Archive for the ‘E-supply Chain’ Category

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!

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

 

 

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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.”  FoxNews.com, 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.

 

 

 

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What Vendor is Right for You?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

 

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

After living in our home for twelve years, the carpet needed to be replaced. High traffic areas were looking worn and dingy. I decided to use a Berber constructed of nylon fiber, as they wear and clean very well.

Nylon versus Olefin Berber:

In 1986, DuPont StainMaster was launched. New Stainmaster fibers have made carpet cleaning easy on nylon Berber. Also, carpeting was offered in many colors versus the drab colors previously available.

Around the same time as the Stainmaster was launched, olefin extrusion plants came on line and olefin (polypropylene) fiber jumped considerably. Both nylon and olefin carpets have their advantages. Olefins will resist stains, except oil-based stains, but will tend to flatten or crush in time. Olefin carpeting will clean very well, but will gray due to soil abrasion over time. Olefin Berber is one of the best values in terms of pricing. It is important to note that all carpet gets dirty and it is recommended that it be cleaned at least once a year.

I researched four different businesses. One was a big box store, two were exclusively flooring companies, and one was a flooring and window business. Although pricing and product was relatively the same, I choose the small flooring/window business. What became extremely important to me were the warranty and the fact that they had their own installers. The other three businesses sub-contracted the installation. I preferred to have a licensed-bonded installation team that the carpet company employs.

The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database plus our exclusive vetting process insures that you will have suppliers that meet your needs and provide the service you deserve.

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.

 

 

 

 

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The How and Why of Supporting STEM!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

 

Today’s post is the SafeSourcing Archives.

Companies have begun to put an emphasis on services suppliers offer as well as the commitment they are making to the environment and to the communities around them when making procurement decisions on top considering price.   One of the growing areas of focus for many companies is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education at the junior and senior high school levels as well the college level.  As the workforce begins to show distressing signs of a shortage of skilled workers in the years to come, companies that make the commitment to the youth now can reap huge dividends later and can contribute to a stronger and more qualified workforce here in the United States.

This type of emphasis by suppliers shows that they want to make a commitment to partner with their local communities in a way that can make them valuable partners down the road.  This emphasis should also be a priority for their customers in much the same way “green” initiatives have become so important.   Today we will look at a few ways companies and organizations are working hard to strengthen our youth STEM education.

Make it fun – One of the challenges presented to companies like utility companies that need a level of skill to employ is that the STEM areas of study are perceived as hard or too difficult for today’s generations of children to pursue.  Companies like Pacific Gas & Electric, Gulf Power Company and Ameren have invested millions of dollars in attempts at the K-12 level to develop programs to make these areas of study “fun.”  With the perception changed and interest piqued, children can begin to grow comfortable with STEM studies to the point where they get excited and hungry to learn more.  The ability to generate this change is the key to the programs of training that will lie ahead.

Connect the PartiesSTEMConnector™was created in 2011 to provide a link for those wanting to get involved with improved STEM education with those providers of education with students eager to learn skills that will help them and their future companies to create jobs. Providing this bridge allows companies that need highly skilled workers to begin to educate new generations of students with skills that they will need in the next few years.  These students will fill holes left by a large retiring workforce, and companies can create strong skills and habits before the future employees even come to work.

Volunteer the time – While some companies do not have a corporate mission to support STEM education there are plenty of ways for employees to still contribute to the growing movement of education.  Many universities and non-profit organizations such as A World In Motion, provide ways to volunteer time in a program to help educate youth in ways that make the application of STEM studies real and provide mentors that give students models of who they want to become.  The commitments

are short term and generally require 1-2 hours per week, preparing youth to become the skilled workforce of your company tomorrow.

At SafeSourcing we know companies are looking for ways to give back to their communities and in finding partners who do the same and are positioning themselves in a place to help build the workforce of tomorrow.  For more information on how we can help connect you with companies like this 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.

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The Importance of Supplier Communities!

Friday, July 17th, 2015

 

Today’s post is by Alyson Usserman, Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

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.

 

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When is it time to change vendors?

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther; Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

When the right time to change vendors and what is the best way to go about it? Those are essential questions that take on strategic significance and can have serious implications. Maybe you’ve gradually become disgruntled with the quality of service provided by one of your current vendors. If you have determined you need a change, you should review the metrics you are using to assess vendors to see if all the standards for quality of services, provisioning of resources, and responsiveness are outlined in detail.

In reality, if there is a problem that your current vendor hasn’t resolved, the metric that addresses this performance standard will most likely be foremost in your mind. You may take that undesired experience and allow that to impact your view of what your expectations for the next vendor should be. You need to look carefully at all the metrics for success you have in place to see if one or more of your expectations wasn’t detailed clearly enough or defined in an assessable way.

There should always be an open line of communication with any vendor who wants to do business with you long term. Talk with the new potential vendor about what you’re looking for. Get their feedback on what’s achievable, practical, and realistic for the budget that will be allocated.

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.

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