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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In early April, NASPO leaders met with academic partners at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI to discuss common challenges faced when trying to attract and retain qualified talent in the profession of state procurement. The 2018 NASPO Academic Forum provided an opportunity for NASPO leaders and academics to network, identify additional opportunities for collaboration, discuss data collection that will support future NASPO initiatives, and highlight the accomplishments and ongoing efforts of the Procurement U Higher Education initiative.
Since 2016, NASPO’s Top Ten Priorities for State Procurement has included “Staff Recruitment and Retention” as an issue many state procurement offices have been facing. This year’s Academic Forum shed some light on this issue and helped state members understand what the future workforce will look like and how to react to staffing challenges they have faced and are still facing today.
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