Archive for June, 2023

What is the benefit of a ranked reverse auction?

Thursday, June 29th, 2023


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

A tool that can be effective when running a reverse auction is called ranking. While this feature is not used all the time, it can be of strategic importance when trying to get to the best net landed cost for products that have very slim margins at the supplier level. The feature can be set up to let all suppliers know where they rank or a select number of suppliers like the top five (5). The feature can also be turned on for a specific time during the auction like in the last 5 minutes. As an example, you might have tight bidding for a particular commodity-based product. Only the low bid vendor knows that they are indeed the low bid and resultingly is not entering any more price adjustments. If ranking is deployed, vendors can find out if they are 2nd or 3rd etc. and this may entice them to try one more or make multiple more entries if their desire to win the business is strong enough. This is particularly true if the bidding activity has been robust to a point with the low-price indicator switching back and forth between multiple vendors.

It is the deep understanding of markets along with the use of tools like ranking amongst others that are included in strategy reviews with our customers that allows SafeSourcing to regularly exceed customer expectations across all spend areas. Our average annual savings against all categories are more than 24% beyond what you can negotiate on your own.

SafeSourcing is a Procure to Pay SaaS based provider of a number of e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services that are part of our SaaS offered SafeSourceIt™ eSourcing suite.

For more information, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate.



A REPOST, Maximize your savings with eProcurement

Wednesday, June 28th, 2023


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

Now that you are using eProcurement as part of your company’s procure-to-pay initiatives, you will likely want to get the most ROI from the investment and focus on projects that will be the most impactful to the company’s results.

There are two ways I always advise a client to make sure they are able to reach their goals.

First, source as much as you possibly can through RFQ. You are already buying the product or service, so take one last step of making sure the vendors also go through an RFQ process. SafeSourcing will do most of the work to prepare using whatever specifications or requirements you are already using and SafeSourcing will also work with all the vendors. There is not much more you need to do, but the upside for savings potential vs. traditional negotiation is dramatic. Bottom line: the more dollars you put through your RFQ solution, the more savings dollars you will generate.

Second, once you have concluded the RFQ, you will have an opportunity to make sure you are getting the most from that effort. Take that opportunity. In a typical SafeSourcing RFQ, we are going to report on many metrics. Let us just focus on two, All Low Quotes Savings and Low Company Savings. The All-Low Quotes Savings is a figure that if you were able to split the award and offer each item to the lowest vendor, that would be the savings. In RFQs with many items, it is often higher than Low Company Savings. Low Company Savings is a figure that represents the highest overall savings from one vendor. The piece of advice post-RFQ is to do whatever you can to close the gap between Low Company and All Low Quotes to get your award of business as low as is possible. SafeSourcing can help in that stage too.

That is just two tips to maximize your savings, but if you follow these, you will be setting yourself up for success and finishing strong.

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.


Same Question a Year later! Are you paying the same for less?  

Tuesday, June 27th, 2023


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

With all of the prices rising some companies are deciding to keep the prices the same but reduce the amount of product that goes into the packaging.  If you are not yet aware of this, it is called shrinkflation.  Shrinkflation is the practice of reducing the size of a product while maintaining its original sticker price.  This practice is usually used by companies in the food and beverage industries to increase profit margins or maintain them when there are rising input costs.  This practice is not new but it does escalate during times of inflation.  Companies are trying to find ways to deal with the rising costs for their ingredients, labor, packaging and high cost of transportation.  One of the main reasons for this practice is that manufacturers know that customers will notice if a product increases in price but they may not realize that a package may contain less product.  Most consumers do not pay attention to the weight, quantity or number of sheets contained on a roll of toilet paper.  But they would however notice if the price increased from their last time of purchase.  So when you are out shopping next time you may want to pay attention to the products you purchase and maybe search for an alternative one instead.  Below are some products that have been reduced.

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Paper Towel Rolls
  • Tissues
  • Chips
  • Gatorade
  • Ice Cream Cartons
  • Yogurt
  • Family Size Boxes of Cereal
  • Candy Bars
  • Coffee
  • Cat Food
  • Dog Food
  • Trash Bags
  • Toothpaste

Interested in learning how SafeSourcing can help your company save money during these challenging times?  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.


You can still improve gross margin and net earnings substantially in this market.

Monday, June 26th, 2023


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

Example: Prove me wrong if you think you can!

Assume a $150M Retail Company with industry earnings of just one percent or $1.5M. Additionally cost of goods for this company is 70 percent or $105M. Let’s also assume this company were to only source ten percent of their for-resale COGS or above the gross margin line spend or roughly $11M. With below industry average savings of only ten percent, total savings generated would be $1.1M which is a direct impact to net profitability. If all other segments of the P&L perform to plan and all savings are recovered during the same business calendar year net profitability would increase to $2.6M or a 73% improvement.

NO BS Here! If you don’t believe me, I will be glad to personally sit down with your CEO or CFO and Finance team and prove it to you! Imagine what else you could do to earnings if you also attacked your Expense in the same way.

Companies can begin with SafeSourcing almost immediately (SaaS/Cloud offering) with no risk (Cost Neutral Pilots) and no IT involvement at all, why don’t more companies use eProcurement tools. That’s a great question! Probably because they are embarrassed to not already be getting these results.

If this author were you, I just could not ignore this type of opportunity. If you’d like to learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager. Or me.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.


Why don’t you use Reverse Auctions?

Friday, June 23rd, 2023


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

 Understanding a Reverse Auction according to Investopedia

In a reverse auction, the buyer puts up a request for a required good or service. Sellers then place bids for the amount they are willing to be paid for the good or service, with the winner being the seller prepared to accept the lowest amount.

Reverse auctions gained popularity with the emergence of internet-based online auction tools that enabled multiple sellers to connect with a buyer on a real-time basis. Today, reverse auctions are used by large corporations and government entities as a competitive procurement method for raw materials, supplies, and services like accounting and customer service.

Here’s a real simple truth! If you are not using this tool, you are paying way more than you might think. And your team cannot get anywhere near the pricing that reverse auctions generate. I watched a large company yesterday reduce the cost of any office supply category by 31% beyond what they negotiated.

You can view my comments from an earlier post titled Just what do we mean by eProcurement White Glove Services that supports why our savings average over 24% better than what companies can do on their own most of the time.

SafeSourcing is a Procure to Pay SaaS based provider of a number of e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services that are part of our SaaS offered SafeSourceIt™ eSourcing suite. That includes our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database  that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers.

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


What are you and your procurement team looking at? CPI, Inflation, Cost of Goods?

Thursday, June 22nd, 2023


Today’s repost is still relevant from Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

So many companies in so many industries are struggling with their supply chain today. Most of the blame is on the Pandemic, supposed government assistance and other calamities such as weather and wildfires. All of these have had an impact that has resulted in poor labor pools and shrinking commodity availability. This has resulted in a historic increase in the Consumer Price Index that looks like it will not slow anytime soon.

The Consumer Price Index CPI in the United States is expected to be 273.16 points by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. In the long-term, the United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) is projected to trend around 281.24 points in 2022 and 286.59 points in 2023, according to our econometric models. That’s a further 5% increase from where we sit today. So, guess what, your prices for products and services are not going down any time soon. To believe that they are is folly. Waiting for them to or for the markets to stabilize is just not a sound procurement strategy.

However, that is just what many companies are doing. There is a hunker down philosophy until we get this figured out. To me, that is a cop out strategy that supports doing less with less. Less employees, so let’s source less stuff. Let’s stick with current vendors even though they are raising prices almost daily and based on the above numbers will continue to into the foreseeable future.

What’s the answer? It’s pretty simple actually. Augment your staff with companies that have the tools and the knowledge to mitigate your workload and improve your costs and service. Companies like SafeSourcing. Just today I watched a company use our resources to source sanitary wipes. Eleven (11) suppliers participated in the bid. The low supplier offered a cost reduction of 21% on all items. More surprisingly the total of all low quotes would reduce costs by a staggering 36% offering some additional negotiation prior to award. This is in an up market. We see these types of results regularly. Because of our SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database, we know where the suppliers are that can offer you the  best pricing and best service levels that support your needs. Because we run categories dozens of times in a year, we may well understand current issues in the marketplace better than you do.

So, if you want to keep paying higher and higher prices and charging your customers more and maybe losing some, keep doing things the same way. If you really would like to lower your costs in a historically up market, contact SafeSourcing  because we can help.


Trading Economics


Wednesday, June 21st, 2023


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

We all buy things, and we generally look for the best deal we can get, but how do you know you are getting the right thing? Recently a friend tried out a new shopping website and found a great deal on a car jack. This is something that we could all use if we do our own maintenance on cars or just want to be prepared if we need to change a tire. This particular site offered what seem like a reasonable price, much less than you usually see, but not low enough to trigger red flags. So, the car jack was purchased, and they awaited its arrival.

A few weeks later when it arrived, this car jack was approximately three inches high. This was some sort of tiny model of a car jack, and well above the price something like this would seemingly go for. After double checking the website and reviewing the details, this car jack was indeed just three inches high and through some creative photography, no one would be the wiser that it wasn’t full size unless you read the specifications.

There is an important lesson here. You must read specifications carefully to know that what you are purchasing is the right product. This will help you get what you need, but also help you to compare and understand any differences within that category of product. Sometimes by reading about what you think you need; do you discover you may in fact need something else.

This idea goes for sourcing as well. When looking for a product or service, your specifications should be clear and detailed, because otherwise you might get a miniature car jack that only works for small model cars. A procurement partner, like SafeSourcing, can help you come up with the right specifications for the product or service you need and also help to find those that would be a good fit in providing that service of product.

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.


Should Individuals and Company’s be switching to Hybrid vehicles?

Friday, June 16th, 2023


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

If you are in the market for a new vehicle and have been paying attention to gas prices lately you may want to investigate an electric or a hybrid.  If you want to stay on the cheaper side you may want to consider the hybrid over the fully electric because they seem to be better value at this time.  A hybrid vehicle can save you on gas because they can get over thirty-five miles per gallon compared to a standard gasoline engine vehicle, which is about a forty percent improvement.  This is done by combining an electric motor with a gasoline engine.   When driving, the vehicle can switch between the electric motor and the gas motor and during some conditions both are used simultaneously.  This results in less gas being used, which gives you a better fuel economy than vehicles that just have a gasoline motor.  The electricity used comes from a high voltage battery pack and does not have to be plugged in to charge because the charging occurs by the gas engine and by capturing energy from deceleration.  Therefor when making long trips you do not have to plan out where you may have to stop to charge the battery unlike a full electric vehicle.  Below are some of the advantages of hybrid vehicles.

  • Lower Fuel Costs
  • Immediate Torque
  • Tax Incentives
  • Lower Emissions
  • Possible Use of HOV Lanes
  • Lack of Idling
  • Value Retention
  • Dependability

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


Work Ethic, Work from Home and Return to Office!

Thursday, June 15th, 2023


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

Recently we bought a new home near where our children live. It sits on the water but requires a lot of renovations and updates. As such we have been doing a lot of personal sourcing, so thank God for our career choice.

One thing I have been able to observe is the variety and quality of work performed differs drastically from provider to provider. I will not trash those that have performed poorly because they have been fired and I ended up choosing them. That happened because they showed up late, left early, prepared poorly, cleaned up awfully and communicated terribly for just some examples.

However, one individual stands out as to what I would be looking for in someone that works for me. He is a jack of all trades and a master of many from replacing a drainpipe to finish carpentry and beyond. He is of a specific age group closer to mine. The first day he arrived to begin work was at 7:45 a.m. He was not in pajamas, was well groomed and dressed appropriately for the work to be done that day. His preparation was fantastic, his cleanup impeccable and communication as to what was to be done (SOW) and any open issues (change Order) spot on. He brought his coffee and water with him and took a one-hour lunch break.

I’m sure that in today’s work from home environment and the push to return to the office have a lot to do with the lack of this type of quality in today’s workforce regardless of industry.

Many years ago, after the service and college, when beginning my career at a very large well-known company, my dad said to me, be the first to show up in the morning, the last to leave at night and work harder than anyone else does. Great advice and hard to find in today’s workforce either from home or in the office.

I don’t hire folks like this So, what are you seeing?

SafeSourcing is a Procure to Pay SaaS based provider of a number of e-Procurement solutions and associated white glove services that are part of our SaaS offered SafeSourceIt™ eSourcing suite.

For more information, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Associate. if you want quality representation from true professionals


If you’re reading this, you’re overpaying for everything.    

Wednesday, June 14th, 2023


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

Most readers will see this title and keep scrolling. Fewer will click to read part of the post. Fewer still will read the entire post. Almost nobody will do anything about it.

This entire post is 215 words. It takes 15 minutes on the phone to learn more. It is invaluable to your company to invest the time.

Last week, I shared a post about a wide variety of spend categories and the overpayment we corrected – or savings we created – for our customers. Across those 9 categories the average savings was 28.79%. A link to that post is here.

With all the excuses flying around like global conflict, recession fears, inflation, and whatever other excuse du jour, it’s amazing that more companies fail to step up to the task and stop overpaying.

Perhaps we’re all too desensitized to cost increases. Maybe we believe the cost increases are all correct and appropriate to the market.

But what if they are not? What if the costs are rising and it is increasing vendors’ margins while further reducing yours?

I hope you made it to this point. We offer a 100% risk-free trial to prove what we say we can do. You invest the time; we prove our value.

You made it this far, so why not take the next step?

For more information, please contact SafeSourcing.