Archive for the ‘Procurement Tool’ Category

This is Part III of an III part post series titled ?Technology Drives E.Procurement Acceptance? focuses on Reasons to Use E-Procurement.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

?Part III Reasons to Use E-Procurement

Sometimes an explanation can be lost in translation so we have developed the following 20 reasons why utilizing the technology-based e-procurement process can provide significant benefits to you and your company. These are certainly not all of the benefits that can be derived from the use of the e-procurement process, but it is a good starting point.

While this list is not ranked in order of importance, many might argue that not much is more important than the #1 item which is improved earnings.

? Improve net earnings
? Enhance safety
? Reinforce corporate social responsibility
? Find new sources of supply
? Streamline the procurement process
? Elevate supplier accountability to meet your standards
? Improve quality
? Reduce costs in a volatile market
? Ensure a competitive environment
? Buy at market pricing
? Maintain a reliable history for comparison
? Educate suppliers as to how you wish to procure products
? Eliminates questions through effective supplier training
? Maintain consistent product specifications
? Improve negotiation
? Improve carbon footprint
? Simplify your ?award of business? process
? Free up time for other tasks
? Process works for all product categories
? Provide a detailed audit trail

E-procurement offers many benefits for a broad range of companies in a variety of industries, assuming that the process selected is a high quality system with an extensive supplier database. We must also assume that the e-procurement process is implemented properly with the purchasing company and that the experienced e-procurement system provider works in concert with the buyer in order to realize optimal cost savings.

Numerous technology advancements have streamlined the e-procurement process and made it more user-friendly and less expensive. A company today can expect to reap significant benefits from e-procurement, including: saving money on purchases, reducing the time involved in the purchasing process, tracking current and archival activities and results, eliminating waste and improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain.

?Take advantage of the technology advancements and don?t overlook the benefits of implementing an e-procurement process to strengthen your company?s bottom line.

To download copies of this entire article please use the following link.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

This is Part III of an III part post series titled “Technology Drives E.Procurement Acceptance” focuses on Reasons to Use E-Procurement.

Monday, May 24th, 2010

 Part III Reasons to Use E-Procurement

Sometimes an explanation can be lost in translation so we have developed the following 20 reasons why utilizing the technology-based e-procurement process can provide significant benefits to you and your company. These are certainly not all of the benefits that can be derived from the use of the e-procurement process, but it is a good starting point.

While this list is not ranked in order of importance, many might argue that not much is more important than the #1 item which is improved earnings.

• Improve net earnings
• Enhance safety
• Reinforce corporate social responsibility
• Find new sources of supply
• Streamline the procurement process
• Elevate supplier accountability to meet your standards
• Improve quality
• Reduce costs in a volatile market
• Ensure a competitive environment
• Buy at market pricing
• Maintain a reliable history for comparison
• Educate suppliers as to how you wish to procure products
• Eliminates questions through effective supplier training
• Maintain consistent product specifications
• Improve negotiation
• Improve carbon footprint
• Simplify your “award of business” process
• Free up time for other tasks
• Process works for all product categories
• Provide a detailed audit trail

E-procurement offers many benefits for a broad range of companies in a variety of industries, assuming that the process selected is a high quality system with an extensive supplier database. We must also assume that the e-procurement process is implemented properly with the purchasing company and that the experienced e-procurement system provider works in concert with the buyer in order to realize optimal cost savings.

Numerous technology advancements have streamlined the e-procurement process and made it more user-friendly and less expensive. A company today can expect to reap significant benefits from e-procurement, including: saving money on purchases, reducing the time involved in the purchasing process, tracking current and archival activities and results, eliminating waste and improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain.

 Take advantage of the technology advancements and don’t overlook the benefits of implementing an e-procurement process to strengthen your company’s bottom line.

To download copies of this entire article please use the following link.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

This is Part II of an III part post series titled ?Technology Drives E.Procurement Acceptance? focuses on Getting Started!

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Getting Started

First and foremost in getting the e-procurement process right is to select a solution provider or partner that knows what they are doing and is willing to work closely with you during the early part of the process. The e-procurement plan for each company will be somewhat different in order to meet the specific needs of the company. There is however a general order to things that will provide the best opportunity for success.

To realize the most benefit from your e-procurement process, you will need to:
? Develop your strategy
? Complete a detailed discovery
? Learn to understand how to set up your procurement events, even if handled by your provider.
? Use a provider with a high quality process and an extensive database for sourcing suppliers
? Clearly communicate how events will be run or executed to all involved parties ? Review the process for sustainability and adjust as necessary
?
As mentioned earlier, it is incumbent upon your e-procurement solutions provider to be able to assist you in completing these tasks in a reasonable period of time. You should be checking the background of the team and the leadership that will be assisting you to ensure their understanding of your industry such as operations, technology, procurement, warehouse management, logistics, transportation, loss prevention, store management and other functional areas of your business that will be sourcing products and services. It is all about detail because knowledgeable attention to detail will improve quality, reduce costs and ensure the success of your company?s new e-procurement process.

Please join us for part III of this post series on Monday titled Reasons to Use E-Procurement.

To download the entire article please use the following ?link.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

This is Part II of an III part post series titled “Technology Drives E.Procurement Acceptance” focuses on Getting Started!

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Getting Started

First and foremost in getting the e-procurement process right is to select a solution provider or partner that knows what they are doing and is willing to work closely with you during the early part of the process. The e-procurement plan for each company will be somewhat different in order to meet the specific needs of the company. There is however a general order to things that will provide the best opportunity for success.

To realize the most benefit from your e-procurement process, you will need to:
• Develop your strategy
• Complete a detailed discovery
• Learn to understand how to set up your procurement events, even if handled by your provider.
• Use a provider with a high quality process and an extensive database for sourcing suppliers
• Clearly communicate how events will be run or executed to all involved parties • Review the process for sustainability and adjust as necessary
 
As mentioned earlier, it is incumbent upon your e-procurement solutions provider to be able to assist you in completing these tasks in a reasonable period of time. You should be checking the background of the team and the leadership that will be assisting you to ensure their understanding of your industry such as operations, technology, procurement, warehouse management, logistics, transportation, loss prevention, store management and other functional areas of your business that will be sourcing products and services. It is all about detail because knowledgeable attention to detail will improve quality, reduce costs and ensure the success of your company’s new e-procurement process.

Please join us for part III of this post series on Monday titled Reasons to Use E-Procurement.

To download the entire article please use the following  link.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

What is the retail procurement lifecycle of a product or service?

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

This author generally begins discussing this subject with our customers and prospects during the discovery phase of our engagements. It helps to get us all on the same page and as such we get a lot of different definitions. Quite frankly we get almost as many as the number of people we discuss the subject with. Surprisingly the process which is quite simple as a definition is not any different from when I first learned it over 40 years ago in the U.S. Air Force other than its automation provided by modern procurement tools.

Typically procurement consists of seven (7) steps. Where the confusion generally enters is that each step can have a process of its own or be interrelated with another step in the process. An example would be the contract lifecycle that easily fits within the negotiation cycle and the renewal cycle. Another might be that information gathering which is the generally accepted first step in the process can apply to multiple issues such as information gathering for the related product or services such as specifications as well as the information gathering of prospective supplier data.

As such, the simple steps to the procurement lifecycle that most individuals generally agree upon are as follows.

1.?Information gathering
2.?Supplier contact
3.?Background review
4.?Negotiation
5.?Fulfillment
6.?Consumption
7.?Renewal

Most times keeping this simple model in mind will allow? retail procurement professionals to answer the question where are we in the process when a project gets stalled or off track.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Very few retail companies have contract management software.

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

So just what is Contract Management or Contract Lifecycle Management? Are they the same?

According to Wikipedia Contract management or contract administration is the management of contracts made with customers, vendors, partners, or employees.

Contract management can include negotiating terms and conditions and ensuring compliance with those terms and conditions. Beyond these base functions contract management can also include documenting and agreeing on any changes that may occur during the implementation or execution of a contract.

We can think of contract management as a summary of the process of with which companies use a systematic approach to manage contracts through the process of creating, executing and analyzing contracts for the purpose of maximizing the financial and operational performance of contracts so as to mitigate risk.

A frequent buzz word in the industry today is that of Contract Lifecycle Management Solutions. This really means the same thing from a systems perspective that should include automating much of the following.
1.?Authoring
2.?Negotiating
3.?Tracking
4.?Alerting
5.?Awareness management
6.?Baseline moderation
7.?Commitment moderations
8.?Communication moderation
9.?Contract visibility
10.?Document management
11.?Change management
12.?Issue alerts
13.?Service level agreement moderation
14.?Total Transaction compliance

Ask you solution provider how they can help you in this area and how to integrate CLM with your e-procurement suite.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Safesourcing Inc. completes a successful year two.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

It hardly seems possible that we launched our company two years ago. At the time there were indicators for those paying attention of trouble in the global economy but know one had any idea just how bad it was going to get. In hindsight what a time to launch a company. When customers and business partners asked me why, my response was if you are doing what you believe in and the results you promise are true, then there really is no bad time to launch a business.

Our promise has been the same from day one, to reduce the cost of goods and services regardless of a company?s size or the size of the category being sourced. And, while doing so improve quality, safety and environmental focus. Today, two years later our customers will attest to the fact that we have held true to that promise.

Following is a short list of accomplishments that we are very proud of.

1.?Over 700 educational blog posts relative to e-procurement issues of importance.
2.?Over 1500 useful procurement related wiki terms and definitions.
3.?Added an average of more than one new customer for every month in business.
4.?Grew our supplier data base to greater than 380,000 retail suppliers
5.?Sourced 100?s of categories from commodities to finished goods and services.
6.?Sourced categories as small as $5K with savings > 30%.
7.?Sourced categories as high as $80M.
8.?Never held an e-negotiation event that did not result in savings.
9.?Conducted every process in e-procurement including RFI, RFP and RFQ.
10.?Installed our product in Asia in a multi lingual implementation.
11.?Averaged over 24% savings over two years.
12.?Developed a unique process for sourcing small spends for the retail mid market.
13.?Grew our database to over a terabyte of data.
14.?Helped companies source with environmental and social consciousness
15.?Today released SafeContract? a fully featured hosted Contract Management System.

To our customers thank you for your support. We endeavor to earn your business every day. To our business partners thank you for your guidance during a tough economic period. To the retail industry our goal is to be your best vehicle for reducing costs and improving earnings with an increased focus on corporate social responsibility.

Thank You.

Why should retailers be concerned with evergreen contracts?

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

This author has been asked on numerous occasions why I am so concerned with evergreen contracts. First, let?s discuss what an evergreen contract is. A simple definition is that it is a contract or an agreement between two parties (you and your supplier) that is automatically renewed or rolled over after each completion period which is typically a year, until canceled by the either party.

This does not sound so bad at first glance, particularly if the current terms of the contract such as price, performance, quality, service or service level are all being met and are to your advantage when they automatically renew.? However this is not normally the case, particularly with contracts that are driven by commodity markets such as oil, chemicals, resins, pulp, steel and many others. In addition you can bet if the advantage is in your favor in the initial contract that your current supplier will notify you in writing within the specified period which is usually 60 days that they are going to let the contract expire or want to renegotiate.

In the retail trade where there is very few sophisticated contract management solutions deployed, the cost to the industry annually runs in the billions of dollars. This is because the original contract normally has language that includes price increases above the current contract when it auto renews and the auto renewal is normally for a year if the supplier is not notified in writing prior to the anniversary date. Once renewed you are stuck. This happens because most buyers or executives think they will remember in time to notify your supplier when in fact this almost never is the case. As most retail companies have thousands of contracts in the place the amount of data requiring review is unmanageable.

Contract management solutions that offer alert subsystems based on contracts Meta data are the best solution to this problem and typically provide near immediate ROI based solely on the cost avoidance associated with evergreen contracts.

SafeSourcing offers an easy to use solution called SafeContract? to help our customers with this problem. Ask you solution provider how they can help you.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

What’s on your e- procurement tool belt? Tool belts should make your job simpler.

Monday, April 26th, 2010

There are all sorts of shiny new belts in every store. Don’t get caught up with flashy features that you will never use or forget how to use because you will end up defaulting to doing things the same way you have been for years

The SafeSourcing e-procurement tool belt is simple and easy to use.

A procurement intern can build an e-negotiation event the very first time they look at our tools. If they don’t understand certain procurement terminologies they can enter the term into the SafeSourcing Wiki without ever leaving the website. If you would like to converse with other procurement professionals about a variety of subjects such as index pricing, just log in to Sourcebook it’s easier to use than traditional social network sites and has many of the same features. You can create a group or hold an open threaded conversation with hundreds of other procurement professionals. If you are looking for new sources of supply, you can request information sorted by dozens of criteria including proximity to a particular zip code, category, sic code etc. While all this is going on alerts from more than thirty sources like the FDA, USDA and OU provide you with up to the minute industry alerts on safety and environmental related issues. Are you looking for product specifications?  Just click on the SafeSourceIt template library. Want to start a contract after you have awarded business from an e-negotiation event, simply click on SafeContract to view templates and setup tracking.

You can also read this blog daily and pass the useful inforamtion on to a friend very easily.

We constantly hear from our customers how simple our tools are to use. What are you waiting for; get your pants of the ground with the Safesourcing e-procurement tool belt.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

What?s on your e- procurement tool belt? Tool belts should make your job simpler.

Monday, April 26th, 2010

There are all sorts of shiny new belts in every store. Don?t get caught up with flashy features that you will never use or forget how to use because you will end up defaulting to doing things the same way you have been for years

The SafeSourcing e-procurement tool belt is simple and easy to use.

A procurement intern can build an e-negotiation event the very first time they look at our tools. If they don?t understand certain procurement terminologies they can enter the term into the SafeSourcing Wiki without ever leaving the website. If you would like to converse with other procurement professionals about a variety of subjects such as index pricing, just log in to Sourcebook it?s easier to use than traditional social network sites and has many of the same features. You can create a group or hold an open threaded conversation with hundreds of other procurement professionals. If you are looking for new sources of supply, you can request information sorted by dozens of criteria including proximity to a particular zip code, category, sic code etc. While all this is going on alerts from more than thirty sources like the FDA, USDA and OU provide you with up to the minute industry alerts on safety and environmental related issues. Are you looking for product specifications?? Just click on the SafeSourceIt template library. Want to start a contract after you have awarded business from an e-negotiation event, simply click on SafeContract to view templates and setup tracking.

You can also read this blog daily and pass the useful inforamtion on to a friend very easily.

We constantly hear from our customers how simple our tools are to use. What are you waiting for; get your pants of the ground with the Safesourcing e-procurement tool belt.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.