Archive for May, 2021

What is a chaebol?

Thursday, May 27th, 2021


Today’s post is our archives at SafeSourcing.

Chaebols are large, family owned South Korean business conglomerates, such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG. The word chaebol translates to “business family” or “monopoly” in Korean. Chaebols are multinational corporations, typically owning numerous international enterprises. Chaebol are owned and controlled by a family dynasty, generally that of the group’s patriarch.

Despite their economic dominance in South Korea and the belief that monopoly structures restrict smaller companies that compete against them, public opinion of chaebols in South Korea is generally supportive. Largely the public views the chaebols as the primary vehicle taking South Korea out of financial crisis.

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.

What’s the difference between a non-responsible and a non-responsive bidder.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021



Today’s post is our archives at SafeSourcing.

The California Court of Appeals offered a good explanation of the difference between responsive and responsible. “A bid is ‘responsive’ if it promises to do what the bidding instructions demand; a bidder is ‘responsible’ if it can perform the contract as promised.” [1]

Non-responsibility is determined based on whether the bidder can actually fulfill the Invitation to Bid (ITB). Does the company have the necessary facilities and delivery capabilities to fulfill the required products? Determining if a vendor is responsible would have you assessing if the bidder is capable of fulfilling the products as specified, not if the bid itself meets the specifications.

Every ITB has product specifications, terms, and deliverables that each bidder must abide by. For a bidder to be considered non-responsive,  they will not conform or meet one or any of these requirements. When determining if a bid is responsive, you would assess if the bid offered meets the product specifications, terms, and deliverables; not at how well the bidder will actually perform.

When a bidder is categorized as non-responsive there are normally three steps. First, you will notify the bidder with indications of their non-responsibility. Second, the bidder will be given the opportunity to contest those indications. Finally the bidder should be permitted to present evidence that they are qualified to fulfill the products.

Please contact SafeSourcing for any needs with your non-responsible and non-responsive suppliers. 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.


Technology in Sales

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021


Today’s Post is our archives SafeSourcing 

Technology is the keystone to sales success. In this day and age, we have the world at our fingertips. From pinpointing a certain location, to finding a company’s profile, the internet has our back. In sales, product knowledge is needed, but there are a lot of other things just as important. For example, knowing the indexes for certain commodities, knowing your target market, and knowing how to approach your target. Every salesperson should have tools and know how to use them. No I do not mean a wrench and hammer. What I mean is a way to keep track of your customers, reach out to potential and new customers, as well as let them reach you. Everyone should know how to use a spreadsheet or write or a power point. But there is more than that. Here is what I believe to be the top 5 tools in every salespersons tool bag.


  1. Keep Track of current and potential clients
  2. Set appointments and reminders with easy to use User Interface
  3. Perfectly Portable with mobile application


  1. This is a fantastic way to view your clients
  2. Find companies using keywords or specific search protocols
  3. Networking is key

Clearbit Connect

  1. Integrates with Gmail
  2. Easily search for people and emails
  3. Upgrades current contacts with full company details and roles


  1. Links over 500 apps for seamless integrations in  the sales process
  2. Set personalized events from receiving emails to the next action
  3. Simple fill in the blank setup


  1. Instantly see when messages are opened
  2. Includes tools like email templates, send later, reminders and more
  3. Integrates with all top email providers including Gmail and Outlook

Of course any tool is only as good as the person who uses it. So learn to use your tools. There are always online videos and seminars, not to mention each one of the applications listed have a great training staff always on standby to help with simple questions. There are tons of tools and applications out there not to mention cellphones and the internet. Staying up to date with technology is beneficial to all salespeople. Selling is all about efficiency, from product knowledge to customer relations. Know who, what, when, where, and of course why, because if you don’t your competitor will.

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


Overcome the “What If?”

Monday, May 24th, 2021


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

“What if” is a question we ask ourselves a lot. Typically the “what if” factor can be what causes us to be our own worst enemy. Ever since I was around 8 years old, I have been afraid of biting into an apple fearing I will lose a tooth. That fear meant anytime I wanted to eat my favorite fruit, I had to have a knife or some way of slicing it. Well, that ended recently when a co-worker came into the office with a bunch of small delicious looking apples. He offered me one and I looked forward to cutting it up and eating at lunch. Well the day blew by before I knew it, it was time to go home. Not wanting to warm up my lunch and try to navigate rush hour while trying to eat, I decided to just go home and eat when I got there. As I pull onto the highway entrance ramp, I see a sea of stopped traffic. Afterabout 15 minutes, I had successfully entered the highway. With a ravishing hunger, looking through my lunch bag, there was nothing that I could eat that didn’t require some kind of prepping. I was about to close the bag and there it was, that delicious looking apple. So I decided to take the chance and it was great! I ate the whole thing and didn’t lose a tooth! That made me think I had spent a major part of my life afraid to bite into an apple.

This got me thinking about everything I had turned down or have been too afraid to do. How often I missed an opportunity. This also had me thinking on how often I have spoken to companies and they have told me how they are afraid to try e-procurement because it may not grasp the entire scope of what they are looking to take to market. They also feared this may upset their incumbents or they may be wasting their time and not see any savings. I have also spoken to potential vendors we invite to participate in the bidding process. I often get the infamous “we do not participate in e-bids”. Once I follow up on that response, it often boils down to they have never participated in one, do not know how it will work, and fear they may be wasting resources by participating and not being awarded the business. I love explaining to them our SafeSourcing representatives are here to help them through the entire process and we are practically bringing the business to them, all they have to do is put their best foot forward. By coming up with strong pricing and a plan, the worst thing that can happen is they may not be awarded the business, but it may help them reflect and gauge where their prices stack up.  SafeSourcing has successfully helped another clients and has brought new business to a happy sales team. This may not be “apples to apples’’ but it can be a great change! SafeSourcing offers “Risk Free” Trials and Pilot Agreements and we pride ourselves on an average savings of 24% across all categories. Can you imagine the savings you could see and what you could so with those savings? Overcome the “What If”!

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.



Avoiding the fallacy of the single cause.

Friday, May 21st, 2021



Today’s post is from our  SafeSourcing Archives

Procurement projects will of course come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity. Rarely is any single facet of a project determined by only “top-down” variables. Any one part is more likely influenced by a three dimensional layout of different variables, all of which can determine the outcome of the greater whole. But how can all of these intricacies be accounted for, without complicating the project so greatly that it becomes unmanageable? Here are three tips for managing complexity:

  1.  Honestly identify complexity: Don’t close your eye’s to the reality of the project and pretend that it’s simpler than it really is. Admitting that  your value chain is non-linear is not conceding defeat, it’s setting you up for identifying your criteria for success (Be similarly honest with identifying your constraints/bottlenecks).
  2. Consolidate complexity early (accelerated vs delayed differentiation): In supply chains that start with homogenous parts, differentiation should come late in the chain, but the opposite is true for outputs that begin with high complexity. If you consolidate complexity by identifying requirements, scope, and expectations of variables that lead to the single end product, it will keep you from having to break out the constituent parts.
  3. Leverage the entire value proposition: Build into your project the ability to negotiate details based on the full value of the project. For example, make it clear that if a vendor wants to find loopholes that diminish the value of their original quote, that you will be awarding the vendor with the best overall value proposition, not the one who presents a polished picture and adds all manner of hidden fees.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with your procurement projects 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.

Chicken Shortage Raises Costs for Restaurants

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021


Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Vice President of Administrative at SafeSourcing.

After a year of promoting chicken sandwiches and wings, many restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings, KFC, and Wingstop are paying much more for poultry.  Some restaurants are running out of chicken or limiting the amount of tenders, fillets, and wings sold.  Some independent eateries and bars have gone weeks without wings.  The price of chicken breasts have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, and wing prices have hit record highs, according to Urner Barry, a market research firm.  Wingstop reported they are paying 26% more for bone-in wings this year.  One of the problems with the poultry industry is getting employees to work.  The lack of workers is affecting many industries.

At the beginning of 2021, chicken looked like a bargain for US restaurants.  Closures of dining rooms had contributed to the stockpile of chicken in cold-storage facilities.  Boneless, skinless breasts averaged $1 a pound last year.  Today, the same product is $2.04 a pound.  Over the past decade the average price was $1.32 a pound.  This is a huge increase!

The chicken sandwich wars in fast food chains have also contributed to increased prices.  Companies such as McDonalds, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., and Wendy’s introduced new crispy chicken offerings.  Chicken sandwiches have always been a better dollar value, especially for families.  The biggest problem for supermarket, fast food chains, and restaurants is keeping up with the demand.  A KFC spokesperson reported that they look forward to getting back to normal once the short supplies ease.

Chicken-wing prices have risen to $2.92 a pound. Fast food restaurants serving wings grew 33% in the past 12 months, ending in March 2021, compared to the previous year.  For chicken producers, the restaurants growing poultry appetite is driving a windfall and offsetting the higher grain prices.

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.


Heather Haddon and Jacob Bunge, WSJ, 5/7/2021



Product Equivalents

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021


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

A product equivalent is an item that is comparable to another product, accomplishes something another product does, or functions the same way another product does. For nearly every product out there, there is likely a product equivalent available. There are always exceptions to this, as in the case of patented products or one of a kind service.

Whether or not you realize it, you are likely more familiar with product equivalents than you might suspect. For instance when you shop for groceries, you may have noticed similar items on the shelves. You may have even noticed some items look just like the original, but with a different name, different packaging, and a different price. These are product equivalents and , while they are not likely the exact same, you may find it serves its purpose well enough.

Often times these product equivalents are private label. Private label is when a product is made by a manufacturer who then applies a companies specific brand and formula to the product instead of using the larger name brand. For some items, like cleaners or medicine, you can see exactly what is in the product and decide if the brand name or the equivalent better serves your need. For other items, like foods, it is much more subjective on whether or not it tastes good. I for one prefer brand name items of some foods, but prefer the private label items of other foods.

No matter which product you prefer, a hearty market will often have several choices which allows for more competition and more growth opportunity, not only for retailers, but for suppliers as well. All of that is good news for the consumer.

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.




Where are all the chicken wings?

Monday, May 17th, 2021


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

My son works at a local family-owned restaurant and told us that they have not had chicken wings in weeks.  When he told us this I was a perplexed?  Why don’t they have chicken wings?  I had been to a major wing restaurant a few days before and they had wings and they were also selling at their usual price.  I decided to do some research and learned that the small family-owned businesses around the country are having a hard time getting chicken products because of a nationwide poultry shortage.  It seems that the rise in consumer demand for the bird has surged during the pandemic.  With all the stay-at-home orders throughout the country over the past year it seems a lot of us have been ordering a lot of takeout chicken meals and sandwiches.  Because of this the poultry producers have not been able to keep up with the pace of the demand.  Other reasons for the shortage were the outbreak of the coronavirus in the meat processing plants, high feed prices and winter storms that shut down some of the chicken farms.  If you are a fan of chicken, analysts say not to worry though the shortage will start to taper off as things are starting to get back to normal and the economy continues to open.  While doing this research I came across the following items that may be in short supply this year as well.

  • Gas
  • Lumber
  • Chlorine
  • Ketchup
  • Computer Chips
  • Metals
  • Steel

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company save money during these shortages and run more efficiently?   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.





If you don’t think you can e-source your construction needs? Think again!

Friday, May 14th, 2021


Today’s post if  our archives  at SafeSourcing, Inc.

Are you looking for ways to bid a construction job but don’t know how to easily trim costs.  Do you have a favored supplier of your construction materials, but see their pricing is getting higher year after year and you think that you have limited options?

There are couple ways to get your costs down:

First would be to run a request for proposal (RFP) in order to qualify new potential suppliers and their capabilities to support your needs. You will also be able to verify specific pricing relative to materials or to be used during the job.

  • Your RFP should be specific to the project you are working on. As an example, if you are sourcing a new roofing project or replacement roofing, then you could invite local suppliers from the area where the job is to be completed as well as the big national suppliers. Supply all with the same exact detail relative to framing/studs, the type of membrane materials, the insulation type, flashing, piping, ladders, lightning protection etc.
  • From the completed RFP you will be able to choose a primary supplier and possibly a secondary supplier to work with based on their submission of information and pricing within your RFP.

Secondarily you might also run a request for quote or Reverse Auction in order to compress pricing based on all of the specifics submitted through the RFP from the general contractors or run a more specific RFQ targeting the higher pricing from the RFP, which could items such as labor or material costs.

  • As an example, using the roofing scenario, you might choose to run an RFQ on membrane materials only from the manufactures to be used by the general contractor.

By running these e-procurement events you will be able to choose the best qualified supplier with the best pricing as well as present that supplier with your best priced manufacturer of the membrane materials.  The combination of these two types of events will provide you significant savings on two specific fronts within the same category, and resultantly lower your overall construction costs.

The roofing example is just one of many areas within the construction category in which SafeSourcing can reduce costs and aid increasing profitability.

If you would like to learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representative.

Your Procurement Health Dashboard

Thursday, May 13th, 2021


Today’s post is from our  SafeSourcing archive

Today, we will look at some of the principles of this dashboard and how you could be using them to help track the health of how your company spends its money.

Establish the baseline – One of the premises with which most dashboards work successfully is that of establishing where you are right now.  Even better than that is being able to go back 1-2 years to see where you have come from.  When you can go back over historical data, you can begin to establish the trends of how you have done and what areas need the most attention.  If a category has consistently increased year after year, then you may need to source a different vendor or item.  Other areas of the company can use this data, too, to determine if a total shift in products or raw materials should be used to get away from those made with material that continues to increase.  The baseline will establish your health before you do anything else.

Pull from other sources – Often times, procurement departments do not have access to the best data they need to make decisions.  This may be because it is held in systems they do not have access to or because the company itself has never had a process to track the details.  By looking to outside sources, you may uncover data that is useful in making decisions, such as going to the suppliers you do business with and asking for historical performance for purchases or pricing.  It could also mean that you research internally for data that isn’t dollars and cents.  You may purchase material handling equipment, but the warehouse uses it.  How the equipment holds up and runs and how the supplier supports you for fixes and replacement parts are just as important in determining your procurement health as is the cost of the equipment in a contract.  The more data you have, the better choices you can make for the company.

Correlating Data Points – With data from several sources, you can put the final piece in play.  Just like the new Apple Health Dashboard can correlate calories consumed from MyFitnessPal and burnt from MapMyRun, to the blood pressure measurements taken from an iHealth wireless device, you should be looking for solutions that can help correlate the key data points you are receiving from external and internal sources.  When you correlate which resource runs projects quickly but with good savings you can begin to examine what they are doing differently than other team members, for instance.  The correlations of savings and the time it takes to realize the savings is just one correlation we can provide.

At SafeSourcing, we can help your company establish a procurement dashboard to monitor your company’s spend health with our SafeDashboard™.  For more information on this tool 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.