Archive for the ‘E-supply Chain’ Category

Landscape Maintenance

Friday, May 19th, 2017


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

Now that things are warming up, it doesn’t take long for your landscaping to get out of control.  Whether that be lawn, flower beds, bushes, plants or trees.  Most of these items will need to be cared for on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to keep them under control and looking nice throughout the summer.  In order for this to be done successfully, you will probably want to hire a reliable landscaping maintenance company to maintain your property.  There are a lot of factors that go into selecting the right company.  Are they bonded and insured in case there is any property damage during the routine maintenance?  How long have they business?  Going with a more experienced company will help ensure that the job is done professionally and right the first time.  You may want to check around with others in your area and make sure that the company has a good reputation.  Also, ask for references and ask key questions regarding the type of work that you will need to have performed.  Does the company offer other services such as weed control, fertilization and insect management?   These services will help keep the lawn and bushes healthy and may be less expensive if they are provided by the same company.  Below are other things that need to be considered when searching for a maintenance company.

➢ Contract Options

➢ Is the company Regional or local

➢ Experience of Management

➢ Customer Service

➢ Price

➢ Warranty

If you need help finding a licensed landscaping maintenance company, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which company 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.


Equipping to Deliver

Monday, April 17th, 2017


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing archives

In a recent study performed by Noosh, Inc., of over 5,000 companies handling almost $12 billion in procurement projects, some not so surprising trends were confirmed by the data.  One of these dealt with companies expecting their procurement teams to handle more sourcing projects with a higher degree of complexity in the same amount of time than in previous years.  Today we will look at a few areas that can be addressed to help achieve these results.

Helping hand – Several 3rd party strategic sourcing companies exist with the purpose of helping extend procurement teams in order to tackle more projects in a shorter amount of time.  Where individuals on your team may source a category like stretch wrap every year or two, 3rd party companies are sourcing the same category several times a year all over the world for companies of varying sizes.  Not only can they run a project from beginning to end, but they can also provide advice on the best way to structure a project based on what is currently working in the industry.

New tools – Investigating tools that can streamline certain areas of the sourcing process is another important step.  One example of these types of tools is a survey tool.  This tool will allow departments to quickly gather the information they need to assemble projects and structure the best approach.  When this information is combined with online RFx or Reverse auction tools, it allows the department to have several suppliers compete for the business in a LIVE online format that produces hundreds of quote adjustments from several suppliers all at once.  This frees the procurement team up to concentrate on other aspects of the eventual contract that will be signed.

Get better at tracking – Once the decision on getting extra help and getting the right tools in place has been made, developing ways to standardize and track the progress of these projects is the third area that should be examined.   Most strategic sourcing companies can assist in this area as well but in standardizing the sourcing approach, documents, project plans, expectations and roles can all be defined in order to streamline how future projects will run but also to provide an accurate timeline of when it will be completed.  This reduces the company’s vulnerability that can happen when a department attempts to source something on their own.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help be a helping hand, provide new online tools or assist with developing stronger tracking and standardization 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.


Sunday, January 1st, 2017

picture of world

If you’d like to learn more about alternative sources of supply around the world or locally, contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager to learn more about SafeSourceIt™ our 427,000 global supplier database and let us translate it into increased profits for you.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend 2016 from SafeSourcing. Who were the Pilgrims?

Thursday, November 24th, 2016


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

According to the Mayflower Society, as history has evolved, any of the 102 Mayflower passengers who arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower and survived the initial hardships is now considered a Pilgrim with no distinction being made on the basis of their original purposes for making the voyage.

The Mayflower Pilgrims and their fellow travelers were authors of the first true governing document created in a New World colony. The Mayflower Compact is considered to have set the stage for the Constitution of the United States.

These were the same pilgrims that were responsible for the holiday we celebrate today called Thanksgiving.

We wish you and yours a peaceful and happy extended holiday weekend.

Are you looking forward to the outdoor cooking season?

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016


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

With spring upon us, many of us will be cooking out on the grill. It’s great to be able to relax in the warm sun with a cold beverage and a spatula in your hand.  It also helps knowing that cooking your meals will be a little cheaper this season than last.  According to the USDA, supermarket prices should only rise 1 to 2 percent this year which is lower than the 20 year average of 2.5 percent.  Although the supermarket prices have risen overall, the good news is that the price of beef is about 5 percent lower and poultry is down about 4 percent.  Eating healthy will cost us a little more due to the fact of fresh vegetables being about 9 percent higher.  Overall we should be spending a little less this season which eases the stress and makes grilling out that much more enjoyable.  Below are some other notable price changes between March 2015 and March 2016.

  • Pork – Down 5.6%
  • Eggs – Up 0.7%
  • Dairy Products – Down 2.8%
  • Milk – Down 6%

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company reduce your costs and run more efficiently? Like to try a risk free trial? Please don’t hesitate to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. Our team is ready and available to assist you!


Teaming up with Suppliers For More Savings…. Part II of II

Thursday, May 12th, 2016


Today’s post is our SafeSourcing Archives.

Yesterday we began taking a look at some of the ways you can arrange to run a sourcing project for products on behalf of your suppliers to increase the opportunity for the suppliers of those products, lower your suppliers’ costs while lowering your costs for those items or services as well.  Today we will conclude the series by looking at the project itself and the process of using the results to achieve greater value for your company.

Determine the greater opportunity – Once you have determined where your spend lies in relation to your suppliers’ other customers and opened a dialog with them about your plans, it will be time to begin laying out the scope of what the project will entail.  Much of this will be determined by the amount of involvement your suppliers wish to provide in the way of information and management of the process.  The first major part of this step will be to understand if there are other products or services that need to be included in the project even if your company does not use them.  These create a greater opportunity for the suppliers and will results in better results for you and your incumbent suppliers.  The second part of this step is to determine the volume, frequency and location these items will need to be delivered to so that you can begin rounding out the specification and terms and conditions documentation.

Control the project yourself – No matter how much involvement your incumbent suppliers wish to provide you in this process, it is imperative that you own and manage the project from start to finish.  The insight you will gain on these products and services throughout the process will be extremely valuable and will be the foundation by which the final negotiations are achieved with the manufacturers.  Establishing and maintaining these relationships can also be important in later stages should there be customer service issues that your suppliers are unable to leverage properly themselves.

Leverage the results to your advantage – When the project is complete you will be left with a detailed view of the manufacturers, their offerings and their pricing.  You will have at your disposal all of the tools necessary to not only negotiate better value from the manufacturers but also better terms for how those products and services are then charged to you from your suppliers.  Your efforts will be used by your suppliers with all of their customers, improving their margins across the board.  This type of leverage will allow you to reduce or eliminate upcharge percentages from your suppliers or possibly to receive some other benefit in exchange for the results you were able to achieve.  This step would include reaching out to the manufacturer(s) selected and obtaining a letter of intent stating you are working with them and they will honor the pricing to your suppliers and their customers as well.

Sourcing projects on behalf of your suppliers may not be something you are used to running; however the benefits are just as real as traditional sourcing efforts.   These projects provide manufacturers greater volume opportunities and provide your suppliers and their customers and you with better service, value and pricing and should be included in all annual project reviews.  For more information about SafeSourcing 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.

Teaming up with Suppliers For More Savings…. Part I of II

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

It seems like every article and blog you read about sourcing deals with how to get the best value out of the relationships you have with your vendors and for most companies this is not a bad thing.  One of the areas that frequently gets overlooked is the opportunity to leverage your company’s spend on behalf of your suppliers to achieve better pricing for you, them and their other customers.  Products like pallets, roofing materials, corrugated or other packaging related material are perfect categories to look for this situation because they are frequently costs that are passed straight through from the manufacturer to your supplier to your company.

By negotiating better prices than your suppliers have themselves, you can help your suppliers lower their costs for their other customers and you.  This gives them added incentive to work with you and can provide a much bigger spend opportunity to the vendors than just yours alone.  Today’s blog will focus on some of the steps you can take in engaging all of the interested parties in this process.

Understand your portion – Before anything gets set in motion or communications are begun with outside suppliers or your incumbents, it will be critical to get an idea of where your volume of product from your suppliers falls in relation to their other customers.   This understanding will help you and your company level set before speaking with your suppliers about the project.  Your leverage will come in direct relation to the portion of spend your company represents with not only your incumbents but also the amount it would represent for a new supplier.  If you make up 10% of your incumbents pass through cost for a product, you still may be able to run the project, however the leverage your spend and the results you achieve represent will need to tempered differently than if your spend represented 50% of your incumbents spend in this area.

Engage your suppliers – At the onset, engaging your suppliers and/or distributors in this process will be key.  By letting them know in advance that you are looking to negotiate your volume on your own, you give them an opportunity to examine their current suppliers and customer needs and help you form an event that provides a much larger opportunity for the market.  The other advantage to notifying your suppliers, regardless of their involvement, is that there will be no surprises once the process is complete and they understand the direction your company is going.

Tomorrow we will look at the final steps to consider when running projects for products on behalf of your suppliers.  For more information about SafeSourcing 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.

Part I of II. Is critical thinking in supplier selection a key to quality and sustainable retail reverse auctions?

Friday, April 1st, 2016

I was speaking to a senior vice president and head of a procurement organization yesterday that said what SafeSourcing really offers us is access to suppliers that we do not know exist or where to find them. He went on to say that his team and himself personally spend all day negotiating contracts and there are just many projects that they do not have the time to conduct the necessary research or solicitation of all the information including bids that SafeSourcing has ready access to.

A logical focal point for hosting a competitive reverse auction is to assemble all of your present vendors for a particular category that you hold in good standing. These would be suppliers from whom you have historically sourced products using traditional means. In general the principal is that the more vendors or suppliers you have participate, the greater your potential results.

However the above does also require strategic thinking because your company is beginning a process that you wish to use on a recurring basis. As such inviting the same suppliers again and again may initially seem to make sense. However this may not encourage the long term results you are looking for; and is a critical reason why it is important to have the most robust supplier data possible available for your regular review.

By way of an example to support the above let’s suppose you can only find six local suppliers for a particular category you wish to take to reverse auction.  For the most part they will all show interest in participating in your auction the first time around. However a key issue to consider is what will encourage them to participate the next time and the time after that?

Please check back tomorrow for Part II of  Is critical thinking in supplier selection a key to quality and sustainable retail reverse auctions?

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Everything is about the Internet Of Things, even Garage Door Openers and Security!

Friday, January 8th, 2016


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

If you currently need a new garage door opener or are looking to improve the opener that you have, you may want to take a look at making your opener Wi-Fi enabled. There a few different ways to accomplish this.  If you need to replace your current opener, most of the major brands now have Wi-Fi capabilities built in and our ready to use out of the box.  If you have a newer garage door opener, it may be Wi-Fi compatible but you need to purchase additional equipment to get it up and running.  There are also devices available that will allow you to make your current opener Wi-Fi enabled if it currently has safety photo eyes installed.  The photo eyes are usually located on the bottom of the tracks about 3 or 4 inches from the ground.  They are safety devices used to stop a door from closing if something is in the way.  Once you have your opener Wi-Fi enabled, you can download applications from your smartphone or other devices and monitor and control the garage door opener.  You can also setup schedules so that the door will check and automatically close at desired times.  This will ensure that you do not accidentally leave the door open overnight.  Below are some other features that are available for the opener.

  • Monitor status of the door
  • Receive alerts when you forget to close the door
  • Open or Close the door from anywhere with your smartphone
  • Receive alerts about door activity

If you would like some help finding a Wi-Fi solution, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which product 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.

We look forward to your comments.




Sugar Pumpkin Shortage in 2015

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015


Today’s post is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.

The holidays are upon us.  November brings lots of “pumpkin” products to mind such as pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, etc.

Sugar, or pie pumpkins, the product used in cans of Libby’s, are smaller in shape and have more flesh than other types of pumpkins.  The pulp is sweeter and less grainy in texture.  Illinois, the largest pumpkin-producing state is blaming the record rainfall in June for washing out their sugar pumpkin crop.

Jane Moran, owner of Moran’s Orchard in Neoga, reported that their pumpkin crops were washed out in June.   Sugar pumpkins were replanted,  and then it rained more some more!   Moran’s Orchard ended up purchasing pumpkins at auction twice a week.

Libby indicated that the pumpkin crops could be off by a third this year in Illinois – where about 90 percent of the pumpkins grown in the U.S. come from.  Roz O’Hearn, corporate and brand affairs director, indicated there will be little, if any left after the holiday season, saying that “once we ship the remainder of the 2015 harvest, we’ll have no more Libby’s pumpkin to sell until harvest 2016.”, 10/7/15

SafeSourcing product experts can provide you with a number of suppliers in a multitude of categories.  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.