Archive for the ‘E-procurement Solutions’ Category

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.


Are you sourcing a new category or cannot find a specification for a current category?

Monday, August 21st, 2023


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

Often when speaking with customers and prospects I am asked why SafeSourcing can reduce their current pricing as dramatically as we do.  My fist response to ask how often they source the category. The answers range from annually to every few years or longer. From there I ask them how they keep track of industry changes and evolution. This normally draws a blank look. My answer to them is that categories that they source even annually are evolving every day. Just think about waste removal the transition to a circular economy. What you might source for service today may not be the same as what is available six months from now, and at what cost SafeSourcing may source those categories dozens of times in a year and all of those changes are kept in our The SafeSourceIt™ Event Templates Library and are up to date to the present day. Often these templates are more complete than data the customers have on file.

Our SafeSourceIt™ Event Templates Library is available to customers of SafeSourcing Inc. This library is designed to shorten the process of procuring a variety of not for resale and for resale products by making SafeSourcing’ s best practices tools available to our customers to shorten the amount of work one must do to prepare for quality e-procurement events. For more information or a demonstration of this tool please contact

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.



Friday, July 21st, 2023


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

How does your procurement department define E-Procurement today?

The following is a generally good definition of E-Procurement. However, complete SaaS offered end to end solutions have continued to evolve over the years. Often solutions today are used across multiple solution providers as they can be turned on and turned off and integrated in a truly brief period.

eProcurement is a business to business exchange of goods or services facilitated by the internet. A complete set of e-procurement tools can include products for management of correspondence, bids, questions and answers, previous pricing, contracts and email. Although many Enterprise Resource Planning suites offere-procurementsolutions, the current generation of software is typically purchased on-demand or as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Elements of e-procurement can include request for information (RFI)request for proposal (RFP), and request for quotation (RFQ), which together are categorized as “RFX”.

If you’d like to learn more about SafeSourcing’s additional E-Procurement solutions that are part of our SaaS offered esourcing suite like SafeContract™, SafePO™, SafeContract™ and the SafeSourceIt™ Supplier Database please contact a SafeSourcing customer services associate.

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.


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.


Evaluating eProcurement Solutions – Part 5 of 5: Service

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023


Today’s post is our SafeSourcing Archive!

Strategic sourcing companies each have their own unique offering whether that is based on a price model, category focus, supplier database or some other defining trait, but the overall goal is to help their customers source products and services easier, smarter and with an end result that creates more value than the customer could achieve on its own. Over the past four days we will be looking at some of features and characteristics you should be looking at when evaluating a new or existing sourcing partner. Today we will close out the series by focusing on the one trait that should be examined closer than any of the other five; Service.

Having great data, tools, reporting, or technology will only be as good as the team helping you to run new projects and your partner should be as strong, if not stronger in their customer service offering than anything else they do. Today we will look at a few of the specific areas you should be looking at when evaluating your current or a new strategic sourcing partner.

Experienced – Sourcing experience across dozens of category is not something that every strategic sourcing has. There is a reason why some sourcing partners focus on travel, energy, and logistics only for their customers. Experience in sourcing events from both a consumer, sourcing partner, and supplier side is a big key to understanding the perspective of all the parties involved. This experience helps with the management of the suppliers as well as that of the customer to keep the projects moving and details and communication delivered. Well rounded strategic sourcing companies will have had sourcing experience in IT related products and services, software, warehouse materials and equipment, construction related goods and services, temporary services, For Resell goods, transportation and logistics, commodity goods, and normal indirect spend items to name a few.
Supplier management – The most difficult task in running a sourcing project, outside of collecting the data necessary to run the event, is managing the suppliers during the process. Management begins as soon as suppliers are contacted to participate in the event. Your strategic sourcing partner should be able to assist you with fielding all questions from suppliers, speaking to suppliers on your behalf to get them engaged in the process, handling objections they may have about the process, and training them on how to follow the process and tools with live support. Once a sourcing project begins, your strategic sourcing partner should manage the process and all communications so that your team can be allowed to focus on the important things they will do later. Support should continue through the entire process all the way until the project completes and suppliers have submitted everything requested.

Post event support – In some cases once the sourcing event is completed, handling and communication of the suppliers selected for award goes back to the customer. In many other cases, the sourcing event (RFI, RFP, RFQ) is just the beginning of the evaluation process. Many times samples will need to coordinated, presentations scheduled with the selection committee, scorecards and evaluation materials developed and distributed to the internal decision makers as well as agendas to the suppliers. These are all ways that good strategic sourcing partners stay involved and take the load of the sourcing process off of the customer. Many times the suppliers are used to the customer service member they have been dealing with and having that same person take them all the way through the process is a big advantage to the process going smoothly.

Many things should be looked at when evaluating a strategic sourcing partner and depending on the structure of your department, some characteristics will be more important than others but all should be considered at some point. For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with sourcing 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.

Evaluating eProcurement Solutions – Part 4 of 5: Tools

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023


Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

This week we have been looking at the different characteristics strategic sourcing companies and solutions have that should be evaluated when making a decision as to what is most important to your company. At the beginning of the week we looked at technology, data and reporting capabilities and the different aspects of each and the importance they could play in sourcing projects. Today we will look at the different types of tools strategic sourcing companies can sometimes offer that can make your job as a procurement professional event easier.

Information Gathering – In Tuesday’s blog we discussed the importance of a good supplier database and template library foundation to beginning a sourcing project. This addresses the external data but does not always help explain the internal spend data and specifications especially when the category is a new one to your company. Being able to send electronic surveys to resources within your company in a way that requires very little effort can save a procurement team hours of time in legwork but, more importantly, can ensure that the picture of your spend you are painting for potential suppliers is accurate. Being able to understand who in your company is buying something, what they are buying, how much they historically purchased, how much they expect to purchase and whether they like the current product and supplier are all details which will shape a very successful event and can be easily collected with an online survey tool.

RFx – The concept of moving from Request to Information to Request for Proposal to Request for Quote/Tender is not a foreign one in the procurement industry and virtually every strategic sourcing company offers some type of tool or service to support this flow. Where the differentiator begins to come in is how seamless the flow from one step to another is. Do suppliers need to learn multiple tools? Is it online? Are details from step automatically moved over into the preparation and documentation of the next step? Each step of the RFx process is unique but has common threads that tie each together. Good RFx solutions will tie these threads together in a way that reduces the time it takes run from beginning to end and the amount of repetitive tasks required of the suppliers with each step.

Result Management – The information is gathered, the project is complete and the results are better than you could have expected. The problem is that without the tools to put those results into effect, they become worthless. Being able to manage the results of your sourcing events is considered by many to be more important than the results themselves and can take several different forms. Top begin with is a catalog/ordering/purchase order system that will allow your company to place the orders they need at the new pricing you have negotiated. Implementing a catalog system can also prevent rogue spending from unapproved suppliers based on past history. Another useful solution is a contract management tool to track your contracts and important details and dates, ensuring that the contract will not roll over into a situation that costs you even more money than you saved. Managing both aspects of a new deal are critical to maintaining your project’s success.

Having covered the technical, data and tool aspects of strategic sourcing partners and tools, tomorrow we will conclude with the most important piece of the puzzle which is the service your strategic sourcing partners can offer you that can save your team hundreds of hours and provide experience where you may have none. For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you 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.