Archive for September, 2023

Best Practices to ensure that you have a sufficient supplier community for your eRFX process.

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023


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

Suppliers can be broken into multiple categories such as Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Distributors, jobbers etc.  SafeSourcing maintains a robust database called the SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database that consists of greater than 427,000 global suppliers. While this is our primary research facility for identifying suppliers that participate in our eRFX events, we also use other sources such as the Thomas Register, Alibaba, and a variety of Search Engine tools.

While it would be ideal for manufacturers, growers etc. to be the primary participant in an RFP or RFQ, for the most part these companies determine how and to whom they want to take their products to market. In many cases, Manufacturers refuse to go to market directly and often direct us to use their distributors. Quite often they will recommend a couple of distributors because distributors typically have value added services that they want to provide and may bid the base products differently even if they are receiving similar volume discounts. In some cases, there may only be a couple of manufacturers of a particular product. An example in the C-store space is spill bucket liners and drain plugs where historically there were only two manufacturers.

Once we have compiled and reviewed a list of suppliers internally for a category, we review it with our customers who may from time to time have the name of a supplier we are not aware of. Although that is rare. Upon approval from our customers we then send invitations out to the suppliers and await acceptance over a pre-determined period. After that time has expired, SafeSourcing will reach out to all suppliers whether they have accepted or not and encourage all suppliers to participate. We are well practiced at this methodology and do not accept no as an answer. Our team regularly goes through training as to handling objections from suppliers to convince them to participate.

Historically the average number of suppliers participating in eRFX events has been between 5 and 7. That is over many years with categories like hotels or temporary labor that included 100’s of participants. We quite often will have to invite more than the 5-7 average to get that many to accept. Ultimately it is up to the suppliers if they want to bid on our customers business.

Obviously, the number of suppliers we end up inviting, convincing to participate, training, answering questions and hosting increases SafeSourcing’s workload as the numbers grow. As such we have always charged a second event when the number of actual participants reaches 10 or exceeds twenty-line items.

While one may think that the larger the number of participants involved, the better the results will be, that is not actually the case. The spill bucket and drain plug category mentioned above, we have achieved 19.7 percent savings with just two participants and have hosted events with just one participant. Suppliers do not know how many others are bidding in any given event and that is part of the process for them not to know.

While customers may challenge participation from time to time, rest assured that SafeSourcing is continually driving to get as many participants involved as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about working with SafeSourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate. Make sure to ask about our risk free trial program.


Did you know APPLE changed the charging port again?

Friday, September 22nd, 2023


It’s been a few years since they did it, but they did it again.

The new iPhone 15 will have a new charging port, ditching the Lightning port that it came out with a few years ago.  When I first heard this I was thinking here we go again, time to throw out all of my recently purchased cables and buy something else from Apple at an expensive price.  The good news is that they finally did something right and the new charging port is USB-C which is the standard for other devices and not something that is proprietary to Apple.  This port is widely used in other smartphones, computers, gaming systems, tablets, cameras, and headphones.  So, you may already have some of these cables lying around your home or office.  Just think if you misplace your cable now you can just grab a cord from your laptop or one of gaming systems and not have to hassle with looking for the correct cable.  The change made by Apple was partly caused by a European Union mandate that requires all mobile devices to switch over to USB-C by late 2024.  The reason this standardization was put in place is so that people do not need to continue to purchase different cables for all of their devices.  It’s a little too early to tell but who knows Apple may end up getting rid of the USB-C port in the future and go to wireless charging.  They already removed the headphone port when they released the iPhone 7 to make it even slimmer than previous versions.  If you are thinking of upgrading to the new iPhone 15 here are a few other new features to research.

  • New Titanium Design
  • 48 Megapixel Camera
  • 120Hz Display
  • New Active Button
  • More Repairable Design
  • Improved Imaging Software
  • Brighter Display

If you are looking to purchase new smartphones or devices for your company 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, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.  We have an entire team ready to assist you today

Seasonal Preparations

Monday, September 18th, 2023


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

Whenever we see the seasons change, it’s easy to just enjoy the changes as they come. For many people, that means cooler temperatures, favorite sports teams playing, and changing of foliage. For many other people, that means preparing for what most aren’t yet thinking about.

You may be surprised to learn that right now is the time to prepare for the next few seasons. This means having your snow removal company lined up and having agreements in place. You may even want to get a jump on your winter supplies.

While many retailers like to pull holiday decorations and festivities out into the store ahead of time, you can benefit from doing so supply searches ahead of time too. While your organization might not need Halloween candy or pumpkins pies, you might need ice melt or extra windshield wash fluid in stock. If you run out of stock, they can be much harder to find and you can’t sell or use what you don’t have.

Thinking ahead and planning ahead can save you time and money. For instance, if you don’t have someone for your snow removal and it snows early in the season, you might just lose out on business if a competitor has their lots and sidewalks cleared.

A procurement partner, like SafeSourcing, can help your organization not only determine the categories you could benefit from sourcing, but also help with every step along the way.  We can work for you or with your team to find the services or supplies you need from vendors that can help.

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.


He Who Has the Gold or BITCOIN

Thursday, September 14th, 2023



Today’s re-post with a twist is written by Ivy Ray, Senior Procurement Specialist at SafeSourcing Inc.

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “He who has the gold, or BITCOIN today makes the rules”, believed to be coined by the writers of the comic strip “The Wizard of Id” originally published in “The Dallas Morning News” in 1964 and later became syndicated. The phrase has been commonly used in reference to oil, one of our most lucrative resources. Currently the oil of the digital era is data. Data rules the world and technology is changing our economies, societies and daily lives.

Our personal data is constantly being collected by retailers and service providers that we utilize every day. Initially this practice was designed as an effort to discover the customers’ likes, dislikes, preferences, needs, and goals and then use that information to shift gears to better meet their needs in the future. Also this assists the supplier in retaining customers by creating incentives for repeat purchases. Our data is valuable and we give it freely in exchange for access, or for discount offers and select promotions.

In some cases, it simply gets taken from us by use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software such as Facial Recognition Systems and Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA). Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant are at the forefront, so it’s no surprise that the current giants that “deal in data”, are Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. They are the five most valuable listed firms in the world. Amazon has been systematically collecting data from its customers since its inception as a book reseller in the mid ‘90s and now runs a cloud service and it’s the most powerful cloud service in North America. The global intelligent virtual assistants market size is expected to reach USD 25.63 billion by 2025.

Information from marketing campaigns, customer service inquiries, and purchase histories are encoded and used to run predictive analytics, and projections. The data utilized must be based on complete and correct data. If the data is not complete and correct then projections will have limited value. We all create and utilize data daily. Creating quality data the first time saves time and money in the long run.

Although data is an essential tool, it is only as valuable as its quality. Remember the garbage in, garbage out (GIGO) concept, the quality of output is determined by the quality of the input. As Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

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 Representative. We have an entire team ready to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.


How does your company protect their important non-contract documents?

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023


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

How does your company protect their non important noncontract documents?

Every company, in fact every individual has important documents that they would like easy access to as well as tracking and check in and checkout sharing features to maintain continuity and history of use. While maybe not to the degree of a contract, but then again why not?

SafeDocument™ is a document repository that allows companies to collaborate on documents through an online tool that is a cloud-based SaaS offering available through simple internet access. This tool Provides document sharing and collaboration options where users can organize, edit, protect, and track their documents.

SafeDocument™ includes safety features and controls that enable users to safely share large files across their organization, including the ability to save and recall multiple versions of a document and a notification system that alerts users when changes to the document have occurred.

Implementing SafeDocument™ provides companies with a cost-effective alternative to enterprise content management solutions that is safe and easy to use.

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. These include but are not limited to SafeContract™, SafePO™, SafeDocument™ and our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database that includes over 557,000 vendor/suppliers.

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



Category Development Index (CDI)

Monday, September 11th, 2023


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

How do you follow the trend in the categories that you source? If you only source them once a year or less frequently, does it make sense to talk to a partner that sources them globally dozens of times a year like SafeSourcing?

A Category Development Index, or CDI, is a trend analysis that indicates the turnover of sales of a given productcategory in a specific area. The CDI can give vital data for marketers to allocate advertising to specific areas maximizing product category knowledge and profit. The category Development Index is often used in conjunction with the Brand Development Index or BDI.

SafeSourcing is an eprocurement company that operates across multiple industries. As such we have specific experience in almost any commodity, service or capital related spend. Our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database provides access to suppliers across multiple categories in order to support single or multiple source opportunities both near shore and offshore. To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.



Case Cubes and Full Load Shipments

Friday, September 8th, 2023


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

How does your company go about reducing your freight costs, and where do you start?

We all know that a full truck load versus less than a truck load will reduce the cost of your purchases primarily based on shipping costs. So how do you go about figuring this out?

You have to start somewhere so how do you define a case cube, and how many cubes does it take to create a full truck load? A case cube is a standard measurement used to calculate a shipping container’s volume. Calculating the case cube accurately is important in making sure that the warehouse space allocated for the shipment is sufficient. This is based on the size, rather than the weight of a shipping container. This is done by measuring the cases’ height, length, and width.

SafeSourcing is an eprocurement company that operates across multiple industries. As such we have specific experience in almost any commodity, service or capital related spend including shipping and freight costs. Our SafeSourceIt™ Global Supplier Database is an often used source for these alternate suppliers. To learn more, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

Happy Labor Day Weekend 2023

Friday, September 1st, 2023


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

Do you know how many products are affected by the price of corn?

Here are an easy bakers dozen of the more than hundreds for you to ponder. How do they affect your purchasing? Many of you probably have no idea! The good news is that SafeSourcing can help.

1. Alternative medicine
2. Chemicals
3. Bio-fuel
4. Food
5. Feed
6. Sweeteners
7. Starch
8. Beverage Alcohol
9. Plastics
10. Fabrics
11. Adhesives
12. Fish Bait
13. Herbal Supplements

If you’d like to understand how SafeSourcing takes into account this type of commodity information when sourcing your products, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.