Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Plexiglass and Tents

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020



Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Administrative Consultant for SafeSourcing.

Plexiglass has become a popular back-to-school item along with the standard notebooks and pencils this year.  Schools and colleges are purchasing protective products in large quantities as they attempt to stop the spread of Coronavirus, as well as to calm the nerves of teachers, students, and parents.  The average school district will spend $400,000 on products related to the pandemic, according to the Association of School Business Officials International.  Through the Cares Act, $30.8 billion in funding was afforded to schools and colleges. Plexiglass manufacturers normally do not rely on the education sector as customers, but the pandemic has manufactures straining to meet the current demand. Manufacturers of plexiglass say it’s easier to provide plexiglass for retailers than it for schools districts across the state.  Every school district has a different criteria, government regulations, and building code issues.

The manufacturers of tents for wedding venues and other special events are struggling to hire enough employees to keep up with the current demand.  Schools and colleges are buying tents to use as outside classrooms.  As an example,  Pocantico Hills Central School District has installed two 30×30 foot tents as additional classrooms at its campus in New York’s Westchester County.  Extra desks have been purchased in order to eliminate tables.  Ventilation systems have been installed in each classroom.

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

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


Amber Burton, WSJ, 9/4/2020





SafeSourcing® eProcurement Tools A one-stop shopping center

Thursday, September 10th, 2020


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

In today’s world, sourcing and procuring the best product or service for your company has never been more challenging. Connecting with reliable suppliers is no easy task. Safety scares and product quality issues have made it more difficult than ever to obtain the peace of mind that you and your customer expect. What’s more, the universal demand to reduce our carbon footprint has skyrocketed in importance to individuals and businesses creating its own unique requirements and opportunities.

Accomplishing all of these important objectives at a price that’s right seems complicated, if not impossible. Combine that with increased time constraints and a workforce functioning with limited awareness of additional sources of supply and specifications for the products they are sourcing and you have a global procurement climate that can produce more than a few headaches, day in and day out.

An innovative alternative is SafeSourcing Inc. Our SafeSourceIt™ Procure to Pay family of solutions is loaded with efficient and comprehensive tools and programs that turn the procurement process into a highly productive endeavor. SafeSourcing is, literally, a one-stop shopping center.

Our clients have access to:

  • The entire SafeSourceIt™ Procure to Pay suite of solutions including our  popular  Reverse Auction Tools that can be used for all your sourcing needs including new contract purchases, spot buys, replenishment, aggregation, and collaboration with other buying organizations.
  • SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database, an international 427,000 supplier database, which is specifically designed for ease-of-use. This unique database includes safety and eco controls and is one of the largest of its kind.

The SafeSourceIt Family of Procure to Pay Products and Services Includes:

  • SafeSourceIt™ eSourcing suite, SafeContract™, SafePO™, SafeCatalog™, SafeSurvey™, SafeDocument™ and SafeDashboard™.
  • Safety in Sourcing, a blog with daily updates and comments from your peers.
  • Sourcing WIKI, which includes thousands of procurement terms and definitions.
  • The SafeSourceIt™ Product and Services Specification Library
  • Daily Safety Alerts from the USDA, FDA, ISO, and other standards-creating agencies.

Our Goal is to keep the constant demands of your job at a minimum with our help.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customers services professional and be sure to ask about our risk free trial.




eRFX Strategies for Success Part IV the reason for an RFP Items 5-8

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020


Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc. This post also includes input from the many talented teammates I work with every day and my Whitepaper by the same title.

In  parts one and two and three we have discussed  that the world of procurement is continually changing, and this includes the world of eProcurement when it comes to the request for information, a proposal, or a quote and why this process when used properly even with newer tools is still the most effective results delivering procurement process available.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) items 5-8

  1. Data Requirements: This can vary from RFP to RFP, but every project should collect basic information about the vendors such as, their name, address, primary business, who the primary contact will be with their specific contact and other related information, usually a list of 3-5 references and a list of current businesses that are similar in size to the company running the RFP.
  2. Terms and Conditions: General and special arrangements, provisions, requirements, rules, specifications, and standards that form an integral part of an agreement or contract.
  3. Description of Goods and/or Services to Be Procured: This description defines what is being requested. It is a bridge between the scope of work and the specifications. This area is typically where vendors are asked to give their proposal of price based on the needs defined and within the guidelines of the specifications.
  4. Instructions for Preparation of Technical, Management, and/or Cost Proposals: These are the details on how to complete the RFP. Typically the supplier will be given a deadline to complete the RFP, to complete training on how to enter Responses and Pricing, and the additional information the customer may need as supplemental documentation and how to submit that information.

In the example I used in the RFI section, (Owning a new or used facility and turning it into a Distribution Center) It may be known where the racking should be located, how much racking is required (this would include a set materials listing), the details of labor to install new materials and remove and re-rack another area. All of these details are required for the suppliers to bid the job appropriately. Within a very detailed RFP there are fewer chances for over or under bidding from the suppliers. The quality of an RFP is very important to successful project management because it clearly delineates the deliverables that will be required.

The details received from an RFI can be used to build the specifications for an RFP. Multiple suppliers have verified and provided details needed to complete the project. The RFI may also produce details not previously known, for instance in the racking project: if the location is in California or other geographic areas prone to seismic activity a seismic analysis will also be required to complete the work. This can be completed, but for an additional charge from the supplier. Suppliers may all have similar products, but they may not be compatible to other supplier’s materials.  In other words, their product will be proprietary and not interchangeable if a repair is required in the future. These details and more need to be inserted into the new RFP.

So how can an RFI be combined with an RFP?  If there needs to be a high level of knowledge about a product, project, or service, but the same supplier has been used exclusively for a long period of time and it is unclear as to whom additional sources of supply might be. An RFI could be combined by asking the questions specifically related to the new potential suppliers; who are they, where are they located, what is their business structure, who the contacts are, what areas or locations can they service, what are their references, etc.  Along with the specifications and details of the RFP, an overall picture will develop of who the company is, what they can or cannot provide, and what their pricing structure will be.

With an idea of how to collect information on a project with little initial data through an RFI and details on collecting RFP responses with the known information, the next step is ensure understanding relative to the best value, data and price from the suppliers that can handle the opportunity.

Tune back in tomorrow when we will explore the Request for Quote or RFQ.

If you’d like to learn more and can’t wait for the series conclusion, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services associate, they’d be thrilled to hear from you.





Ten intangibles we bring to the table from our associates in a recent internal survey!

Friday, August 21st, 2020



Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

I am very proud of the results of a recent internal survey that identified 80 intangibles that our employees and management believe SafeSourcing brings to our customers. Here are ten that have a great impact on our customers.

  1. SafeSourcing’s staff is passionate about Saving Companies money.
  2. SafeSourcing is willing to develop new solutions or strategies to meet our client’s needs.
  3. SafeSourcing’s staff is willing to put in the extra effort needed to meet our client’s timelines.
  4. SafeSourcing’s employees bring extreme category knowledge to all events they execute.
  5. SafeSourcing develops and provides detailed custom reporting on complex events.
  6. SafeSourcing works to keep our costs low so we can offer an extremely competitive pricing.
  7. SafeSourcing’s white glove customer service is second to none.
  8. SafeSourcing’s leadership team truly cares about the wellbeing of their employees.
  9. SafeSourcing truly cares about sourcing safe products and services.
  10. SafeSourcing is committed to continuous improvement and desires to lead our industry.

If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you improve your sourcing results,  or to learn more about our risk free trial, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services representative.

We have an entire team anxious to assist you.



How are you winning?

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020



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

This year has been one that none of us have seen before. With illness, civil unrest, constant politics, and economic hardships, we hope there is some silver lining for each of us. Through all the struggles, there can be some glimmers of success and we want to share those.

Procurement is a business of procuring the goods or services a company needs. E-procurement does that, but in a different way. SafeSourcing has the tools and technology to keep your organization’s procurement efforts continuing. Regardless of what good or service your company seeks, SafeSourcing can help you find the right suppliers and often lower expenses far more than you may think.

This is where we would like to share some success. SafeSourcing has continued to work with customers throughout this year’s challenges and has shown success for our customers. In fact, our customers on average continue purchasing the same product or service and save a significant amount. Wouldn’t you like to save 10%, 15%, or 20% off the products you already buy? Most of our customers want to and do with the help of our e-procurement tools and services.

For more information on ways we can help you save money, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.




Happy 4th of July Weekend

Friday, July 3rd, 2020




How Fast Can You Change?

Friday, June 5th, 2020



Today’s post is our archives at  SafeSourcing.

Our CEO Ron Southard has decided to repost this message because if you are not changing you are falling behind. So, how fast can you change? It better be immediately if not faster. And it may be that every associate needs to think of themselves as the agent of change both personally, professionally and for their company. So get cracking because in the time it takes you to read this post you will have lost ground with your competition.

What is intelligence? Encarta defines it as “the ability to learn facts and skills and apply them, especially when this ability is highly developed.” Another definition, famously attributed to Albert Einstein, is “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” If we consider the attributes we typically assign to intelligence, we can easily see how they all involve change:

  • Learning requires memorizing new information, which requires a change in the structure of the brain.
  • Someone whose circumstances demand a change in behavior, is not considered intelligent if they never perform the needed change.
  • A business that adapts and reinvents itself in tandem with its changing environment is considered to be very well-led and innovative.
  • In any career, it’s the dynamic and adaptable people who fill top management. Those who are given new directives and take a long time to enact those changes typically don’t gain traction.

If the ability to change is directly correlated to intelligence, then can a lack of intelligence be defined as stagnation? An inability to adapt and change? In short, yes, Dr. Edward Miller, CEO of the hospital

at Johns Hopkins University, stated in a 2005 interview, “If you look at people after coronary-artery bypass grafting two years later, 90% of them have not changed their lifestyle.” It’s been well-established in the medical community that even when the threat is death, the majority of people will not change previously established bad habits. Similar findings have been well established in business management studies. The old-school way of thinking is to assume that everyone just needs more threats, pressure, and dire consequences to get moving. But a one size fits all approach has never worked well in managing human beings. The truth has always been that negative pressure leads to faking change in order to make the boss, the doctor, the spouse, etc, happy with what they’re seeing, even though the truth is performance is still severely lacking.

While some amount of negative pressure will always exist, and will always be essential, what creates long term change is consistent benefit incentives. For example, when people don’t have any hope for the future of their health, their jobs, relationships, etc, adding pressure that says “things are just going to get worse if you don’t change” just adds to the hopelessness of the individual, which they interpret as more reason not to change. However, when someone is given a compliment at work, starts seeing results from exercise, or getting praise from a spouse, they will often see it as a glimpse into something better that is proven to be attainable.

Once we have created the right environment for change, the hard work of implementation can begin. This implementation has to start with paying attention. When a new policy shows up on our desk, we have to take it seriously, read it, memorize as much as necessary, and then change our behavior accordingly. When we see something go wrong, and we don’t change, most people would call that unintelligent. However, when something goes wrong and change happens quickly, effectively, and long-term, we are certainly displaying intelligent behavior. In a world of constant change, the spoils go to the nimble.1

Please leave a comment or for more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process 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.





What precautions should we take when driving in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020


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

When you are out driving to work and running errands you might be thinking about what you should be doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within your vehicle. Should you be wearing gloves, maybe wearing a mask, or keep the widows rolled up to prevent the entry of the virus. Well according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) you should be doing this one thing to protect yourself. Make sure that you crack the windows of the vehicle to ensure fresh air is entering the vehicles cabin. Because this is an airborne virus you would think that leaving the windows closed would help contaminated air from entering the vehicle. But according to the CDC it is just the opposite.   By improving the ventilation within your vehicle, it will help reduce the risk of transmission. Studies have found that closed environments are around 18 times greater than open air environments. So the more fresh air that you let in the better it will be for the enclosed environment because it will help prevent contaminated particles on the surfaces of your vehicle from entering your mouth, nose or eyes. When you keep the widows closed, the particles are trapped within the cabin and each time someone coughs the particles build up. By just cracking one window approximately 3 inches can keep the interior well ventilated. The CDC also says that it is safe to run the vehicle’s air conditioning as long as you set it to non-recirculation mode. When this setting is on, the system does not recirculate the interior air but pulls in air from outside of the vehicle. Below are some other precautions you can take to keep your vehicle safe.

  • Keep windows cracked or open between drives.
  • Be extra careful of what you are touching when filling up.
  • Wash or disinfect your hands before touching the interior.
  • Limit the number of passengers.
  • Disinfect high touch areas frequently.

If you are looking to purchase any protective personal equipment 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.




Are your nervous heading back to work?

Friday, May 29th, 2020



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

With states starting to allow the opening of businesses and other activities, there is a debate on whether or not you should wear a mask when in public. This, of course, only means if you are in public and around other people. If you are in an open area and are not within 6 feet of other people, then no mask should be required to stop or spread of the infection. If you are entering a business or other area where people are close together, then they recommend that you wear a mask to help prevent the spread. Experts are now saying that wearing a mask may not prevent you from getting the virus but may help keep you from spreading it to other people if you do not know you are infected.

Wearing a mask can be very constrictive to some people and sparks the debate to whether or not wearing a mask does anything to help protect those around us. This is something that I struggled with when deciding if I should or should not wear a mask because of advice I have been given in the past. My wife became ill last fall and is still seeking treatment and recovering. When she was diagnosed it was the start of flu season so we asked several of her doctors if she should wear a mask when in public. Because of her weakened immune system, we were very concerned of her catching the flu and it leading to other major health problems. Several doctors told us that she did not have to wear the mask because studies have shown that wearing a mask does little to help you from catching the flu. Because of this advice, she did not wear a mask through the fall or winter. But now, after listening to both sides over the last few weeks, we have decided that we are going to wear the masks. If wearing the masks can help spread the disease to even one person we feel it is the right thing to do.

If you are looking to purchase any protective personal equipment 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.






What does “reducing expenses” mean to you?

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020



These days more companies are saying that they are focused on expenses, but what exactly does that mean?

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

At SafeSourcing, we’re always focused on expenses. Helping our customers manage their expenses and reduce costs is in our DNA. It’s fair to say that nearly every organization we work with also has some degree of their focus placed on expense management too. The degree to which this is true varies, but expenses are usually an area of at least some focus.

These days, the level of focus on expense management and reduction seems to be higher. At least, that’s what we are hearing. We hear several times a day from many organizations that they are really focused on expenses right now. But what does that mean and what are you actually doing about it?

There are certainly many ways that one might decide tackle expense reduction. There are some very severe measures like furloughs and layoffs that, while effective in reducing expenses, have some other wide-reaching negative side effects on your business. There are some more temporary measures that can be taken such as freezing spending in certain areas. This can also be effective in the near-term, but this too has negative consequences.

In these times, measures such as these are being considered and implemented regularly. We see it in the news and we hear it in conversation.

There is another way to manage and reduce expenses, of course. Our readers already know that SafeSourcing reduces costs for our customers while maintaining current specifications and service levels and the cost reductions are not temporary. On average, we deliver over 24% cost reduction across all spend categories. That means that if you work with SafeSourcing to reduce your expenses, the reduction scales as you go. If you source $100,000 using our services, your new expense may be around $75,000 after working with us. If you source $10,000,000 using our services, your new expenses may be around $7,500,000.

Plus, working with SafeSourcing also means you get to hand off the hard work of finding vendors and negotiating new rates which can be very time consuming, especially if you’ve already reduced headcount.

I thought it was a good time to share a reminder that there are options if expense reduction is your new priority.

What does “reducing expenses” mean to you?

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.