Archive for the ‘Sourcing Strategy’ Category

Bargain Shopping

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

 

 

 

Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Director of HR and Administration at SafeSourcing Inc.

If you are like many people today, when you shop, you try to find a good deal. For regular shoppers, we may even be able to tell you the best places to buy certain things. For example, milk is usually the least expensive at your local grocery stores while a car part may likely be cheapest finding online. Unfortunately, the only way to learn which places have the best prices is to check and check often. If one store typically has an item you need at a good price, it is important to regularly check other places because they could be having a sale or running a deal on that item. For instance, children’s shoes are something many parents buy pretty regularly. Typically someone may visit a few large retailers to see what they have and for what prices, but always being on the lookout can lead to finding a great deal you never expected.

This mode of bargain shopping – keeping an eye on the market and looking at multiple places – can also be applied to your organization. This is where SafeSourcing can help, too. If your business typically needs a lot of copy paper, it is a good idea to know what places you can buy from and obtain prices from those places. SafeSourcing can help, or in some cases take the lead, on finding the supplies or services your organization needs (especially finding which things most people are overpaying for), finding who can provide those things, obtaining pricing for those things, and presenting everything back to you quickly and clearly. This allows you to continue focusing on your business and can save a lot of money without exerting much time.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your procurement efforts, or on our Risk

Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

2019 SafeSourcing Top 10 List

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

 

 

Todays post is from Dave Wenig, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing Inc.

It’s the end of the year and that means many of your favorite entertainment and news sources are publishing their top 10 lists for the year. In that same spirit, I’ve pulled together a list of my Top 10 SafeSourcing moments in 2019. Let’s get right into the top 10.

10. SafeSourceIt™ Event View now features a graph view. Using this view, SafeSourcing customers have a powerful way to monitor their RFQ Events in real time at a high level that delivers valuable insights.

9. Bottled Water RFQ Events. SafeSourcing customers hosted many RFQ Events for bottled water savings between 16% and 23%. This represents an increase in category savings versus 2018.

8. Waste Removal continues its streak. Waste Removal has historically been a wildly successful category for SafeSourcing customer and that held true in 2019 with the average savings holding steady at about 35%.

7. Reruns won big. SafeSourcing customers that held rerun RFQs at the end of their contract terms beat expectations significantly. Typical expectations for rerun RFQs is about 50% of the savings from the initial RFQ Event.

6. Snow Removal and Landscaping. 2019 was a big year for customers hosting Snow Removal and Landscaping RFQ Events. Often overlooked as a competitive category, SafeSourcing’s customers saw between 16% and 42% savings. Wow.

5. Mobile Phones and Broadband were big. We noticed a huge increase in customers eager to explore their options for mobile service plans and broadband. Good for them, because each of them was very successful.

4. Flyer Distribution (Retailers). Nearly all of our larger retail customers throughout North America sourced their flyer distribution and uncovered savings. In some markets, customers often consider this impossible to source competitively and see it as a monopoly. We disagree and so do our customers who benefited from our assistance.

3. Incumbent margins. 2019 was a year full of focus on incumbent margins. We noticed a fantastic trend where incumbent vendors were awarded business after RFQs at a higher rate than is expected. This is a win for the incumbent who gets to keep their business at rates more in line with the market, and a win for the customer who gets the best pricing available and does not have to go through the process of changing vendors.

2. SafeSourcing in the Top 10. SafeSourcing was recognized as one of the world’s top auction application companies by CIO magazine. Link here.

1. Our customers and partners. We’re truly lucky to have some of the best customers and partners that any business could ask for. 2019 has been a fantastic year of working closely together with all of you. We’ve enjoyed the time spend and our visits and it has been our pleasure to work with you. If you’ve worked with us on a category named on this list, I’m sure you would agree on its inclusion. I look forward to working with all of our current customers and partners and can’t wait to make new connections in 2020. Thank you for an excellent 2019 and see you in 2020.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my picks for the Top 10 list. I’d be interested to hear what I missed and whether you agree with my ranking.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

 

 

How SafeSourcing Saved Christmas…

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

 

 

Today’s Christmas Eve post is from our  SafeSourcing, Inc Archives

As with most children being curious, my 7  year old niece and I were baking cookies last weekend when she said, “Aunt Heather, what do you do for a living? Mommy is a nurse and Daddy is a policeman. What do you do?”

Well, I said, thinking quickly of how to explain what a project manager does in the e-procurement world at SafeSourcing, “I help Santa with getting toys for presents and delivering them to all the children around the world.”
She said, “Aunt Heather, you’re silly! Santa has elves that make the presents, and Santa has reindeer help his pull the sleigh to deliver the presents!”

“Oh Alli, I have to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to tell a soul what I tell you, ok?” She agrees.

Santa needs help lots and lots of help. Yes, his elves make the homemade toys, but toys like Furbies and Barbie’s have to be made somewhere else and delivered to the North Pole to be wrapped.

With big eyes, she says, “ooohhhh. That makes sense. Elves are mostly boys and boys don’t know anything about Barbies!”

So then I tell her, that Santa comes to me with his list of toys and how many he needs, and it is my job to make sure he buys them all much cheaper than what he can buy them for at the store. In fact, it is my job to make sure all the companies that make and sell the toys compete against each other to make sure Santa gets the best price for them.

“Wow!!” she said, you have an important job helping Santa!

I said yes, but that isn’t all I do for Santa. She said really??? I said, yes, I help him deliver the presents too. She said, how???

I said that Santa does use his sleigh and reindeer for most of the night, but the reindeer do get tired. So we help Santa by hiring a charter jet to cross the ocean with the presents and reindeer. Saving him money by having the airlines compete against each other to get lower pricing for Santa. This way the reindeer get to rest and Santa can get to the other side of the world much faster.

Also Santa pre-ships the presents to parts of the world to keep the weight down on the sleigh. So we help him with semi-trucks picking up the presents and taking them to all areas of the globe waiting for Santa to pick them up to deliver them to all the boys and girls. I explain to her that this is called transportation logistics. I told her that, like the people who make and sell toys, we ask the trucking companies to compete against each other lowering their prices for gas (fuel rates was too hard to explain to her), and mileage.

My, oh so smart niece, says, “Santa really has a big job to do in one night. He is so lucky he has you to help him!!”

So I ask her, do you understand what I do now?

She said,” yes, you help Santa buy toys and you help him fly across the ocean in an air plane, and you help him ship presents across the world to be picked up and delivered all in one night, AND you save him lots of money!”

So if SafeSourcing can help save Christmas, what can you do to help save you money in your business?

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help energize your self-service program, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Apple’s New Release

Sunday, December 1st, 2019

 

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

There is a new apple that was released on December 1st, and it’s not a tech device. The Cosmic Crisp apple, also known as WA 38, is a new apple bred by Washington State University horticulturist Bruce Barritt, with the backing of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. The Cosmic Crisp is a hybrid of the Honeycrisp and the Enterprise apple, which is supposed to be a large and very juicy, with a longer shelf life than the average apple. It is the first apple to be bred in Washington.

The first plantings for commercial use were in spring 2017 and are initially only available to Washington-based growers and will remain limited to them for ten years. The trees take three years to produce a crop, and the plan was to start with 300,000 trees, but growers requested 4 million. This led to a lottery to distribute the first trees and due to demand, have planted 12 million saplings in the first three years. These plants are licensed and limited by WSU which owns the Cosmic Crisp patent, known as WA 38, so authorized growers need a license to purchase the seedlings and have a to pay a royalty on sales of the apples.

Apples are a $2.5 billion a year business in Washington, which grows about 60% of the nation’s supply, or nearly 140 million boxes. The top varieties are Gala (23%), Red Delicious (20%) and Fuji (13%). My personal favorite is the Gala, and the Red Delicious has been losing its appeal for a long time (pun intended).

Twenty-two years from cross-pollination to launch, the Cosmic Crisp is backed by a massive consumer launch and a huge publicity campaign which has a $10.5 million marketing budget. By 2020, more than 2 million boxes will be available.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement solutions for your business efforts, 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.

Sourcing Travel Accommodations part IV of IV!

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

 

 

This week’s blog series has been our archives at  SafeSourcing.

During Part III of this post we discussed organizing your data and looking at amenities offerings and programs that when supported by your corporate travel policies drive value and assist in establishing the goals for your event.

Ok, amenities are one thing, but how data relative to individual locations, chain or corporate discounts and rebate programs interact is key to making sure that what looks like value really is.

Today we will be exploring the importance of these additional data elements.

1. Location Rates
2. Chain Discounts
3. Rebate Programs

The Location rate – The most ideal scenario in any accommodations eProcurement process is to negotiate the rate at individual properties based on a spend estimate (usually more than 100 nights a year).  Regardless of what the goal of the project eventually ends up being, being able to focus on the top 8-10 locations where you have significant recurring use  to reduce your rates is something that should be considered as long as you have the estimates to provide the properties; which is not always the case. There are ways to extrapolate this data if it is not yet consolidated that a solutions provider should be able to help you with.

The Chain or Corporate Discount – In many cases, company’s lack the visibility into their accommodation spend to be able to let vendors know much more than the overall amount they spend each year.   There are times in these cases, when a company is beginning to establish its travel policy and tracking mechanism that trying to get a chain discount across all properties may be a good place to start.  Selecting 2 or 3 preferred chains will help you get a good discount and will provide you with partners who can begin helping you track the activity from their side as well.

The Rebate Program – Unfortunately when you can’t provide the level of detail you want to the vendors on the portion of business they stand to gain while at the same time you may even be starting a new travel policy program internally; getting everyone to commit to the project can be difficult.  The vendors don’t want to go out on a limb because they don’t know how much business they are really going to get and the employees may not follow the process because they see no reason to do so.

Establishing an annual cash rebate program with the vendors based on volumes can address both of these issues.  Vendors have the opportunity to commit to additional savings when they get the volume of spend they are seeking and since tracking volume becomes the means by which this rebate is achieved, the employees and company have a strong reason to maintain use of the new processes.

If you do have good consolidated information, there are ways to leverage all three of these data elements in order to optimize your savings opportunities and reward your frequent travelers and traveling vendors at the same time.

Hopefully this four part blog series points out that there are a number of variables (data) to consider when sourcing Hotel Accommodations, individually they all can add value and potentially reduce costs or mitigate increases, combined as a complete strategy where each element is leveraged there is significant potential  for your company.

If you’ve enjoyed this four part post on sourcing accommodations, please pass it on to others that may have interest. If you like more information about sourcing travel related categories like hotel accommodations; please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Sourcing Travel Accommodations part III of IV!

Monday, November 18th, 2019

 

This week’s blog series is from our Archives at SafeSourcing.

In todays part III we will be exploring the following data elements.

1. The Data
2. Amenities & Features

The Data – After you have established your goals for your events it’s time to review the data you have available to you in order to get your project off the ground. Don’t be disturbed if there isn’t much.  Having no visibility into how many nights you stay at a specific location can certainly make negotiating rates with that location more difficult but not impossible.  In many cases companies have rates established with properties and do not even realize it.  Simply making some phone calls to the hotels near your offices is a simple way to start. You might be surprised with what you have in place currently with these properties.  At the very least a picture of what your accommodation spends as a whole is needed so that the chains and properties know how to provide you with something that is valuable for you and worth their investment. Between these phone calls, some internal surveys and some expense statement reviews, extrapolating your spend is entirely possible.

The Amenities & Features – You may not have a policy that details the amenities a specific property or brand needs in place in order to be a “preferred” site but gathering those details is critical so that you can sort out your true cost profile once the project has been completed.  One property in Phoenix, AZ may provide lower rates than another but may charge for internet access and is not able to provide the free continental breakfast another property with higher rack rates does.  It  may be preferable to conduct an RFI as a precursor to any pricing work that is done so that  your company can understand which properties will fit the criteria you require of a preferred location.

During tomorrow’s final post in this series we’ll be discuss Location Rates, Chain Discounts, Rebate Programs and how to leverage them to your best advantage during your event.

If you can’t wait for tomorrows Part IV or this IV part post and need more information sooner about sourcing travel related categories like hotel accommodations, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Sourcing Travel Accommodations part II of IV!

Friday, November 15th, 2019

 

This weeks post Sourcing Travel Accommodations part II  of IV  is from our Archives at  SafeSourcing.

In yesterdays  post we discussed the types of data required to effectively negotiate Hotel Stays on behalf of  your company?

Today we will be exploring the following data elements.

1. The  Corporate Travel Policy
2. The goal of your sourcing effort

The Policy – Before anything gets done with a travel related category it may be an appropriate time to revisit the company’s entire corporate travel policy in order to determine if any updates are required.  If you do not have a formal travel policy that covers the entire company, establishing one should the be the first step in this sourcing endeavor.  Details that should be included in this document become the  foundation for the Terms & Conditions that drive as well as the contracts that ensure your results and will also determine how best to set the next step of the process: The Goal.

The Goal – There are generally two kinds of hotel accommodations that companies should gather data for during the eProcurement process. They depend on the structure of your company.  The first is to gain the best rates you can for company associates that travel as part of doing business for your company. These can location specific if used frequently enough or they may be in the form of a program that gets established for all locations within a specific hotel brand. The variety of stay should be dictated by the corporate policy.  The second goal is to secure the best rates and service for a company’s locations or location for their associates as well as vendors and customers visiting your offices.  These two goals can happen independent of each other or as part of the same process.

During tomorrow’s post we’ll discuss additional data elements such as amenities, features and services.

If you can’t wait for tomorrows Part III or this IV part post and need more information sooner about sourcing travel related categories like hotel accommodations, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Sourcing Travel Accommodations part I of IV

Thursday, November 14th, 2019

 

Todays post is from our Archives at SafeSourcing.

Negotiating hotel accommodations for your company can be a tricky business because many vendors will want to understand your goals and your projected spend with them before they will seriously consider awarding you aggressive discounts.  Couple this with the fact that many franchise properties like to negotiate their own rates independent of their national brand and you have what appears to be a complex low return category. When In fact, this not the case.

Over the next several days we will be taking a look at some of the data companies require before they will seriously consider awarding you aggressive discounts.

Over the course of this post series we will be exploring the following data elements.

1. The  Corporate Travel Policy
2. The goal of your sourcing effort
3. The Data
4. Amenities & Features
5. Location Rates
6. Chain Discounts
7. Rebate Programs

If you can’t wait for tomorrows Part II or this IV part post and need more information sooner about sourcing travel related categories like hotel accommodations, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Fall is falling – You should already be deep into your procurement planning for 2020!

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

 

Today’s post is from the archives at SafeSourcing.

Procurement professionals our success is dependent on how well we are continuing to think forward to the coming months so that we are prepared when the business is ready to go out and make spend decisions.  This usually can’t be done in just a few weeks, it requires looking months in advance at new projects, new spends and existing contracts and reviews of the market for the best offering.

Typically this type of planning involves sitting down with your department heads to understand what their budgets, spends, and plans for the business are in the future so that you can get ahead of what is coming.

With fall just beginning and the holiday season right around the corner, now is the time to begin scheduling those sessions with the departments and looking at the contracts that are due to expire in the first and second quarter in 2020.  Coordinating these meetings can take time and the larger your company, the more lead time you are likely to need to get on the appropriate peoples’ schedules.

Waiting until after the first of the year to do this when budgets have officially been set may be too late to get this done, as people are generally coming back from the holidays and catching up on the other items that have been awaiting their attention.  It can be the end of January or early February before you get your meetings scheduled which will likely mean you will lose an opportunity to help them source some items in the first quarter.

Get your meetings scheduled by the end of November at the latest.  Using a three step approach like the one followed by SafeSourcing Managers, look for those departments which have a higher number of easy, high opportunity categories.  This includes spends with fast approaching contract deadlines.  Also look at those departments that have more complex projects but with high dollar spends followed by the departments involving the most complex spends but with high opportunity.  This last group can generally take more time to gather information and strategize so make sure you include time with these departments to get ahead of the projects.

Going through the projects these departments have planned for 2020 is a great exercise in understanding how the procurement department can help them select the right products and services for your company providing better overall value.

For more information on scheduling your internal department head planning sessions or for templates you can use during those sessions to help collect the data you need, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

We look forward to your comments.

CIO Applications Magazine Honors SafeSourcing

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

 

SafeSourcing Inc., a leading eProcurement company offering a complete Procure to Pay suite of applications, has been recognized as one of the World‘s top auction application companies by CIO magazine.

CIO magazine has listed SafeSourcing, Inc. as one of the top ten auction platforms in its recent magazine edition. The article recognizes SafeSourcing as being a one-stop e-procurement and sourcing center, striking a balance of quality, affordability, product, and service.

“A strategic sourcing firm, SafeSourcing is at the forefront of offering a full suite of procure-to-pay tools under the SafeSourceIt™ banner which helps in reducing costs and improving efficiency” ~CIO magazine

CIO sat down with SafeSourcing CEO, Ronald D. Southard, to discuss the company’s value proposition, solutions, customer base, and future plans. In addition, the featured article elaborates on how SafeSourcing plays a role in e-procurement and how it accelerates efficiency and innovation.

SafeSourcing, Inc. provides cost effective tools under the SafeSourceIt™ product family that allows companies to dramatically reduce cost of goods, capital spending, and expenses in a timely manner while also reinforcing environmental and product safety programs. Focus is placed on a company’s entire spend for all products and services.

SafeSourcing’s early stage client engagement is specifically focused on cost reduction through the use of a white glove service based  on a detailed six step process using the SafeSourceIt™ e-RFX application suite.

Please visit www.safesourcing.com in order to  learn more.