Archive for January, 2021

RETAILERS! Clean out those back rooms and move your overstock items using a forward auction.

Friday, January 29th, 2021


Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Why is it that we never hear of retailers running forward auctions? There are dozens of sources waiting to buy your overstock which all retailers know will reduce shrink and improve bottom line profitability.

If you go to any internet search engine and type in the term overstock, the data returned is in the millions of pages. Many of these links are locations  for Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) companies that will gladly agree to participate in e-negotiation events in the form of a forward auction to purchase your overstock or liquidated products for resale through their on line offerings.

Online forward auctions are an ideal way to get the best price for capital equipment, materials, overstock and services you may want to sell, such as when you need to liquidate excess inventory.

There are two basic types of forward auctions. The first is a liquidation auction where sellers are reducing inventory from overstock or liquidation and buyers are seeking to obtain the lowest price for items they have an interest in for resale and other purposes. The second type is more of a marketing auction where sellers are trying to sell unique items and buyers wish to obtain unique items. This is typical of an eBay type of offering.

Much of retail shrink happens in the back room or receiving area of retail stores. It just so happens that this is also the location of much of the overstock in the retail community. Much of this product sits there month after month resulting in significant margin hits to quarterly and annual earnings and as such to a company’s stock price.

Ask your e-negotiation solution provider how they can help reduce your overstock and shrink with forward auction tools, and who they would invite as buyers. You company stakeholders will applaud your efforts.

For immediate help, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Part II of here is some Lasik for retail e-procurement professionals in order to create better focus.

Thursday, January 28th, 2021


During yesterdays post Here is some Lasik for retail e-procurement professionals in order to create better focus we discussed the following four retail P&L measures and how to use them to pin point a starting point for e-procurement evaluation and events. They were

  1. Gross Sales,
  2. Cost of Goods Sold,
  3. Gross Margin and
  4. EBITDA.

Also in yesterdays post, we promised to review what underperforming the above measures means and how careful evaluation will point you in the direction as to where to begin your e-procurement journey.

Here you go!

If your EBITDA is low, and your top line sales are in line with your plan, it is pretty clear that you have either an expense problem or a cost of goods problem. If the problem is expense related the first indicator is that your gross margin is most likely in line and your costs of goods are ok relative to your plan. In this case since the issue looks like it is below the gross margin line you have an expense problem. This does not always mean that the issue is your largest expense category like health benefits. Often times the problem can be caused by mid level expense related categories particularly categories that are hard to monitor and as such hard to control like hired services. A few examples are items like landscaping, snow removal, pest control, window washing and other similar types of expenses. These expenses have multiple invoices from multiple suppliers multiple times each month and are approved at store level. As a result, eProcurement results for these categories return impressive results while also streamlining suppliers as well as the process. With out going into to much detail the exact same process works if you turn this issue around and sales are near plan and gross margin is out of line, you most likely have a cost of goods issue.

A caution that procurement professionals should be aware of is that of measuring yourself solely against your own plan. You may be achieving your plan, but underperforming the industry you serve. This author believes that this is the 2nd level of analysis required once you have addressed the items indicated above and want to take the next step in creating a sustainable e-procurement process.

I hope this helps and allows you to use the lyrics from the 1972 song by Johnny Nash titled ?I can see clearly now? as your sourcing mantra.

If you’d like to discuss further how I can personally help your company, please use our contact page as I get the updates as soon as you submit it.


Here is some Lasik for retail e-procurement professionals in order to create better focus.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021


I can see clearly now the rain has gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. The lyrics from the 1972 song by…. Johnny Nash titled I can see clearly now should be the mantra for enlightened e-procurement professionals.

Here’s and old post that continues to have merit with a link to another resource from

Very often this author gets the question as to where to start in the e-procurement process. Too often I read that one needs to do a detailed discovery. The question is of what and how to get to the right place the quickest. So here is some Lasik for you that will help you see a little more clearly.

Using another idiom, and with renewed focus we hope to make it possible to see the forest for the trees by not focusing on excessive detail that is not needed yet.

There are four areas where you should begin your search for an e-procurement starting point and they are pretty simple.

1.Gross Sales
2.Cost of Goods Sold
3.Gross Margin

This is really to say that if you take a look at your top line or Gross Sales and your bottom line or EBITDA and they are out of whack relative to your plan or industry averages you need to look at the above the gross margin line or Cost of Goods Sold or below the gross margin line which is expense related items for as an e-procurement focal point..

As such a couple of terms whose definitions you should be aware of are as follows.

According to two separate sources, Wikipedia and Cost of Goods Sold or COGS is a financial accounting term which includes the direct costs attributable to the production or procurement of the goods sold by a company. This amount can include the materials cost used in creating the goods along with the direct labor costs used to produce them. It excludes indirect expenses such as distribution costs and sales force costs. COGS appear on the income statement and can be deducted from revenue to calculate a company’s gross margin.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization or EBITDA which is an approximate measure of a company’s operating cash flow based on data from the company’s income statement. EBITDA is calculated by looking at earnings before the deduction of interest expenses, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Based on the above a lot is determined by who built you annual plan and how realistic it was to begin with.

Tomorrow we will review what underperforming these measure means and how it should point you in the direction as to where to begin your e-procurement focus.

We look forward to and appreciate you comments.

Procurement is a Science. Retail procurement needs to be an Exact Science.

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021


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

I was talking to a meat buyer recently and it sounded more like talking to a commodity trader. In fact, that is exactly what they are. Data is important, and the breadth of data they need to watch is amazing.

Without getting into detailed spend management, strategic sourcing or analytics, a very simple example of what a retail meat buyer goes through every day should shed some light on the need for talent in the sourcing area.

Consider the following nine questions that a meat buyer might have to consider every day.

1.What is my companies demand for beef products?
2.What is the price of corn?
3.What is the price of diesel?
4.What is the price of plastic?
5.What is the price of paper?
6.What is the price of ink?
7.How do all of these products or interact to impact the price of beef?
8.How do I keep track of all these moving parts and what if I don’t?
9.Is there an index for each of these I should be watching?

That sounds like a commodity trader to me.

One place a meat buyer might turn for help is to their e-procurement solution provider and if they already have a partner and these questions have never come up, maybe it’s time to change solution providers.

If you’d like to learn more about the resources we use at SafeSourcing when developing the strategy for our customers e-procurement events, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

HVAC and Heating Inspections

Friday, January 22nd, 2021


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

The other day I noticed that there was a small puddle of water on the basement floor.  I looked up and saw that there was a large PVC pipe that was dripping water.  I followed the pipe and it runs from the furnace to the outside of the house to the side yard.  After doing some research on the internet I discovered that the pipe is a flue that runs from the furnace to the outside.  This flue is used for venting the furnace gases to the outside of the house.  When the furnace is running, the flue contains heat, carbon monoxide and usually some moisture.  So the drip that I am seeing is probably being caused from the condensation and it is leaking out through a small crack or a loose joint in the PVC.  After reading several articles, I have discovered that the leak may not only be the water/moisture but also leaking carbon monoxide as well.  The articles stated that is type of leak can be very dangerous and should be repaired immediately.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels. When people are exposed to CO gas, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in their bodies and lead to poisoning and death.  I called our local HVAC company that we usually use and they are coming out to do a full inspection on the unit.  If you haven’t had your HVAC inspected lately, below are some reasons you may want to have it inspected soon.

  • Prolong the life of the furnace and heating systems
  • Prevent carbon monoxide leaks
  • Clean built up dirt and rust
  • Replace worn out parts
  • Increase efficiency
  • Keep warranty valid
  • Clean air filter
  • Keep your family and teams safe

If you are looking for someone to inspect your HVAC Installations and Unist 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 moreinformation 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.









Thursday, January 21st, 2021



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

Lockdowns have been on the rise again as Covid cases rise and many cities, provinces, states, or entire countries are implementing new rules to try and slow spread to help keep people safe. While there are vaccines coming, it will likely be a long time before there are enough doses for everyone and to get life pre-Covid back. So, while we must go about our days as they are now, there are some things to do to keep your lockdown life as normal and regular as possible.

Last spring different hobbies began trending and one of them was bread making. While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the idea is similar. Find a new hobby or set aside time for an old hobby and keep it up. This can be any number of different things like cooking, crosswords, making videos, reading, woodwork, painting, or even redecorating. In fact, for some people a hobby you enjoy can even result in a little extra money if you want to sell you skill or finished product.

While for many people the weather may not be ideal for walks or outdoor activities, there are other ways to get out of the house, even if it is just virtually. This is where the internet and the vast amounts of information can be a game changer. You can take virtual tours of many places across the globe. You can view art from museums, take a google maps stroll down your old road, or you can even take a virtual tour of downhill skiing!

In addition to finding things to do for fun, it is important to also keep connected to others. People are a social species and that need must be fulfilled. Set aside time every week to call a friend or family member, or you could event start with a pen pal and write letters to each other. Video calls have been excellent ways to not only talk to others, but also to see how people are doing. You can get your friends opinion on that new hair cut or keep up with how big the grandkids have gotten.

Whatever way you decide to keep a lockdown lifestyle as normal and rewarding as you can, we must all make sure business is taken care of too. This is where SafeSourcing can help. We can help your organization find goods or services that you need and help you to find the right supplier for it.

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.





Who Moved My Cheese?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021


Today’s post is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death for American woman, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Cheese has been implicated in the problem because a lot of commercial dairy milk comes from cows treated with hormones, which can end up in the milk. A group of doctors has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to add a warning to label cheese to caution to consumers that it contains hormones that may increase the risk of breast cancer.

The cheese making process can concentrate some of the growth hormones like IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which is naturally produced and helps key cells reproduce and survive, it also promotes growth and survival in unhealthy cells. Research has linked this to an increased risk of breast cancer. The saturated fat in most cheese has also been under scrutiny and believed to contribute to the issue, since studies have found that specifically high-fat dairy raises the risk of breast cancer mortality.

The research on the health impact of cheese is very mixed.  Other research has found that cheese is actually associated with health benefits, like lowering the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes. Low-fat dairy products may actually have health benefits. The question is, if the hormones that are used in cattle are causing adverse effects in humans, why is there not a ban on the use of the hormones in question? Which hormones are being used, and under whose oversight does that fall?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports the American agricultural economy to provide a safe, sufficient, and nutritious food supply for the American people. The USDA mainly oversees meat, poultry, and eggs. The FDA is a division of the U.S. Department of Health, which regulates drugs, dietary supplements, and ensures that the foods people eat in the U.S. are safe, wholesome, sanitary, and properly labeled.  It is the FDA that approves and labels the steroid hormone drugs for use in beef cattle and sheep and determines that the drug is safe for the animals, the environment, and for humans to consume. No steroid hormone implants are approved for growth purposes in dairy cows, veal calves, pigs, or poultry. The hormone used in dairy cows is recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH).

The level of tolerance differs in each individual and there are many factors that determine who is susceptible to increased risk of cancer. We cannot blame any illness on one particular food. I love cheese and it is a good source of protein, but all cheese is not created equal. Choose your cheese wisely according to your particular tolerance and taste. Cheese can be a part of a healthy well-balanced diet and most people will be fine if consuming no more than two servings per day. As with everything else we consume, moderation is the key.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you in exploring your procurement

solutions for your business efforts, or on our Risk Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service RepresentativeWe have an entire team ready to assist you today.


Essential Service 

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021



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

The word essential has seen so much more use in the past 10 months or so. Because of this, many of us have had a chance to stop and think whether we are an essential worker and what that really means. I mention this to help point out that the word can sometimes be subjective.

During the last 10 months, I have had a lot of really interesting conversations with people in all sorts of roles in their different organizations. I have heard a lot about their trials and the new and unforeseen challenges they have faced.

What I have come to see as an outside observer with a wider view of how people approach similar challenges is that it can be hard to see past the challenges that are right in front of us. Here are the top three challenges and why the SafeSourcing’s services are essential even in the face of them.

  1. New and ongoing challenges. While it sometimes feels like we have all settled into the changes we had to make to adjust to the pandemic, the reality is this is not behind us. Staffing issues and ongoing workplace safety concerns take too much attention. But that is actually a reason why you should be working with SafeSourcing. We stay focused on your procurement-related initiatives so you can focus on all the new challenges that you have to face. There is no reason to have to choose between the efforts.
  2. There just are not enough resources. For too many of our customers, they must do more with less. Between layoffs, furloughs, and absences, there is a pretty good chance we have all felt a strain. Here again, SafeSourcing is an extension of your own team. We can assist you, so you do not have to worry about spreading yourself too thin. You will reduce expenses and can use that savings to acquire more resources.
  3. My other responsibilities are higher priorities. Managing your costs directly relates to any of your other strategic responsibilities. Whether you are responsible for sales, HR, IT, or any other role, I guarantee your own goals are in line with managing costs. If you are responsible for growing your company’s revenue, you should also be concerned with improving your company’s gross margin. At the end of the day, everyone in the organization needs to be responsible stewards of its expenses. You keep your eye on your goals and bring us on to keep our eye on your costs.

The main takeaway is that if you can keep an open mind about the benefits of strategic sourcing, you will find that one of the biggest is that it can be a great solution to your challenges both now and in the future.

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.


Albertsons Sales Growth Outpaces Rivals During Pandemic  

Monday, January 18th, 2021



Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Director of Administrative for SafeSourcing Inc.

Albertsons Co. reported stronger results than some competitors as consumers buy more groceries during the pandemic.  Most consumers in 2020 cooked at home.  Many grocery stores are trying to hold to consumers in hopes that they will continue this pandemic habit.

Consumers tend not to frequent the grocery stores more often, but they buy more when they do shop.  Many consumers also buy more premium items during their store visits.  Albertsons sales rose 12.3% for the  quarter ending December 5th.  This was a slight decline from the prior quarter when Albertsons posted 13.8% increase in sales.  This is still a higher increase than Kroger Co. and Walmart.  Shares in Albertsons (the second largest grocer) rose 2% on January 12th as pandemic costs continue to rise in the U.S.  Albertsons reported $387 million in profit.

Albertsons is preparing meal kits for consumer convenience as well as more store-brand products.  Fresh seafood, meat products, and florals have been selling well.  Consumers continue to make breakfast and lunch at home as many people continue to work from home.  Pickup service is the fastest growing segment in the grocery business.  Many people are ordering online and picking up their orders rather than visiting the store in person.

Albertsons is also gearing up to become a major provider of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Food retailers are hiring thousands of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines, in addition to securing equipment, such as freezers, ahead of the mass vaccination.

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.


Jaewon Kant, WSJ, 1/13/2020


The Buyer in All of Us VII Part Series Summary Regardless

Thursday, January 14th, 2021


Today’s post is assembled by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing based on data from our white papers and past blogs at SafeSourcing Inc.

Regardless of what type of personal buyer or corporate buyer you are, or even if you are a combination of any of the five, the goal should still be to prepare and create savings and value where you have the resources to do it. Some companies will have more time and resources to invest and others, due to circumstances, will make the time and resources to do it. There are ways to improve buying habits, not matter the type of buyer. Through better understanding of the types of buyers, the better equipped a company is when trying to make better decisions. By analyzing the kind of buyer, a company has now, the better the buying will be in the future, allowing for a more rounded and beneficial process. Paying close attention now to how and where money in a company is spent, the better prepared that company will be if it should ever need to make spending adjustments. The best way to prevent future problems is by being proactive and seeing where problems may lie in the future. Looking for potential problems now could potentially make the difference whether a company survives hard times or not. By noticing the kind of buyer your company has, the better a company can watch spend and know that the best possible process is in place. This is one big way a company can become more grounded, create better relationships, and know they are saving money in the best way they can.

If you are interested in the White Paper titled “The Buyer in All of Us” that was the basis of this series, please click the link and scroll down to download it with our compliments.

In order to learn more about SafeSourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate and ask about our risk free trial program.