Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Twas the day after Christmas!

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

 

Twas the day after Christmas

When all through the land

People were still smiling and happy

Because their holiday had gone just as planned

With malls to be visited and unwanted gifts to return

And exercise to be done and all those extra calories to burn

Most offices are still quiet as their staff s celebrate

While others rush to close out their years business before it’s too late

There’s a new year  coming full of lots of new stuff

We all hope with this congress life doesn’t get to tough

For businesses public and private and individuals too

Who would all rather focus on what’s exciting and new

Like jobs and raises and a positive end of year review

So on Trump and Ryan with congress hopefully in tow

Let’s get back to Washington

And end this year with some glow.

Happy Holidays from Safesourcing

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We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2017 and a continued hope for Peace on Earth.

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

If you can indentify these folks below?  We hope they grant you and yours all of your wishes.
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The Importance of the “UOM”

Friday, December 15th, 2017

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives.

Do you know the importance of the “UOM”?”

Within the procurement industry, every specification boils down to one thing, the Unit of Measure. Without a consistent UOM within the specification when completing an RFP or RFQ, you will receive quotes all over the board that do not match each other or an industry standard.

The issue with having an inconsistent UOM is that you can potentially make the entire event not valid. There are hundreds of UOMs depending on the industry that you are collecting pricing for.  When deciding a UOM to collect pricing, it is typically within the original specifications that the items are based on.

The main concern is that the suppliers need to understand the UOM fully. If they do not, none of the pricing will be consistent. We, at SafeSourcing, make sure that our suppliers know exactly what the UOM is for each event and line item within the event.

For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs 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.

 

 

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What’s Cooking?

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

 

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

It’s that time of year again. Yes, baking for the holidays.  From biscuits to bread, cookies, cakes and pies, baking is the art of turning flour into delicious foods.  Flour is the finely milled wheat or other grains that give structure to baked goods; however, different baked goods require different structure.  Choosing the right flour will better lead you to baking success.  Choose the wrong flour could make for a baking disaster.

The Protein content is the primary differentiator in flours. High-protein wheat varieties (10-14 percent protein) is called “hard wheat.  Low-protein wheats (5-10 percent protein) is called “soft wheat”.  The more protein, the more gluten, thus equals more strength.  More strength means more volume and a chewier texture.  Doughs made from high-protein flours are more elastic and hold their shape better.  This is desirable in breads and yeast products, where a firm structure is necessary; but conversely, undesirable in pastries and cakes where the goal is flakiness or tenderness.  Unless flour is labeled “whole wheat”, all flour is white flour that is milled from the starchy innermost part of the wheat kernel (endosperm).  The following is a list a flours.

All-Purpose Flour. If a recipe calls for flour, it is calling for all-purpose flour.  All-purpose flour is a staple.  While it is not good for all purposes, it is the most versatile of flours.  It can produce flaky pastry crusts, tender biscuits, and chewy breads.  All-purpose flour can be bleached or unbleached.

Cake Flour. This flour has the lowest (5-8 percent).  The relative lack of gluten-forming proteins make this flour the ideal choice for tender baked goods.  Cake flour is generally chlorinated (a bleaching process that further weakens the gluten proteins and alters the flour’s starch which allows it to absorb more liquid and sugar.

Pastry Flour. An unbleached flour made from soft wheat with protein levels between cake flour and all-purple flour.  It is a pan ideal flour for pies, tarts, and many types of cookies.  You can make your own pastry flour by mixing 1 1/3 cups A-P flour and 2/3 cups of cake flour.

Bread Flour. This is the strongest of all flours.  With a protein content of 12-14 percent, it provides the most structural support.  In yeasted breads, where strong gluten is required to contain CO2 gases during the fermentation process, it not only makes for more volume and a chewier crumb, but also results s more browning of the crust.  Bread flour can be white, whole wheat, bleached or unbleached.  Unbleached AP flour can be a substitute for bread flour.

Self-Rising Flour. A flour where baking powder and salt have been added during milling.  This has been a long-time Southern staple.  Due to baking powder  being added, the shelf life is only about six months. You can make your own by combining 1 cup pastry flour with 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.

Whole Wheat Flour. When this flour is milled it is separate into three components- the endosperm, the germ (embryo) and the bran (the outer coating).  Varying amounts of germ and bran are added back into the flour.  This flour tends to produce heavier, denser baked goods.  In most recipes whole wheat flour can be substituted for up to half AP flour.  Whole wheat flour is much more perishable than AP flour because wheat germ is high in oils and prone to rancidity.

Gluten-Free Flour. Today there is a great variety of gluten-free flours available.  It can be made from various grains, nuts, and starches.  Rice flour blended with tapioca and potato starch is popular.  A small amount of xanthan gum is added to simulate the chewiness in gluten.

SafeSourcing regularly sources flour for a variety of companies. For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can help you with your sourcing needs, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

Resources ——————————

Flour 101,Food Network,11/11/2017

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Increase Sales

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Robert Rice, Account Manager at SafeSourcing.

The sales profession moves faster than ever today. In the blink of an eye, new contenders emerge, products similar to yours are released, and before you know it, it’s dog eat dog. No matter what business you’re in, what worked well a few years ago isn’t good enough today. This is no time for trial and error or order taking; this is a time to sell. Here are some basic steps you can take to improve your sales performance, reduce your cost of selling, and ensure your survival.

1. Explain your task.  Start by understanding your business niche. What categories do we do best? Who needs what we do? How do we best approach these prospects? How much are they willing to pay? If these questions are not answered easily, campaign at the top for clarity and vision.

2. Break the task into specific goals.  Write down the action goals (calls per day, events per month, referrals per call, etc.) that you can control. Set results goals (events per month, amount per event, profit per event, etc.) to measure your progress, and track them closely. Increase your activity and measure the results. Goals focus your attention and boost your action.

3. Sell to customer needs.  Always assume your clients will buy only what they need. How can you persuade them what they need? Highlight the features of your product and service that reduce costs and solve problems for the client. Sometimes you can shift your wares. For example, we ran successful clamshell events how are they on office supplies?

4. Create and maintain favorable attention.  Effective marketing, referrals, strong sales skills, and strategic questions are the keys to creating favorable attention. Diligent follow-through and above-and-beyond customer service are the keys to maintaining it. Think TQM (Total Quality Management)!

5. Sell on purpose. Know both what to do and why you’re doing it every step along the way. Who are you targeting and why? What are you going to tell them and why? What are you going to ask them and why? What is your proposal going to look like and why? When are you going to ask for the event? If you don’t feel sure of yourself at every step of the selling process, get some training or guidance.

6. Ask, listen, and act. Better than any others, these three words summarize success in sales. Your questions must be creative, planned, relevant, and direct. Your listening skills must be highly developed. You must respond and take action that prove that you listened to the client and want the event.

7. Take the responsibility but not the credit. Understand that you are the team leader. The company looks to you for direction and supports your effort. To build a strong support team willing to go the extra mile when you need it, give your team the credit for everything that goes right, and take the blame when it goes wrong.

8. Work on the basics.  Even the best of the best have room for improvement. Make a decision to improve your weaknesses, and set goals to force yourself to do the things you don’t like to do. Be more creative in your prospecting, fact finding, and presentation skills. Visualize the perfect salesperson and compare yourself to the ideal.

9. Develop your attitude.  Your attitude is controllable. No one likes a negative manager. Change the views that limit your success. Your thought behaviors control your obligation, interest, persistence, happiness, and confidence. Be aware of them, decide which ones are unproductive, and then make a commitment to change. With time and effort, you can become the manager they need, especially when profits are down.

10. Maximize your time.  Focus on your goals. Test every action for its rank and urgency. Create an ideal schedule, and test your actual time use against it daily. Remember, just one hour a day used more productively adds up to more than six extra weeks of productive time a year. Someone told me many years ago, but it’s true!

Robert Rice is an Account Manager at SafeSourcing. Robert or any member of the experienced team at SafeSourcing would be happy to discuss how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement planning. For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.

We look forward to your comments.

Resources—————————————

http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/total-quality.

 

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Veterans Day; Never Forget!

Friday, November 10th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Ron Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing and a US Air Force Vietnam Era Veteran.

What an appropriate sentiment for today November 11, 2016 Veterans Day. That quote which has been paraphrased a lot is actually “Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting”. This author believes it may be attributed to William Buckley. At least the first time I heard it.

Today is a day that we don’t expect those that have given so much to have to remember. It is up to those of us that have received their gifts to remember them and pay those gifts forward. Our veterans have provided a gift of service in order to defend the principles that guided our founding fathers almost 250 years ago. Many gave their lives. We will remember them and their families on this day and it is appropriate that we should.

Let the mottos of our branches of the US Military help you remember what guided all of those that gave in the name of Freedom.

1.  US Air ForceIntegrity First,, Service Before Self, Excellence in All We Do
2.  US Coast Guard “Semper Paratus” (Always Ready)”
3.  US Marines“Semper Fidelis” (Always Faithful)”
4.  US Navy“Honor, Courage, Commitment”
5.  US Army“This We’ll Defend”

SafeSourcing looks forward to and appreciates your comments

 

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Can a Smartwatch Improve Productivity?

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

 

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

When smartwatches were first introduced, many people were interested because of the ability to track fitness using various apps.  Now with the more sophisticated smartwatches and apps being introduced, they can be used to help improve one’s productivity as well.  Having a smartwatch gives you the ability to keep updated without having to reach for your phone.  For example, you can set the watch to vibrate and whenever you receive a phone call, text, email or calendar reminder, the watch will vibrate and the notification will appear on the screen with the available options for that notification.  Some of the devices allow you to adjust the vibration, as well as set up custom vibrations for certain types of notifications.  Setting the device to vibrate also allows for discreet notifications that can be used when in meetings or other settings without disturbing others.

Having a smartwatch can help you do things more quickly when it comes to keeping updated when you are on the go. It allows you to answer texts and phone calls without digging around for your phone.  Making a call may seem odd at first, but when paired with Bluetooth headphones, it is no different than using the actual phone.  Responding to a text can be done easily by selecting a preprogrammed response by using voice to text. Some devices allow you to write your response with a function called scribble.

There are also a lot of downloadable apps that can be used to be more productive as well.  There are apps that use text to speech that allow you to quickly add notes and items using your voice.  So when you are out and about and something comes to mind, instead of trying to keep a mental note, you can add it to the list for later review.  Some of the apps will also show the list of items that allow you to search, review and edit them as well.  Below is a list of the common functionality found on most smartwatches:

  • Make and Receive Phone Calls
  • Send and Receive Texts
  • Check your Calendar
  • Get Directions
  • Check Weather
  • Help You Stay Fit
  • Set Alarms and be Alerted of Alarms
  • Control Wifi Enabled Devices
  • Check the Time and Date

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently? Like to try a risk free trial? Please don’t hesitate to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. Our team is ready and available to assist you!

 

 

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Are you saving time with application shortcuts?

Friday, July 28th, 2017

 

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

If you spend a lot of time creating or editing Microsoft Word documents, you could save some time and be more efficient by learning some of the built in shortcuts.  The shortcuts can be accessed by key strokes or utilizing the mouse.  The keyboard shortcuts are used by clicking a key or a combination of keys and mouse shortcuts can be accessed by certain types of clicks using the left mouse button.  The most common used shortcuts by users today are the “Ctrl+C” and “Ctrl+V”.  These two shortcuts allow you to copy and paste selected text within a document or other open documents.  Although these are the most common there are many more powerful shortcuts available.  For example, if you have multiple Word documents to open you can press “Ctrl+F6” to cycle through all of your open Word documents.  To cycle through the open documents, press and hold the “Ctrl” key and press and release the “F6” key.When the desired document is reached, release the “Ctrl” key to select the document.  Memorizing the available keyboard shortcuts will make you more efficient because you don’t have to remove your hand from the keyboard to use the mouse.  Below are some other shortcuts that I often use.

KeyBoard

➢ Ctrl+A – Selects all contents of the document

➢ Ctrl+B – Bolds highlighted selection

➢ Ctrl+F – Opens the find box

➢ Ctrl+I – Italicize highlighted selection

➢ Ctrl+P – Opens Print window

➢ Ctrl+S – Saves current document

➢ Ctrl+U – Underlines highlighted selection

➢ Ctrl+X – Cuts the highlighted selection

➢ Ctrl+Z – Undo last action

➢ Ctrl+End – Moves cursor to the end of the document

➢ Ctrl+Home – Moves cursor to the beginning of the document

➢ Shift+F7 – Runs a Thesaurus check on the selected word

➢ Shift+Alt+D – Insert Current Date

➢ Shift+Alt+T – Insert Current Time

Mouse

➢ Click, hold and drag – Selects all of the text from the start to the point you let go

➢ Double Click – Double clicking on a word will highlight the entire word

➢ Triple Click – Triple clicking on a word will highlight the entire paragraph

➢ Ctrl+Mouse Wheel – Zooms in and out of the document

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company run more efficiently? Like to try a risk free trial? Please don’t hesitate to contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. Our team is ready and available to assist you!

 

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Fact vs Rhetoric

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

 

Today’s post is by Mike Figueroa, Assistant Director of Customer Services at SafeSourcing.

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.

 

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The Power of Teamwork

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

 

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

Summer is no doubt the time for vacations, relaxation, and enjoying some sun and surf on a beautiful day. Recently, I read an article about some vacationers in Panama City Beach, FL who were trying to do just that. The problem, though, was there was a strong and large riptide at the beach that particular day.

If you aren’t aware, a riptide or rip currant is “a strong, offshore current that is caused by the tide pulling water through an inlet along a barrier beach.” In other words, stepping into a riptide can be very bad and it can pull you far out into the ocean. The currants are so strong that even the strongest swimmers struggle and often are lost because of exhaustion.

Unfortunately on this particular day in Florida, there were no lifeguards on duty at the beach, but very fortunately, there were a lot of people there and they were all willing to help. It began with a few people being pulled out far away from the shore and others trying to swim out and rescue them, unsuccessfully, and being stranded themselves. At one point, there were 12 people stranded in the rip currant, desperately needing help. This is where teamwork, camaraderie, and strength in working together are truly realized. Beachgoers on the shore, lacking any kind of rescue equipment, began forming a human chain. Dozens of them, with arms and legs locked together, created a chain long and strong enough to reach and rescue all of the stranded swimmers. These brave people who worked together to save the swimmers did not know each other and had very limited time to act. Those actions worked and lives were saved. If total strangers can come together in such an amazing way, with very little time and without all the tools they would want, imagine what the teamwork your organization is capable of. While great feats like this do not happen as often as we all could hope, we should realize that it is possible for a group to come together and accomplish great things.

For more information on SafeSourcing and how we can come together and help each other, 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 ————————————————————

Story

Definition

 

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