Category: Professional Development

Professional Development

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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Professional Development

3 Ways to Simultaneously Improve Employee and Customer Satisfaction

In the world of modern procurement, your office is constantly doing business with citizens, vendors, and government agencies. Leaving a lasting positive impression on your customers is a key component of your central procurement office’s ability to conduct its mission. Happier employees will help you accomplish those customer service goals.  Customer service and agency relations  is number one on the 2019 NASPO Top 10 Priorities, cementing that customer satisfaction is important to CPOs across the country. When the ultimate end user in every procurement transaction is the taxpayer, each step in the procurement process is important, including customer service.  In 2003, two Canadian policy analysts conducted a study concerning public employee’s job satisfaction and customer satisfaction with government goods and services. They discovered the relationship between employee and customer satisfaction is reciprocal in nature. By investing in employee satisfaction, you will simultaneously see improvement in your customer satisfaction and agency relations. That’s two improvements with one action – two satisfactions with one procurement stone. Read more “3 Ways to Simultaneously Improve Employee and Customer Satisfaction”
Professional Development

3 Procurement Leadership Models for the New Year

Centralization and strategic leadership continue to be focus areas for state procurement offices around the country in the new year. This article recaps key takeaways from the 2018 NASPO Annual Conference townhall session on the leading role of the state central procurement office and three existing procurement authority models: centralized, decentralized/delegated and the hybrid procurement authority models. All three models create efficiencies and savings for the state. However, the centralized procurement authority model maximizes resources and outcomes while providing increased oversight, accountability and consistent application of standards and policies statewide.

Continue reading if you are a public procurement leader looking to improve your strategy in 2019!

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Professional Development

Building a Sustainable Workforce Through College Student Outreach

Recruitment of emerging talent is an effort NASPO has focused on as an integral part of our higher education initiatives.. Since we began this project in 2017, we have attended supply chain management career fairs at each of our six academic partner schools. We take a two-pronged approach; at least one NASPO staff member attends to grab students’ attention and explain what public sector procurement is and why it is an excellent career opportunity; and state members attend to talk to students  specifically about their state’s career opportunities.
We have learned so much from the first career fairs we attended in 2016. In order to gain students’ attention, we e have colorful pop-up banners, NASPO “swag,” and more of a visible presence on these campuses. Through our work with our internship and scholarship programs, as well as speaking in supply chain management classes and supply chain student groups, we have increased our brand awareness. Now, we often have a small handful of students at each fair who come up to our table and know what we do! We have come a long way from that first fair, we still have work to do.
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Professional Development

Should I Get Certified?

Planning to take the CPPB or CPPO exams this fall? Wonder if the time and effort are worth it? NASPO is here to help!
If you are preparing to take the CPPB or CPPO exams check out the online prep courses available through NASPO. These courses are designed as a facilitated review of the UPPCC Body of Knowledge and can be accessed through the Procurement U Learning Management System (LMS).

The registration deadline for the fall courses is July 23.

Most professionals regularly ask themselves questions like, “How do I grow in my career?” or “How do I increase my credibility?” One of the most effective paths to achieving these goals is to obtain certification in your field. This is certainly the case in public procurement, where for decades certification has yielded benefits to the employee, their organization, and the profession as a whole.
For the employee achieving certification, benefits can include:

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Professional Development

Continuous Improvement Webinar – Find the Gap!

Recently, on a NASPO webinar aimed at helping state procurement officials determine what continuous improvement tools and methods might be able to do for them, presenters Jason Soza (CPO, Alaska) and Richard Pennington (NASPO Life Members and NASPO ValuePoint General Counsel) tried to solve a huge problem; the chickens keep getting run over by cars because they’re trying to cross the road…
Jason: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Richard: “To get to the other side.”
Jason: “Why did the chicken need to get to the other side?”
Richard: “To stretch its legs.”

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Professional Development

A Skillset for the Future

Procurement as a profession is evolving at a pace that is increasingly in step with technology. While procurement was once seen as a transactional, process-driven function, technology is freeing us up to play a much more strategic part in driving organizational efficiencies and savings. Gone are the days of hanging out in the basement, pushing through stacks of purchase orders, and making purchasing decisions based on hunches. We are now being brought to the forefront, breaking out of silos and using data to make smarter decisions that drive savings for the enterprise.
As this transformation occurs, procurement leaders need to recognize the shift in skills that is needed for their office to stay in front of the wave. Much of what we looked for in a procurement officer in the past came down to several soft skills, which still form the foundation of what we look for today: Are you a good problem solver? Can you work with a variety of personalities? How do you handle stress? With these soft skills in place, a resourceful and hard-working new hire could hit the ground running and learn the technical aspects of a procurement job on the fly.
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