Archive for May, 2018

Scope of Work

Thursday, May 31st, 2018


Today’s post is from our  SafeSourcing Archives.

When a business issues a request for proposal or request for quote, it will include specific information relating to that project. This information must provide adequate details for respondents to determine if the RFP or RFQ is applicable to their business structure and if so, how to respond. A comprehensive scope of work delivers that pertinent information.

The scope of work details the services the selected vendor will provide on the specific project and the work that will be performed, frequently under contractual obligation. The scope of work lists performance requirements, normally references specifications, and will include a list of deliverables. The scope of work describes how the required work will be completed, with specific tasks listed with their deadlines. The task descriptions may also include methods desired for completing given tasks.

When entering into a purchasing agreement, many times the first document may not be the purchase agreement itself, it will likely be a purchase specification or scope of work that will use an existing agreement. It is possible to have a rock solid purchase agreement but still have difficulties if your purchase specification, statement of work or scope of work is not suitably written.  In the event of a dispute between the parties, these documents endure the same examination as the purchase agreement’s terms.

An accurate scope of work acts as a roadmap for your project, keeping it focused and on track. From a purchasing perspective, it is critical as it details what is being purchased, quantities, item specifications, amongst other critical purchase requirements.

We enjoy bringing this blog to you every week and hope you find value in it. 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.


Procurement and AI

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018


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

Artificial Intelligence is a vastly growing field and with huge strides in its advancement, it has become more of a household tool. With technologies like Siri, Google Home, and Alexa, the desire for more AI has increased. AI advancements in business, especially procurement, could make processes easier and more streamlined with your goals.

Many businesses currently use their own in house teams on their procurement efforts. This can pull people away from other pressing tasks essential to business operations. Implementing a procurement team can alleviate those currently taking on that role and provide an expertise not otherwise seen within the company. This can also shorten the amount of time it takes to analyze data, evaluate risk, and implement new processes.

If artificial intelligence is added into your procurement efforts with your procurement partner, these processes could make even further advancements. Indices, risks, and spend management could be analyzed in a matter of moments with the right AI application and platform. This could help your business obtain the supplies, services, and data it needs to run as efficiently as possible without taking time away from other projects, ultimately helping your bottom line.

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


What can e-Procurement do for you?

Monday, May 21st, 2018


Today’s Post is by Eli Razov, SafeSourcing Account Manager.

What can you take to market with e-Procurement?  The answer is quite simple, anything you want! I was talking with a friend recently that owns a roofing company. We were just discussing work and the question came up, “do you have any way of sourcing fleet trucks?” I responded with yes we can. We have recently run a Truck Lease event saving our client over 11% based on previous year leases. This grabbed his interest and he began asking a lot more questions. What about supplies, shingles, equipment? The answer of course is yes to all. If you purchase it, we can source it. What started as simple small talk blossomed into a full blown discussion on what we could do to help his business? With our extensive vendor and supplier database we can find the right people for what he needs. We went over a few categories including supplies and equipment.  Based on what he spends now, and the size of his company, we could potentially save him over 23% just on his supplies alone, compared to previous events we have run.

He asked so what is the difference from him just calling all the vendors to get the quotes himself and using an e-Procurement tool such as ours? That can be answered a couple of ways. To begin with, as previously mentioned, we have an extensive vendor list of over five hundred thousand companies for many different categories to which we are constantly adding more. Secondly, by inviting these different companies to participate in a “Live Event” it brings out the competitive nature in companies to want to be the best and offer the best pricing. So by hosting these events, it shows vendors their price, and if they have the lowest quote, gives them the ability to lower their price. Additionally, we do all of the leg work contacting vendors, building specification documents, gathering pricing and giving full event reports. We handle it all, making the procurement easier and less expensive.  On top of that, he has time to work on his business while making it grow without the extra headache of expenses. Needless to say, we will be looking to help him in the near future with all of his procurement needs.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Representative we have an entire team waiting to assist you today.


Finding the Right Mechanic

Friday, May 18th, 2018


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

Do you have a good reliable mechanic that you can count on for fixing and maintaining your vehicles?  In business do you have the right M&R partners for your fleet? If not, you need to look into finding one as soon as possible and the search can be much the same for business and personal use.  You may be overpaying or using one that is not as reputable as you as think.  It’s a good idea to find a reliable technician before you start having problems with your vehicles.  To start your search you may want to talk to friends, relatives and colleagues and see who they may recommend.  There are also sources available online such as the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and by performing searches for places that are approved by AAA.

When you find one that you think you may be interested in, check to see if they have any certifications.  Ask if the mechanics are ASE certified.  ASE certified means that the mechanic went through testing with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence and has been properly trained for the position.  Businesses that are certified may be a better option because they have been vetted by another organization.

Once you have found a shop, start out by having some routine maintenance done on your vehicles such as fluid changes.  When the work is complete, see if you are able to talk to the mechanic about the work and any other issues they may have seen.  Talking to the mechanic may help you get a feel for how knowledgeable and trustworthy they may be.  This will also give you a chance to look around and see how well organized and how they keep their shop.

As you know, finding a reliable mechanic takes some work so if you need help finding one, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We conduct M&R events several times per year and  can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which shop 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.


Getting Started​ ​

Thursday, May 17th, 2018


Today’s post is by Dave Wenig, Vice President of Sales and Services at SafeSourcing.

Years ago, I wrote another blog posting called “Getting Started.” At the time, this topic was among the most common in all of the conversations I had. All this time later, that is still true. While the titles have not been as direct as that first blog, I have written several others that share this theme. Today, I am revisiting this again. In “Getting Started,” we considered some basics which I’ll seek to update here today.

One of the basic points that we considered back in 2012 was the importance of leveraging your eProcurement Services provider as a partner to help establish a plan. This is even truer today than it was then. Like in many fields, constant improvement and innovation has greatly changed the world of Strategic Sourcing. One way that your partner is able to help you develop a plan better today than in the past is through advances in analytics. Offerings like SafeSourcing’s own SafeSpendAnalysis™ which allow for increased visibility into a company’s spend have been vastly improved over the last few years. The insights that tools like this generate fill in enormous gaps in the knowledge that an organization has and also give that organization the tools to create a plan that is based on actionable intelligence. Now, more than ever, you should rely on an experienced partner as you get started.

In the blog from 2012, I also wrote about relying on the experience of your partner as you get started. Along with the tools and the understanding needed to determine your plan, your partner can also help you execute against that plan. A partner like SafeSourcing will have many years of experience to call upon which includes specification templates, suppliers, strategic advice, and more.

In 2012, I wrote that “The next question you will ask is “why didn’t I start sooner?” If you haven’t started yet, I encourage you to do so. In the last several months, I’ve had that exact conversation as our clients have realized the capabilities of eProcurement and have lamented about lost savings opportunity because they sourced products and services before they engaged with us and know they have likely overpaid.

Please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate for more Information

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


Should retailers manage their in place contracts with SaaS based Contract Management Offerings?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018


Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing.

It is not secret that the majority of global retailers both large and small do not have contract management solutions in place. Nor, do they have document management systems in place. In order to mitigate their risk, where should focus be placed when beginning implementation?

SafeContract™ which is a Software as a Service cloud based offering is the best way to store and leverage the pertinent language or data within existing contracts. What this means is that there is also a need to create a process with which to identify the Metadata within your contracts.

According to Wikipedia Metadata is loosely defined as data about data. Though this definition is easy to remember, it is not very precise. The strength of this definition is in recognizing that metadata is data. As such, metadata can be stored and managed in a database.

When we think about contract management, we need to be thinking about mitigating risk and not necessarily all of the language embedded in a contract. On many occasions this information is listed on addendums or attachments. For sake of simplicity, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list the following twenty items reflect the metadata you might want to hi-lite and set alert targets against in storage of current contracts.

1. Supplier or Seller Information
2. Purchaser or Buyer Information
3. Detail of Goods to be purchased
4. Detail of Services to be purchased
5. Delivery Timeline Details of the Goods and or Services
6. Agreed upon pricing
7. When and where should payments are to be made?
8. Payment Terms
9. Down Payment Terms
10. Delivery Dates
11. Delivery Location or locations
12. Risk of Loss or Damage and transfer language
13. Is Assignment of this Agreement Allowed?
14. Detailed Warranty
15. Trademark infringement language
16. Origination Dates
17. Termination Dates
18. Termination Notice
19. Additional Clauses
20. Signature Details
21. Auto Renewal Language

The above list should be at a minimum the type of data that is considered for your Metadata table for inclusion during the document review process that your SafeSourcing will put in place for you as a supporting service during the early stages of implementation, training and review of your SafeContract™ SaaS cloud based offering.

To learn more please contact a SafeSourcing customerr services representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Starbucks’ $10m Challenge to develop and Eco-Friendly Coffee Cup

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018


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

Starbucks is sponsoring a challenge targeting the paper coffee cup. It is the hope that scientists, chemists, or the average tinkerer can develop a paper coffee cup that is compostable, breaking down in such a way that it disappears or can be used as a component in another product.  The problem isn’t the paper cup, it is the lining.

Six-hundred billion paper cups and plastic cups are used worldwide each year. Starbucks reports that coffee drinkers and other customers represent 1%, which is about 6 billion.  The NextGen Cup Challenge was announced in March in conjunction with Closed Loop Partner’s Center for the Circular Economy, which advocates sustainable goods and recycling.  Inventors working on this cup conundrum will receive grants.

This is the first initiative of a global end-to end solution that will allow cups from around the world not to end up in landfills and composted or given a new life as another cup, napkin, or even furniture. Currently Starbucks cups are made with 10% post-consumer recycled fiber.  In 2017, Starbucks began serving their Nitro Cold Brew Coffee with sippable lids, so no plastic straws are needed.  Reusable cups are the best answer; however, any movement to reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill is a good thing.

SafeSourcing regularly sources cups and lids. To help your business be more competitive with your sourcing needs. For more information on SafeSourcing, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you.


Ziati Meyer (USA TODAY), Arizona Republic, 3/26/2016




Selling to the CFO! For success in procurement this is an essential step for internal associates as well as external sales people.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018


This author has had the great pleasure of teaching the following course ?Selling to the CFO? to hundreds of sales people with a variety of industry focus areas ranging from Loss Prevention to Procurement.

I was reading Michael Lamoureux?s post at Sourcing Innovation the other day. At Sourcing innovation Michael is referred to as the ?Doctor? for good reason. If you have the procurement blues or other procurement focused illnesses you might just find the cure or at least a roadmap to it at this site. The post I was reading was titled “Does Your CFO Think All You Deserve is a Kick in the Face”?

To procurement professionals this may sound scary, but does not need to be. Quite frankly, the focus of all sales people should be the CFO. It?s great to have C level relationships, including the CEO, CPO, CIO etc. At the end of the day the CFO controls the purse strings if your solution is not included in the present budget and as such you will need his or her support. The good news is that the focus of all CFO?s is to make companies more profitable. This may be housed in terms like managing regulatory compliance or the reduction of process costs and improving asset utilization. At the end of the day it all means trying to insure stakeholder equity which means improving net profitability and increasing share value.

The reason this is so important for sales people to understand is if your solution can accomplish this in the present accounting period or during the present accounting year in any measureable fashion you will have an interested audience in the CFO.

Once in the CFO?s office, you need to be prepared to present your office in a concise way that is meaningful to the CFO. This means no buzz words or other industry speak. This means understanding the CFO?s company in great detail and presenting your solution to documented problems that your procurement solution will solve in terms the CFO uses every day. That means terms like COGS, EBITDA, Net Profit, IRR, Gross Margin and how you?re offering will impact these areas in a positive fashion immediately.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

More on E.coli and Food Safety

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018


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

I am as guilty as most people when it comes to eating raw cookie dough – especially chocolate chip dough! On May 31st, the FDA issued a warning not to eat raw cookie dough because of an outbreak of E. coli that has been linked to contaminated flour.  There have been 38 people in 20 states that have been infected and 10 of these people infected have been hospitalized.  The most vulnerable are children under 5, and older adults with a weakened immune system.

An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA linked the outbreak to a General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri in November 2015. GM issued a voluntary recall of 10 million pounds of flour produced between November 14 and December 4, labeled under the brand names:  Gold Medal, Signature Kitchens and Gold Medal Wondra.  Flour that is part of this recall should be thrown out.

Unlike raw foods such as eggs or meat, flour is not commonly thought of as a concern for E. coli. “E. coli is a gut bug that can spread from a cow doings its business in the field, or it could live in the soil for a  period of time; and if you think about it, flour comes from the ground, so it could be a risk,”1 reported Adam Karcz, an infection preventionist at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis. Flour is normally cooked before being consumed, destroying pathogens.  This is commonly referred to as a ’kill step’

SafeSourcing publishes a monthly newsletter that contains trending information on a variety of subjects. The July SafeSourcing Newsletter highlighted information on the FDA.  If you haven’t already subscribed to this free Newsletter, you may want to consider doing so.  Please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative or ask about our Risk Free trial program. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

1Laura Rutherford-Morrison, Bustle, 6/2016