Archive for February, 2015

The Lost Lunches…Where are they now?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015


This post is by Alyson Usserman, Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

Have you lost your lunch break at work? Here’s the problem with eating at your desk.

Typically in the beginning of the year people make New Year’s resolutions. This year yours should be to stop eating lunch at your desk. Below I examine the issues that this habit may cause.

The Problems:

   1. You are sedentary all day, every day, when you maintain a desk job. Without moving, your body can become sluggish and bog down your thoughts.
   2. You miss out on socializing beyond your coworkers.
   3. You may not even be able to eat your lunch, because people keep interrupting you.

This habit can potentially affect everyone that works full time. However, the issue that one may run into is that your overall health and mental awareness.

Make sure you get out and move your body, even if you just go to run an errand.

This issue is becoming such an issue that the Oxford English Dictionary added, “al desko” in 2014, which means to eat at your desk.
Let SafeSourcing help you reclaim your lost lunch by allowing us to become an extension of your team to ease the work load. Please contact a SafeSourcing Project Manager and let us help manage your workload.

We look forward to your comments.

Pest Control Anyone?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015


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

The other day I saw a fly for the first time in months.  That got me thinking, what happens to the flies when it gets cold?  Do they hitch a ride on a bird and fly south for the winter?  Of course not.  The average fly lives about 15 or 30 days.  During this time a fly can lay approximately 500 eggs.  When it starts getting cold outside the hatched larvae, also known as maggots, eat a large quantity of food and hibernate in a type of cocoon.  When the weather warms up the flies emerge from their cocoons to start the whole cycle over again.  Some other species of flies find shelter in walls, attics and other places and hibernate when it becomes cold.  On sunny warm winter days some of them may come out and crawl to warm places within the interior.  These flies will not reproduce indoors and are only seen because they entered during the fall.  When spring arrives they will emerge from their hiding places and try to find their way outside.  Although flies are a nuisance and do not harm people or property, other
pests or animals make seek shelter indoors during these cold months. 

How about a pest control event before the spring? Savings are typically in the 30% range.

If you find yourself in need of help getting rid of pesky pests or animals, SafeSourcing can help you research and find the best solution.  If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

How is the e-procurement process different in a third world county?

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015


Todays post is from the SafeSourcing Archives!

E-Procurement  has become a standard business process throughout many developed countries.  It is recognized as one of the most successful applications in the electronic commerce (e-commerce) field and has been used to identify cost savings, improve efficiency and control for many companies’ bottom lines.  This author wonders then, why is the practice of e-procurement not utilized in third world countries? 

As I have found out the answer is a bit complex and sadly unfortunate.  E-procurement has not worked as a reasonable business practice in third world countries because third world countries are partially characterized by low levels of industrialism, widespread illiteracy, poor infrastructure, unsophisticated technology, and poor living standards among their populations as a whole.

That being stated, it is not hopeless to think that a business in a third world country could not strive to make changes that would enable e-procurement as a regular business practice.  Some of the steps that would be needed would be:
  1.  Clearly define a strategic goal and solid reason for the change in the  business practices.
  2.  Progress through simple steps that deliver true value.
  3.  Find an e-procurement system or partner, such as SafeSourcing, that is easy to use and offers support to any participating vendors.
  4.  Understand the barriers and limitations of your own company as well as the economy, environment, and politics of the country you’re working in.
  5.  Appoint a Subject Matter Expert (SME) within your company that can clearly help you outline the items that can be sourced.  A strategic sourcing partner, such as SafeSourcing, can assist with this as well.
  6.  Start the procurement process in sectors of the business that are either most ready to adapt to the changes in process or that are in the greatest need for the change.
  7.  Work hard to share your procurement success within your local market to promote growth within your country’s local economy.

There are factors that make e-procurement risky in a third world county, but the economic benefits that would come from implementing this practice would outweigh the risks long term.  By implementing e-procurement practices for businesses in a third world country it would impact the level of industrialism, the economic infrastructure, and in time possibly help to strengthen the used and accepted technology.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Procurement can help your company beat the averages!

Friday, February 13th, 2015


Today’s post is from the SafeSourcing archives.

When you see a chart, often times the lines it contains represent some sort of average.   A chart in an article in the Daily Chart section of titled, “Taxing for some” illustrates how procurement fits into where companies place in these averages.  The article is specifically about how corporate taxes have plummeted since the 1950s.  No, the author does not mention procurement, but what is great about charts like this is that they can mean so many things depending upon what the author wants to highlight.

Here, the author is trying to highlight that corporate tax rates have plummeted, insinuating that this is somehow a negative phenomenon.  The chart indeed does show that as a percent of GDP, corporate tax rates have dropped since the mid-50s.  What is really interesting to me in this situation is a second line above the corporate tax line.  It shows corporate profits as percentage of GDP.  Here profits hover above 10 percent in the mid-50s and are peeking over 12 percent today.  The years in the middle, however, show a bunch of zigzagging with a bottom of around 6 percent.

Being an average, the chart line represents both companies whose profits were above the line and those whose were below the line.  Why did some fall above that specific point and some fall below?  Certainly, there are innumerable factors.  I just have to ask myself what role procurement played.  Even back then, I have to believe that some companies were good at procurement and others were not so good.  This article does not tell us why some companies were above the line and why some were below it, but procurement was certainly a factor.  Profits being profits, they boil down to revenue minus expenses.  I have to wonder how many of the companies who were bringing the line up in the 50s were doing so partially because a savvy procurement department kept expenses in line with the current costs of goods and services at the time.  That being said, is your company above or below the line in today’s economy?  Regardless of if you find yourself in the 50s, the 70s or the 2010s, you can always strive to do things better? 

If you’d like to keep your expenses in check, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager. 

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Your Supplier Relationship Management in 2015

Monday, February 9th, 2015


Today’s post is by Heather Powell, Director at SafeSourcing Inc.

I recently read an article, “Procurement & Sourcing Predictions for 2015,” that speaks to new trends in 2015.  One piece of the article caught my eye.

Supplier Relationship Management in Highly Regulated Industry Supplier relationship management (SRM) is becoming a more widely accepted best practice across global organizations, but still lacks popularity due to unclear program definitions and/or lack of internal buy-in. However, in highly regulated industries, such as pharma and banking, SRM is an ideal solution for managing supplier risk as well as cultivating value from the supply base after the contract has been signed. SRM provides a controlled framework to manage suppliers who handle proprietary information or work directly with customers.

Strategic sourcing projects frequently generate significant cost savings, which have a very favorable ROI considering the low-cost required to implement. However, as these gains are realized, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies today to generate the same level of returns year after year by utilizing the same sourcing techniques and tactics. Moreover, research has shown that, as supplier relationships are proactively managed, the initial benefits derived from the strategic sourcing efforts are not only maintained, but improved. The opposite is true for those supplier relationships that are loosely managed or benignly neglected by the buying organization.

Companies are becoming more dependent on a complex supply base. In many cases, key processes and functions have been outsourced and the supply base has collapsed due to strategic sourcing projects. This complex “virtual organization” type of structure begs for the need to drive performance improvements, manage risk, and efficiently manage supplier relationships. These Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) capabilities are being developed at top companies who are reaping the rewards of their investments. These capabilities include supplier management development, processes, governance mechanisms, and systems to manage suppliers on a day-to-day basis over the supplier life-cycle (onboarding to exit).

The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database is one the largest eSourcing supplier databases in North America with over 427,000 suppliers. The database contains global suppliers with over twenty-five unique certification standards that are supported by our best practice initiatives such as GFSI, ISO 22000, Green Seal, ECO-LOGO, Fair Trade, SQF, and Certified Humane Raised & Hand-Fed.

 In order to achieve maximum savings when using an e-procurement event, you need numerous suppliers aggressively vying for your business. SafeSourcing customers can request summary or detailed data from the same tool and download it to a variety of file formats.

We at SafeSourcing can provide you with quality, vetted suppliers with the ability to fulfill all your specific category needs. Even more, we can assist in certification identification of all of the suppliers. This way, if you have partnerships with existing suppliers or are looking at new partnerships, you can remain compliant with their practices.  Once certified suppliers are located, SafeSourcing can provide the opportunity for price compression, making your category financially attractive, as our historic ROI is greater than 10x.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your supplier relationship management and 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.


Procurement’s Common Issues

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015


Today’s post is by Shelly Hayre,  CFT Manager at SafeSourcing.

Would you order food from a new restaurant without knowing the price prior to placing the order?

After an incredibly unacceptable wait for your food, what if the waitress came out and said they have many other orders that have a higher importance than yours?

Now, you finally got your food order and it does not add up to the description/picture. You would not be happy if you got meat lasagna, but there was no meat in the lasagna!

The problems you just faced with your restaurant experience are common issues within the procurement industry.

Not knowing the price of your food – Spend Visibility: It is very important to keep spend visible within a company. Keeping track of spend allows procurement departments to track and find areas of improvement. Having a system that tracks and monitors this for your company is key.

Long wait for food, and not priority – Limited Resources: Many procurement departments are left with lack of resources and staffing to manage spend. This makes efficiency and prioritization extremely important, but if every category does not receive adequate attention, potential savings are lost. Having a third-party assist in analyzing your spend can help give every category the attention it needs.

Order doesn’t match what you ordered– Compliance: The level of service or price agreed upon is not being met. When multiple branches are handling this service-level and pricing it makes verifying compliance even more difficult. It is the procurement department’s job to ensure compliance for all branches at a high-level. It requires support from branches and senior leadership. How are you currently monitoring compliance?

Maybe your company currently struggles with a few of the common issues above, or maybe all of them. How are you currently handling these issues? SafeSourcing is your one-stop shop for procurement’s needs and software. We can help your procurement department overcome these issues, while decreasing your spend and increasing your resources.

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