Author: Kevin Minor

Green Purchasing

Not Another Green Blog

Everything you buy has a story. That story has a profound impact on our planet and community. Imagine, if you will for a moment, the butterfly effect. A pop-culture reference suggesting that a butterfly can flap its wings in Rio de Janeiro, causing a tornado in Kansas. Now apply this effect to a plastic water bottle.  The bottle, seemingly harmless, acts as a vehicle for your water.  Once its purpose is served, you throw the bottle in the garbage (or recycling bin) without much of a thought. But did you know before you even bought that bottle of cold, refreshing H20, it affected your surroundings? “The production of plastic water bottles requires up to 17 million barrels of oil each year. This amount of oil has the ability to maintain up to one million cars fueled for an entire year.” [i] Now, I’m not here to prevent you from buying bottled water or tell you to stop throwing away plastic bottles (although you should recycle them). I want to emphasize the importance that everything you buy has an incredible impact on our environment. More so, the purchasing power that states possess has a great impact on not only the environment, but economy and community as well.

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Talent Management

Eliminate these four Productivity Killers in 2020!

At NASPO, we know our members are usually involved in multiple projects at one time.  Not only is each project timely, and essential, but chances are it’s complex by nature too. Do you want 2020 to be your most productive year yet?  Let us help. Thanks to our friends at TopThink and Forbes, we want to highlight four common habits to avoid to help make you as productive as possible.
Read more “Eliminate these four Productivity Killers in 2020!”
Continuous Improvement Methodologies

Keeping Up with Continuous Improvement

No matter how well your office is running, there is always room for improvement! Consistently looking for ways to improve your processes can lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings in the long run. Models like Six Sigma and Kaizen are often used to help identify ways to improve on a day-to-day basis. This process of continuous improvement can help eliminate inefficiencies and wasteful activities or time-consuming steps in the procurement cycle. It’s about taking a critical look at your processes, finding gaps and opportunities for improvement. Read more “Keeping Up with Continuous Improvement”
News

Just Released: NASPO’s Mentorship Toolkit!

Do you have recruitment and retention issues in your office? Are you looking for a way to retain institutional knowledge in your department? Implementing a formal mentorship program in your office can have numerous benefits. Talent management strategies and increasing employee retention in state public procurement offices have been among NASPO’s Top 10 priorities for the past five years. Mentorship programs can be a relatively low-cost tool you can use to attract new employees. Formal mentorship programs provide your employees with continuing educational opportunities and are widely known to contribute to career success. Indeed, having a formal mentorship program is one of the criteria Fortune uses when creating their list of “Best Companies to Work For!”

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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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Contract Management

Proactive Contract Management for the Modern Procurement Professional

This article is a proponent of NASPO Best Practices: Ethics and Accountability white paper, and aims to augment research in proactive ethical practices through accountability, transparency, and conflict of interest. NASPO strives to emit leadership, excellence and, integrity while elevating the profession of public procurement through best practices.  As stewards of taxpayers money, it is imperative that  procurement staff not only choose the right path when dealing with an ethical dilemma, but the ‘best’ path, in order to remain beyond reproach in the public eye.

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Day in the Life

A Day in the Life: Jason Soza

This week we caught up with Jason Soza, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Alaska.
Jason has served as Alaska’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) since 2013. As CPO, he and his staff work to ensure understanding of and compliance with the laws and regulations that govern procurement for the State of Alaska, while also always looking for ways to do things better. Jason has nearly 20 years of experience in purchasing at all levels, from the front lines of an agency to his position now as CPO. Jason is a member and board member of NASPO and is NASPO’s President-elect for 2019.

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NASPO

What has NASPO done for you?

Through conferences, research, informative publications, and various member benefit programs, NASPO is dedicated to providing educational and information-sharing opportunities to the state government procurement community. Curious to learn more about what NASPO membership can do for you? Don’t take our word for it – check out this new video which features some of our members discussing the benefits of their NASPO memberships!
Ethics

Choosing the Best Path: Ethics and Accountability

Ethics and the professionalization of public procurement have been among NASPO’s Top 10 Priorities for elevating and advancing public procurement for several years. NASPO is excited to announce the release of a new research paper discussing best practices for applying ethics in public procurement.  NASPO’s Best Practices: Ethics and Accountability explores demonstrating accountability by choosing the best path; best practices in ethics programs; conflicts of interest and vendor relations; and adopting proactive transparency practices.  The paper also includes three case studies at the end of each section, which aim to delve more deeply into these interrelated topics and help illustrate the ethical dilemmas that state procurement officials may face.
The modern public procurement office is faced with ever-growing challenges in areas such as project management, performance, and employment. This paper helps to lay the groundwork for accountability through choosing the “best path,” performing due diligence in contract management, identifying conflicts of interest in vendor relations, and exploring the changing paradigm of transparency.  This NASPO paper was written as a collaborative effort of the Accountability, Transparency, and Conflict of Interest Work Group, led by Valerie Bollinger, Purchasing Manager, Division of Purchasing for the State of Idaho.