Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Essential Service 

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

 

 

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

The word essential has seen so much more use in the past 10 months or so. Because of this, many of us have had a chance to stop and think whether we are an essential worker and what that really means. I mention this to help point out that the word can sometimes be subjective.

During the last 10 months, I have had a lot of really interesting conversations with people in all sorts of roles in their different organizations. I have heard a lot about their trials and the new and unforeseen challenges they have faced.

What I have come to see as an outside observer with a wider view of how people approach similar challenges is that it can be hard to see past the challenges that are right in front of us. Here are the top three challenges and why the SafeSourcing’s services are essential even in the face of them.

  1. New and ongoing challenges. While it sometimes feels like we have all settled into the changes we had to make to adjust to the pandemic, the reality is this is not behind us. Staffing issues and ongoing workplace safety concerns take too much attention. But that is actually a reason why you should be working with SafeSourcing. We stay focused on your procurement-related initiatives so you can focus on all the new challenges that you have to face. There is no reason to have to choose between the efforts.
  2. There just are not enough resources. For too many of our customers, they must do more with less. Between layoffs, furloughs, and absences, there is a pretty good chance we have all felt a strain. Here again, SafeSourcing is an extension of your own team. We can assist you, so you do not have to worry about spreading yourself too thin. You will reduce expenses and can use that savings to acquire more resources.
  3. My other responsibilities are higher priorities. Managing your costs directly relates to any of your other strategic responsibilities. Whether you are responsible for sales, HR, IT, or any other role, I guarantee your own goals are in line with managing costs. If you are responsible for growing your company’s revenue, you should also be concerned with improving your company’s gross margin. At the end of the day, everyone in the organization needs to be responsible stewards of its expenses. You keep your eye on your goals and bring us on to keep our eye on your costs.

The main takeaway is that if you can keep an open mind about the benefits of strategic sourcing, you will find that one of the biggest is that it can be a great solution to your challenges both now and in the future.

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.

 

The Buyer in All of Us VII Part Series Summary Regardless

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

 

Today’s post is assembled by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing based on data from our white papers and past blogs at SafeSourcing Inc.

Regardless of what type of personal buyer or corporate buyer you are, or even if you are a combination of any of the five, the goal should still be to prepare and create savings and value where you have the resources to do it. Some companies will have more time and resources to invest and others, due to circumstances, will make the time and resources to do it. There are ways to improve buying habits, not matter the type of buyer. Through better understanding of the types of buyers, the better equipped a company is when trying to make better decisions. By analyzing the kind of buyer, a company has now, the better the buying will be in the future, allowing for a more rounded and beneficial process. Paying close attention now to how and where money in a company is spent, the better prepared that company will be if it should ever need to make spending adjustments. The best way to prevent future problems is by being proactive and seeing where problems may lie in the future. Looking for potential problems now could potentially make the difference whether a company survives hard times or not. By noticing the kind of buyer your company has, the better a company can watch spend and know that the best possible process is in place. This is one big way a company can become more grounded, create better relationships, and know they are saving money in the best way they can.

If you are interested in the White Paper titled “The Buyer in All of Us” that was the basis of this series, please click the link and scroll down to download it with our compliments.

In order to learn more about SafeSourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate and ask about our risk free trial program.

The Buyer in All of Us Part VII of VII. “(The Cash Rich (Fat, Dumb and Happy)”

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

 

Today’s post is assembled by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing based on data from our white papers and past blogs at SafeSourcing Inc.

John is a very successful person. He does extremely well and, because of some great ideas he is sold, is making more money than he can spend. The more he spends, the more he seems to make. When he goes to a restaurant or to a store, he barely glances at the prices because he knows he has plenty of money in the bank. If he wants something or wants to take a trip, he just spends the money and does it. If John saves money throughout this, he barely notices it because he gets the things he needs and wants whenever he feels like it. He thinks that he is well-insulated to the emergencies that may come and believes he will always have enough.

No Time to Save – There may not be too many businesses in the position that John is in, but there are some. These companies are ones that are and have done very well, growing faster than they can sometimes handle and increasing their revenue year after year. Their resources are completely focused on the growth of their fortunate business, so they have little time to invest in doing the things to save money now. In their minds, it is tough to justify spending time on a process to save a million dollars when they could invest that same time to grow their profits by ten million. They know there may be a time when they must save and cut costs, but that time is not today. This can lead to issues down the road if they do not have the infrastructure in place to transition to a new way of business.

The Crash “Down the road” – There always seems to be an end to the growth “down the road” followed by a time that requires expense reduction. If cost-controlling processes, tools, and partnerships are not established when the company is growing it is difficult to turn those on when expenses must be cut. In many of these cases this involves cutting blindly from the #1 expense: headcount. As we saw during the turmoil of the auto industry, staff was greatly reduced, plants were closed, and jobs lost to combat lost revenue. Having processes in place that are operating, even at a minimal effort, provides a system that can be ramped up to help later if needed.

Trickle Down Effect – As many people in John’s life will attest, when the controller of the money is unconcerned about how that money is spent, those around him tend not to either. John’s wife, children, employees, and friends have the tendency to spend John’s money just as easily as he does. In the business world, this translates to employees who travel without trying to get the deals, paying extra money to fly on a certain airline, or staying in a specific hotel because they want the miles or points. It can also mean that managers and executives may spend too much money enjoying the benefits of strong growth without the consideration that the growth and extra cash may someday go away.

Growth is a great thing as is rewarding those people who got it that way. The best approach to dealing with growth and increased revenue, however, is to put the programs in place to prepare for a time in the future when it goes away. By putting savings processes and policies in place when things are good, even if you do not put a huge time investment into it, you can be prepared for leaner times.

Please check back tomorrow for a post Part VII Wrap Up entitled Regardless! In order to learn more about SafeSourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate and ask about our risk free trial program.

The Buyer in All of Us Part VI of VII. “The Traditionalist (aka The Contact Builder)”

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

 

Today’s post is assembled by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing based on data from our white papers and past blogs at SafeSourcing Inc.

Janet loves the people at the places she shops. They are like a second family to her and she thinks of them as part of her social circle. When Janet shops she does not just buy, she builds relationships with the store owners and workers. Janet is not rich, by any means, but the relationships she has built over the years are very important to her and even when new less expensive competitors come into town she refuses to leave her favorite stores and shops. Loyalty is important to her even if the shop owners sometimes take advantage of her.

The Extra Mile – When companies take Janet’s approach, they often experience great customer service from their suppliers. This can be expected for a few reasons. First, many companies appreciate loyalty from their customers and try to reward in kind where they can, especially when the customer gets into a crisis. Secondly, they know that they can count on the customer’s business and want to ensure they do not lose that business to one of the aforementioned “less expensive competitors.” Their reminder to their customers frequently is “We may not be the cheapest, but we’re the best!”

Taking Advantage – The downside to being a loyal customer like Janet is that some businesses can take advantage of that relationship and loyalty. They understand that the customer likes their company and does not want to go elsewhere and that they appreciate the little extras the supplier provides. Because of this, many suppliers in this position do not mind passing on little increases in price every year even though their costs may not be increasing along with them. The customer may notice the increases, but usually not enough to outweigh their loyalty to the company and they will often justify the increases by thinking of the extras the suppliers gives them, even when those extras do not come close to equaling the increases being passed along.

Beyond Your Own Backyard – Blind loyalty can be a dangerous thing especially when, as mentioned above, suppliers begin to take advantage of the loyalty. It can also be detrimental to a company because of the missed opportunities for better service at even better prices. Because Janet never even looks at stores outside of her favorites, she will never know what other companies could offer her. The sad truth is that so many organizations operate the same way. They will not leave what they know, so they will never know what they could have had.

Traditionalists operate under the best of intentions. Unlike the Misers, they are not interested in savings nearly as much as they are in solidifying their relationships with vendors. They usually will get great customer service but are in frequent danger of being taken advantage of by those same vendors over time.

Please check back tomorrow for Part VII “The  Cash Rich (Fat, Dumb and Happy” In order to learn more about SafeSourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate and ask about our risk free trial program.

What are your Procurement related New Year Resolutions?

Monday, December 28th, 2020

 

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

Here are ten (10) procurement focused resolutions that may align with your plan. While they may seem straight forward, the fact is in many cases companies do not focus on these even within more broad based annual business plans.

Here is a typical Example: Your company has new  store construction planned for this year. You have suppliers for all your construction needs and materials including signage, lighting, checkouts, floor tile, ceiling tile, loss prevention equipment, technology, electrical engineering, plumbing, doors, environmental systems, freezer cases, shelving, kitchen equipment etc.. I could go on and on. As this is a new location there is a budget for this build and it is part of your capital plan. You have bids in place and are focused on getting the location open and delivering revenue.

Here is the question, have you checked to make sure that your pricing is as low as it should be, or are you just going with your internal teams RFP evaluations? If you are, you are not doing your capital plan justice.

Resolutions:

  1. Reduce the Capital Plan through improved pricing.
  2. Reduce Cost of Goods and Services through improved quality and pricing.
  3. Reduce you Expense Plan through improved service and pricing.
  4. Use external sources and tools to help your procurement team achieve maximum results.
  5. Do not hire any more people for your procurement team unless they are a replacement.
  6. Always ask all functional departments if current purchases have been taken through a price compression exercise with at least three (3) suppliers. Not Contract review, price compression.
  7. Make sure that all contracts contain statement of work procedure outlines with specific out-of-scope price submission language
  8. Make sure that your internal teams have a well-defined sourcing execution plan.
  9. Identify additional sources of supply to mitigate risk of out of service or out of stock situations.
  10. Eliminate all Rogue spending.

While these seem simple, all CPO’s, CFO’s and other executives will tell you they have this covered. Unfortunately, in most cases they do not.

If you would like to learn more about SafeSourcing’s white glove services, SafeSourceIt™ family of SaaS products, or our world class six (6) step process containing thirty-nine (39) specific you do or we do touch points, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative, and ask about SafeSourcing’s Risk-Free Trial.

 

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2020 and the hope for Peace on Earth.

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

If you can indentify these folks below, We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk?  

Friday, December 18th, 2020

 

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

While I was reading some tech news today I came across something that I hadn’t heard of.  Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk?  Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth long-range wireless networking protocol that was developed by Amazon Inc. that helps network devices work better.  It is operated by Amazon and offered to their customers at no charge.  Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth range of devices and help the devices stay online even when they are outside the range of your Wi-Fi.  Sidewalk uses a small fraction of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth to pass wireless Bluetooth and 900MHz radio signals between compatible devices which will offer greater distances that the Wi-Fi is not capable of on its own.  Amazon is estimating that in some cases it could reach as far as a half a mile.  This is done by Amazon designating many of its Echo and Ring devices as Sidewalk Bridges.  These bridges will use a small amount of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth and will transmit it to all of the Sidewalk-compatible devices.  However, these Sidewalk networks work a little differently that your current home Wi-Fi.  The network is not just available for your enabled devices but your neighbors enabled devises as well.  Because of this some people are worried about privacy and security and may want to turn this feature off.  This is something that you will have to do manually because the feature is being pushed to all compatible devices and is turned on by default.  If you would like to turn this feature off until you can do further research, it can be done by opening the Alexa app on your phone, tap More, tap Settings, tap account Settings, tap Amazon Sidewalk and swipe the button next to Enabled to the left. Below is a list of Amazon devices that are able to become Sidewalk Bridges:

  • Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
  • Echo (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen) for Kids
  • Echo Dot with Clock (3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Plus (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
  • Echo Show (1st Gen, 2nd Gen), Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, Echo Show 10
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Studio

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, can help you,  please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Procure?

Thursday, December 17th, 2020

 

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

Every business or organization has or will need to procure something at some point, whether it is a service, an item for resale, or things that help run your business. Because so many businesses need these things, there have been different ways to go about getting those goods or services. So, how do you procure?

For smaller organizations, purchasing is often done through just one person or a few people, whereas often with larger organizations, they have their own purchasing or procurement teams. However large or small the procurement team is, most procurement is done the same few ways.

First, there can be simple procurement. These can vary in size, but are fairly simple items or services that do not need customized or are standard items. These items are sourced fairly easily and do not require specific details. This can include things such as standard size T-Shirt bags or copy paper.

Second, some items or services may become more complex and can be more challenging to procure. These require more details on the product and it may narrow down the number of vendors that can supply the item. This may include items like beverage cups and their matching lids or IT Equipment.

Lastly, there are highly complex procurement efforts. These are often very detailed goods or services or require very particular qualities. These may be more challenging to find vendors and often require highly detailed specifications. Services such as design or engineering can fall into this category and often requires a great amount of detail on the project.

Despite the different levels of procurement, utilizing a procurement partner like SafeSourcing can help your organization. It doesn’t matter the size of your business or the complexity of your procurement project, a procurement partner has the tools and experience to help you get the good or service you need, often with greater savings than procuring alone.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your procurement needs or on our

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

 

Vaccines for Food Suppliers

Friday, December 11th, 2020

 

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

David MacLennan, Chief Executive of Cargill, Inc., a 155-year-old company with 155,000 employees in 70 countries, steered one of the world’s largest food suppliers through COVID 19’s world-wide spread this past spring.  Cargill “straddles the global food and agriculture-supply chains, processing farmers’ crops, packing meat and distributing sugar, salt, cotton and other commodities.  Its plants supply some of the world’s biggest consumer brands, supermarket chains and restaurants.”1.  In the spring meatpackers fell sick by the thousands.  Practices to adapt to the pandemic were implemented.  Partitions between process-line work stations were installed, workers temperatures were taken routinely, masks were required, and spaced out seating in break rooms was provided.  As the virus is on the rise once again, MacLennan has urged employees to follow similar guidelines in their homes.

McLennan stated he visited one of the beef facilities recently and said it was running at 98% capacity.  That is a huge improvement from last spring where many meat plants had to shut down.  He believes people are more informed now.  Although MacLennan realizes the vaccines will be issued to the health workers, the vulnerable population, the elderly, and people with pre-exiting conditions, he is advocating that essential workers (including the supply chain workers) should be right at the top.

MacLennan stated that people are becoming more aware of the food supply chain going back to the farmers, the ranchers, and the manufactures of ingredients,  Before the pandemic, most people didn’t think that way.

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.

References……………………………………………….

1 Jacob Bunge, WSJ, 11/25/2020

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend 2020 from SafeSourcing. Who were the Pilgrims?

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

 

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

According to the Mayflower Society, as history has evolved, any of the 102 Mayflower passengers who arrived in Plymouth on the Mayflower and survived the initial hardships is now considered a Pilgrim with no distinction being made on the basis of their original purposes for making the voyage.

The Mayflower Pilgrims and their fellow travelers were authors of the first true governing document created in a New World colony. The Mayflower Compact is considered to have set the stage for the Constitution of the United States.

These were the same pilgrims that were responsible for the holiday we celebrate today called Thanksgiving.

We wish you and yours a peaceful and happy extended holiday weekend.