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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Professional Development

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.
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Professional Development

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”
Contract Administration & 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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NASPO Events & Education

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 Events & Education

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 & Value of Competition

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.
NASPO Events & Education

The Problem Solvers

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.
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Technology & IT Procurement

Have a Safe Cyber 2018

It’s Monday morning and you have just arrived at work…congratulations!  You stroll in with sleep still in your eye as you overhear your coworkers reminisce about their excellent weekends.  You grab your Monday-sized cup of coffee and proceed to your desk, where everything seems just as you left it the Friday before.  Sitting down, you take a big gulp of coffee and flip on your computer.  “NOT AGAIN!” you cry, shaking your fist in the air.  As you shake out the frustration, you turn your attention back to your laptop, which is prompting you to “Please enter a new password.”  Begrudgingly, you attempt to reset your password, as something you will remember but “haven’t used in the past 60 days.”  Sound familiar? With so many digital platforms in today’s world, how are you supposed to keep up with all the information!? There’s a password for email, one for the Amazon, bank accounts, Facebook…the list goes on and on.
Frustrating? Perhaps.  Necessary? Absolutely.  But why?  Cybersecurity!

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