out the correct method of getting them both to an agreement that is beneficial to both parties. However, our work is far from over, we also have to maintain the relationship with both companies and extinguish any problems before they become a major issue.

As one can see this seems to be a lot of work, especially for one who is trying to run an efficient business and hiring another employee just to handle this aspect of the company seems to just be a waste of resources. This is where SafeSourcing comes into play. SafeSourcing is a Strategic Sourcing company. What that means is we approach Supply Chain Management in a way that formalizes information to help a particular company gain leverage on its purchasing power. Information like Delivery time of current supplier, Cost Analysis, Quality Assurance, etc. By analyzing this information we find the best values in the market.

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.


“CIPS – Procurement-glossary.” Charted Institute of Procurement & Supply. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2016.

The Advantages of e-Procurement

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016


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

It is not easy to implement e-procurement and it can have its challenges; additionally, it takes time for business managers and procurement departments to fully accept it. However, with SafeSourcing as your partner, we can show you the advantages of e-procurement and make the transition to e-procurement much smoother by the following:

Reducing Costs

Costs can be reduced by leveraging volume, having structured supplier relationships and by using system improvements to reduce external spend while improving quality and supplier performance1. E-procurement eliminates paperwork, rework and errors1.

Visibility of Spend

Centralized tracking of transactions enables full reporting on requisitions, items purchased, orders processes and payments made1. E-procurement advantages extend to ensuring compliance with existing and established contracts1.


Internal customers can obtain the items they want from a catalogue of approved items through an on-line requisition and ordering system1. Procurement staff can be released from processing orders and handling low value transactions to concentrate on strategic sourcing and improving supplier relationships1.


Standardized approval processes and formal workflows ensure that the correct level of authorization is applied to each transaction and that spend is directed to draw off existing contracts. Compliance to policy is improved as users can quickly locate products and services from preferred suppliers and are unable to create maverick purchases1.

Using technology

E-procurement advantages can only be fully realized when the systems and processes to manage it are in place1. Software tools are needed to create the standard procurement documentation: electronic requests for information (e-RFI), requests for proposal (e-RFP) and requests for quotation (e-RFQ)1.

These are proven methods to source goods and make the framework agreements that offer the best prices. 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.


References: 1)

eProcurement Time to Value

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016


Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Regional Sales Manager at SafeSourcing,

In eProcurement, one important, yet often overlooked measure of success is time to value. Of course, one of the primary goals of any eProcurement strategy is to reduce spend for the goods and services that an organization requires.

For the sake of this post, I am defining time to value as the time between when you determine that you would like to host an eProcurement event, such as a live Request for Quote (RFQ), to the time that you can begin ordering with the newly negotiating pricing from that eProcurement event. I tend to see that we focus heavily on the savings result, but far less on the amount of time that was required to complete that project. The reality is that those two goals are both important and actually complement each other. The sooner you conclude your eProcurement event, the sooner you are able to realize the savings.

There are several key reasons why an organization needs to monitor time to value closely. A contract expiration date is one factor that creates pressure to attain results quickly. When a contract is set to expire or to automatically renew, it is important to negotiate quickly to avoid any unfavorable outcomes. Another factor is seasonality. For certain products and services, the negotiation must be done in advance of a particular season. For example, in northern climates, snow removal contracts should be in place well before the possibility of snow.

Every organization will set its own time to value success criteria. I always advise that projects should typically range from four to six weeks and that clients should expect to see significant savings that can be achieved and realized in the current quarter.

Dave Wenig is a Regional Sales Manager at SafeSourcing. Dave, or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing, would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you achieve faster time to value in your eProcurement efforts. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

eProcurement Planning

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016


Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Regional Sales Manager at SafeSourcing. In this blog, Dave discusses eProcurement Planning.

We often talk about how an organization can utilize various eProcurement solutions to drive savings and find safe, qualified sources of supply. We also commonly talk about the results of eProcurement efforts derived from the same. These are two incredibly important pillars of any organization’s eProcurement strategy and are certainly deserving of the attention paid to them. That said, there is another eProcurement strategy pillar on which I’ll elaborate. This pillar, often overlooked and infrequently discussed compared to its counterparts, is eProcurement planning.

eProcurement planning can be done in any number of ways either with an organization’s own internal resources, external consultants, or some mix of both. In the remainder of this post, I will discuss the approach which SafeSourcing recommends. We offer this approach as a spend analysis service called SafeSpendAnalysis™.

When we engage with an organization to deliver a SafeSpendAnalysis™, we are looking to analyze 100% of that organization’s spend for a 12-month period at minimum including all capital, cost of goods, and expense spending.

The SafeSpendAnalysis™ service compares your spend data to the SafeSourcing database. The spend data is run against our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database of over 432,000 global suppliers to fully identify the companies within. Then that augmented spend data is compared to historical SafeSourceIt™ Events to identify appropriate supplier categories and subcategories. We then run that data set against the SafeSourceIt™ historical Events to establish potential savings based on category averages.

The output of SafeSpendAnalysis™ is a detailed presentation with an in-depth category analysis; recommendations, questions, and savings opportunities identified in several key areas such as high spend categories, high supplier count categories, and quick wins.

During the SafeSpendAnalysis™ review with the leadership team and the teams responsible for the various spend categories, SafeSourcing works with your organization to identify appropriate categories for which you will utilize eProcurement in the future. It is common for SafeSpendAnalysis™ to identify tens of millions of dollars in potential eProcurement savings and offers the deep insight required to prioritize resource planning for maximum impact in the minimum amount of time.

Dave Wenig is a Regional Sales Manager at SafeSourcing. Dave or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you with SafeSpendAnalysis™. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

Are you on the fence about procurement?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016


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

Whether you have been involved in the business world for just a short time or for decades, despite whether you are at the top or bottom of a company, you probably have heard about procurement, but might not really know too much about it. A common misconception is that procurement is just for big companies or retailers, or that a procurement company just couldn’t help you. Procurement is, in fact, for everyone.

First, if you aren’t familiar with what exactly procurement is, it is defined as the “acquisition of goods and/or services at the best possible total cost of ownership, in the right quantity and quality, at the right time, in the right place for the direct benefit or use of governments, corporations, or individuals, generally via a contract.” In other words, it can help anyone get the goods or services they need.

But procurement is more than that. It can help to lower the costs of those goods and services, realizing immediate up-front savings, as well as back-end savings on things like warranties and discounts. It also allows for a better purchasing process, providing better visibility into an organization’s spending patterns and allowing for better forecasting of future spending.

If those reasons aren’t enough, e-procurement, like SafeSourcing’s suite of tools, can help with a multitude of other aspects. First, through their electronic database, vendors are hand selected for their ability to deliver quality goods and services and are researched to ensure the specifications match exactly what is needed. The electronic platform makes the procurement process easy, understandable, and smooth to run, which can free up the time of your employees, allowing for better utilization of your workforce. On top of that, it can help with contract management, document management, and overall supply chain management.

For more information on e-procurement and how SafeSourcing can help, or information about our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

It’s a real crime that so many companies continue to stay on the sidelines!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016



Todays post is from Ron Southard CEO at SafeSourcing

Unfortunately some 70% of companies still do not use eprocurement tools. If they did, their results would be better. SafeSourcing can give you customer references that exceed the 17X ROI mentioned above. So what happens when you combine your spend with another company?

Generally speaking, the greater the spend amount, the more interest you will get from potential vendors. As a result, many of our customers have been turning to collaborative eProcurement events in order to benefit from the additional savings that higher volumes can generate. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of getting involved.

1. Higher savings due to aggregate volumes
2. Improved payment terms
3. Larger vendor pool
4. Greater ROI
5. Source smaller category spends

Based on the five benefits listed above, perhaps it’s time to try a collaborative event. You may ask; “how would we become involved?” The answer is simple. Contact your SafeSourcing customer services representative and ask if there are any open or upcoming opportunities in which you could participate. Similarly, if you have any upcoming projects either large or small, ask your partner to attempt collaboration within their customer base.

Here’s an example of savings generated from a recent collaboration. In this scenario, our customer was in need of a relatively small spot buy for replenishment purposes. Their spend in this category was actually quite low and was actually the lowest overall amongst the participating companies. In this example, the customer saved almost 37%. I find it difficult to imagine that they would have done so well without the eProcurement process. Further, this is evidence of the benefits of the collaborative process as their pricing was likely much better off as a result of the aggregated spend.

So, are you ready to get involved, or will you continue to stand on the sidelines?

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Agile procurement methodology

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016



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

An Agile approach to project management methodology is most commonly used in software development, but has seen extensive use in business as well. Agile in and of itself is a relatively unspecific concept in execution, and as such has been flexible enough to find wide use in a variety of industries, and has been particularly well deployed in small or start up companies that must be adaptive to their customers’ needs and volatile markets.

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development[1] summarizes the methodology as:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Several sub-categories of Agile methodology have emerged that break down execution more specifically:

  • Scrum – The most widely used Agile framework, it incorporates product owners, cross-functional teams, and “sprint” planning and reviewing.
  • Lean – Probably the most well-known and practiced outside of the development community, made famous by Toyota’s just-in-time manufacturing practices
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method – Follows the mission of “fitness for business purpose”, and ranks activities by incorporating the pareto principle.
  • Crystal – Focuses on team size, system criticality, and project priorities.

One of the greatest strengths of the Agile approach is adaptability. Most procurement projects are necessarily iterative; It usually takes several exploratory steps for all parties to reach parity between the customers’ needs and the suppliers capabilities. During each step, the project’s direction may fluctuate quite a bit, and the procurement team must be ready to recreate timelines, reformat strategy, relocate product or even change team members. Diving into the details of the frameworks above can be arduous, but the benefits of finding a framework to sync your team’s workflow can be enormous once you find a methodology that works for you.

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.


[1] “Agile Manifesto.” 2003. 25 May. 2016 <>

Running the Successful Pilot

Friday, March 11th, 2016


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

New programs, software, tools and suppliers all come with risks due to the unknown factors that could affect how your business runs.  Many times this is why businesses choose to run pilots so that they can evaluate the team they are working with, the program or solution they are introducing and whether or not the effectiveness of those solutions is worth the impact it will make on the business in order to fully implement it.   Today’s blog will cover some of those areas that should be considered to run a successful pilot.

The pilot team – The team that is selected to run a pilot is important.  They need to have a vested interest in the outcome for their department and have knowledge of how the company will use the tool or program so that they can score its effectiveness.   At least one member of the team should have had experience with running a pilot program so that they can guide any of the other members who have not.  Above all else, these team members need to have passion and excitement about the outcome.  Putting team members on the team who it as just another thing they have to do will produce a result that may not benefit the company.
Test the result not the tool – So many times companies get caught up in scorecards that quantify features and functions of a program or solution, which they forget to evaluate these things against the eventual goal, which is how well a program will provide a solution to an issue for the company.  Scoring how a software solution operates on a mobile tablet device may be one piece of information evaluated but when it is based in a need to be filled because the company’s managers are on the floor and they need to be able to do 3 particular functions, then the scoring becomes relevant and can be weighted based on how important this need is.

Share the progress…..often – Good pilots often fail because the people who will eventually make a final decision or have executive ownership are not kept in the loop on the progress.  Whether the progress is good or not as good as expected, most executives would rather know where things stand sooner rather than later because they see the big picture.  They know other things that are happening within the company that the pilot team may not and not having insight into the progress early can affect many other areas of the company.  The other benefit to sharing progress is to generate excitement within the company in anticipation of the time the program or solution eventually gets rolled out to the rest of the organization.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with your sourcing pilot programs 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 is SafeSourcing different from the competition?

Thursday, January 28th, 2016


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










SafeSourcing’s professional service offerings support our mission of providing information and services to our customers through e-procurement best practices that proactively support e-procurement events from category discovery to results analysis. As part of our full service offerings, this also includes ROI delivery and focus on consumer safety and environmental standards in the global supply chain. Our offerings include, but are not limited to:

  • Buyer Training
  • Category Discovery
  • Category to Market Strategy
  • Event Set-Up
  • Event Training
  • ROI Delivery
  • Supplier Safety Certifications
  • Supplier Selection
  • Supplier Training










Are you interested in learning more about SafeSourcing and how we can help your company? 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.