Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How Fast Can You Change?

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

 

Does intelligence = Adaptability?

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

 

 

Don’t lose your well-earned eRFX savings by delaying your Letter of Intent or Contract execution.

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

In today’s post, we will be reviewing some of the issues that could occur when a Letter of Intent (LOI) or a new Contract, doesn’t get executed efficiently after a successful eSourcing RFX.

LOI or a Contract is delayed

When an LOI or a Contract is delayed, the savings identified in the RFX will not start accumulating until the first invoice from the new supplier or the incumbent supplier arrives post contract.  If a Contract is delayed, the RFX Host Company will have to pay the current contracts negotiated terms for products or supplies until the LOI and/or Contract is executed.  Depending on the volume of the items, it could equate to a lot of lost savings.

When RFXs aren’t awarded efficiently

One of SafeSourcing’s many service offerings is identifying historical categories to take to market.  Our goal is to create an RFX calendar that outlines future projects extending at least one year out. We then populate the calendar with past eRFXs that should be reruns due to previously negotiated contract expirations. We then identify upcoming potential spot purchases that are a result of our deep dive with our spend analysis tool into all category spending.  When RFXs aren’t awarded efficiently these rerun dates will change and as a result may cause future issues with the strategic selection of targeted dates for new RFXs. If you slip 5 months which we see way to often, and prices are headed up over 41% of your savings may be lost.

For more information on how we can help your business reduce spending and maintain savings 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 and appreciate your comments

 

The Evolving Workforce

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

 

Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Account Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Temporary worker demand is rising. When Baby Boomers retire, organizations will lose a lot of talent. Retiring Boomers are going to be hard to replace because Generation X (born between 1965-1980) is small, and because Generation Y has a different concept of how they want to work.  Gen Y (born between 1981-2001) is more technologically and geographically mobile. They value flexibility, which project-based work allows.

Start-ups and small businesses would normally utilize freelance workers but increasingly, larger companies are using online freelancers, not to replace their core workforces, but to complement them usually for special project work. There are a rising number of freelance positions, which typically lack benefits and other protections that come with being a full-time employee. Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru are just a few of the multiple online freelance marketplaces which benefit both the freelancers and the corporations hiring them.

Freelancers now make up over 35% of the U.S. workforce and companies are always looking to outsource and work with them to meet their business goals.  Freelance workforce growth is accelerating and has outpaced overall U.S. workforce growth by 3x since 2014, according to Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork.

The use of freelancing platforms could disrupt the way workforces are organized. For corporations, there are coordination costs and other challenges that come with managing both an internal workforce and interfacing with an external one. (Forbes)

The rise of temporary workers is a workforce trend that is here to stay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, temporary workers make up 19 percent of all new jobs in the U.S.

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.

Resources—————————————————————————————

https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2016/10/06/new-survey-freelance-economy-shows-rapid-growth/#7d454aa57c3f

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/anne-loehr/these-four-workplace-tren_b_4937962.html

 

 

Is it time to Plan Your Procurement. You’re already late!

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

 

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

With the year coming to a close, many companies are focusing on the upcoming year and what changes they may have in store. Whether the change is increasing head count in the office, opening more locations, or even trying out a new product in your store, changes need to be planned out.

Typically, a business needs to plan for its year financially, budgeting money for labor and overhead and trying to plan for goods and services expenses, plus any changes they foresee in the upcoming year. Opening new locations, buying new products, and hiring more employees require financial planning.

With all the other planning at year end, what many companies overlook, though, is planning for procurement. If a company will need temporary labor in the next year, they should reach out to their procurement partner sooner rather than later to identify needs. A procurement partner can help get the right services for you at a competitive price. If, like many other businesses, a company needs to hire landscapers to maintain company property in the spring and snow removal companies in the winter, now is the time to begin the procurement process.

With proper planning and with help from your procurement team, your company can not only have the financial year planned, but also have vendors and suppliers in place ready to begin whatever work might need done. On top of that, many of those suppliers and vendors could be even less than you initially thought, all through the help of your procurement partner and tools like the ones offered by SafeSourcing. This could, in turn, lead to even more financial means to grow your company even more in the upcoming years.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can help with your procurement needs, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments!

 

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

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.

 

 

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

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.

 

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