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Academic Forum

Academic Forum 2019

The third annual NASPO Academic Forum was hosted May 14-16 at Oregon State University. We were thrilled to take the forum to the West Coast with our partners at OSU! Although it was a bit of a trek for many of our attendees, the event was a success! This year, 70 attendees represented 24 states, 8 academic institutions, a strategic partner and even a handful of students. Academic Forum attendees, both academics and state members, support NASPO’s higher education initiatives with their passion for learning and collaboration.

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Academic Forum

Build Today for a Better Tomorrow

NASPO’s Higher Education initiatives are built upon our relationships with academic partners. After more than three years of working with these impressive academics and their students, the answer to a need of our membership often lies with one of our partner schools. NASPO encourages its membership to participate in academic partner career fairs, case competitions and many other events, but the ultimate goal is to build an example for the states to model when reaching out to their local institutions. NASPO has worked to establish relationships with top-tier Supply Chain Management programs across the country. Of course, the primary goal in everything we do is to serve our members, and these partnerships are no different.

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Cybersecurity

Data Privacy and Security: Where Are We in 2019?

Scary stories of cybersecurity incidents, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and/or data privacy violations have sadly become a part of life now. News reports, such as the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, show how private companies’ lax policies on data sharing and lack of proper auditing leave room for data misuse and abuse. Individuals are entitled to know what information private companies or government organizations have on them and how it is shared and protected. As citizens and consumer advocates are becoming more aware of data privacy and security risks, they are calling upon state and federal government to enact regulations so that living in the digital age doesn’t turn every-day social media users into commodities for companies that are willing to “trade” their personal information to make a profit. Read more “Data Privacy and Security: Where Are We in 2019?”
Customer Service

Relations Matter!

Agency relations and customer service is NASPO’s top priority for 2019. What an exciting topic to tackle as it is the first time it appears on NASPO’s Top 10 in the last two years! Current NASPO President Lisa Eason is a big supporter of highlighting agency relations initiatives across the country.
Improving relationships with state agencies not only increases the efficiency of procurements in the state but also makes the process and experience for both agency staff and procurement staff less tedious. However, many states have yet to implement extensive programs and initiatives due to the different puzzle pieces that need to come together to make the change effective. Improving agency relations and customer service is a complex task that requires both employees and management to change mind-sets and behaviors. At times, it requires organizations to restructure their operations to function in a customer-centric mindset rather than working in the traditional silos.

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Exchange

Learning, Networking and Partnering in the Mile-High City

NASPO hosted more than 500 state procurement professionals, suppliers and other guests, April 9-11, in Denver, Colorado, during the 2019 NASPO Exchange. The number of attendees included representatives from 42 states, as well as 166 companies that are supportive business partners to state government agencies. This year’s Exchange conference was co-hosted by NASPO ValuePoint. MMCAP, the Minnesota Multistate Contracting Alliance for Pharmacy, also provided support for Exchange by co-hosting the audio-visual for the event.

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Exchange

My First NASPO Exchange—Denver, Suppliers and Buyers, Oh My!

NASPO Exchange 2019 was an eye-opening experience. Some of you may or may not know, I have only been a part of the NASPO team since January 2019, so this was not only my first Exchange, but my first NASPO conference. My coworkers have been trying to prepare me for what exactly to expect. I’ve heard a lot of, “It’s going to be like no other professional conference you’ve been to!” and “Girl, you better pack at least three pairs of shoes.” I quickly found out that all of the above were true, and then some. Keep reading to hear about my first Exchange! Read more “My First NASPO Exchange—Denver, Suppliers and Buyers, Oh My!”
Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Cindy Lombardi

This week we caught up with Cindy Lombardi, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Colorado. Perfect timing too! NASPO’s 2019 Exchange Conference is being hosted in the beautiful capital city of Denver.
Cindy has served as Colorado’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) since March of 2015. As CPO, she launched the Procurement Code Modernization Initiative that has resulted in an improved  procurement code and procurement rule changes for the state. Cindy has over 20 years of experience in purchasing and contracts for the federal government, the University of Colorado, and several state agencies including the Departments of Personnel & Administration, Public Health & Environment, Revenue, and Human Services. Cindy is a Director at Large on the NASPO Board of Directors and is currently serving as Conference and Events Champion. She has also served on the NASPO ValuePoint Management Board since 2015. Cindy is also currently the  2019 Chairperson of the NASPO Exchange committee and has been instrumental in the conception, planning and execution of the upcoming conference, April 9-11, 2019.

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NASPO 2019

Happy Procurement Month!

Happy Procurement Month! Here at NASPO, we want to say thank you for not only the work you do in the month of March, but every month! We celebrate Procurement Month because this month gives us the opportunity to recognize your hard work, but also to help educate elected officials, vendors, and taxpayers about the work you do as your role of stewards of public trust. Please enjoy this short video about why procurement is important and how you can help us celebrate Procurement Month!
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Technology

Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture

The private sector has invested more than 1.4 billion dollars in blockchain since 2014. To put this number into context, this is on par with the amount of money spent on internet investments during the early 90’s! What do you know about blockchain? Personally, I knew almost nothing besides the fact it was a technology people were excited about and that it had something to do with Bitcoin. Luckily for me, Procurement U recently released a free course entitled “Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture”. This course provided me with a basic understanding of how blockchain works and explains it in a simple, approachable way through videos and interactive graphics.  As someone who is not the most technically savvy, I can say that this course helped me understand blockchain and made me excited about its potential uses. This course goes over how blockchain works and how it can be used in procurement. Take this Procurement U course to start exploring blockchain and its uses in your office!

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