Archive for December, 2020

What are your Procurement related New Year Resolutions?

Monday, December 28th, 2020


Todays post is from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Here are ten (10) procurement focused resolutions that may align with your plan. While they may seem straight forward, the fact is in many cases companies do not focus on these even within more broad based annual business plans.

Here is a typical Example: Your company has new  store construction planned for this year. You have suppliers for all your construction needs and materials including signage, lighting, checkouts, floor tile, ceiling tile, loss prevention equipment, technology, electrical engineering, plumbing, doors, environmental systems, freezer cases, shelving, kitchen equipment etc.. I could go on and on. As this is a new location there is a budget for this build and it is part of your capital plan. You have bids in place and are focused on getting the location open and delivering revenue.

Here is the question, have you checked to make sure that your pricing is as low as it should be, or are you just going with your internal teams RFP evaluations? If you are, you are not doing your capital plan justice.


  1. Reduce the Capital Plan through improved pricing.
  2. Reduce Cost of Goods and Services through improved quality and pricing.
  3. Reduce you Expense Plan through improved service and pricing.
  4. Use external sources and tools to help your procurement team achieve maximum results.
  5. Do not hire any more people for your procurement team unless they are a replacement.
  6. Always ask all functional departments if current purchases have been taken through a price compression exercise with at least three (3) suppliers. Not Contract review, price compression.
  7. Make sure that all contracts contain statement of work procedure outlines with specific out-of-scope price submission language
  8. Make sure that your internal teams have a well-defined sourcing execution plan.
  9. Identify additional sources of supply to mitigate risk of out of service or out of stock situations.
  10. Eliminate all Rogue spending.

While these seem simple, all CPO’s, CFO’s and other executives will tell you they have this covered. Unfortunately, in most cases they do not.

If you would like to learn more about SafeSourcing’s white glove services, SafeSourceIt™ family of SaaS products, or our world class six (6) step process containing thirty-nine (39) specific you do or we do touch points, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Representative, and ask about SafeSourcing’s Risk-Free Trial.



Normal Procurement for Unusual Needs

Monday, December 21st, 2020



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

All companies, big and small, have had to make adjustments to the way they operate their business in 2020. For those that have survived or even thrived, the adjustments are ongoing. One adjustment that we’re seeing more of lately is an adjustment back toward normal practices.

There are still items and services that are challenging to source. PPE and sanitizers are sometimes a challenge. Certain paper supplies like bathroom tissue can be as well. The challenges become apparent in cost increases and limited availability. With certain services, the challenges are centered around resources and new restraints placed around how services can be provided.

These challenges have caused buyers to purchase outside of their normal models and without following best practices. This has led to higher pricing and more variance in specifications, but was done in order to remain in business.

Now that we have all had time to settle into our new operational realities, we’re seeing improvements in a return to normal practices. We’re having more and more conversations and hosting more RFx Events about bringing some of these ongoing needs back into the standard procurement practices including using RFx Events.

While it is understandable that in times of great need and urgency those processes weren’t followed, now is the time to get back on track for your future needs. You will be surprised just how much the markets have changed recently in favor of the buyer.

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.







Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk?  

Friday, December 18th, 2020


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

While I was reading some tech news today I came across something that I hadn’t heard of.  Have you heard of Amazon Sidewalk?  Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth long-range wireless networking protocol that was developed by Amazon Inc. that helps network devices work better.  It is operated by Amazon and offered to their customers at no charge.  Sidewalk can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth range of devices and help the devices stay online even when they are outside the range of your Wi-Fi.  Sidewalk uses a small fraction of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth to pass wireless Bluetooth and 900MHz radio signals between compatible devices which will offer greater distances that the Wi-Fi is not capable of on its own.  Amazon is estimating that in some cases it could reach as far as a half a mile.  This is done by Amazon designating many of its Echo and Ring devices as Sidewalk Bridges.  These bridges will use a small amount of your home’s Wi-Fi bandwidth and will transmit it to all of the Sidewalk-compatible devices.  However, these Sidewalk networks work a little differently that your current home Wi-Fi.  The network is not just available for your enabled devices but your neighbors enabled devises as well.  Because of this some people are worried about privacy and security and may want to turn this feature off.  This is something that you will have to do manually because the feature is being pushed to all compatible devices and is turned on by default.  If you would like to turn this feature off until you can do further research, it can be done by opening the Alexa app on your phone, tap More, tap Settings, tap account Settings, tap Amazon Sidewalk and swipe the button next to Enabled to the left. Below is a list of Amazon devices that are able to become Sidewalk Bridges:

  • Ring Floodlight Cam (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Wired (2019)
  • Ring Spotlight Cam Mount (2019)
  • Echo (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Dot (2nd Gen, 3rd Gen, 4th Gen) for Kids
  • Echo Dot with Clock (3rd Gen, 4th Gen)
  • Echo Plus (1st Gen, 2nd Gen)
  • Echo Show (1st Gen, 2nd Gen), Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, Echo Show 10
  • Echo Spot
  • Echo Studio

If you are looking to purchase new Wi-Fi equipment or devices and would like help researching available options, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which one meets your needs.  If you would like more information on how SafeSourcing can help you, can help you,  please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today.






How Do You Procure?

Thursday, December 17th, 2020


Today’s post is by Margaret Stewart, Director of HR and Administration at SafeSourcing Inc.

Every business or organization has or will need to procure something at some point, whether it is a service, an item for resale, or things that help run your business. Because so many businesses need these things, there have been different ways to go about getting those goods or services. So, how do you procure?

For smaller organizations, purchasing is often done through just one person or a few people, whereas often with larger organizations, they have their own purchasing or procurement teams. However large or small the procurement team is, most procurement is done the same few ways.

First, there can be simple procurement. These can vary in size, but are fairly simple items or services that do not need customized or are standard items. These items are sourced fairly easily and do not require specific details. This can include things such as standard size T-Shirt bags or copy paper.

Second, some items or services may become more complex and can be more challenging to procure. These require more details on the product and it may narrow down the number of vendors that can supply the item. This may include items like beverage cups and their matching lids or IT Equipment.

Lastly, there are highly complex procurement efforts. These are often very detailed goods or services or require very particular qualities. These may be more challenging to find vendors and often require highly detailed specifications. Services such as design or engineering can fall into this category and often requires a great amount of detail on the project.

Despite the different levels of procurement, utilizing a procurement partner like SafeSourcing can help your organization. It doesn’t matter the size of your business or the complexity of your procurement project, a procurement partner has the tools and experience to help you get the good or service you need, often with greater savings than procuring alone.

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 RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.


You can procure anything, including Christmas Candy Canes Part I!

Wednesday, December 16th, 2020


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Inc. Archives

What does it take to make a candy cane, package it, market it, and distribution? All of these involve procurement. Today, the candy cane makes up a significant amount of the $1.4 billion Christmas candy market. In fact, billions of candy canes are made and consumed each year.

First the history of the candy cane: from the HomeBoy Media Network!

The candy cane is a Christmas tradition that many hold dear but nobody really knows why. Let’s face it, the only things we really know about candy canes is that they taste good and that they are red and white.

Whether the story of the candy cane is a legend or if it is true is not certain, but this is how the story goes: About two hundred-thirty years ago at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, the children that went to church there were really loud and noisy. They often moved around and would not pay attention to the choirmaster.

This was especially difficult for the choirmaster when they were supposed to be sitting still for the long living Nativity ceremony. So to keep the children quiet, he gave them a long, white, sugar candy stick. He couldn’t give them chocolate or anything like that because the people at that church would think it was sacrilegious. So he gave them the stick and he bent it on the end to look like a cane. It was meant to look like a shepherd’s cane, and so it reminded the children of the shepherds at Jesus’ birth.

In 1847, a German-Swedish immigrant in Wooster, Ohio put candy canes on his Christmas tree and soon others were doing the same. Sometime around 1900 candy canes came to look more like what we know them as today with the red stripes and peppermint flavoring.

Some people say the white color represents the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the wounds he suffered. They also sometimes say that the peppermint flavoring represents the hyssop herb used for purifying and spoken of in the Bible. The shape also looks like the letter “J” for Jesus, not just a shepherd’s cane. It is possible that these things were added for religious symbols, but there is no evidence that is true.

Around 1920, a man in Georgia named Bob McCormack wanted to make candy canes for his family and friends. He later started mass-producing candy canes for his own business which he named Bob’s Candies. This is where many of our candy canes come from today.

Tomorrow we will discuss the raw materials needed to make candy canes.

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.

Vaccines for Food Suppliers

Friday, December 11th, 2020


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

David MacLennan, Chief Executive of Cargill, Inc., a 155-year-old company with 155,000 employees in 70 countries, steered one of the world’s largest food suppliers through COVID 19’s world-wide spread this past spring.  Cargill “straddles the global food and agriculture-supply chains, processing farmers’ crops, packing meat and distributing sugar, salt, cotton and other commodities.  Its plants supply some of the world’s biggest consumer brands, supermarket chains and restaurants.”1.  In the spring meatpackers fell sick by the thousands.  Practices to adapt to the pandemic were implemented.  Partitions between process-line work stations were installed, workers temperatures were taken routinely, masks were required, and spaced out seating in break rooms was provided.  As the virus is on the rise once again, MacLennan has urged employees to follow similar guidelines in their homes.

McLennan stated he visited one of the beef facilities recently and said it was running at 98% capacity.  That is a huge improvement from last spring where many meat plants had to shut down.  He believes people are more informed now.  Although MacLennan realizes the vaccines will be issued to the health workers, the vulnerable population, the elderly, and people with pre-exiting conditions, he is advocating that essential workers (including the supply chain workers) should be right at the top.

MacLennan stated that people are becoming more aware of the food supply chain going back to the farmers, the ranchers, and the manufactures of ingredients,  Before the pandemic, most people didn’t think that way.

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


1 Jacob Bunge, WSJ, 11/25/2020





What is a Novation Agreement?

Thursday, December 10th, 2020


Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing.

A novation agreement is a legal document implemented by the original parties in a contract and a designated alternate to whom responsibilities of the contract have been transferred by one of the parties. This agreement transfers all rights and responsibilities under the contract to the successor. Novation requires approval from both parties of the original contract. Novation agreements are frequent in circumstances where companies that have entered into an agreement or contract are bought, sold, or in cases of merger.

Let SafeSourcing better manage your sourcing projects. 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.

How do you exceed your customers expectations?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020


Today’s post is from our Archives at SafeSourcing.

Knowledgeable staff

Ensure you are able to answer all questions regarding the business function you provide. If you deal direct with your companies customers, encourage them to ask questions and you must give concise, accurate answers.

One-stop shopping

It is good to offer ancillary products complimenting your primary business function that allow your customers to consolidate their efforts without having to involve additional vendors. SafeSourcing for instance, with our procure-to-pay suite of applications, reduces your cost while improving your efficiency.

Excellent customer service

People always appreciate good customer service. The extra attention and personal service they receive are a few of the reasons they chose to do business with you. You must always offer what is in your customers best interest. Integrity will not go unnoticed.

On-time delivery

In today’s age of Amazon almost immediate delivery, customers have no desire to wait for their goods or services. Furthermore, if a deadline is established, it must be met. Deadlines serve a purpose and customers want them fulfilled according to timeline.

Let SafeSourcing better manage your sourcing projects. 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.




In procurement as in life, research is always your best First Step

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020


Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing.

An associate of ours recently decided to build my own computer, not buy one from a big box store. Overall you get better performance and it is cheaper by comparison. So with my limited knowledge of building a new PC he set out on an adventure.  Once he finally sat down to start filling his cart, he was met with so many options, and no explanation as to which one was best. He was on a quest to research and find the best product.

What he thought was going to be a day one purchase, turned into a week of finding the right items that fit together. As he learned, a mother board can only accept a certain processor brand. So that 60 dollar well reviewed motherboard, turned out couldn’t accept an AMD processor, and DDR3 RAM like he wanted. In fact a simple PC or Tablet contains dozens of products that can all be sourced or influence your final price based on the commodity level you intend to purchase at.  In the end this process was much like his work and he found that his work life was having a positive influence on his personal life.

Here at SafeSourcing, we are experienced in finding all the necessary information to build specifications based on our customers’ needs. We take all the information about a product or a category, and immerse ourselves in the data that is needed to build exactly what a customer wants. And some times that means every line item depending on the unique sourcing strategy such as SafeSourcing’s unique decile based sourcing strategy. Along with finding the right information for specifications, we also find the vendors that can handle your exact needs. With events as complicated as building a computer (trust us, it is complicated) we can handle all the needs for purchasing a product for your company. Contact us here at SafeSourcing at 888-261-9070 so we can build a great event for you to maximize your savings.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

Am I really married to my procurement job?

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020


Today’s post is from our archives at SafeSourcing Inc.

My boss always asks me if this is just a job for me or a career that I am committed to.

It was not until I had successfully walked down the aisle and had the perspective of hindsight that I really understood how the disciplines we practice every day at SafeSourcing on behalf of our customers helped to guide the success we achieved in our wedding.

I can tell you that there is nothing more stressful than planning a wedding, especially when it’s your own, and as I’m sure is the case for most young couples, on a limited budget. There are so many things that need to be done for a wedding that you start to lose sight of the big picture. I will give everyone a new pros tip, visit as many catering companies as you can because the free food defiantly helps with the stress!

I’ll bold and italicize some of the steps we followed that correlated directly to my job (err) career.

During the process I figured out that the best way to organize (Strategy) our efforts was to create a lifesaver General Ledger (detail,detail,detail…) that would let me to track everything that we were buying (strategy) for our wedding. My wife and I listed everything (specifications) that we needed to have and started filling in the blanks (research) from there. Key to my success was this organization, and it helped me trim out high price quotes from the equation and pick the best price along with our best impressions (other services) from every vendor we interviewed (double check the data) Better yet, we came in under budget (results).

OMG, it may be subliminal but maybe I am really married to my procurement job.

At SafeSourcing, we have a process that will get everyone’s quotes all in a view that you can easily compare the prices and additional deliverables for purchase. Our reports are easy to follow and assist companies in making their best decision. The vendors in our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database are already prequalified to receive your business. 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.