Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Importers Self-Assessment Program (ISA)

Thursday, June 9th, 2022

 

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

ISA is a voluntary approach to trade compliance that originated from the passage of the Customs Modernization Act (Customs Mod Act) in 1993 as it ushered in an era of new partnership concepts between the importing community and the United States Customs Service (Customs and Border Protection – CBP). The program provides the opportunity for importers who have made a commitment of resources to assume responsibility for monitoring their own compliance in exchange for benefits. The ISA program offers benefits that can be tailored to industry needs and requires that importers demonstrate readiness to assume responsibilities for managing and monitoring their own compliance through self-assessment.

Purpose:

The ISA program is built on the knowledge, trust, and willingness to maintain an ongoing Customs and Border Protection (CBP)/importer relationship that is mutually beneficial to both parties. CBP’s goal is to partner with importers who can demonstrate their readiness to assume the responsibility to manage and monitor their compliance through self-assessment. Importers who are accepted into the ISA program receive tangible benefits, while allowing CBP to re-direct valuable resources to focus on high-risk and unknown importers.

Background:

The passage of the Customs Modernization Act (Customs Mod Act) in 1993 ushered in an era of new partnership concepts between the importing community and the United States Customs Service (Customs and Border Protection – CBP). Under the Mod Act, CBP and the importer share the responsibility for compliance with trade laws and regulations. The importer is responsible for using reasonable care when declaring the value, classification, rate of duty applicable to entered merchandise, and CBP is responsible for informing the importer of its rights and responsibilities under the law.

Program Overview:

The ISA program is a voluntary approach to trade compliance. It is built on knowledge, trust, and a willingness to maintain an ongoing CBP/importer relationship. The ISA program offers meaningful benefits that can be tailored to industry needs and requires that importers demonstrate readiness to assume responsibilities for managing and monitoring their own compliance through self-assessment.

SafeSourcing is an eprocurement company that operates across multiple industries. As such we have specific experience in helping our customers in all aspects of sourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

References: http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/trade_programs/importer_self_assessment/isa_hb.ctt/isa_hb.pdf 

 

How are you keeping costs and expenses down this year?

Friday, June 3rd, 2022

 

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

The role of all for profit businesses is to make a profit. In a perfect world, you will increase sales, reduce cost of goods, improve gross margin, and reduce expenses. Since we do not have a perfect world ever, you will ask your finance team to make up a bunch of excuses based on a variety of global conidiations such as inflation, recession, war, supply chain issues, goodwill, weather, and anything else that will cause analysist to not devalue your shareholder value after missing your quarterly or annual plan numbers. Tell me I am lying! I am already laughing.

The question I have is what questions have you been asking of your finance and procurement teams during the year? Do you just believe what they are telling you? If so, I might have a bridge that be be resold in Brooklyn if you are interested.

Here is the thing, I agree that we have issues. However, that does not mean that there is not money to be saved and a lot of it. The trick is to understand the markets and commodities well enough to source what you can save money on while also trying to mitigate cost increases where there are factual issues.

There are categories whose prices are down year over year 2021 vs 2022. An example might be mobile phone technology, audio technology and even TV’s. I know all these items are used in retail stores. So, are you taking advantage of these items in your technology budget or just believing that chips are hard to get so technology is not a good category to source? If you are opening new stores or upgrading existing stores, I would suggest you take a serious look. In your cost of goods area there are improvements in some produce subcategories and protein subcategories. Do not just believe your supplier of your procurement team. If your pricing has gone up 8% on commodities, have you just accepted it or have you challenged it and kept increases to a minimum.

At SafeSourcing we stay abreast of all areas of impact in the cost of all categories. We understand global and regional issues as well as where there may be alternatives sources of supply. Here’s a couple of examples.

  • Bottled Water 30.7% below current cost.
  • Print Fulfillment 36.04% below current cost
  • Construction Windows and Doors 13.84% below current cost
  • Refrigeration 22.61% below current cost
  • Many more examples upon request

If you lack specific detailed product and commodity knowledge or only source certain categories less than annually, and would like to understand current market drivers, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

 

 

Memorial Day Observance 2022

Monday, May 30th, 2022

 

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

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

memorialday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The article below is sited from: http://www.cute-calendar.com/event/memorial-day/5719-usa.html

Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 31st in 2021). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.

Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars take donations for poppies in the days leading up to Memorial Day; the poppy’s significance to Memorial Day is the result of the John McCrae poem “In Flanders Fields.”

In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also used as a time for picnics, barbecues, family gatherings, and sporting events. One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. The Coca-Cola 600 has been held later the same day since 1961. (From: Wikipedia, license: CCA-SA)

Whether you are observing Memorial Day by volunteering your time placing flags on the graves of soldiers, volunteering your time to spend with wounded soldiers, or are just spending family quality time together, we at SafeSourcing wish you a safe and memory making Memorial Day.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your business needs,  or information 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.

Continuous Replenishment (CRP)

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

 

 

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

Does following a CRP Program ensure that you are getting the best market price at all times.

Continuous replenishment is an ordering process based on the exchange of electronic data between a store and a distributor that indicates when a store is running low on a product and needs a new shipment of the item. CRP programs reduce inventory levels and operating costs by having products delivered on a frequent, as-needed basis. With CRP, consumer demands–based on scan data, warehouse movement, and sales forecasts— drive warehouse replenishment orders and shipping. In the most common form–vendor managed continuous replenishment– the distributor‘s warehouse transmits data daily to the vendor on inventory levels and store orders; the vendor is responsible for creating the orders necessary to ensure that the warehouse can meet the retailer ‘s product needs.

If you’d like to learn more about SafeSourcing’s  E-Procurement solutions that can assist in making sure that your costs are as low as the market will possibly allow, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

Do you have any idea what your total MRO Expense is or what makes it up?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

 

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

MRO products are those goods and services that a company purchases which are not used in production or offered for resale. Typical MRO purchases include manufacturing supplies, computers and office supplies.

Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involve fixing any sort of mechanical, plumbing or electrical device should it become out of order or broken (known as repair, unscheduled or casualty maintenance). It also includes performing routine actions which keep the device in working order (known as scheduled maintenance) or prevents trouble from arising (preventive maintenance). MRO may be defined as, “All actions which have the objective of retaining or restoring an item in or to a state in which it can perform its required function. The actions include the combination of all technical and corresponding administrative, managerial, and supervision actions.”

MRO operations can be categorized by whether the product remains the property of the customer, i.e. a service is being offered, or whether the product is bought by the reprocessing organization and sold to any customer wishing to make the purchase. (Guadette, 2002)

The former of these represents a closed loopsupply chain and usually has the scope of maintenance, repair or overhaul of the product. The latter of the categorizations is an open loop supply chain and is typified by refurbishment and remanufacture. The main characteristic of the closed loop system is that the demand for a product is matched with the supply of a used product. Neglecting asset write-offs and exceptional activities the total population of the product between the customer and the service provider remains constant.

If you like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can assist in reducing your MRO costs, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maintenance,_repair,_and_operation

 

Price Gouging!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

 

 

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

Is price gouging a concern for your company?

According to the SafeSourcing Wiki, Price gouging occurs when a business increases the cost of their offering by an unreasonable amount. While price increases can occur at any time without being considered price gouging, these should generally not exceed around 20%. State laws may dictate the amount of the increase and other considerations in determining whether a price increase constitutes price gouging. Excessive price increases aimed at taking advantage of an emergency situation during times of emergency may be deemed to be price gouging especially if competitive prices are significantly lower.

There is a straightforward way to find out if it is happening to you. Take your most recent contract and your most recent invoice and send them to SafeSourcing Inc. We will be glad to run an eRFX event on your behalf in order to find you. You just might also save money at the same time. Time to execute from the time you contact us. TWO Weeks. Can you invest that little time to create a positive impact on your current expenses or cost of goods?

If you would like to learn more about our daily posts or other SafeSourcing free tools, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

 

 

It is Always Negotiable.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2022

 

Today’s Post is by Patrick Quinn a Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

You, yes you, have a supplier that is screwing you over. The problem is you do not know which one it is. Inflation is hitting your books, and you have spent countless hours going over your spreadsheets to find out how your business is going to pay its bills. You could risk upsetting your clients and customers by trying to subtly increase your prices, but with the news tickers of rising prices flashing everywhere, more people now than ever are watching out for the latest price increases, and you could lose more business than you keep by doing so.

But what about the side of the business where you are the customer? You may think you have negotiated the best deals, found the highest quality suppliers for the lowest price when negotiation is not worth the time, and introduced cost saving tactics when even comparative shopping does not seem worth it, but how can your team alone possibly account for every penny-pinching method within the work week? The answers are often hidden right at the top end of your accounts payable sheet.

During times of inflation, your suppliers can increase prices without your complaint because they expect you to see cost increases. Inflation hit 8.5% so your costs increased. But, by how much exactly? And how much time will it take for you to find out which suppliers increased costs more than 8.5%? Stare at the spreadsheets long enough, and you will begin to wonder, is the 8.5% inflation rate real in any way? Or is it that way because your suppliers took advantage of your pre-conceived ideas?

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard incumbent suppliers tell our customers that they cannot lower their prices. And almost as many times, prices are adjusted to meet the competition. Competing suppliers in your industry want you to spend money with them just as much as your current supplier wants to keep you. Your current supplier has just had a seat at your table more often than anyone else. eRFQ tools ensure that your supplier knows that you also know that there are always more options out there. And if you let someone search hard enough for you, you will find a new supplier eager to impress you just as much as your current supplier did when they first made their way into your spreadsheets.

To help you find the source of your rising costs, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.

 

 

 

EPA Green Power Partnership

Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

 

 

Today’s post if by Ronald D. Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing Inc.

Does your company buy sustainable green energy? Should it?

The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that “encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use”. Currently the organization has over 1500 partners that voluntarily purchase billions of kilowatt hours of sustainable green energy every year. Organizations include Fortune 500 companies, medium-sized businesses, as well as government and educational institutions.

SafeSourcing is an procurement company with many tools that are free for use form our SafeSourcing Wiki to our  SafeSourceIt™ Query Tool and many others. By using our site, you can conduct the research that allows you to operate with business partners that support you goals of being a carbon neutral company as well.

If you’d like to learn more as to how SafeSourcing can help you accomplish your green initiatives, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate.

Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP)

Wednesday, April 6th, 2022

 

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

With everything else companies must focus on these days, how can you ensure that you are still buying products and services that support the environment. And just what is an environmentally preferable product.

An Environmentally Preferable Product is a product or service that has a lesser or reduced impact on human health and the environment relative to competing products or services that serve the same purpose. Such products or services may include, but are not limited to those which contain recycled content, minimize waste, conserve energy or water, or reduce the amount of toxins either disposed of or consumed.

As you might imagine part of the reason we chose the name SafeSourcing was in order to insure not only that the products and services you source were safe for you, your associates and your customers, but also to insure that they have minimal impact on the resources of the planet we all share. Our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database includes over 25 certifications that we hold our suppliers accountable to during the vetting process and that support your socially responsible initiatives by holding your supply chain accountable to the same strategies.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing goes about holding your supply chain accountable, please contact a SafeSourcing customers services associate

Is Globalization Dead?

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

 

Today’s post is from Ronald D Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

According to Wikipedia   Globalization, is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies, and governments worldwide. Globalization has accelerated since the 18th century due to advances in transportation and communication technology. This increase in global interactions has caused a growth in international trade and the exchange of ideas, beliefs, and culture.

According to BingSingle Source Procurement is procurement in which, although two or more vendors supply the same commodities or services, the customer selects one for substantial reasons, eliminating the competitive bidding process.

Doe this still provide adequate flexibility. This author does not think so.

This type of procurement has grown to include every industry on the planet. Think of Single Source Plumbing, Single Source Construction, Single Source Manufacturing amongst hundreds of others, let alone single sourcing of finished goods from wholesale and distribution companies. Companies that use this terminology in their naming conventions like above or in their marketing strategies in order to reinforce their messaging to targeted new customer acquisition may suffer long term by favoring of long-term single source relationships.

What seems like a solid strategy, combining single source and globalization stagiest are often difficult if not impossible to do. Ultimately becoming global reduces single source opportunity. Throw on top of that Acts of God like unforeseen weather issue or Pandemics like COVID may eliminate single source as a viable strategy and globalization as a reasonable business pursuit. Maybe the old statement of think Globally but act locally requires some new consideration

SafeSourcing is a SaaS procurement focused organization that can provide access to multiple sources of supply globally through our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database. This ensures that you get the best price the market has to offer in the location in which you need it every time by introducing the competition for your business that single source eliminates.

If you’d like to learn more as to how SafeSourcing can assist with your sourcing in your operating areas, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate