Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Retail Store Fixtures

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

 

 

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

Over the past five years, the Retail Store Fixture Dealers industry has grown by 5.5% to reach revenue of $5 billion in 2018. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has declined by -0.6% and the number of employees has grown by 1.4%.

With the closing of some major retailers, like Toys R Us and Sears, you would think that the opposite would be true, with the used retail fixtures flooding the market from these closed stores. Higher disposable income and stronger consumer confidence is expected to boost retail sales, and increase the demand for retail fixtures. This is also due to brick and mortar retailers reinventing themselves to stay a step ahead of the online retailers.

Visual merchandising is key to staying relevant. Store planning, design, and visual effects are important for attracting customers and enticing them to make purchases. I personally prefer buying online because it is usually cheaper, and I save myself the hassle of making a trip to the mall. I also end up purchasing more than I intended, proving that clever merchandising does what it is designed to do. Some customers still prefer to touch and try on things before buying, which is why in-store shopping remains the most popular buying option, followed by websites and then mobile apps.

The Retail Store Fixture Dealers industry primarily acquires retail store fixtures from manufacturers and resells them to retail industries. The industry includes a wide variety of products, such as showcases and counters; gondola store shelving; glass, wood and plastic displays; display racks; gridwall; slatwall and accessories; forms and mannequins; sign holders; and food and jewelry displays.

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

References….………………………………………….

https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-trends/specialized-market-research-reports/specialist-engineering-infrastructure-contractors/construction-building-services/retail-store-fixture-dealers.html>

 

 

How Fast Can You Change?

Friday, April 12th, 2019

 

 

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.

Referances——————————————————–

  1. https://hbr.org/2011/07/adaptability-the-new-competitive-advantage

 

 

Baseball Season and eProcurement Part 2

Friday, April 5th, 2019

 

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

This post is part 2 of Baseball Season and eProcurement series. In the last months post, Baseball Season and eProcurement Part 1 we discussed how at SafeSourcing we measure eProcurement success using baseball terminology as our customers watch their online Request for Quote (RFQ) Events.

Today’s post will focus on the importance of getting on base with a Single. At SafeSourcing, we define a Single as an RFQ Event that has savings of at least 5%, but less than 10%. In future installments of this series, we’ll focus on Doubles, Triples, Home Runs, and Grand Slams. It’s too easy to say that the goal of an RFQ Event should be a Home Run or a Grand Slam. After all, with an average savings percentage that is nearly a Grand Slam at 24.8%, it’s fair to expect big results.

As you probably know, base hits are very important in baseball and that holds true in eProcurement. For some categories including certain commodity items, a Single is actually a very significant win. For other categories, a single represents a last mile effort to drive out even more savings on a category that the customer has already done a reasonable job of negotiating without eProcurement.

In one recent example of a high spend category that had been negotiated by the customer pretty well before an RFQ Event, we attained a Single. This category was plastic bags and was a closely monitored category for this retailer. This was still a high-value win for the customer as it was a simple RFQ Event to prepare for and achieved immediate savings dollars representing hundreds of thousands in savings over the term of the award.

Another recent example of a Single achieved by a SafeSourcing customer was in an RFQ Event that included items like various pickles and peppers. In this example, the customer had been presented with a price increase. Despite the price increase, they were able to attain a 6.93% savings on the category. Considering that they were able to avoid the increase and then some. That is a solid base hit.

There are many results like these and there are interesting stories including great savings dollars behind each. In the next entry in this series, some examples of Doubles will be shared.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

 

 

 

 

My thoughts on the use of e-procurement tools by retail collective buying organizations.

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

 

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

I originally wrote this post 10 years ago. While a lot has changed, a lot has not. Many collective buyer organizations, share groups and even some GPO’s  are understaffed and lack the category expertise to serve their constituency adequately on a total spend basis particularly in the retail space.

Many of these structures believe that they speak on behalf of their retail members for anything and everything that they source. Unfortunately many of their members do not agree. These are independent business people. If they have an opportunity to reduce their cost of goods, expenses and capital spend it is their right to do so. Are they all getting the best pricing today. don’t believe it for a minute.

These business structures have been around for a long time. Many have evolved to use cutting edge e- procurement tools, but many have not. Do their retailers also benefit from their use of these tools in order to reduce their net landed costs? I’ve been in the supply chain since 1970 and the answer is NO!

This author remembers being a young salesperson over 40 years ago (ouch!). I convinced a customer to buy some new point of sale equipment. I was really excited when I took the contract to the customer for signature. Once there, the retailer told me I had to get a purchase order from Cressy Dockham who was their wholesaler and they would tell me how much discount the retailer was to receive. Cressy Dockham is no longer in business today. They were located in Americus Georgia. I worked in Boston. Thus began a long relationship with collective buyers across all segments of the industry. Explanation of fees was always a part of the discussion.

These types of organization can go by a lot of different names such wholesaler, collective buyer, consortium, cooperative, share groups and more. They all have one thing in common. They consolidate purchasing volumes for a wide array of groups that may have very similar business structures, but can also be wildly different. Some retailers may actually belong to several different buying groups because their primary group does not offer expertise in a certain area.

Obviously, these organizations are not in business to lose money. There are some non profit membership organizations that do return earnings to their members on a pre-planned basis such as quarterly or annually.

As a result of volume consolidation or aggregation, these organizations often qualify for much larger discounts from manufacturers and suppliers than do their independent retailer partners. In many cases the full discount is not passed on to retailers in order to cover the cost of administering the programs. Additionally, other service fees may also be added to invoices.

Today’s advanced e-procurement tools make it much easier to accomplish collective buying. Large and small retailers alike now have the capability of viewing a much broader universe of suppliers while also coordinating and participating in collaborative events from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Suppliers now have an opportunity to earn business they could never compete for in the past.

Retailers should ask their collective buyers how they plan to make the use of these tools available and how many suppliers they have to choose from by category.

I look forward to your comments.

Fact vs Rhetoric

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives. Please enjoy.

Rhetoric:

  •  The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques.

Though we have a basic definition of rhetoric, we need to break it down a little further to understand how it’s used. The end goal of rhetoric is persuasion, to get others to come around to your way of thinking. Rhetorical appeals are most commonly known to manifest themselves in three modes of persuasion:

  •  Logos: The appeal to logic, a means of persuading an audience through reason (though this can use fallacious logic, and not necessarily validreasoning).
  • Pathos: The appeal to emotion and imagination, a means of convincing an audience by eliciting an emotional response.
  • Ethos: The appeal to the ethics or credibility of the party doing the persuading (though again this is a mode/tool of persuasion, but credibility can be built using well-told lies also).

Now that we have a basic understanding of rhetoric, you may already be able to think of both how useful and dangerous it can be. To a degree, it could be said that we never stop using rhetoric. Statements like “in my opinion” are used almost ubiquitously, but could be said to be using rhetoric to give the appearance of humility in order to elicit a softer response than you might receive if you started your claim with “I’m right about this, so here’s how it is…”

On the other hand, leading someone’s thinking with anything other than fact, is to lead them to a conclusion that may not fully align with reality, and that always has the potential for disaster. For example, if you need to motivate someone to action and use “guilt” as an appeal to emotion to accomplish this, your audience may recognize your attempt at manipulation, see use as untrustworthy and illogical (undermining Logos and Pathos), and be motivated in the opposite direction you intended.

Another example would be to persuade someone to think the way you do using credibility, rather than fact. You could pull out a long list of examples where you did well in a certain capacity or point to your college degrees on the wall, but at the end of the day, if you’re operating with a mindset of “how can I get someone to do this” instead of critically evaluating the facts with all parties, you aren’t working with the right criteria for success.

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.

 

Water Cooler vs Disposable Water Bottles

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

 

Today’s post is by Troy Lowe; Vice President of Development at SafeSourcing. Troy asks “Are you looking for a new water cooler?”

I’m tired of wasting money on disposable water bottles so I decided to look for other alternatives.  After doing some light research, I decided to look into companies that supply water coolers.  I was looking at the usual dispensers that use the reusable 3 and 5 gallon water bottles.  While doing that research, I came across some water coolers that I have not seen before.  These units produce fresh water on tap with no plumbing or refilling.  All you do is plug the units in and water is produced from the surrounding air.  The water is produced by drawing air into the system. The air then goes through a series of filters that removes the moisture from the air creating clean drinking water.  The filtration process also filters the air which creates clean air that is then released back into the environment.  So not only clean water is produced, but the unit acts as a dehumidifier as well.  Since the water is produced from the humidity in the air, it creates fresh, bacteria-free pure drinking water.  Listed below are other features and benefits that you could receive by using this type of water cooler.

  • Unlimited supply of water
  • Produces up to 10 gallons of water per day
  • Creates oxygen enriched water for quicker hydration
  • Dehumidifies the air reducing mold
  • Increases A\C efficiency
  • No more water delivery
  • No more lifting heavy water bottles

If you are looking to purchase a new water cooler 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.

 

 

Don’t Go Breaking My ♥️

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

 

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

For those of us that struggle with the right words to say when writing Valentine’s Day sentiments, there is one less option this year. Yes, that’s right! Sweetheart candies are not on the candy shelves this year. The company that made them, New England Confectionary Company went out of business.

Candystore.com estimates that these conversational heart candies generated $1.8 billion in sales. Necco, after 100 years in business, folded in 2018. Along with Sweethearts, the company also produced Mary Janes, Necco Wafers and Clark Bars. Last March when the news about Necco folding, panic struck with shoppers buying up inventory. This resulted in prices jumping more than 50 percent. Spangler Candy Co. bought the Sweetheart brand last September, but it was not enough time to produce the volume of these conversational hearts for this Valentines’ season. The CEO of Spangler Candy Co., Kirk Vashaw, has reported a relaunch of these confections for the 2020 Valentine’s Day season. These candies are still available for a pretty penny on Amazon starting at $9 and eBay for $12 for an eight-pack.

The following are some fun US Valentine’s Day trivia:

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas). Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.

Symbols:

The most common Valentine’s Day symbols are the heart, particularly in reds and pinks, and pictures or models of Cupid. Cupid is usually portrayed as a small winged figure with a bow and arrow. In mythology, he uses his arrow to strike the hearts of people. People who have fallen in love are sometimes said to be ‘struck by Cupid’s arrow. Other symbols of Valentine’s Day are couples in loving embraces and the gifts of flowers, chocolate, red roses and lingerie that couples often give each other.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help in your procurement 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.

References…..………………………………..

Michal Walker, USA Today, 1/24/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Stinky Time for the American Cheese Industry

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

 

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

According to the US Department of Agriculture, Americans consumed about 37 pounds of cheese per capita in 2017. Although that appears to be a large number, there is a 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus. This is the largest cheese surplus in US history.

There has been an increase of 13% of milk production in the last 10 years. What dairy farmers didn’t realize was Americans are drinking far less milk. USDA statistics show Americans drank 149 pounds of milk in 2017, down from 247 in 1975. Milk suppliers turn the surplus milk into cheese as it’s less perishable and stays fresh longer. Studies show Americans are now in favor of more refined cheeses rather than processed cheese, although the market for mozzarella cheese is still the largest produced and consumed cheese in the US.

Imported cheese tends to cost more, so when consumers purchase these cheeses they tend to buy less. The growing surplus of American-made cheese and milk has resulted in a decrease in prices. Whole milk on average costs $15.12 per 100 pounds which is less than what dairy farmers need to break even. The Wall Street Journal reported hundreds of Wisconsin dairy farms closed in 2018.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help in your procurement 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.

References…..…………………………………………….

Samantha Raphelson, NPR Here & Now, 1/9/2019

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2018 and the hope for Peace on Earth.

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

If you can indentify these folks below, We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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Benefits of Trade Shows

Monday, December 10th, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Ashley Riviello, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Trade shows are like a one stop shop. You have hundreds of vendors and companies coming all to one area marketing their business. I think trade shows are an amazing way to network, not only your business, but support other businesses that are participating in the trade shows as well. Even if you are not one of the vendors in the trade show, the huge opportunity that is there for potential business for your own company it unreal.

Did you know? 46% of trade show attendees are in Executive or Upper Management roles. That’s almost half of people attending trade shows! They are high up on the ladder and have the ability to make any big decision for the company right then and there.

81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. That means the majority of the people there have the capability to make any buying decisions right there on the spot.

78% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles. This allows you to have the opportunity to meet with people all over the US.

The average attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing trade show exhibits at a show. That is a solid 8 hours of people continuously walking by your booth or you walking around for 8 hours getting your name out to the people who do not know your company or what you do.

92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products. Almost every person going to these trade shows are looking for new business and for something cheaper but better.

The top 3 goals for exhibitors at trade shows are brand awareness, lead generation, and relationship building. I think these 3 goals are the most important goals to have as a company.. Brand awareness, you want people to know who you are and what you do. People want people talking about their company and referring other people to use their services or products. We also want new leads, people we can reach out to that do not know who we are. Find people that are looking for exactly what your company offers. Last, and I feel most important, relationship building. You have to build that relationship first and foremost before anything else. You have to make them like you and want to do business with you.

I wish I was able to attend more trade shows. I think they are essential in getting your name out there and having that first impression be face-to-face , not a phone call or quick email. Some of these facts I shared today are crazy. There is absolutely no reason your company should not be partaking in these trade shows as much as possible. Hopefully my company will send me to one soon. Wink wink.

For more information on SafeSourcing, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you.