Archive for February, 2023

It’s NOT being braggadocios if you REALLY are better than your peers.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2023


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

We are not bragging or being mean spirited; we are that good. Ask our customers. According to them we are invaluable to their company. So why not to yours. Take me to task and I’ll prove it. You nor anyone else on your team sources many of your products and services as often as we do. If you source a category once every one to three years, you are not a category expert because too many changes happen that you can’t keep up with. We can help you!

At SafeSourcing, we help procurement teams save considerably on costs by providing tools and services that enhance the ability to do business in a better, safer, smarter, more streamlined, and cost-effective way.   Our Customer Services team is one of the best in the industry at complimenting existing procurement teams to help structure and develop projects in less time for better results.

Our white-glove service offerings coupled with our suite of e-procurement tools deliver referenceable savings results that are greater than 10 times the cost of our services, improving Gross Margin and Earnings significantly.

So, give us a call.  And ask us about our e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services and our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers. We can get you better pricing on about any category of product or service.

To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

Brand Loyalty Why? Cost Reduction Maybe Not!

Monday, February 27th, 2023


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

Oftentimes, people stick with the same services, even if they know they cost just a little bit more. In normal circumstances, this is certainly a smart thing to do. Many times, cost you know is better than the one you don’t. But, when it comes time to cut costs, it would be nice if your service could bring its price down just a little bit. E-procurement is fine way to not only test the market to see if your brand really holds up to the market standard, or if it’s time to move on to greener pastures.

Even if your preferred service isn’t necessarily the best price on the market, quality service is a perfectly valid reason to keep your incumbent supplier on the books. RFQs frequently don’t see the lowest price receive your business, instead, a reasonable price with outstanding service swoops in and wins the bid. Your goal might not even be to find a new supplier in the first place. Sometimes, just putting the pressure on your incumbent supplier is enough to state that cost cutting is now becoming a serious factor.

Brand loyalty can be a powerful factor in decision making, and on the surface, e-procurement can sound like a way of upsetting your current suppliers. But by reaching out and giving your suppliers a fair chance, you can challenge them for a better cost without cutting them out completely with a sudden influx of new quotes you want them to match. A little bit of transparency can go a long way!

To help you find the source of your rising costs, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.




Striving for Success. Lessons from Lincoln!

Friday, February 24th, 2023


Today’s post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc

I was reading an article on Fox News the other day titled Lincoln’s advice for success still rings true today by John Cribb. Being a big fan of Lincoln, I knew the message would be simple but profound. So, here’s a couple of the messages.

  1. Lincoln learned early the value of work. He wrote that his father put an ax into his hands when he was 8.
  2. He worked hard at whatever he put mind his to. As a budding politician, he tromped from farmhouse to farmhouse looking for votes. 
  3. A young schoolteacher once wrote to him asking for advice. “Work, work, work is the main thing,” Lincoln wrote back.
  4. “Upon the subject of education,” he once wrote, “I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” 
  5. “My best friend is a man who can get me a book,” he said, and he would walk miles through the Indiana woods to lay his hands on one.

So, let’s see, start early, work hard, focus on improving your skills regardless of what it takes. Be a student and enhance your learning through reading. While this is a summary, the messages ring true today. I often heard these from my dad. Not sure if he was a Lincoln fan, but I am.

If you’d like to know more about our company, we are constantly challenging ourselves to be better for our customers.

To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

Twelve areas to consider in your spend analysis if you don’t want to lose your hard earned savings.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023


Todays post is a favorite by Ron Southard our CEO from our SafeSourcing Archives

Our answer was that is actually a great questions and a tough one to answer if in fact it has not been planned for during the strategy process. We all know that there are all sorts of saving figures quoted in the e-procurement industry for just about any product or service available.

Here are 12 areas of focus to consider when trying to figure out not only your ROI on these projects, but more importantly how much of the savings made their way to the bottom line and what is your leakage percentage.

1. How clean was your GL data?
2. How clean were your specifications?
3. How long did it take you to award the business?
4. How long did it take you to test samples?
5. How long did it take you to sign a contract?
6. How long did it take you to accept your first delivery?
7. Was the first invoice for the exact price you contracted for?
8. Was the shipping and handling exactly as bid?
9. Were there any SOW change requests that raised pricing?
10. What P&L period are you reporting against?
11. What was the budget for this product or service?
12. Can you trace the spend to a specific P&L line item?

It would not be too hard to add another dozen items to this list. The answer here is that proper planning helps eliminate savings leakage. Don’t plan and it will hurt or erode some or all of your potential savings.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact us any time!

You should consider Lifecycle Costing when calculating savings on new business awards.

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

Today is a re-post from a long long time ago. What’s changed you ask? NOT MUCH!

It’s true that a reverse auction can create substantial low quote savings. However, much needs to be considered when tracking realized savings once the event has concluded and the award of business is ready to be made.

Lifecycle Costing is a procurement technique which considers operating, maintenance, acquisition price, and other costs of ownership in the award of contracts to ensure that the items or services to be acquired will result in the lowest total cost of ownership during the time the item’s function is required.

If a category is truly returning event savings, it should be able to be tracked from original delivery to contract termination on a companies detailed P&L. The trick is that many of the associated costs go to different departments on the P&L. If you don’t know which ones, your pre-event discovery was not complete and the odds of getting the actual savings reported are at significant risk.

So, give us a call.  And ask us about our e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services and our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers. We can get you better pricing on about any category of product or service.

Do you know how to spring clean your own vehicles? What about your fleet?

Monday, February 20th, 2023


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

If you did not know the first day of spring is coming upon us.  Sure we still have a few weeks of winter to go but spring is about a month away.  After this winter season of cold and strange weather our vehicles need a little extra care to clean away the winter grime caused by the snow, ice and salt.  We all know that we need the salt to help us make our commutes safer when winter storms occur but the salt is not good for our vehicles and can cause damage over time.  The salt used on the roads and parking lots can create chemical reactions that can corrode you vehicle especially if there is any exposed metal.  Two common parts of the vehicle that can corrode from the exposure are the fuel and break lines.  These are usually more susceptible because they are close to the undercarriage of the vehicle and take most of the impact of the salt damage.  To keep the damage to a minimum you should wash your vehicles throughout the winter to help remove any of the residues that may exist between storms.  And when spring does arrive soon you should find a reputable company that can do a thorough exterior detailing job.  These companies usually have equipment that can wash your vehicles more thoroughly and get hard to reach areas such as the undercarriage where most of the damage can occur.  Besides a thorough exterior cleaning, here are some other vehicle maintenances you should consider this spring.

  • Remove and Wash Floor Mats
  • Have Oil and Oil Filter Changed
  • Have your Battery Tested
  • Check Tire Pressure and Tread
  • Replace Wiper Blades and Top off Wiper Fluid
  • Check all Fluid Levels
  • Inspect Hoses and Belts
  • Thoroughly Clean Lights and Replace Bulbs if Necessary.
  • Have Your Brakes Inspected

If you need help finding a licensed maintenance company to maintain your vehicles, feel free to contact SafeSourcing.   We can gather all the necessary information for you and help you decide which company 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

Disaster Recovery Plan

Friday, February 17th, 2023


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

Recently there have been several major disasters in the news. Some are natural disasters, others due to carelessness, and even others due to war or political/religious conflict. Whatever the cause, innocent people will be affected, and help will be needed. So, what can be done now?

Right now, you can begin preparing for whatever might come. This is called your disaster recovery plan. These are plans set in place, so people know what to do when different emergencies happen. First, making sure people are safe is top priority during any kind of disaster. Having adequate alarm systems is one way to be prepared and ensure people are protected. Another way to be prepared is having employees trained on what to do during different disasters. Whether it is fire, flood, tornado, employees can be trained on where to go that is the safest. In addition, if you use a lot of data or have important files, having a backup of all data is important for any time disaster strikes.

If disaster does strike, be prepared to help and know what next steps can be. Rerouting supply chains, having back up production or distribution facilities, or reaching out to alternate suppliers can all be beneficial and can help keep things running after a disaster. Having supplier resources can also enable live saving goods to get to an area when in need. A procurement partner, like SafeSourcing, can help your organization with sourcing the services, supplies, or suppliers you need to help get your recovery plan underway.

For more information on what the SafeSourcing team can offer you, or on our Risk-Free trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.


Misconception: eProcurement cost reduction only works for commodities  

Thursday, February 16th, 2023


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

It’s too easy to be dismissive of a concept, especially when you have preconceived notions.

For years, conversations with prospective users and even some customers have often headed down a familiar path. At SafeSourcing, we’re talking about reducing spend and ending overpayment across all categories by an average of 24%. Then we learn that the contact is only hearing this in terms of some pre-defined set of categories. Usually that’s supply items or some other items the person deems are commodities.

What if I told you that the most impact in terms of raw dollars saved come from other categories? What if I were to say that the highest percentages of cost reduction often come from using eProcurement to source services and even custom items?

Some people would still not believe me or would still fall back on their misconceptions, even if I shared recent results like these.

  • Armored Car Services: 21.61%
  • Windows and Doors: 13.84%
  • Floor, Wall, Ceiling Tiles: 40.37% (incl. installation)
  • Cooler Glides and Shelves: 33.41%
  • Exhaust Hoods: 21.33%
  • Waste Removal: 24.04%
  • Employee Assistance Program: 55.19%
  • Common Area Maintenance (CAM): 15.97%
  • Promotional Signage: 33.34%

Here is a quick test:

  • When you think of eProcurement, what spend categories come to mind first?
  • Have you competitively sourced any of the categories in the list in the past 3 years?
    • If no, why not?

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.




Fail Quickly!

Wednesday, February 15th, 2023


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives.

Those of us who are too afraid to fail, inherently play things safe. Those of us who play it safe, don’t set “unachievable” goals.  Those of us who don’t set “unachievable” goals, don’t rethink our mental models of what is possible for achieving success.

Of course, no one will say failure doesn’t hurt. However, it doesn’t have to be crippling, if we approach it correctly. In weightlifting we have to allow the uncomfortable microscopic tears in our muscle fibers to occur before those cells can rebuild bigger and stronger. In our personal lives, it we have to be challenged and tested, and shown where our blind spots are before our character can be improved. In business, sometimes we need to surpass our own expectations of what is possible, and test that with both success and failure, before we will know what we or our organization is truly capable of.

Nathan, my second youngest brother, is more of a risk taker than I am, and I suspect there’s a lot I could learn from him. He’s traveled extensively, goes sky diving, purposely seeks out random strangers in public to sit and have lunch with, and generally is always trying new things that I’d rather not.  But he has a method about it; If the only reason he doesn’t want to take a risk is apathy, he takes it anyway. However, if the risk is so great that failure would be unrecoverable, he doesn’t go through with it. He has a lower and upper threshold for the risks he takes, so that he’s never too inactive, but also never betting more that he can afford to lose.

The point of failing quickly is not to take on gargantuan risks. In other words, we don’t go out and bet the farm just to prove a point. There are foolish ways of taking on excessive risk of course.

The point of failing quickly is to expand our self-imposed limitations of what is possible within the proving grounds of activity that we can quickly recover from should the experiment be a failure.

Please contact SafeSourcing if you’d like to discuss how this strategy can help your sourcing projects.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

Are you managing your suppliers or are they managing you?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023


Todays re-post is from our SafeSourcing Inc. Archives

In to many cases, for many companies the answer to the question above is who knows on both sides of the relationship. And unfortunately this will not change for many companies.

Historically the primary driver associated with the use of reverse auctions and other related e-RFX tools has been to reduce the cost of goods and services and reduce expense in large part, if a retail company saved money it was deemed to be a successful process for the retailer as well as the awarded vendor. What about the other suppliers? What makes it a positive for them?

Supply base management or the attempt at it is the newest focus area of many strategic sourcing suites. Many vendors do not offer this functionality today; in fact some have trouble describing what it is when asked. Although elements of this functionality exist within a variety of surround type service offerings, no one vendor offers complete functionality in this area today even though they may think they do. A significant reason for this is suppliers concern with the thought of being managed at all because it means giving up perceived control. Additionally, retailers, suppliers nor vendors have agreed as to what the correct Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) should be or how to collect the data that would allow you to manage them. As these types of tools are developed, the most successful supply base management tools will be those that can manage the largest supplier database to the continual benefit of both retailers and suppliers that participate and compete for their business

This author believes that the most probable result of this process will be a set of automated robust supplier scorecards that monitor and report on supplier performance versus a range of KPI’S that are applied against well-known quality guidelines resulting in a continuous improvement procurement methodology.

If you’d like to know how SafeSourcing can help improve and measure improvement in your e-RFX process please contact us!

As always, we look forward to and appreciate your comments.