For nine years, we've been here in Mississippi, showing our clients again and again that a truly competitive bid, administered in real time with a neutral specification, is the key to bringing true value to their bid event.
It started nine years ago on a sunny April day with a garbage bag bid at City Hall in Starkville, Mississippi. Fifty four minutes and 112 bids after the bidding started it was over. We did a little math with the department head and discovered that based upon the previous year's spend and the anticipated spend for the current year, we had achieved a 27% decrease in pricing.
The City of West Point was next. And again, the subject bid was garbage bags. The decrease was 23% this time. Heavy equipment came up for West Point the next month, with a 14% savings under budget, for a total of $170,000. The Mayor, Scott Ross, suggested that we start keeping a record of how much money Southern Procurement had saved the City of West Point, so we did. We were up to $195,000. Street repair came along, and for a variety of reasons, that number skyrocketed to $810,000. Today, Scott Ross, who is now the former Mayor of West Point, will tell you that we saved his city around a million dollars.
Noxubee County's Heavy Road Equipment Bid followed soon thereafter with a 12% savings versus budget, and a 19% savings versus an existing bid on a lowboy trailer straight from the manufacturer.
Newton County saved 14% on garbage trucks from the same manufacturer. Not once, but two years in a row.
Scott County, Coahoma County, Yazoo City. They and others have all seen Southern Procurement's bid process and all have had the opportunity to save money with us.
Today, it's nine years later. While our scope is greater, the range of our relationships is more vast, and the size of our organization has grown, our relentless commitment to savings in far more categories than just spend is stronger than ever. We talk to school districts about saving money on spend in such a manner that will also save them money in the accounts payable and procurement departments. We talk to groups about creating buying power through relationships, about communicating together, buying together, and staying together for more and more buying and negotiating power. In short, in the last nine years we've gone from a company who runs reverse auctions to a company who takes the time to find areas of opportunity for our clients. I simply cannot imagine a more rewarding work experience.
Come join us on our journey and see where we go next with our friends and clients who become friends. Thank you for taking the time to read about us and our history. I challenge you to become part of our shared future today.
- Vaughn Blaylock, Southern Procurement
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About Our Logo
Years ago, my mother, who was an amazing artist, painted a beautiful picture of a magnolia blossom flanked with green leaves in the prime of their health. Growing up in the South, the magnolia tree was always her favorite. When we moved from North Carolina to Idaho Falls, Idaho when I was ten, I remember that she always kept magnolia branches and leaves and flowers in a vase to remind her of her home, The South. She painted that picture and hung it on the wall in her bedroom so that she could see if every day when she woke up.
My mom passed away in 2016, and when I started thinking about the process by which we would start our new expansion, I decided that a new logo - something that really identified where we are from at Southern Procurement - was in order. The magnolia kept coming to mind, but though I thought about it over and over, I couldn't figure out how to make it work in the context of a logo, so I set it aside and moved on to another part of my expansion plan.
In March of 2017, my friend and artist, Claire Houston, was over for the evening, and we started talking about the business. I told her that I was in the beginning phases of putting my expansion plans in motion, but that I thought that my logo was worn out and tired, and that what I really wanted was something that had to do with a magnolia. Without hesitation, she asked if she could create it for me, and of course I told her that I would be honored to have her do this for us.
Two weeks later, Claire came to the house for the evening again. With her were photos of the painting she had done of what is now our logo. Although she had never seen my mom's painting, and I had never described it to her, it's an almost carbon copy of the painting she did back in 1982. It's our logo now, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Thanks, Claire. You're wonderful.