Archive for the ‘E-supply Chain’ Category

During a Pandemic like COVID-19, Is there benefit to a large retail supplier database?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

 

Todays simple post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

Maybe you’re looking for KN95 face masks, gloves or other medical safety equipment. Do you know all of the off shore suppliers and how to contact them? We do!

Maybe your current supplier can’t handle your volume any more because of the Pandemic! Where do you look.

Once you are armed with a robust Global Supplier Database such as  SafeSourcing’s  SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  and it’s easy to use query tool.

If you need assistance, just contact us at 1-888-261-9070 or  marketing@safesourcing.com.

We’re here to help!

Knowing Who Your Suppliers Are – Onsite Visits – Part II of II

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

 

Yesterday we posted  about the importance of onsite visits with your suppliers, how to prepare, what to look for, and the value of performing these visits.  This week we will be taking a look at some of the additional things that you need to think about when visiting a supplier in another country.

Visits to international sites will need to encompass the same types of information gathering as a domestic one such as reviewing the cleanliness of the facilities, observing production, logistic and storage processes, but there 3 important areas that must be considered in addition to these that may determine the success or failure of the visit.

Language – Assuming you are visiting a supplier that is not located in a predominantly English-speaking country, the capability to communicate onsite is an important one that should be addressed well in advance of the visit.  Many times the supplier will have staff that is fluent in more than language and can act as an interpreter, however procuring your own interpreter is also a suggestion and possibility. Also, some basic considerations of your own communication style would be to speak more slowly than usual and pause in between sentences to be understood more easily.

Culture – This is an important area to prepare for because in some countries seemingly minor things can create a tense atmosphere.  Determining whether to bow and the details surrounding when and how, if the country shakes hands when they greet and which hand they shake with are all important items in some countries and should be learned prior to your visit.  On the other hand, it is equally important to note the things that are normally unaccepted behaviors in the U.S. which many times are not viewed the same way in other countries.  Americans would generally never answer a phone call in a meeting or show up to an appointment late, but in other countries these behaviors are far less important and frequently occur during the course of doing business.

Capturing the details – Visits to international suppliers generally come with a price tag that is not insignificant to your company, so capturing as much data as possible is important on these visits.  Wherever you go during your visit take a notepad and camera with you to record what you see and hear while on the visit.  Many manufacturers will allow you to take occasional pictures as long as you ask in advance and have it cleared.  Some may not allow it and others may allow it as long as no employees are included in the pictures.  Capturing these details will be very useful to you and your team in the future and can potentially save trips for other employees in the future.

Onsite visits to your suppliers are incredibly valuable and important to your organization and are a terrific tool for knowing who your suppliers are and how they do business.  They are also important forums to gather details necessary for later contract negotiations.

If you are interested in locating potential new sources of supply, please contact SafeSourcing.  The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database contains 457,000 globally.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Knowing Who Your Suppliers Are – Onsite Visits – Part I of II

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

 

Todays post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

One of the important practices recognized by many successful procurement professionals is that of performing onsite visits to both their new and incumbent suppliers.  So much can be learned about how your suppliers do business that may affect your future decisions and contracts.

Today’s blog will be focusing on visits to domestic suppliers and Part II will have more details on visiting your international suppliers.

If you are dealing with a new supplier and scheduling an onsite visit, this is the opportunity for you to validate all of the details they have presented in their RFP/RFI response or presentation; validating that they have the staff, resources and facilities to handle the demand you are requiring of them.

This will be an opportunity to meet the sales and support team that will be assisting you and your company when the inevitable problem does occur, so take advantage of this time to get acquainted with the supplier’s staff.

If you are dealing with an incumbent supplier, make sure you have thoroughly reviewed your existing contract so that details about the level of service and quality promised can be focused on as part of the visit.  Make sure that you request, in advance, any additional reporting from your IT department or from the supplier on the history of the relationship so far.  This would include quality issues, shipping issues, product delays, inventory availability or any other special circumstance that may have occurred.  This visit will be the right time for you discuss these with the supplier face-to-face.

A final very important area to spend time in your visit, whether new or existing supplier, is the shipping area.  Here you will have a very clear idea of how the supplier is organized and you may even get a glimpse at the companies they get their raw materials from as well as other customers they are shipping too for future reference and follow-up.  Information found in this area will also go a long way when having contract negotiations with your incumbent suppliers for concessions on how your products and deliveries are handled.

Onsite visits are critical to understanding who you suppliers are and can be extremely valuable negotiation checkpoints.  My next blog will focus on the differences and things to consider when visiting international suppliers.

If you are interested in locating potential new sources of supply, please contact SafeSourcing.  The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database contains 457,000 globally.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

A simple supplier scoring system may provide key performance indicators for the future.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

 

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

Having a large international supplier database to drive sustainable results in e-procurement events such as ant e-RFX function is critical to that events success. Maybe even more critical is making sure that the suppliers once selected for participation in an event are of the highest quality, professional, responsive and have your best interests at heart. There are several areas in the early strategy stages of a  an e-RFX process which if properly monitored can be leading key performance indicators as to future performance. These KPI’s are; the initial supplier response and supplier training schedule adherence. If suppliers are not interested enough during these early stages, this may be an indicator of future performance in other more critical areas such as on time delivery, back order management, documentation and audit compliance.

A reasonable process for measuring these KPI’s would be to measure the number of days between the project start date or initial supplier contact and the event start date, where the supplier has been sent an invitation but has not responded either positively, negatively or given a reason  for their response. Maintaining an active status of response dates could be scored based on the number of days it takes invited suppliers to respond. The longer it takes a invitee to respond the lower KPI score that supplier would receive.  Another possible KPI measurement or filter once the invitation has been accepted would be the number of days between the date accepted and the event start date, where the supplier has accepted an invitation but has not completed their automated training.

These are not intended to be punitive measures. In most cases suppliers will perform beyond your expectations. Sustainability and quality require measurements regardless of how simple.

If you’d like to learn more about The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.

What’s the genesis of your supplier database and how was it built?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

 

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

All databases have their start as an information gathering exercise that ultimately is enhanced by those characteristics the owner or developer determines to be useful to the community of interest the database is to be offered to. The information then becomes part of a data model where information sets can be accessed or searched based on a variety of queries or questions. Most developers follow a process called Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration or UDDI  as this process.

Universal Description, Discovery and Integration or (UDDI) is a standard established for building online databases of companies and the goods and services they provide, similar to Yellow Pages for the Internet. UDDI is intended to help businesses locate suppliers and products. Sourcing companies supplier databases go well beyond this definition.

Data models can be extremely complex and that is where they become more than a simple on line yellow pages. In fact high quality supplier databases should be able to provide much of the data you might find in the opening pages of a detailed RFI. A simple query like show me all companies within a 500 mile radius of your home office zip code that provide a set of products that meet the following safety certifications.  A next step might be summarizing all company information for these companies by a list of attributes such as company description, sale, years in business, officers etc.

How easy would that make your life?

If you’d like to find more qualified and vetted suppliers to support your sourcing efforts of any product or service, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend 2019 from SafeSourcing. Who were the Pilgrims?

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

 

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.

Effective Supplier Data Management Improves Procurement Process

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

 

This may be old, eight (8) years in fact. Its still no less true today then it was then.

The following excerpt is from the above titled article.

There is more to an effective e-procurement program than cost reduction.

While buyers frequently record cost reductions in the range of 30% to 40% when utilizing an e-procurement or reverse auction process, the issues of quality and performance cannot be overlooked.

The foundation for successful e-procurement is the supplier database
that has been developed and is maintained by the e-procurement service provider. Significant time and capital investment goes into the development of an effective supplier database. It provides the buyer with a recognizable advantage in terms of classification of supplier capabilities, historical performance and the quality of the products provided.

The scope, accuracy and functionality of the supplier database are critical components for buyers when using e-procurement. These elements allow buyers to identify the best sources of supply quickly and cost-effectively, oftentimes uncovering alternative sources that were previously not even considered. This is one of the major advantages of including the services of an online reverse auction service provider like SafeSourcing in the procurement process.

Supplier data management is an excellent example of pairing technology advancements with intellectual property to produce an effective, economical support tool that benefits both suppliers and buyers – better pricing,better quality and better sources of supply.

Click here in order to view the entire article.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019 from Safesourcing; Your GLOBAL SOURCING PARTNER!

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

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.

Understanding the Synergy of Culture and Procurement

Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing. Archives

The follow-up question to the one above could be, “Do you even KNOW what your company’s culture is versus what they intended for it to be?”

I recently attended a local ISM meeting where the guest speakers from VAP Packaging did a terrific job (with a number of their team members) explaining the importance of culture not only within their organization but for other organizations as well.   The culture they have developed has empowered their entire team with the confidence to think outside the box and a system or rewards when they do so effectively.  It was impressive.  For a long time, the culture of a company and how that company handles its supply chain have not always been on the same page.  Unity and Teamwork are preached to operations while procurement is still told to SAVE MONEY and CUT COSTS.

Opportunity not just Order Taking – As procurement professionals we are tasked with assisting the business to run more smoothly, to help save money and to help foster business partnerships that will grow the company.   In many companies this translates to “Rick, I need a million widgets.  Go get me some quotes and samples of the best ones out there.  After we decide what we want you can beat them up on price and write up the contract.”   While this does provide some value to the organization by freeing operations time to do what it needs to do, it does not account for the fact that maybe “Rick” could have presented 2 new options to the business that switch to “dongles” at half the cost, half the volume and can improve operational efficiency by 25%.   Not all companies will embrace outside the box thinking from its procurement team so understanding where the current culture stands is an important part of improving that.

Value of cost reduction – There are so many times people get enamored by the numbers.  They hear about a solution or product that has an ROI of 5x in 6 months or that can generate $500,000 in savings, and they instantly seek for ways to implement that service or bring that product into use.  What can be ignored in the process, is the fact that by introducing this new product that is going to save $500k to operations, internal procedures and personnel must now change what they are doing, resulting in a drop in efficiency of 40%, costing the company $1M over 9 months.  There can be a cost of change to achieve savings and understanding the pressure points with the organization is critical to weighing the value of a new change.

Understand the Relationships – Many professionals will see this point and think “See, don’t mess around with the vendor relationships I have spent years developing.”  This is not saying that.  The point being made here is to understand completely what relationships are currently in place so that they can be reviewed for improvement. Partnerships can be good.  They can provide security and assistance in emergencies and they can help strengthen companies when the fit is right.  Partnerships are not always good when they are defined by “I have been doing business with Jim for 10 years and he has never let me down.  I am sure he is giving me the best prices he can give me.  He even stops by once a month to take me to lunch where I hardly see other vendors.”  These types of relationships have the tendency to cover years of price increases and terms that have benefitted only the vendor.  Understand the relationships in place so that facts and research can be done to either challenge or support the value they bring to the organization.

At SafeSourcing we understand the value of understanding your company culture and have been doing it for our customers to help them effectively structure projects for years.  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.

The Importance of Supplier Communities!

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

 

Today’s post is our  SafeSourcing Archives 

Suppliers offer a great value to sourcing events. Typically you can use the suppliers’ knowledge on their industry. Without having a knowledgeable supplier base, your sourcing events will not be successful.

By leveraging a Request for Proposal, a company can ask the vendors the best plan for their needs, thereby receiving a broad range of solutions to the problem. Much like technology, the supplier communities are constantly evolving, and typically if you run an RFQ in 2012, there will be major industry changes by 2015.

When you leverage the supplier community, you can find the best way to run an RFQ to match the industry. When you match the quoting process to the industry standard, you will receive apples to apples quotes.

SafeSourcing can help leverage the supplier community within any industry. 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.