Tag: Customer Service

Agency Relations & Customer Service

Customer Service to Agency Stakeholders

A successful procurement relies on quality customer service from the procurement specialist.  An important component of customer service is early collaboration between agencies. The initial interaction provides the procurement specialist the opportunity to establish trust and start a relationship through personal engagement with agency stakeholders. This is the best time for the specialist to set clear expectations, listen and respond to concerns, and build a partnership.

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Professional Development

Reflecting on the Pandemic: Networking

You, like many people, may feel dread in hearing the word “networking.” You are not alone, according to one study from Harvard Business School, people feel gross about networking being pushed by their superiors because of the feeling of how transactional it can be. That same study showed, however, that people do feel good about organic (or self-initiated) networking. Networking can be good for not just you as an individual but also good for your department and organization. Read more “Reflecting on the Pandemic: Networking”
Professional Development

Everything is NOT Awesome – Difficult Customer Situations

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”
Solicitation Methods

Black Swans: Anticipate Your Supply Chain Reactions

In a report released in late April , IBM’s Institute for Business Value weighs in on how organizations can reduce vulnerabilities through smarter supply chains. As supply chains start to react to the pandemic and deploy permanent changes in their processes, how can procurement officials brace for the change?
In this post we explore what changes supply chains are anticipated to make, and what those changes mean for public procurement officials. Read more “Black Swans: Anticipate Your Supply Chain Reactions”
Market Research

Back to the Value

Thirty-Five years ago, when the Value Chain Model was first introduced, procurement was viewed  narrowly as cut and dry cost savings. But as suppliers become more citizen-centric, central procurement officers (CPOs) need to become more value-aware of procurement’s unique position. Public procurement should no longer be viewed narrowly for cut and dry cost savings, but for the additional value the procurement process can add as a strategic partner.   Read more “Back to the Value”

Protests

To Protest a Bid, or not to Protest?

While not a Shakespearean existential inquiry, a vendor who did not win a competitive bid for a public contract may be faced with a critical question: “Should I file a bid protest to challenge this award decision, or not?”

Bidders who have standing want to exercise their right to protest to correct alleged improprieties. Sometimes vendors file what some would call “frivolous,” or “sore loser” protests, after the fact, when some of the questions could have been addressed before a decision was made to award the contract. Read more “To Protest a Bid, or not to Protest?”

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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NASPO Events & Education

A Day in the Life: Lisa Eason

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.

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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”