Archive for the ‘Supply Chain Procurement’ Category

Ullage

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther; Account Manager at SafeSourcing. Tyler is adding to the SafeSourcing Wiki and defining ullage.

Doing research for my blog today I came across a word I did not know; ullage. What is ullage? It is the free space above a liquid or other content in a container and the “full” level. Envision the top of a bottle of wine.

Many liquids or chemicals will expand during storage. This becomes important particularly in shipping for two principal reasons. The expansion of the liquid or chemical requires pressure relief valves. With many pressurized tanks the load cannot be to capacity because the pressure relief valves will not work when in contact with liquids. In dry loads, such as grain, or liquid bulk cargo, ullage allows the load to shift as the ship kneels from one side to another. This allows for greater stability in the vessel in which a full capacity load would not.

Let SafeSourcing better manage your sourcing projects. 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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Reverse Supply Chain Management or Reverse Logistics!

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

 

Today’s re-post is by Mike Figueroa, Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

We’ve spent years perfecting how to get “stuff” from in the dirt where we found it, make it more useful, and put it into consumers hands. This is called “logistics”. But now we’re faced with the task of figuring out how to do the opposite, without destroying the planet we got it from.

Enter Reverse Supply Chain Management (RSCM) or “Reverse Logistics as it’s sometimes called. The short definition of RSCM is to capture value from end of life products, and to take them backwards into the supply chain and/or reintroduce them into the biosphere/technosphere through a sustainable and profitable system. This can include activities such as reacquiring ownership of used products from the end user back to the manufacturer or reseller, transportation of used products for sorting, evaluation and designation of products for their most profitable use, remanufacturing or refurbishing, creating secondary markets for reclaimed products, recycling back to base components and responsible disposal.

One example of RSCM is the relatively new business of “Deconstruction”. In this process buildings are taken apart based upon material component value. These materials are either re-used in new construction, recycled into raw materials, or disposed of through environmentally sustainable means. Total annual building materials (C&D debris) disposed of in landfills in the US each year is not tracked by the EPA, but estimates range between 170 and 600 million tons disposed of in landfills currently, typically with only certain metals ever being collected and recycled from the debris. Organizations pioneering this field can be found at http://www.bignyc.org/, http://www.lifecyclebuilding.org/, and www.bmra.org.

Another example of businesses capturing value from RSCM is Dupont, which achieved zero-landfill status at one of their facilities that allowed them to realize $2.2 million in revenue in 2011 from the sale of waste by-products, and $400,000 in cost avoidance (http://www2.dupont.com/inclusive-innovations/en-us/gss/sustainability/employee-engagement/landfill.html). Similarly Subaru, GM, Honda, and Burt’s Bee’s have captured additional revenue or cost avoidance by repurposing waste through reverse logistical processes (http://www.greenmanufacturer.net/article/facilities/manufacturers-gone-zero-landfill).

The challenge is that reversing the supply chain for products that have been modified in an infinite number of ways over their usage life is exponentially more complex than taking virgin material to end consumer product. The premise to that problem however, should be that not engaging this process now while it’s optional, only makes what will certainly become a necessity more complex the longer it’s postponed, and presents a large opportunity cost every year potential new savings/revenue is not captured.

We at SafeSourcing have a knack for finding markets and cost avoidance opportunities that most don’t aren’t even aware exist. 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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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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How much are you paying to stream Television and Music to your stores?

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

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

It’s hard to believe that the average cost of watching cable television is around $100 per month. Even though there are hundreds of channels to choose from, the average person only watches about 10 percent of them.  If you want to lower your monthly costs, there are a ways to accomplish this.  Try contacting your local cable companies and see what packages they have to offer.  There may be a package that contains the channels that you currently watch for a lower cost.  Some companies may work with you and lower your monthly cost so that they do not lose your business.  Another option is to cut the cord and remove cable completely.  This option is not as hard as hard as you may think and can be done at a fairly low cost.  Your local channels are broadcasted in HD and can be received for free using an Antenna and there are streaming apps and sites available for streaming popular cable channels.  Below are some things to consider if you want to cut the cord.

  • Choose a streaming service such as Amazon, Netflix, and Sling TV
  • Choose a streaming device like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku
  • Choose an Antenna for receiving local channels
  • Choose a DVR for recording local channels

If you are interested in making a change, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which options meet 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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The Supplier selection process

Monday, January 18th, 2016

 

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

Selecting proper suppliers provide the best goods or services at the best prices and in the right time frame for your specific business needs. This process is broken down to a few select categories to assist you in doing so.

Price – A key consideration for choosing suppliers is affordability. Competitively priced suppliers are usually the most attractive option. Affordability does not always represent the best value for money. If the quality of your supplier’s product is subpar, you may incur additional costs for returns and replacements, and risk losing business. If you decide to pass poor quality on to your customers, you risk damaging your business reputation.

Reliability – Reliable suppliers deliver the right goods or services on time. Large suppliers are generally more reliable because they have enough resources and systems in place to make sure they can still deliver if the unplanned happens, which it usually does.

Stability – You will want experienced suppliers with a proven track record. Stability is important, especially if you are entering into a long-term contract with a supplier or they are the only supplier of a particular item critical to your business.

Location – Consider location when selecting suppliers. Dealing with distant suppliers might mean longer delivery times and extra freight costs. When lead time is the most critical, a local supplier might be a better option. I recommend investigating freight policies of distant suppliers. Bulk orders, for instance, might get you free shipping or you might be able to combine different orders to reduce costs.

Safesourcing would like to assist you with your supplier selection process. 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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What are the Carter 10 C’s?

Friday, December 11th, 2015

 

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

Carter’s 10 Cs of supplier evaluation or selection is named after Ray Carter, Director of DPSS Consultants, who originally developed the 7 Cs of effective supplier evaluation. The Carter 10 C’s model is an internationally recognized approach and taught in procurement studies. This has since been extended to 10 and they should be applied by anyone who is involved in either selecting or evaluating suppliers.

  1. Competency – Does your supplier have the ability to deliver the products you require?
  2. Capacity – Does the supplier have sufficient capacity to provide the products you require? Capacity can include equipment, human resources and materials.
  3. Commitment – Does your supplier have the commitment to maintain suitable quality performance?
  4. Control – Is your supplier in control of their policies and procedures?
  5. Cash – Does your supplier have a solid financial standing?
  6. Cost – What is the cost of products from the supplier?
  7. Consistency – Does the supplier guarantee a consistent product?
  8. Culture – Does the supplier share the same cultural values as your organization?
  9. Clean – Does your supplier have an appropriate sustainability policy?
  10. Communication – What tools will you utilize to communicate with your supplier?

Using the Carter 10 Cs will not only better your supplier selection process, but it will also level the playing field while selecting and evaluating suppliers. 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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Fair Trade Certified

Monday, September 21st, 2015

 

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

According to the SafeSourcing Wiki, “The Fair Trade Certified™ label guarantees consumers that strict economic, social, and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product. Fair Trade Certification is currently available in the U.S. for coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, flowers, sugar, rice, and vanilla. TransFair USA licenses companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on products that meet strict international Fair Trade standards.”

Today more than ever, companies care about their effect on society and the environment. Therefore, it is important to them who they buy from. By knowing that a potential new supplier has The Fair Trade Certified™ label, they can be assured that the product meets strict guidelines.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers. The Fair Trade Certified™ label 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.

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Is your procurement team keeping up with the times?

Friday, May 1st, 2015

 

Todays post is from Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Why not apply the same strategy that you would for your personal health when reviewing your first four month e-procurement results.

Listed below  are  12 questions that companies can ask themselves with the resulting answer going into either an assets or liabilities column in order to provide a semi-annual health check of your e-procurement progress or lack there of. Hopefully the former.

1. How many new suppliers were reviewed to provide new or existing products and services during the past four months?
2. How many of those suppliers were actually selected to provide new products or services during the past four months?
3. How much of your total spend was assigned to e-procurement tools such as RFI’s RFP’s and Reverse Auctions or RFQ’s.
4. How much of your private label spend was assigned to e-procurement tools such as RFI’s, RFP’s and Reverse Auctions or RFQ’s.
5. How much of your services spend was assigned to e-procurement tools such as RFI’s, RFP’s and Reverse Auctions or RFQ’s.
6. How much of your supplies spend was assigned to e-procurement tools such as RFI’s, RFP’s and Reverse Auctions or RFQ’s.
7. How many of your category managers and or buyers have on line accessible product and services specifications for each product or service they buy.
8. How much time is now being invested in gathering existing or new product specifications?
9. How much were your total cost of goods reduced during the last 4 months through the use of e-procurement tools.
10. How much was your gross margin improved by reduction in cost of goods during the last 4 months as a result of using e-procurement tools.
11. How much time do your category managers and suppliers spend doing supplier research weekly.
12. How many suppliers have been contributing greater than 75% of specific category volume for a period of greater than 5 years?
13. Of those suppliers, how many provide multiple products and or services to your company?
14. Are you satisfied with the product safety of all products from all sources?
15. How much was total company net profit improved by the use of e-procurement tools last four months?

It’s important to remember with eight months left to go in the year that if a company assigns just ten percent (10%) of their cost of goods to e-procurement tools, net earnings can improve by up to 82% or more. You can not accomplish this without advanced tools that extend your productivity.

If you don’t believe it, email me at ronsouthard@safesourcing.com and let me prove it to you. you won’t be sorry!

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.

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Successful supplier relationships

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

 

Today’s post is by Tyler Walther, Account Manager for SafeSourcing

When searching out new suppliers, or assessing the performance of current suppliers, companies should consider many aspects when evaluating their options.  Several factors should be taken into consideration, some listed below:

  • Commitment to quality—Product quality is normally regarded as the most critical factor when selecting a supplier.  Specifics in this area  include the suppliers’ process control methods, their quality control certifications, its approaches to preventive maintenance, and its methods of equipment calibration
  • Communication—Suppliers that do not maintain a policy of open communication—or even worse, actively use deceptive tactics—should  always be avoided.  The issues of dealing with these companies will normally result in negative effects. Additionally, allowance of such tactics will have an adverse effect on internal staff.
  • On time delivery—Businesses planning is frequently forecasted on schedules, which in turn are based on receiving shipments at agreed-upon times.  When those shipments are late, business plans suffer. This can be particularly problematic if the supplier is inattentive or late in reporting the delay.
  • Financial stability—Businesses that allot large amounts of money for purchasing materials often prefer to contract deals with suppliers that are financially stable.  These relationships not only bring security, but they allow companies to learn about the other and gain a better understanding of each business’s needs, wants, operating processes, and planned goals.
  • Flexibility and special services—Many purchasers express their thankfulness for suppliers that take extra steps to satisfy their customer’s needs.  These benefits can range from after-hours availability to training or inventory support.
  • Ability to offer technical assistance—Suppliers with worthy technical support capabilities can be quite valuable to purchasers, providing them with substantial savings in both cost and quality.

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