Imagine this – a state agency has come to you with frustrations about a lack of communication from the central procurement office. They have not heard back from the office in over three days, and they are frustrated that they do not know what is going on with their solicitation. This is just one example of a frustrated customer situation you might run into in your operations. When these unhappy customers arise, there are steps you can take in order to recover from a bad customer service experience. Read more “Everything is NOT Awesome – Difficult Customer Situations”→
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.
This week we caught up with Cindy Lombardi, Chief Procurement Officer for the State of Colorado. Perfect timing too! NASPO’s 2019 Exchange Conference is being hosted in the beautiful capital city of Denver.
Cindy has served as Colorado’s Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) since March of 2015. As CPO, she launched the Procurement Code Modernization Initiative that has resulted in an improved procurement code and procurement rule changes for the state. Cindy has over 20 years of experience in purchasing and contracts for the federal government, the University of Colorado, and several state agencies including the Departments of Personnel & Administration, Public Health & Environment, Revenue, and Human Services. Cindy is a Director at Large on the NASPO Board of Directors and is currently serving as Conference and Events Champion. She has also served on the NASPO ValuePoint Management Board since 2015. Cindy is also currently the 2019 Chairperson of the NASPO Exchange committee and has been instrumental in the conception, planning and execution of the upcoming conference, April 9-11, 2019.
This week we caught up with Lisa Eason, Deputy Commissioner for the State of Georgia, and 2019 NASPO President.
Lisa has served as Georgia’s Deputy Commissioner of the State Purchasing Division since August of 2015. She is responsible for the administration of the State’s purchasing card program, the sourcing division which includes the agency sourcing, strategic sourcing, contract management, and data analytics units. She also manages the policy and training division which administers the state’s purchasing training program and the development and oversight of Georgia’s procurement policies and procedures. The Audit and Compliance Division, which is responsible for audits related to P-Cards and the purchasing process, also falls under her purview.
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”→