Archive for the ‘Sourcing Strategy’ Category

Managing Tail Spend

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020



Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

Along the same lines as my recent post about Procurement as a Service (PaaS), I thought I would focus on tail spend. Here again, the concept of managing tail spend isn’t new, but it has also been receiving more attention recently. I would argue tail spend is finally getting the attention it deserves.

I’ve often thought that tail spend is undervalued. I suspect the term tail spend gives the impression that the spend in the tail is insignificant. The reality is that the tail can be awfully long and represents a much larger percentage of overall spend than one might think.

To me, the ability to manage tail spend is essential. SafeSourcing’s approach to tail spend management starts with our SafeSpendAnalysis™ service to identify the categories and subcategories in which the spend can be found. Until you have gone through this process, it is easy to underestimate just how much purchasing is taking place on an annual basis that should be considered the tail. One-off purchases, rogue purchasing, and categories with many vendors providing the same thing are just a few of the common culprits. It’s all too easy for this type of spend to fly under the radar when an organization lacks a proper procurement policy and the ability to proactively manage against that policy.

Again, to SafeSourcing, the concept of managing this type of spend is nothing new. With our SaaS model and our tools and capabilities, we have been targeting tail spend for management and cost reduction since we started. Where others have marketing around this tail spend management, SafeSourcing has experience.

It’s really great to see the recent interest in tail spend and in controlling costs in general. Expense management is so critically important right now. The best strategy a company can have is one that considered their entire spend to be within the scope of their expense management initiatives and that includes the tail.

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.






Procurement As A Service (PaaS)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020



Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

In the past, we’ve talked repeatedly about how SafeSourcing delivers our services in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. As a refresher, here is a post from 2014 that details our SaaS software suite. We also often talk about how we treat our SaaS offering as full-service and have done so for a long, long time. Here’s another quick read from 2017 talking about our full-service approach. The way we combine our tools with our expertise and the way we actually deliver the services to achieve our customers’ goals have pretty well always been what you might describe as procurement as a service (PaaS).

I mention this because it seems to me that I am hearing more and more about PaaS recently as if that is a new or emerging trend and it surprises me greatly. SafeSourcing has always operated as an extension of our customers’ own procurement capabilities in order to allow them to outsource much or all of their needs to us. We’re comfortable delivering against this model and we rarely operate outside of it.

The entire procurement process can be managed by SafeSourcing beginning with spend analysis. In all reality, the process never really ends because procurement is truly cyclical. There are other buzzwords as well and just like with PaaS, there will be a marketing campaign that will rise to the occasion. As a term like PaaS gains momentum, more and more companies will roll out their offering. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it can make it harder to identify which companies are actually experienced in delivering a PaaS offering.

Anyone interested in offloading more of their procurement function should be careful to find a partner that can truly take on the load in a SaaS model. Many lack the expertise needed in their services teams to truly deliver on the wide variety of categories that need to be addressed. SafeSourcing has this expertise and delivers strongly in the as a service model. To be effective you really need a partner that has the people, the intellectual property, and the software to drive savings in an efficient outsourced model.

Procurement as a service isn’t a new concept and we like to think we’ve been doing this all along. Personally, I would be leery about choosing any provider that talks about PaaS like it’s a new concept. 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.





Bags and Boxes and Bailers Oh My!

Friday, June 12th, 2020


How best to manage a plastic bag and cardboard box baling program with only one baler at a store.

Today’s post is from our archives at  SafeSourcing.

The first approach is the program that numerous large retail chains have adopted, which is known as creating “sandwich bales”. These bales are compiled of both cardboard and plastic.  Workers place 10 to 20 inches of cardboard into the baler first, then shrink wrap and plastic bags are loaded in, and another section of cardboard is placed on top.  The baler then presses the bale into a “sandwich” with 9 to 18 inches of recyclables plastic in the middle.  However, in the recycling world, when fiber and plastic are together as one, this is considered contamination.  Therefore, the bales must be picked up, taken to a local recycling center and broken apart and separated.  Then, the plastic is baled together and the cardboard is baled together.  At this point, these items can be effectively sold.

The second approach is where the store has enough space to stage the plastic bags until there is enough to complete a full bale. This requires the backroom of the retailer to be large enough to store 400-600 lbs. plastic.

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.


What Packaging Program is Best for Your Company?

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020


Today’s post has is from our archives at  SafeSourcing.

When it comes to packaging supplies, companies have multiple options for managing their inventory. Below you will see the different options and what each model entails.

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) – Vendor optimizes your company’s inventory by observing usage, floor stock and lead-time to define what model (dynamic historical model, min-max model, input forecasted model or combination of all three) will work best for your company. The vendor may also beresponsible for inventorying your packaging requirements and warehousing it.

Just in Time (JIT) – This program is designed for company’s who require numerous transactions on a regular basis and make best use of available floor space. The vendor conducts a detailed examination of the company’s packaging needs to create a solution that is custom.

Contract Packaging and Fulfillment – This program allows the customer to focus on their core competency by placing the full packaging function in the hands of packaging experts. Contract packaging creates fixed item costs for packaging regardless of production volume.

By utilizing any of the three types of programs, companies gain the following advantages.

  1. Freed up cash flow
  2. Maximized workspace for other core capabilities.

For more information on how we can help you with your packaging 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.






Prices going up or cannot get enough Product to satisfy demand?

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020


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

If used properly a large supplier database like SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database provides companies with   readily accessible data that supports growing their spend with e-procurement tools

Companies should have continuing success when running prior e-procurement events over again, one area of commonality that has historically made this difficult is a lack of new sources of supply.

There is a proper way to ensure the sustainability of your eSourcing events such as RFI’s RFP’s and RFQ’s or Reverse auctions going forward. Since you have already conducted or should have conducted a detailed discovery the 1st time around a robust supplier database like the SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database Query Tool with over 500,000 supplier companies will allow you to do the following based on up to date vetted data.

  • Conduct a detailed supplier discovery
    • Rank the suppliers
    • By Size
    • By Experience
    • By References
    • By Environmental certifications
    • By Safety Certifications
    • By Location
  • Develop a three-year supplier game plan
    • Identify suppliers for each category over the sourcing horizon
    • Develop a three-year supplier rotation bidding schedule
  • Ask the following questions
    • What suppliers will I invite and why
    • Keep in mind the unique benefits of distributors vs. manufacturers
    • Discuss potential award of business strategies

If you don’t have a reliable new source of supplier information and only use the same suppliers that you originally used to conduct your category sourcing events, don’t expect continuing savings as you really don’t have the appropriate leverage points. If you don’t know where to access this type of data, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


Do you Know the Benefits of the New Wi-Fi 6?

Friday, May 8th, 2020


Today’s post is by Troy Lowe; Vice President of Development at SafeSourcing.

The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to adopt a proposal that will open up the 6GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. By doing this it will free up more than 1,200MHz for additional bandwidth for the next generation Wi-Fi 6 devices that are out and others that should be coming out later this year. One of the benefits of the new technology is better high density performance. Everywhere you go there is usually Wi-Fi available at places like college campuses, hospitals, restaurants and coffee shops. Because of the availability, there are usually a large number of users which puts a huge strain on the networks which aren’t usually setup for such high traffic. This high volume of users usually results in poor connectivity and slower network traffic.   The Wi-Fi 6 standard is designed to improve this latency with better high density performance. The access points are designed to help prevent the interference between network devices and transmit the data more efficiently. Below are some other benefits of the new Wi-Fi 6.

  • Faster Transfer speeds
  • Longer Device Battery Life
  • Powerful Coverage
  • Expanded Range
  • Better Connectivity

If you are looking to purchase new Wi-Fi equipment or devices and would like help researching available options, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one 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.


Ready to Serve

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020



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

During this time of crisis with COVID-19 there has been a lot of much deserved praise pouring out to the doctors, nurses, and first responders on the front lines making the sacrifice to care for people. There are many others who have also been enduring the dangers and going out every day to make sure that residents and organizations are receiving uninterrupted services…mail carriers, truckers, restauranteurs, and other essential personnel.

There are so many others who have been reaching out to answer the call to make things better for individuals and businesses in need. We have had suppliers reaching out to offer services and products to help in any way they can to provide continuity in services and to deliver products to those in need. From cleaning services and telecommunications services, to single serving food products and disposable products, companies are telling us that they are open for business and ready to provide whatever is necessary to help out.

We all want to get back to normal, or the “new normal” which will be on the other side of this, but for the folks who are still out there fighting the fight and bridging the gap, the show must go on. Immediate needs still have to be met as well as the things that keep this country going, so that when we do resume normal operations there is as much as a seamless transition as possible.

You may need to stock the shelves, or obtain a reliable cleaning service. Here at SafeSourcing, we are open and here when you need us. Even though we cannot visit with most customers face to face we are available on the phone, and through email. Our customer service team is here for any questions you have during this time.

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.




Don’t Wait because of COVID-19! Source Your Supply Items Now!

Monday, April 20th, 2020


Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

With all of the increasingly negative information out there about the COVID-19 pandemic we’re facing, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to share some information that is a bit more positive. Actually, today I’m writing about something that hasn’t changed during these difficult times.

On my LinkedIn page, I often post about recent successes we deliver for our customers. I share about a variety of different categories as we work with our customers to source just about everything they need whether products or services. For example, I’ve posted about reducing charges for consulting services by 22% and 36% on water heaters.

Those posts can be interesting on their own, but what I’ve noticed recently is even more so. I’ve noticed a trend. While that might not seem so interesting, I’ve come to realize that in today’s world this particular trend is something special. What I’ve noticed is that while we’re all facing so much uncertainty and challenge, the results we’re driving in terms of savings percentage for our customers remains unchanged. Specifically, I’ve been keeping an eye on a common set of categories that nearly all of our customers source with SafeSourcing.

Supplies are traditionally a strong set of categories for SafeSourcing and its customers. The savings we drive here are relatively easy to achieve. Recently, I’ve been keeping a close watch on these categories and am happy to report that the discounts we’re delivering on these categories are as deep as they ever are. Regardless of their point of origin, supply items savings are especially strong. While COVID-19 has been causing so much trouble and pain, we’ve still found about 25% savings on plastic cutlery, 26% savings on water filters, 24% savings on reusable bags, and more. That means the average savings at around 25% is still exactly where we would expect it to be. Some categories even seem to be generating a bit higher savings where the markets pricing and/or demand are down as well.

That’s some great news and is as close to certainty as we’re likely to get in the midst of this pandemic. Rather than feel helpless, take this as the opportunity that it is and take action to lock in your savings now. We may as well focus on challenges that are easily within our control.

Stay safe and don’t be shy if you need assistance. We’re all in this together. 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.




Optimism and Procurement

Friday, April 17th, 2020



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

With so much going on right now, many people are scared or concerned with what will happen and what things will be like when this is all over. While we may not yet know what, if anything will change, there are some areas that have already been affected. In fact, there is at least one particular area that has actually improved.

Many years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a family to only own one car or even no cars. Now, that has changed a lot. Many Americans each have their own car and it has been a necessity for people to get where they need to, whether it is work, school, or shopping. With the current virus situation people are no longer driving to work as often and most schools are closed. This has greatly reduced the number of vehicles on the road.

There are a few silver linings here. With fewer people driving, there have been fewer accidents. This means there are less people being injured or dying in vehicle accidents. Because there are fewer accidents, insurance companies haven’t had to pay out as much money for repairs and medical expenses. In fact, there have been several car insurance companies that have begun refunding premiums because they have paid out so much less.

With fewer drivers on the road, another silver lining is less traffic and this can greatly help truck drivers and other aspects of logistics. Fewer cars mean more room for truck drivers, fewer distractions, and again, fewer accidents that can cause delays. This can mean transportation of goods is quicker and more efficient.

Another silver lining is a decrease in pollution. With fewer cars, there are fewer emissions from exhaust. In addition, truck drivers’ ability to drive with fewer delays, means they are also emitting less. Even more than the reduction of exhaust fumes, with fewer vehicles, there is fast less gas and diesel consumption. This means production can slow down, which can additionally help reduce pollution.

While we wait to get through this and for life to return to normal, we can know that there have been some silver linings to this dark cloud of a virus.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help your supply chain of sourcing needs, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.


REMINDER! CIO Applications Magazine Honors SafeSourcing

Friday, March 13th, 2020


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 in order to  learn more.