Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.
IMG00094

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.

 

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend 2018 from SafeSourcing. Who were the Pilgrims?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

 

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.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

 

 

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

CVS Health’s $69 billion bid to acquire insurer, Aetna, has been approved by The Justice Department (JOD) . This could redefine how Americans get insurance. The JOD requires CVS to divest Aetna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business for people as part of this deal. CVS has proposed selling that part of the business to WellCare Health Plans, which would satisfy the JOD’s request. “The divestitures required here allow for the creation of an integrated pharmacy and health benefits company that has the potential to generate benefits by improving the quality and lowering the costs of the health care services that American consumers can obtain,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a statement.1

This merger would allow the Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS to expand its drugstore-pharmacy (with more than 9,800 locations) into a healthcare coverage and medical care delivery destination. This would also allow more customers into CVS facilities for routine health ailments and away from costly emergency hospital visits. Aetna is the third largest U.S. health-insurance company and fourth-largest individual prescription drug plan insurer.

CVS Health indicated the Aetna acquisition is expected to close within the fourth quarter of 2018. Once the merger is completed, Aetna will run as a standalone business within CVS.

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.

References….…………………………………………………………………

Mike Snider, USA Today,10/11/2018

 

 

 

 

What is a Salesperson’s Role Part II of II

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

 

Today’s post is by Alex Borbely, Director of Sales at SafeSourcing Inc

In yesterday’s Part I of this post, I summarized by stating that SafeSourcing’s flexible service offerings and suite of e-procurement tools deliver savings that can be referenced that are greater than 10 times the cost of the service is one thing, proving it is even easier when looking at historical category savings of retail buyers that have utilized the SafeSourcing tools.  During my second week back at SafeSourcing I attended two pilot events for a smaller size convenience store chain.  The pilot agreement contained two reverse auctions for two categories.  Bottom line is that the saving realized on both events were over 20 times savings vs event costs.  An immediate ROI is very evident to the retailer.  Immediate discussions then went in the direction of what other purchases are being done within the organization that similar savings could be realized.  It was very easy to assemble a quick list for discussion purposes.  The tool used in this example is a reverse auction using SafeSourcing for new contract purchases, spot buys, replenishment, aggregation, and collaboration with other buying organizations, SAVING you the buyer 30% to 40% even from vendors that you currently buy from today.  One of the most important pieces of this offering is the SafeSourcing Supplier Database which has over 427,000 global suppliers.  It is easy to use and, utilizing SafeSourcing’s Templates Library, the procurement buyer can reduce time and effort for searching for new sourcing initiatives.

Once the no risk pilot is completed, and a retailer can see the immediate savings that SafeSourcing will bring to their organization, SafeSourcing’s Spend Analysis is offered to assist the retailer in formulating the types of events where SafeSourcing reverse auctions will be utilized.  It is important to remember that the buying event can include up to 20 line items in each event and SafeSourcing even offers a provision in the agreement to protect the retailer in smaller “buys” so that the cost of the event is tolerable for smaller volume purchases, such as toner cartridges for office and in-store printers or light bulbs for store fixtures.  The results are phenomenal with a ROI second to none with a very quick set up time all provided by a team of professionals that offer a full service offering.

In closing, it is great to be back at SafeSourcing and visiting retailers with such a feature rich offering that provides a low cost of usage and an instant return on investment.  I look forward to meeting many retailers representing this exciting full service offering and assisting procurement professionals with striving to bring additional dollars to their bottom line.

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 today.

 

 

Understanding the Technology of Traceability!

Friday, September 14th, 2018

 

Today?s post is?from our?SafeSourcing?Archives

GS1, the global standards body, the FDA, and the USDA are just a few of the organizations that are striving to increase the safety of the food we eat with new standards, processes and regulations.? With recent scares in several food items in the past few years it is no wonder that people are becoming extremely focused? on how to trace our food back to its original source.? In today?s blog we will look at some of the technologies that are helping with this process.

Enterprise Software ? There are many enterprise systems out there for warehouse management and enterprise resource management that can maintain the necessary data needed to meet traceability and recall requirements but the key to these programs working for your business is whether or not they have the additional features necessary to track category/industry specific details such as those faced by seafood and meat retailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers.? Companies such as JustFoodERP specialize in tracking meat and seafood by-products during the course of their life, tracking not only down to individual cases, but also providing capabilities such as the Recipe Management module to help track the by-products of the meat and seafood into other products they sell.? By managing catch-weights with a serial number tracking system, solutions like these can ensure best practices for traceability throughout their organization.

RFID ? Radio Frequency Identification is not a new technology but continued development of the technology for use in traceability improves daily.? Like a barcode it can contain a unique identifier that will trace the product back to its source.? Unlike a barcode, RFID tags can be secured to be difficult to tamper with or damage, they can be placed in packaging as opposed to outside the packaging like barcodes that must be able to be seen, and unlike barcodes they can be written to and updated as the product travels through the supply chain.? With one scan an RFID tag can provide the appropriate user pages worth of information without having to be connected to an enterprise solution which can be critical when a recall is being tracked.

DNA Sampling ? During the major meat recalls in the early 2000?s, DNA sampling began to take shape and developed as an alternative to typical tracing methods at that time.? With a global database of animal DNA it is possible to trace every product and byproduct back the farm or processing point of origin.? Taking DNA samples from the each carcass at the farm or packaging plant, a profile is created and stored in the database.? At any point a new sample can be taken to verify the contents and origin of the meet.? The process is virtually tamper-proof and would eliminate costly barcodes and documents and would also allow retailers and distributors to know exactly which shipments to recall, saving millions of dollars.

For more information about how we can assist you in looking into these technologies 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.

Vehicle Subscription

Friday, August 17th, 2018

 

 

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

Did you know that there is a fairly new option when it comes to procuring a vehicle?  We all know that buying and leasing are available options, but now there are also vehicle subscription services.  With these services you basically pay a monthly fee that gives you access to different models of vehicles.  The fee includes all the major expenses such as insurance, maintenance and roadside assistance.  During the subscription period you can switch out vehicles so you’re not always driving the same type of vehicle.  Maybe you want a sedan as primary car for your day-to-day driving and decide you want to swap it out for an SUV for a family vacation.  The subscription services are utilized via an app on your smartphone. When you want to swap a vehicle connect using the app, choose the vehicle and a concierge service will deliver the vehicle to you.  Unlike buying and leasing a subscription may be cancelled or reinstated at any time with no additional fees.  As of now, there are only a handful of manufacturers offering the new option and it will cost you more than leasing and buying.  However, there are other manufactures that will be making subscriptions an option later this year and in 2019.  Below are some of the benefits of using the new subscription services.

  • Flexible payment plans
  • Use of different vehicles
  • Vehicles are delivered via concierge service
  • Roadside service included
  • Insurance is included
  • Maintenance included
  • Easy cancellation

If you would like some help finding the right solution, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which device will 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.

 

Nuclear Negotiation

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

 

Today’s repost is from our  SafeSourcing Archives.

How much blood, sweat, tears and treasure have you spent building your career, business, home, and family? If it’s true that all of it can be taken away from you and every other person on earth in the blink of an eye by a handful of people who control the world’s nuclear arsenal, what topic could be more important to understand the inner workings of?

Every time the presidential office changes leadership, there’s a lot of talk about their command of the nuclear arsenal. This typically accompanies rhetoric about World War II, and the end of the human species. “Enough nukes to destroy the surface of the earth 5 times over” is the line I’ve seen repeated many times. But is it true? Would a nuclear war necessarily escalate globally? Would it “just” set us back to the stone age, or literally eradicate the earth of all life? Who is in charge of these weapons, and what incentives have kept us from destroying ourselves for the 70+ years we’ve had them? I’m setting out to answer the most important questions about nukes by listing facts I deem important by two measures: How severe the effect on human beings could be, and 2. The number of lives it could affect. Then I will conclude with discussing the human factors at play, and how they affect our daily lives.

There are 9 countries that collectively maintain around 15,000 nukes(“Nuclear Arsenals | ICAN” 2017):

  • United States               6,800 warheads
  • Russia                           7,000 warheads
  • United Kingdom           215 warheads
  • France                             300 warheads
  • China                               260 warheads
  • India                                110–120 warheads
  • Pakistan                          120–130 warheads
  • Israel                                80 warheads
  • North Korea                 <10 warheads
  • Total                            14,900 warheads

There are also 23 nations that either don’t have nukes, that have treaties with nations who do, or that “host” nuclear weapons from other nations. This also means that if they were attacked with nuclear weapons, their partner nation would be under extreme pressure to respond to the aggressor in kind. Each of the nations that have dismantled parts of their nuclear arsenal (designated as “Inactive Reserve”) have these components in storage, and they could be reactivated/reconstructed. Data on these components is classified and difficult to find, but estimates are that there exist close to 20,000 additional warheads globally that could be readied for deployment in a matter of months.

  •  The authority to launch a nuclear strike rests largely with the 9 individuals that head their state: In the United states, the authority to launch a nuclear strike sits with the president, and no one has the authority to prevent it. Most of the 9 nuclear countries have a similar structure set up, and it has to be this way for the weapons to be effective: If country A knows it would take days for country B to decide whether or not to retaliate against an attack, then country A could nuke country B out of existence with impunity. For nuclear deterrence to work, nuclear countries have to believe they themselves will be attacked with nuclear weapons if they are to have reason not to attack each other. Time delays of more than mere minutes in a country’s ability to retaliate would eliminate the incentive of another nation not to attack. Because of the necessity of short timeframes, the world is always literally only minutes away from global nuclear war, should an event spark a nuclear attack from any of the 9 nations.

 

  •  Any one of the 9 aforementioned people has the power to kick-off a global nuclear war: The united states has treaties in effect preventing Japan from producing nukes, because we’ve promised to protect them militarily. In total, there are 67 countries the US is obligated to defend militarily if they are under threat (“Status of World Nuclear Forces” 2017a) that we know of, and the other nuclear powers have similar obligations. Therefore, if China nuked Japan, we’d be obligated to nuke China, which might provoke other nations, and we would have a global nuclear war on our hands within minutes.

 

Similar threats are of great concern where it involves terrorism. A terrorist with a “dirty nuke” could bomb a city, make it look like an attack from one of the 9 nuclear powers, who would retaliate with their own nukes, and global nuclear war would be inevitable.

  •  Nuclear weapons may be the only reason we haven’t had several more world wars: The period from 1945 to now has been dubbed “the long peace”, not because it’s been peaceful, but because it hasn’t seen world-war. Conventional war is complex, and “negatable” enough that it can be engaged in a way that one side may only incur minimal losses, while the other side incurs complete loss or surrender. When nuclear war was invented, it became clear quickly, that both sides of a two-sided war would both incur complete loss. Because of this fact, the nuclear powers have limited themselves to localized engagements and “proxy wars”. This is why there was a “cold” war with Russia, and why we’ve seen wars fought where large countries will arm smaller countries to fight for the larger countries interest, but the large countries will never directly engage each other. They all perform a complicated dance where they all know they are at war with each other, but take great pains to avoid admitting it or battling directly. And the reason for this is that they also know if they were to war overtly/directly with each other, it would lead to global nuclear war where no side would achieve what it wants. This concept in effect, means that it will only hold up for as long as the leaders of each of the 9 countries are all rational, capable of understanding the cost of direct war, and the incentives that force each other to either avoid or nuke each other.

 

  •  A global nuclear war might not completely eradicate all life on earth, nor the human species: One study concluded that a war where just 100 15-kiloton nuclear weapons were exploded on land would lead to decades of famine, radiation poisoning, increased UV radiation from ozone loss, and 1000 years of flux in average global temperatures before the earth returned to “normal”(Mills et al. 2014). 15-kilotons is the size of the nuclear weapon used on Hiroshima during World War II, and was of considerably smaller yields than “modern” nuclear weapons. The most powerful US nuclear bomb (the Mk-17) has a yield of 25 megatons, or about 1,666 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

 

The number is always changing, but the total nuclear megatonnage in play globally seems to be around 2200-megatons (Inc 2017), but that count varies from source to source.

What is to prevent a nuclear attack, or even accidental nuclear war from starting? What are the political forces at play and incentives driving the actions of the leaders of the 9 nuclear powers? We will explore this further in part 2.

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.

————————————————————–

Inc, Agence 3cinq. 2017. “Status of World Nuclear Forces | Nuclear Darkness & Nuclear Famine.” Accessed March 12. http://www.nucleardarkness.org/globalnucleararsenal/statusofworldnuclearforces/.

Lockie, Alex. 2017. “Democrats Introduce Bill to Curb Trump’s Ability to Launch a Nuclear Strike.” Business Insider. January 24. http://www.businessinsider.com/democrats-introduce-bill-to-curb-trumps-ability-to-launch-a-nuclear-strike-2017-1.

Mills, Michael J., Owen B. Toon, Julia Lee‐Taylor, and Alan Robock. 2014. “Multidecadal Global Cooling and Unprecedented Ozone Loss Following a Regional Nuclear Conflict.” Earth’s Future 2 (4). Wiley Periodicals, Inc.: 161–76.