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.
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”→
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!”
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!
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.
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.
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 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.
The basis of any good business partnership is the ability to understand problems and develop a joint strategy to find a solution. In other words, communication and teamwork are essential. These were the central themes throughout NASPO’s 2018 Exchange conference this year in the Big Apple, New York, New York! It was here that purchasers and suppliers assembled to learn, discuss, and contemplate their relationships. Networking flourished while old friends reunited and new professional bonds were forged. The conference served as a platform in which buyers and suppliers took stock of innovative projects they had worked on together as well as learn about the vast resources NASPO has to offer. Conference-goers had the opportunity to attend large general sessions that featured keynote speakers and interactive, state government panels.
During a general session cleverly titled “Problem Solvers,” a panel of NASPO state members and suppliers sat on stage together to identify characteristics of effective supplier relationship management programs and discuss the impact of positive, open communication on the ability to reach successful procurement outcomes. Audience members were able to text their questions to the facilitator, who then asked the speakers to discuss them on stage. It was an effective way to outline strategies that could alleviate conflict in the state-supplier relationship, as well as keep all parties focused on solving the issues at hand. Although each session began with a script, it quickly morphed into a flowing, organic conversation between purchaser and supplier.
NASPO is excited to announce that we are now accepting nominations for the 2018 Cronin Awards from our member states! With criteria focusing on innovation, transferability, service improvement, and cost reduction, the Cronin Awards recognize outstanding state procurement initiatives and provide well-deserved appreciation to the state and its procurement personnel who have accomplished projects that have resulted in distinct benefits to their residents. Last year, in its 40th year, the Cronin Awards saw a record number of submissions and we are encouraging our members to continue the tradition by submitting, even more this year!
Have you ever wondered how the Cronin Award got its name?