Archive for the ‘E-procurement’ Category

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.

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[1] “Agile Manifesto.” 2003. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.agilemanifesto.org/>

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.

 

customersat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

partner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Looking for a new Procurement Service Provider? Look no further!

Friday, December 4th, 2015

 

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

SafeSourcing, Inc. is here for you, where we focus on YOU and YOUR needs, and not just sell you a tool, we provide you exceptional service!

10X

 

 

 

 

About us:

Just in time, an innovative alternative has arrived. SafeSourcing is loaded with efficient and comprehensive tools and programs that turn the procurement process into a highly productive endeavor. SafeSourcing® is, literally, a one-stop shopping center.

At SafeSourcing, we focus on safety and security. All our vendors are part of a high quality supplier database with many associated tables that support security and safety in the supply chain. SafeSourcing’s suppliers are also checked for their support of socially responsible initiatives including their eco-friendly practices.

To that end, our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database of over 427,000 global suppliers contains over twenty-five unique certification standards that are supported by our best practice initiatives such as GFSI, ISO 22000, Green Seal, ECO-LOGO, Fair Trade, SQF and Certified Humane Raised & Hand-Fed.

The SafeSourcing objective is to help buyers save considerably on costs. History shows that in selected categories, buyers have saved as much as 30-40%. Auction events can literally be set up in minutes, creating a significant efficiency improvement over traditional offerings. Studies have shown that a 5% saving in procurement costs translates into an effective increase in sales growth of 30%.

“As our technology advances, new companies are given the tools to do business in a better, smarter, more streamlined and cost effective way. SafeSourcing is one of those companies and delivering these advances to the procurement community is why we are here.” Ron Southard, CEO, SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing is committed to proactively supporting safety and environmental standards in the global supply chain. We donate a portion of our net profits to retail education, green and safety initiatives.

Are you interest 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.

 

Resetting the Rules

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

 

Today’s post is  from our SafeSourcing Archives.

I was in a casino recently and overheard this conversation after an explanation of how one of the games worked:

Person 1:

“Well it seems like there are more ways to lose then there are to win.”

Person 2:

“Sure the House makes the rules.”

Person 1:

 “That doesn’t seem very fair.”

Person 2:

“Yeah, but you don’t think they build a new casino here every year because they LOSE money do you?”

Unfortunately many companies move along playing by their vendor rules, paying for services and items that aren’t as favorable as they could be.  Today’s blog will look at a few ways that you can turn that around and begin setting the rules for your benefit.

Price Model Consolidation – One of the common things that happen throughout the course of any Request for Proposal is the aspect of collecting the proposed pricing.  As will happen in almost any request for proposal, the vendors will have slightly different pricing models and fees that they offer you with rarely any two being the same.  Use the results of the RFP to choose the pricing model pieces that suit your company the best and create a strategy that you can then have the suppliers offer a “best and final” proposal before you make your final decision that will allow you to compare each vendor on price as well as value offering.

RFQ Terms & Conditions – One of the areas where companies frequently miss out, is the opportunity to set the foundation of the Terms and Conditions you want before you invite them to submit a proposal.  By determining in advance the terms you expect the awarded vendor to offer you will eliminate vendors who can’t or refuse to meet you terms in advance, saving you time in the end.  If they have an amendment to the terms and conditions you specify you can always allow they submit that requested modification to you in advance so that you can determine if you would still like to see a proposal from them.

Sample Legal Documents – Another area that can really help with the eventual contract that will provide your company the greatest value is to get and receive samples of the legal documents that the agreement will eventually be based around.  This means that getting Letters of Intent or Sample Contracts from your legal department to event participants so that they will know what will eventually be expected of them or collecting Service Level Agreements from the vendor so you know what the scope of what they will offer you can be critical in identifying and overcoming hurdles before they ever start.  It also means that you can work with you suppliers to determine details in advance that provide your company the greatest offering.

For more information how you can begin to start setting your own Procurement Rules, please contact a SafeSourcing Project Manager.

We look forward to your comments.

What always causes delays in the running of any e-RFX?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

 

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

Have you ever heard a buyer say I can’t find or don’t have a specification for that product or service? Or, I’m not sure how much we spent on that last year. Or I’m not sure if we have a current contract in place or when it expires if we do. Don’t’ laugh, because this is all too common at the best of companies. We all know this is true and that it happens every day of every week. How in the world can the specification be missing or not exist in the for something you are currently buying? How would we even understand if what we are receiving is what we ordered? Back door receiving systems have tracked this for years. What happens if we order one type of copy paper like recycled 96 white, and receive a lower quality product?

The above examples have always amazed me because an original order had to be placed at some point in time. In many cases the invoice (at least the original one) may even reference the product number or description if not both. Sometimes the invoice even calls attention to the terms and conditions. In fact, it’s a pretty good bet that the incumbent supplier has a copy of the original contract and specification on file that can be obtained with a simple phone call. On many occasions when hosting e-negotiation events new sources of supply may help to clarify specifications through their questioning about the upcoming bid collection. And then, and it is a big and then, there is of course the internet and sites like Yahoo, Google, and Bing.

If your procurement department has this type of issue, please contact a SafeSourcing customers services account manager. I’m sure they can bail you out in about 5 minutes ninety nine percent of the time.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.