Archive for September, 2015

Learning How to Increase Morale in Your Employees Without Breaking the Bottom Line? Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015


Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc

From the previous blog, you have seen several reasons of what can cause employee morale to drop, but now you want to learn how to increase the employee morale and not spend a fortune doing it.








Here are 11 ideas to recognize employees without spending a penny!From the bambooHR’s Reward vs. Recognition: Do you know when to use which motivator slide show.

  1. Send a personal note.
  2. Say a sincere “thank you”
  3. Recognize in a meeting and/or applaud
  4. Send a shout-out on a social site
  5. Mention their success in a speech or presentation
  6. Give a long lunch or get-out-of-work free day
  7. Have a higher manager say thanks
  8. Swap tasks with them
  9. Give a team lead role or title promotion
  10. Offer flex hours or work-from-home options
  11. Create a “Wall of Fame” or white board.

While all of these are great ideas, the biggest is saying Thank You. Everyone wants to feel appreciated, wanted, and welcome. Gold stars, high fives, pats on the back, atta-boy/girls go a long way in those feelings of appreciation.

The slideshow mentioned above gives the following statistics and quotes:

  • “Employee recognition is the number one factor when motivating employees in the workplace.”
  • “69% of employees would work hard if they were better recognized.”
  • “82% of employees find it annoying when they are not recognized for the accomplishments they contribute to the team and the company.”
  • “Did you know employees want some form of recognition ever work day? Yet only 12% of employees say they often receive appreciation for great work.”
  • “You have to use recognition again and again to build people up. It is one of the many tools and practices to each manager to boost people up and elevate work performance.”- Barbara Ann Corcoran, Shark Tank

To quote Jayson Demers, founder and CEO of AudienceBloom,” To some business owners, “office morale” seems like a term invented by employees who simply want to have more fun at work. However, it’s a very important characteristic of any workplace and one that can be measured and improved. Low office morale can wreck total productivity, while high office morale can keep everyone not only productive but happy and fulfilled in their work.”

Happy employees do equal a happy and successful business.

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.


Do Your Employees Seem Sluggish or Unhappy? Part 1 of 2

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015


Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of the Customer Focus Team & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc

Do you get the sense that once excited and happy employees are now lifeless sitting at their desk, or on robotic mode? The thrill of the job seems lost to them?







Image from

This multi-part blog will discover causes to low morale and helpful tips on how to increase morale. This is not only a great beginning for businesses in procurement, but in any business or industry.

But what is morale? According to; Morale is an emotional or mental condition with respect to cheerfulness, confidence, zeal, etc., especially in the face of opposition, hardship, etc., and explains morale as, “the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time.”

There are multiple reasons for low morale and some of them could be overlapping one another, but there is good news! Identifying the underlying reason for the low morale is the first step in increasing morale.

  1. Poor Communication
  2. Management Decisions
  3. Lack of Training
  4. Limited Personal Growth
  5. Limited Professional Growth
  6. Lack of Respect
  7. No Common Goals
  8. Misaligned Goals
  9. Economy
  10. Layoffs
  11. Impending Layoffs
  12. Other Industries Suffering
  13. Lack of Work/Life Balance
  14. Little or No Accountability

List from


These are just a few of many reasons, but do not be discouraged in learning what brings morale down. Knowledge is power and knowing a few of the reasons for low morale in your employees helps discover what will increase morale.

Stay tuned for the next blog on how you can increase morale in your employees and increase productivity.

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.


Autumn Equinox

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015


Today’s blog is by Margaret Stewart, Executive Assistant at SafeSourcing.

The Autumnal Equinox, happening September 23rd this year, is right around the corner, and that means football season, changing colors, and cooler temperatures are almost in full swing. But what does all this mean for you and your business? Here are a few things to watch for in autumn that may not be obvious at first.

Football Season – Americans love their football and love celebrating with friends over tailgates. With tailgating, comes an increased need for supplies. Expect an increased demand for charcoal, propane, beef, and brats. In addition, there may likely be a need for extra lighter fluid and, consequently, fire extinguishers.

Changing colors – For the northern parts of the country, the changing color of the leaves is a beautifully astounding spectacle that many enjoy and look forward to. There are, however, things to consider during this time. Those beautiful leaves fall, and then they must be raked or mulched, bagged, or burned. Again, the sales of fire extinguishers could be on the rise along with rakes and compost bags. In addition to leaves falling on yards, they fall in the streets too, so extra precautions should be taken as leaves tend to make tires slip and slide, especially when wet, and may spur an increased demand for all-weather tires.

Cooler Temperatures – The cooler temperatures can be a great relief after hot and humid summer days and nights. Those dropping temperatures can signal a decrease in electricity (from ac units) and an increase in natural gas (from furnaces). Cool temperatures also spur more campfires and bonfires, so one could expect to see an increase in, say, marshmallows and hot dogs, not to forget another reason the demand for fire extinguishers may be on the rise.

With each change we see in nature, there will always be changes within business. If you could use help in sourcing your needs for the upcoming changes, or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

Fair Trade Certified

Monday, September 21st, 2015


Today’s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

According to the SafeSourcing Wiki, “The Fair Trade Certified™ label guarantees consumers that strict economic, social, and environmental criteria were met in the production and trade of an agricultural product. Fair Trade Certification is currently available in the U.S. for coffee, tea and herbs, cocoa and chocolate, fresh fruit, flowers, sugar, rice, and vanilla. TransFair USA licenses companies to display the Fair Trade Certified label on products that meet strict international Fair Trade standards.”

Today more than ever, companies care about their effect on society and the environment. Therefore, it is important to them who they buy from. By knowing that a potential new supplier has The Fair Trade Certified™ label, they can be assured that the product meets strict guidelines.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers. The Fair Trade Certified™ label is an example of one of the many requirements that SafeSourcing tracks. For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


Would you like to have a more secure home?

Friday, September 18th, 2015


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

There are many devices out that can help protect you and your home. One such device is a smart doorbell. There are several companies that make such a device. These devices can be attached to your WiFi network and setup to send you alerts when someone rings the doorbell. You can then view and talk to the person at the door using an application on your phone. Using this feature allows you to interact with whoever is at the door and gives the effect that you are home even if you are not.

With some of the devices you can view more than just your doorstep. With their 180 degree view you can set up zones that will notify you if any motion is detected within the zone at any time of the day or night. The video can be recorded and stored on the cloud for later viewing.

If you would like some help finding a smart device, we can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which device meets 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.

What Vendor is Right for You?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015


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

After living in our home for twelve years, the carpet needed to be replaced. High traffic areas were looking worn and dingy. I decided to use a Berber constructed of nylon fiber, as they wear and clean very well.

Nylon versus Olefin Berber:

In 1986, DuPont StainMaster was launched. New Stainmaster fibers have made carpet cleaning easy on nylon Berber. Also, carpeting was offered in many colors versus the drab colors previously available.

Around the same time as the Stainmaster was launched, olefin extrusion plants came on line and olefin (polypropylene) fiber jumped considerably. Both nylon and olefin carpets have their advantages. Olefins will resist stains, except oil-based stains, but will tend to flatten or crush in time. Olefin carpeting will clean very well, but will gray due to soil abrasion over time. Olefin Berber is one of the best values in terms of pricing. It is important to note that all carpet gets dirty and it is recommended that it be cleaned at least once a year.

I researched four different businesses. One was a big box store, two were exclusively flooring companies, and one was a flooring and window business. Although pricing and product was relatively the same, I choose the small flooring/window business. What became extremely important to me were the warranty and the fact that they had their own installers. The other three businesses sub-contracted the installation. I preferred to have a licensed-bonded installation team that the carpet company employs.

The SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database plus our exclusive vetting process insures that you will have suppliers that meet your needs and provide the service you deserve.

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 constitutes a very complex e-negotiation event?

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015


Todays post is from Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

According to Wikipedia, in general usage, complexity tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement.

Definitions are often tied to the concept of a set of parts or elements which have relationships among them differentiated from relationships with other elements outside the relational regime.

So how does one define a complex e-negotiation event? On the surface it may be an event with a large number of line items within a particular product set such as MRO or Fleet Maintenance in the distribution space or raw materials used to manufacture components that require special handling, shipping and standards adherence. The amounts of the total spend for an event really has nothing to do with the complexity of the event. The complexity is determined by the data points requiring management in order to drive the best possible value to the buyer and the supplier.

This author would suggest that any event including multiple market baskets, thousands  of  SKU’s all with different specifications, order quantities, delivery locations, multiple suppliers not bidding on each line item, a split award of business and the size of the spend and optimization scenarios qualifies as a complex event. Adding to the complexity may be the overall strategy required when sourcing the right mix of suppliers to compress pricing properly and drive early and consistent bid activity. This can be further complicated by trying to determine the correct decile based sourcing strategies for the event and including product affinities where they make sense. And that sometimes means they may not make sense. Think of the old examples of baby diapers and beer sales going up on Saturdays and being purchased by men. Do you know why? It’s an old example of big data. Think sports?

The above example would qualify as organized complexity where there is a non-random, or correlated, interaction between most of the parts. In order to support  complex events, your e-procurement solution provider needs to have an understanding of the specific market place, practices and processes in place that allow them to drive these activities in order to bring complex events to market  in the shortest period of time. Generally this should occur within less than three to five weeks from event notification to event completion.

Last year, this author tried to define the relative complexity of the retail environment and its potential impact on the use of e-procurement tools. Specifically we identified the following areas of interlocking complexity.

1. Supply Chain complexity.
2. Rate of change in the global supply chain.
3. Long term inherited supplier relationships.
4. Lack of Accurate data.
5. Dysfunctional ERP systems
6. Lack of retail procurement staff.
7. Lack of time.
8. Multiple sources of supply.
9. Limited view of new sources of supply.
10. Confusion as to who’s the customer and who’s the supplier
11. Sales People
12. Third Party Providers
13. Collaboration complexity.
14. Lack of an integrated view of the category spend
15. Not understanding the relationships or affinities of your products and services.

Being comfortable that your solution provider understands your market place and has a well defined process for hosting Complex e-negotiation events insures that they are not difficult to host and drive a well summarized and optimized result set.

If you’d like to learn more about sourcing complex categories, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We appreciate and look forward to your comments.



Be careful when you make disparaging remarks about Food Manufacturers; you may find yourself facing a civil liability suit?

Friday, September 11th, 2015


Today’s post is by Ryan Melowic; Sr. Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

Food libel laws are laws that were passed between 1991 and 1997 by thirteen U.S. states that permit food manufacturers to sue anyone for libel that say anything negative about the food they manufacturer. The thirteen states that have these laws are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.

With Food libel laws, the legal standard for guilt is lower; therefore, to avoid being found guilty in this sort of civil liability suit, the defense employed must be stronger than even a criminal liability suit. In some states the burden of proof is on the party being sued. In addition, regardless of the outcome, punitive damages and attorney’s fees for plaintiffs are allowed.

With all the debate surrounding the foods we eat, it is important that you remember the Food libel laws when you share your stance. These laws are meant to sit on the books and discourage public speech by their mere presence; however, many would not pass constitutional scrutiny,

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.


Open Source Options

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015


Today’s post is the SafeSourcing archives

In May’s 2014 Issue of Computerworld, the author, Howard Baldwin, makes a compelling case for the advantages of companies to use open source solutions in their business.  From business agility to improved quality and reliability the increasing adoption of open source technology has shown that its popularity will continue to grow. defines open source as “pertaining to or denoting software whose source code is available free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute,” so it is no wonder why this technology would be attractive.  Today’s blog will focus on some areas to keep at the forefront when evaluating open source applications.

Experience – Since there are dozens of new open source applications appearing every week, it is important to validate which companies have tools that will save a company as much time as they will money.  The only true way to uncover that is by digging into the companies that are currently using the technology and what they have to say about their experience.  New open source solutions without any major users aren’t necessarily solutions that should be automatically discounted but they are ones that will need to prove themselves even more during the Request For Information and Proposal stages.

Documentation – Open Source companies have been notorious for offering little to no useful documentation on how to implement and configure their solutions.  While this has gotten much better in the last ten years, it still has a long way to go to catch up with its mainstream “for resell” cousins’ polished user manuals.  Making it a condition of any Request For Information to review this documentation is critical.  Since these are freely available open source applications, this should easy and, in fact, evaluations of open source documentation can begin even sooner than an RFI might be issued.   Good documentation of the tool and the source code is key to evaluating how useful it will be for a company.

Evaluate the code – Besides the cost aspect of open source technology, it is the access to the source code behind the tool that makes open source such a popular concept.  Being able to use, manipulate and manage the custom changes needed is critical for most companies’ use of open source technology.  As mentioned above, because it is open source, the source code is generally available and ready for review any time an IT team is ready to evaluate it.  Verifying that code is annotated internally well and that its classes are also well-documented in external documentation is an important step in the decision to adopt it.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you evaluating an open source solution 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.