Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Buying Ahead

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

 

 

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

Timing matters when it comes to buying the things you need or want. For instance, the hottest week in the summer may have some of the highest prices for air conditioning repair or the week after Halloween is often a low cost time to buy candy. There are some items that take a bit more research than the seasonal ones mentioned above, though. Following stock prices, market trends, and global to local news often provides the best insight into what prices may do. For example, if a region of the country that yields high amounts of corn has been devastated with drought or floods, their yield will likely not be as high as initially expected. Even further than that, if the yield is lower or the quality is lessened, every product that uses that corn will be affected. This can include things like feed, which can in turn affect livestock. One product’s price greatly affects all those other products reliant upon it.

Determining the right time to buy something doesn’t always have to be so complicated. For instance, you can buy your kid’s Christmas presents throughout the year as you happen to see a good deal (which I highly recommend) and you can not only have your shopping done ahead of the season and avoid the crowds and the rush of people, but also can spend less than you might had you waited. For more complex products and the ideal time to purchase, try using a procurement professional, like SafeSourcing. They likely have already sourced the product or service you are looking for and already know the ins and outs of it, helping you not only save time, but spend less money and less effort.

While there normally is no guarantee that you are receiving the best pricing, this is actually something SafeSourcing can do. We can guarantee that through us you can save more money on the things you already purchase or you don’t pay us (Risk Free!). No matter what items or services you are looking for, we can save your more. We can even help you determine which categories and items would bring in the most savings and when the right time to source them is.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help 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.

 

 

 

A Sourcing Diatribe you should read!

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

 

 

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

Here’s the diatribe to tell you why they don’t.

Example: Your finance department in reviewing current costs looks at your waste management costs and discovers that they have gone up significantly over the last two years. They call your Category Manager (if you have one) in order to ask why? The answer they get back is that in discussions with your current vendor, their costs have gone up significantly. Your finance department representative asks for examples. The answer he/she gets, is as follows, “I don’t know, but I’ll reach out and ask”.

Alternative Example: Your finance department in reviewing current costs looks at your waste management costs and discovers that they have gone up significantly over the past two years. They call your Sourcing provider SafeSourcing Inc. (if they are) in order to ask why? The answer they get back is that in discussions with your current vendor, their costs have gone up significantly. Your finance department representative asks SafeSourcing for examples. The answer he/she receives is as follows.

There are several reasons. The first is that 2 years ago the Chinese were the largest importers of recycled materials, specifically plastics and papers. At the time they were importing approximately 15M metric tons. Today they are importing approximately 7M metric tons. This has gone from a revenue producing opportunity for suppliers to a cost. Additionally, there is a shortfall of drivers in the US that has caused demand for their skills to increase accordingly. As a result, all freight hauling focused companies have experienced a shortfall of drivers and an increase in costs for the drivers that they do hire.

Additionally, diesel prices in 2017 were lower than they are today. While these prices have eroded somewhat (about 6%) between 2018 to 2019, they are still not at the low levels they were in 2017. There are additional areas to also consider like new equipment that are also higher based on demand. Now can I provide you with a strategy as to how we (SafeSourcing) can mitigate these costs going forward and maybe even rain them in some?

I know all executives have had these types of frustrating conversations internally as well as with your suppliers. I also know that SafeSourcing regularly provides these types of answers and reviews across hundreds of categories for our customers. It is the precise reason that our average savings across all categories during the last 2 years is greater than 24%.

While the above is a specific example, what can you tell me about your freight costs, supplies costs, commodity costs, construction costs, equipment costs, items for resale costs etc. Probably not as much as SafeSourcing can tell you. Give us a call and find out.

For more information regarding SafeSourcing and how we can help you with your sourcing, or regarding our Risk Free Trial Programplease contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative, you’ll be glad you did! We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Banning the Ban

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

 

 

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

It’s been almost a year since my previous blog, “Zero Waste Initiative”, in which I discussed the move by several retailers to begin phasing out their plastic bag use. Now, in addition to the global concerns about the impact of plastic on the oceans and ecosystems, there is a new plastic crisis regarding plastic’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

According to the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), in 2019 alone, the production and incineration of plastic will add more than 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere which is equal to the pollution from 189 new 500-megawatt coal-fired power plants. The CIEL report Plastic & Climate: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, states that if plastic production and use grow as currently planned, by 2050, these emissions could reach 2.75 billion metric tons of CO2e from plastic production and incineration.

In the “Micro-bead Free Waters Act of 2015” the federal government banned the sale and use of rinse-off cosmetics that contain plastic microbeads. Washington, D.C., has enacted a bag fee to incentivize consumers to bring reusable bags when shopping. California was the first state to ban the use of plastic. New York and hundreds of municipalities across the U.S. ban or fine the use of plastic in some way. In seventeen other states there are those who argue that it is illegal to ban plastic items and are enacting old policy to place a ban on the ban of plastics.

Matt Seaholm, Executive Director of the American Plastic Bags Associations (APBA) says that the ban on plastics hurts the smaller businesses making it more costly for them to comply. The APBA proactively promotes and leads numerous public policy initiatives that serve as the frontline defense against plastic bag bans and taxes nationwide. Without universal laws across the country for plastic use, retailers with stores in multiple jurisdictions would find it difficult to adhere to different processes in multiple locations. According to Seaholm, more energy is used to produce replacement paper or cloth bags and that a ban will do little to impact overall litter and waste.

National Geographic hosts a multiyear effort to raise awareness about the global plastic trash crisis, “Plastic or Planet” which is very informative on the environmental impact of plastic, and challenges the community to find ways to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their lives.

Plastic has become such an entrenched part of our lives, it is nearly impossible for us to live 100% free of plastic. It will be a long slow process that will involve a global effort in order to come to a resolution.

SafeSourcing has sourced plastic bags, paper bags, and reusable bags for our clients. Find the product that works for you, but remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

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

We look forward to your comments.

References ……………………………………………………………………

  1. https://www.ciel.org/news/plasticandclimate/
  2. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/map-shows-the-complicated-landscape-of-plastic-bans/
  3. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/planetorplastic/

Procure and purchase Part II of II

Friday, August 16th, 2019

 

 

 

Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, Senior Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

In part I of todays post we discussed our process. Today we discuss the purchasing process

The Purchasing Process

Purchasing is just part of the entire process. Think of it as the final piece to the puzzle. You have figured out what you want, who to get it from, what they will charge you, and now you just need to obtain that good or service. The simplified steps to that final piece can be seen below:

  • Purchase Order Acknowledgement
  • Advance Shipment Notice
  • Goods Receipt
  • Invoice Recording
  • 3-Way Match
  • Payment to Supplier

Often times companies will allow the General Manager or head of that location decide on where to go for what is needed. This can increase costs up to three times more than if the company combined its buying power. This can also be avoided by implementing the procurement methods explained above.

Because purchasing is part of the procurement process, both procurement and purchasing are often used interchangeably. In the business world, the practice of using similar terminology in either conversation or printed materials is routine, although it is often confusing and should be avoided.

Purchasing:

The activity of acquiring goods or services to accomplish the goals of an organization.

The major objectives of purchasing are to maintain the quality and value of a company’s products, minimize cash tied-up in inventory, maintain the flow of inputs to maintain the flow of outputs, and strengthen the organization’s competitive position.

Procurement:

The act of obtaining or buying goods and services. The process includes preparation and processing of a demand as well as the end receipt and approval of payment.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact SafeSourcing  we have an entire team waiting to assist you today.

Citation and References:

  • http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/purchasing.html
  • http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/procurement.html

 

 

Procure and purchase Part I of II

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

 

 

Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, Senior Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Procurement is the same thing as purchasing – right? While similar in some ways, the two are different parts of an entire process. I would like to help draw that line that separates the two. This process begins with finding the need and ending with the solution to that need, be it a good or service. There are quite a few steps in the “procurement process”, including selecting and vetting vendors, establishing terms and conditions, vendor and client communication, and finally implementation. Below you can see our standard procurement process.

Our Procurement Process:

Investigation

  • Client identifies a category they would like to take to market
  • Data gathered on current spend, vendors, contracts and policies
  • Subject Matter – Expert is assigned and project team is formed

Notification

  • Internal notice sent on expenditures under review (if needed)
  • Request for current vendors and additional information is made

Information Gathering

  • All internal feedback reviewed
  • New event specifications established

RFx Strategy & Setup

  • Communication
    • Incumbents notified of policy for spend, suppliers invited to participate in the event
    • Answer supplier questions, train suppliers and collect samples as required

Vendor Selection

  • Event is executed – results are analyzed, possible testing, information to Client News
  • Send supplier thank you and surveys
  • Select vendor to enter into a new contract

Implementation

  • Proposed contract details sent to selected vendor
  • Effective date established.

While this is a very simplified list, your company’s needs may be the determining factor of the procurement process. If you work for a big corporation, there may be more steps including Non- Disclosure Agreements, stronger qualifier questions for the intended vendors, and prolonged contract discussions. If your company is smaller, the process can often times be a lot quicker.

Check Back Tomorrow for Part II or II The Purchasing Process.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact SafeSourcing  we have an entire team waiting to assist you today.

Citation and References……………………………………………………………………………………

  • http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/purchasing.html
  • http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/procurement.html

 

 

Happy 4th of July from SafeSourcing!

Thursday, July 4th, 2019

The Land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE! We should never ever take it for granted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you all enjoy your extended holiday weekend. The best to our customers, suppliers and you and your families!

What does SafeSourcing mean by our White Glove Service?

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

 

 

Today’s post is from Ron Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing Inc.

When I was in the US Air Force, our TI (Training Instructor) used to conduct “White Glove” inspections.  The obvious reason was to determine if our barracks were clean, And I mean CLEAN. He ran his fingers across shelves, tops of doors, under beds and anywhere that might contain dust or dirt. Believe me as a new recruit you did not want to have anything show up on those gloves.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides a simple definition of White Glove: marked by special care or attention METICULOUS.// white-glove service.

At SafeSourcing, white glove service when it comes to hosting an eRFX RFI, RFP or RFQ which are also called reverse auctions or online bidding includes the following. Our customer services team thoroughly reviews the event strategies, supplier selection, contract terms and conditions, and any other information and requirements a minimum of three times by multiple associates before sending it for customer’s approval. Once the team receives an approval from the client, we send out invitations to the supplier community that have been approved for bidding. Simultaneously, our team plays an interactive role with the suppliers and encourages them to participate in the bidding, reviews all pertinent data with them and responds to any questions and concerns on behalf of our customer and finally teaches them how to use our tool. During the live event, our team is online and on the phone with the suppliers in order to respond to any issues that may arise.

While there are multiple steps and many touch points in the simple process explanation listed above, the results speak for themselves. Our customers over the last 30 months across multiple industries and regardless of company or spend size have averaged 24.7% savings.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help you source any product, service or commodity that you require for your business, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

 

 

 

 

Excuses vs. Reasons

Monday, June 17th, 2019

 

 

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

What is the difference between an excuse and a reason? Certainly, anyone could find the definition for each and understand better. For reference, here is what Dictionary.com lists as the definition for excuse and reason.

  • Excuse: an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of       a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.
  • Reason: a basis or cause, as for some belief, action, fact, event, etc.

At SafeSourcing we have encountered many excuses and reasons from a variety of sources. We hear both from our vendor partners every single day in regard to the invitations we extend to them to submit proposals during our eRFx Events on behalf of our customers. This is not a negative statement, but simply an observation. What is interesting about excuses and reasons is that can both have the same effect.

The excuses and reasons vary fairly widely. Let’s look at a few examples in an effort to understand them.

One reason we might find that a vendor we have invited to quote on our customer’s business is that they do not have the capacity at the present to provide the products or services at the scale that the customer requires. This is a reason because it is based on facts. This reason is perfectly understandable. Another reason a vendor might list for declining our invitation is their inability to provide pricing at competitive rates. Perhaps their own supply chain does not allow for the appropriate level of discount that our customer requires. Again, this is a reason why a vendor cannot participate in an eRFx Event.

Excuses can tend to be a little hazy and difficult to support by facts as reasons can. One example of an excuse we might hear in response to our invitation to participate in an eRFx Event is the lack of time. A vendor representative might offer their travel schedule as their excuse for declining noting that they do not have time at present. While it’s possible that time restraints exist, in most cases, this can be worked out so that the vendor can still participate. Another example of an excuse may be found in the vendor’s personal preferences. The vendor might prefer to work directly with the customer to develop a proposal. This excuse is fairly transparent in that they would prefer not to participate competitively in an eRFx Event, but rather deal directly and exclusively with the customer. It’s easy to imagine why this would be beneficial to the vendor, but it’s more difficult to see how this benefits the customer.

These are only a handful of examples of excuses and reasons, but they illustrate that there is a difference between the two and that they are not equal in status. Vendors aren’t the only parties that have reasons and excuses, of course. Sometimes our customers have reasons why they choose not to use eRFx Events for their sourcing even though to do so with SafeSourcing has historically caused savings in excess of 24%. Some reasons are perfectly understandable such as when the customer is in an existing contract that currently prevents their use of our services. Some excuses are just that like when a customer prefers to do business with a certain vendor because that vendor has “been a good partner” to them over the years. This statement may be true, but tends to be more of an explanation than a basis.

At SafeSourcing, we always encourage our vendor partners and our customers to consider carefully the decisions they make. We understand reasons, but we respectfully challenge excuses to the benefit of all parties involved.

Contact SafeSourcing, Inc. if you’re interested in learning more about how RFQ Events can help your company advance the bases and achieve savings.

References:

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/reasony

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/excuse?s=t

 

Don’t just say thanks to active military or veterans today. Do it every day!

Monday, May 27th, 2019

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Happy Memorial Day!

 

 

Memorial Day Observance

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

 

Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager 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 25 in 2015). 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.