Archive for the ‘Sourcing Safe Products’ Category

CONEG Legislation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing supports the proper recycling, recovery and handling of waste associated with packaging. Therefore, it is appropriate that we inform our readers about CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors) LEGISLATION. CONEG laws have been around in some states for 20 years.

The law was originally developed by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.  The legislation calls for a ban on the use of packaging that use any of the below specified heavy metals during manufacture or distribution.

According to the  pvctech-CONEG-web-summary-02.04.15.pdf, “On February 2015 ,The goal of this legislation is to reduce the sum concentration levels of four incidentally introduced heavy metals, namely lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent Chromium present in any package or packaging component to not exceed 100 parts per million by weight.”

A variation of enforcement instruments are available, including injunctive relief and civil penalties, but no doubt the potential disruption to product distribution is likely the harshest penalty of all.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.  The CONEG Legislation is an example of one of the many requirements that SafeSourcing tracks.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Clickbait! And you won’t believe how!

Friday, April 24th, 2015

 

Today’s blog post is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant to the CEO at SafeSourcing.

Most of us have discovered clickbait at some point browsing through social media and other internet sites, but perhaps never knew it had a name.  Clickbait is a term used to describe articles or links online that are solely made to peak the curiosity of readers just enough to click the link. Once a visitor clicks, they are redirected to another site where they are asked to post to social media and/or are bombarded with advertisements. They may have the article promised, but it often is put onto several pages, all of which require more clicks. Often times, the original article is completely fabricated and doesn’t discuss what it claimed to in the first place.

“You are losing money browsing! Find out how to protect yourself!”

Advertisers want you to see their ads, so clickbait sites want you to visit. They will try new ways to lure visitors to their site and to keep them there as long as they can.

“Soldier surprises family! But watch what happens next!”

The titles to the articles sometimes never have anything to do with the site you are about to visit nor do they have anything to do with the content you are about to see.

So how do you protect yourself against clickbait? You have already made a step in the right direction. By learning what clickbait is and that there are sites that stop at nearly nothing to get your attention, you can be more cautious when browsing. Know what sites are genuine and what sites are simply trying to get clicks by any means.  If a safe and secure site that you are familiar with says, “By focusing on 10% of your cost of goods, you can improve profitability by 100%,” you can safely click and know you aren’t being lured in for advertising revenue.

For more useful information on safety in technology and social media, or to find out how you can improve profitability by 100%, or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Paper Bag Buyers, Do You Know What the Lacey Act Is?

Monday, April 20th, 2015

 

Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic, Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing. 

According to the World Resources Institute, “On May 22, 2008, the U.S. Congress passed a groundbreaking law banning commerce in illegally sourced plants and their products—including timber, wood, and paper products. The law is an amendment to the Lacey Act of 1900, named after the congressman who first championed it”.

“To address illegal logging and other illegal plant trade, the amended Lacey Act does three main things:

   1. Prohibits all trade in plants and plant products—including furniture, paper, and lumber that        are illegally sourced from any U.S. state or foreign country;
   2. Requires importers to declare the country of origin of harvest and species name of all plants contained in their products (a provision that is currently being phased in); and
   3. Establishes penalties for violations of the law, including forfeiture of goods and vessels, fines,  and jail time.”

A company can hold FSC certificates, but that does not mean that all of its products are necessarily FSC certified.  Companies can choose which product lines to certify. These may include all the products they sell, or just a small percentage. An FSC certificate for one product line guarantees nothing about other non-certified product lines manufactured and sold by the same company.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.  The Lacey Act is an example of one of the many requirements that SafeSourcing tracks.  For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

 

Dog Bites, Law, and Your Business

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

Research. These three especially require digging in and getting all the information available.

Recently there was an article  about a suburban neighborhood’s ban on Pit Bulls. Having never heard of such a ban before, it was surprising that one particular breed had been outlawed in an area. The news article talked about how the city officials issuing the citations did not have a formal way of testing what breed a particular dog was, other than visual, and the main story was about how a family was repeatedly cited and fined when their family pet was in fact a Boxer, not a Pit Bull.

Despite strongly disagreeing with this city’s policy of banning one breed of dog when there are many breeds of dog that bite (and are more likely to come from a small breed ) and that the behavior of an animal has a huge amount to do with how that animal is raised, one important lesson here is that there is very little to back this law. The notion that a family can be repeatedly fined over a “dangerous” breed of dog when their dog is neither dangerous nor of that breed, is reminiscent of mob mentality without due process. Perhaps mob mentality is a bit extreme, but the principal is the same. Fear should not dictate law and those making the laws ought to know better than to pass something with no checks or balances.

The purpose of bringing this situation to light is that if a business were to run its operations similarly, it would fail horribly (unnecessary expenses, delay in parts and production, perhaps even lawsuits). A business cannot start implementing policies without having knowledge and research to back it up. For example, when ordering manufacturing parts, a business has to know the specifications of a part before ordering it. Just like not knowing the difference between a Boxer and a Pit Bull, using a nail when you need a screw is going to cause problems. In other words, do your research.

One way to ensure that your business is doing the research it needs is by implementing a SME, or Subject Matter Expert. This is just one way SafeSourcing can help your business, by providing experience and knowledge on your supplies and the industry.

If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your business research or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

Ebola

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Today’s post is by Shelly Hayre, Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

I am sure I am not the only one a little worried here. Ebola is in the United States and not only has someone been diagnosed with it, but now someone has contracted it here in the States. Is the CDC prepared? Do we have the correct personal protection equipment to protect the nurses, doctor, paramedics, hospital staff, and anyone everyone else?

Many articles online state, “You should not be worried; it is highly unlikely you get infected.” If this does spread and become a bigger issue, are we prepared? Being prepared for an emergency small or big is crucial in the success of running a nation, and even a business.

Is your business prepared for an emergency?

Your biggest fear within the business is probably not Ebola, but what about a tornado, fire, or data breach? Providing emergency planning information to employees so they know what to do if there is an emergency and are prepared for the worst is usually missed by companies. Even if there is an emergency plan, does everyone required to execute it, understand it? Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, and train all employees for proper protocol.

Prepare for Utility Disruptions

Businesses require water, electricity, natural gas, telecommunications, sewerage, and other utilities. You should plan ahead for extended disruptions during and after a disaster. Evaluate options such as portable generators for backup power and strategies to deal with interruptions of other utilities.

Natural Disaster

When your office or store-front suffers a disaster and the building is exposed, you will need to have protocol on protecting the valuables (money, merchandise, etc.). You will want to call in a professional to temporarily cover the damage to avoid risk to customers and protect valuables. In addition, call a security guard on-site until the damage is repaired. You are at risk when your building is exposed at all times during the night. 

Security Breach

Protecting your electronic data and information technology systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Protect networked computers with firewalls, install anti-virus software, and keep software up-to-date. Back up your computer data off-site.

These are only a few of the disasters to be prepared for. Having the right equipment and suppliers ready to service you when needed is important in an emergency. If you do not have a contact for security guards, emergency disaster maintenance, and equipment readily available, you are not ready for an emergency.

Let SafeSourcing help you gather the suppliers and equipment you need to be prepared. We will make sure you are prepared for any disaster and provide reliable suppliers to meet your needs.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Gray Market Products!

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Today’s post is by Shelly Hayre; Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

Gray market is a collective system of unauthorized sales channels for a specific product or brand. The gray market is the middle grounds for white market, legally sold goods, and black market, illegally sold goods. The products in the gray market are not illegal to sell, however the channel is not an authorized distributor of these products.

When you are buying IT equipment sometimes buying used is the most cost-effective way for your company. If you avoid the gray market you will be buying directly from an authorized dealer of this brand. The product price will be determined by the manufacturer and is typically a percentage of the original new price. Since technology changes so often and IT equipment seems to depreciate quickly, you could find yourself paying high dollar for a used piece of equipment that is in the white market.

So what if you go through the gray market to obtain that piece of equipment? The supplier is not an authorized re-seller of the brand, but most suppliers are selling good quality and tested equipment. Some suppliers have stricter guidelines to testing used equipment than the manufacturer. The price tag will be the biggest difference with gray market products. The ironic piece to this is that some manufacturers sell their used equipment to the unauthorized sales channels due to overstock.

Difference? The main difference is who tests and handles the used equipment first, oh and of course the price tag. SafeSourcing has many authorized and unauthorized resellers of manufacturers’ equipment in our database. SafeSourcing’s supplier database includes reputable suppliers that can fit your needs as a company.

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.

So you want to source your products from China?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Today’s post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

In a recent article in USA TODAY titled Report: Drywall sickness real by Elizabeth Weise, the subtitle was Chinese Product confirmed culprit.

This author posted on this subject five years ago with the following two posts.

  1.   On May 21st of 2009 I posted.  In Hamlet, Marcellus said “Something’s rotten in Denmark”
  2.   On May 22nd of 2009 I posted. What lessons can be learned from yesterday’s post where we posited that “Something may be rotten in drywall from China”?

In the article by Elizabeth Weise mentioned above she goes on to report  that  Chinese made drywall was installed in more than 20,000 homes mostly in the south since 2005 causing a variety of health related complaints. In fact there have been 5 settlements totaling more than $1B. It is not clear how much of the drywall has been replaced.

So, do you really want to source your products from China? Much larger companies that we will leave unnamed have done so in the past and ended up with the type of results listed above.  At the end of the day, if you have not sourced products off shore, you had better know what you are doing!  Do your research or reach out to a company like SafeSourcing for help!

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help you with your off shore sourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

As procurement professionals, each and every one of us should accept personal responsibility for protecting the environment.

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

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

I was rereading a survey conducted in 2008 by the Disney Family of eight thousand (8,000) adults. When asked who should enforce environmentally sound practices?  Forty percent of respondents indicated that it should be the government; thirty nine percent indicated that it should be individuals; thirteen percent indicated that it should be businesses and nine percent indicated that it should be the schools. That forty percent of individuals surveyed defaulted to this being a government responsibility is an issue or a cop out dependent on your own beliefs.

This author doesn’t believe that government can do it alone without guidance from the people. I don’t believe that businesses can do it alone without guidance from the government in the form of standards. I don’t believe that people can do it alone without taking it to the work place. And, unless we focus on it in the home and the workplace there is not much schools can do to enforce their environmental educational content. If parents don’t support it, children will not participate. In fact without all of us working together towards a common goal success is questionable.

At SafeSourcing there are many things that we are passionate about. However, three drive our daily thinking and actions.

1. Reducing the costs of goods and services for our customers.
2. Supporting the global community through the sourcing of safe goods and services.
3. Supporting the environment through eco friendly sourcing practices that we hold suppliers accountable to that provide those goods and services.

Through these beliefs, we try to pay it forward every day where the environment is concerned. Can you or your company boil your environmentally focused CSR initiatives down to three distinct points that can be measured? If you can, your customers will notice. Ours do.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing  can help you reduce your operating costs and give back at the same time, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure~ Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Today?s post is written by Heather Powell, Manager of the COE Department & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Colon cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people 50 years or older. It is the third most common cancer in the United States, behind only lung and prostate cancers in men and lung and breast cancers in women, and the second leading cause of cancer death.

In fact, it is estimated that in 2013, 50,830 people will die of colon cancer. But the truth is: it doesn’t have to be this way. If everyone 50 years or older had a regular screening test, as many as 80% of deaths from colon cancer could be prevented.

Colon cancer is on the rise in the under 50 population too. Four words you don?t expect to hear when you?re young. But cancer doesn’t care how old you are. And colon cancer, although considered an older man’s disease, can strike anyone at any time. The hard reality: you’re never too young for colon cancer. That?s why we need to educate ourselves about the risks of this disease now.

Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing colorectal cancer. Having any of these things may increase your risk?

?? Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
?? A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
?? A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

If you think you may be at high risk for colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about when and how often to get tested.

There are few symptoms of colorectal cancer. Please visit http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/ColorectalAwareness/ for a list of symptoms, and screening methods.

Wear BLUE March 7, 2014!

National Dress In Blue Day? fundraising efforts will benefit the Colon Cancer Alliance’s mission and screening, patient support and research programs. – See more at: http://support.ccalliance.org/site/TR?fr_id=1830&pg=entry#sthash.qoGkHI7X.dpuf

Colon Cancer has touched several SafeSourcing employees? lives and we care about our readers, customers, and vendor community health and happiness.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement needs or on our ?Risk Free? trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative at 888-261-9070.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments!

What is The Certified Humane Raised & Handled Program?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing.

To begin with, we have many farms, processors and agriculturally focused companies as customers and suppliers in our database.

I was reading today in the Arizona Republic about proposed legislation by the states ranchers and farmers that would allow them to police their own farms for livestock cruelty. This is being supported by the Arizona Cattle Growers Association.?In fact if a public citizen takes a picture or video?of such cruelty and does not turn it over to them within 5 days it would be considered a class 1 misdemeanor. Isn’t this kind of like the of watching the henhouse with a shotgun? Nor to mention the constitutionality?of restricting free speech.?

There are programs out there that provide protections against cruelty in factory framing and The Certified Humane Raised & Handled program which is an inspection, certification and labeling program for meat, poultry, egg and dairy products from animals raised to humane care standards is one of them.

According to the Humane Farm Animal Care website over 10 billion animals raised for food in the U.S. annually endure inhumane treatment. Most are confined such that they can?t behave normally. Chickens can?t flap their wings or move. Pigs can?t turn around. Crowding and stress from these conditions compromise animals? immune systems. They must ingest antibiotics regularly to prevent disease. Further, the current system of factory farms causes problems for the people involved, the environment, and consumers, as well as for the animals.

According to Humane Farm Animal Care the impact extends beyond the animals. Overuse of antibiotics in animals is causing more strains of drug-resistant bacteria. The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences estimated the annual cost of treating antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. at $30 billion.

What can retail buyers do? Look for and buy products labeled Certified Humane Raised and Handled? and encourage the suppliers of your favorite food brands to become certified and to use Certified Humane Raised and Handled? ingredients in their products.

The SafeSourceIt??Global Supplier Database contains all suppliers that are Certified Humane Raised & Handled and we encourage others to follow this model.?For those companies that are found guilty of cruelty in factory framing practices or violate the laws that are there to protect our livestock, they will be eliminated from our database and not allowed to participate in events for our customers.

Please contact a SafeSourcing customer service representative to learn more about our risk free sourcing trial program.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.