Archive for August, 2017

It’s a Digital World

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017


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

The rules of the retail marketplace are changing dramatically. With the development of new technologies for bidirectional communication, consumers can get more information about retailers and their products more easily than ever before. Armed with knowledge gleaned from a multitude of sources, they are spending their money on the goods and services they value most and stipulating how they will interact with retailers. These rules certainly apply to printing processes.  There are many options when it comes to mass print materials.

Offset printing technology use plates, usually made from aluminum, which are used to transfer an image onto a rubber blanket, and then rolling that image onto a sheet of paper. It’s called offset because the ink is not transferred directly onto the paper.

Digital printing is popular across many markets because it can print multiple custom materials with each individual piece containing different information. This capability is known as variable data printing or VDP which opens up possibilities for customizing print media and printing multiple versions of the same product.

Digitally printed materials are vibrant high-quality products that can be used for practically any project. Some of the advantages of digital printing are:

  1.  Quick Turnaround – Digital printing doesn’t require plates, so there is no need to have a different plate for each color on the label, which means a shorter setup time.
  2. Quality – Digital presses print at a resolution of almost double that of traditional print methods which gives vibrant high-quality graphics with crisp, clear images and life-like colors.
  3. Price – No plates and less press setup time means the costs for digital printing are relatively low for short run printing as compared to offset printing.
  4. Lower Minimum Quantities – This cost benefit is maximized for relatively small quantities of custom print materials or “short run.” You can order only the amount you need right now, rather than ordering in bulk, simply to get the best price.
  5. Design Flexibility – Variable Data Printing allows graphic or text elements to be easily and efficiently swapped out throughout a print job.

In order to be competitive, you should regularly examine whether or not your design works for attracting your target audience.  The production of personalized printed materials with unique information, can allow you to better target specific types of customers.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.

“Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017



Today’s post is written by Heather Powell, Director of Customer Services & Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

Many years ago, this author wrote a blog regarding being able to source and procure virtually anything, like 5-gallon bottled water for the office. Today, this still holds true, as this author’s previous blog was based on the mantra “If you buy it, we procure it”.

But what does that mean, you ask?

There is nothing we cannot help you purchase. If you buy it today from anywhere, we can run a Request for Proposal or a Request for Quote. These requests will help you determine if your purchase price falls within the market rates today, if you are paying too much in fees and freight, and through our proprietary services based web tools save you 10X ROI. Seriously, there is nothing odd about what we can procure for you. Here are a few examples of unique RFQs and the savings opportunities we achieved for our customers:

  • Cotton Candy 16%
  • Bundled Firewood 13%
  • Ice Bags 29%
  • Mud Flaps 34%
  • Anti-Fatigue Floor Mats 54%
  • Pest Control Services 41%
  • Diesel Exhaust Fuel (DEF) 27%
  • And yes, Baked Goods 37%

Essentially, this author is stating you can have your cake and eat it too, while saving your company money. SafeSourcing can work with your company to identify purchases and potential saving opportunities through our SafeSpend™ analysis. This presents your company with an overview of where not just the large purchases are but where the small purchases that add up to large purchases are and give you the view into saving potential through our company and various services.

“Life is too short to say no to cake”!

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.



Post Event

Monday, August 28th, 2017


The event is over, savings were good, and reports are almost done. What’s next?

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

For me, I will spend the next couple of days reflecting back on what I could have done differently. Was all of the data correct and how will I use that knowledge to perfect the next event.


I like to do an assessment on how the event went. I ask the project manager and our Director of Sales, Dave, their thoughts. Both have been at this awhile and have helped me better understand how the event went and address any issues. They ask me what I would have done different or did we have the right suppliers and enough coverage? I also like to hear the client and supplier feedback from SafeSurvey that is sent post event. This highlights specific things they liked or disliked.


The next step is to note where improvements need to be made and start implementing these changes immediately. i.e. Better vetting suppliers, better contacts, have I continued to update the documents, complete coverage from more than (2) suppliers, did I create a spreadsheet breaking down the numbers, are my specs correct, are the dates correct, is my checklist up-to-date, have I had my documents seconded eyed, third eyed?


Finally, having a perfect event isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you follow the process, do your research, get complete data, ask the right questions, and get others input, your event should be a grand slam.

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.


3 Myths About Firewood (Part 2)

Thursday, August 24th, 2017


Today’s post is by Steven Belvin, Sr. Account Manager at SafeSourcing

​In my last blog Three myths about Firewood Part I , I explained that there are 3 myths about firewood. The first myth I cracked was that you should keep your firewood close to your home. That was incorrect because your home could become a home for termites and other bugs. With this blog I will cover the other two myths about your firewood.

The remaining two myths are: 1. Bring a lot of wood inside now so you don’t have to go back outside and 2. Spray pesticides on the wood to kill pests.

​Bring a lot of wood in so you don’t have to go back outside to get more. This myth should be easy to crack based on our first myth. Obviously, you want to bring in as much wood as you can to avoid that nasty winter weather. Sounds great, however, once that wood gets indoors, any pests that may have been frozen or hiding could wake up and begin to find a new home in YOUR home. If you bring in too much firewood you could expose your home to an abundance of spiders, termites, roaches, and other nasty pests. Safe to say, we should just keep our wood outside until we need it.

​The next myth of spraying pesticides on the wood to kill pests is actually a very common mistake. The idea and desire is to kill all pests on the wood so they cannot infiltrate your home. However, spraying pesticides on your firewood will create worse problems. Most pests that can chew through wood are pretty resilient. By spraying the wood you will only cause carpenter pests such as carpenter ants and termites to simply borrow deep into the wood to protect themselves. Once you burn the spray and infested wood, you are releasing all those chemicals into your home.So, there is obviously more to firewood than meets the eye. Avoid any pitfalls and keep your home pest-free this winter by recalling these cracked myths. Also, if you are a company looking to purchase bulk firewood then give SafeSourcing a call. We can help you with all your firewood sourcing needs.

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.


“Firewood and Pests: 3 Myths | Plunkett’s Pest Control.” Plunkett’s. N.p., 02 Mar. 2016. Web. 17 July 2017.


How do you source that?

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017


Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Director of Sales, North America at SafeSourcing.

“How do I source this category?” We field this question often. It’s very common to find that a client selects a category, but it not entirely sure how to go about sourcing that category. Sometimes, the category is complex. Other times it’s a relatively simple category that just hasn’t been sourced in some time.

What makes sourcing challenging is the unknown. If you haven’t sourced a particular category in several years, you might not have a very well documented specification. You might also not know who the players are in that space or what market factors are influencing the price of the category. When sourcing a highly complex category, you may not know all of the different components that will need to be outlined clearly to prospective suppliers.

SafeSourcing has the experience to guide our clients through the unknown to develop successful eProcurement projects. SafeSourcing clients have access to a vast library of specification templates to help develop your specifications. We have a comprehensive supplier database with over 427,000 suppliers to identify the right vendors to include in your eProcurement RFx Event. Perhaps most significant is SafeSourcing’s category experience. We understand that you might only source each category annually or every few years, but we source that category all the time for our clients.

Because SafeSourcing understands the market, the vendors, and the specifications, we are uniquely positioned to help answer the question: “how do I source this category?”

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.  

We look forward to your comments.

National Brand Product versus Private Label Product

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017


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

Years ago private label products were easy to spot on the grocery shelves. They were bland in color and referred to as “generic”.  Consumers considered private label products to be inferior to the colorfully packaged national brands.  Today there is a lot more emphasis on private label advertising and packaging.  Last year, store brand sales reached an all-time high of $118.4 billion, cornering 17.7% of the total market, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

Advantages of national branded products:

  • Name recognition, visibility and trust.
  • Larger advertising budgets (tv advertising, print and digital advertising)
  • With years of experience, branded products have worked out kinks in their supply chain (Ingredient sourcing, and manufacturing techniques).
  • Better control over inventory orders.

Advantages of private label products:

  • There isn’t a need to spend money on advertising, thus keeps costs down.
  • A key source of revenue for a grocery store is to put their own private label product on the shelf next to a major brand.  On average private label brands produce 8-10% higher margins.
  • Retailers can order products that they want and demand exactly what specifications they want.

Disadvantages of Private Label Products:

  • There is more risk if a product doesn’t succeed.  Retailers have to invest in packaging, design, and ingredients in hopes that the product does well.  Less brand recognition.
  • Retailers need a good private label manufacturer (some retailers will be dealing with many manufacturers) that provide good service and have good demand planning that is efficient.
  • “If retailers want to drive more multicultural consumption of their store brand, they’ll need to improve their educational efforts around the offerings provided by their private labels, and tailor those offerings to the unique demands of multicultural families.”1

“The bottom line is it’s all driven by economics. It’s customers looking for better prices and still good quality.  It’s retailers looking for better margins.  It’s branded product manufacturers looking to fill up capacity, as well as the contract manufacturers.”2

1, 2 Carolyn Heneghan, FoodDIVE,, 11/7/16

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.