Tag: NASPO best practices

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.

Read more “Customer Service to Agency Stakeholders”

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”
NASPO Events & Education

A Day on the Team: NASPO ValuePoint

For 2020, we are expanding our Day in the Life series, interviewing different NASPO/NASPO ValuePoint teams. This series will give you an inside look at the work of a NASPO/NASPO ValuePoint team.  This week we caught up with some of the staff of NASPO ValuePoint including: Chief Operations Officer (COO), Sarah Hilderbrand; Cooperative Contract Lead Coordinator (CCLC), Ted Fosket; Cooperative Contract Coordinator (CCC) , Jeff Holden; Cooperative Contract Coordinator III (CCC III), Voight Shealy; and Director of Administrative Services, Lee Ann Pope
NASPO ValuePoint is the cooperative contracting division of NASPO and facilitates administration of the NASPO cooperative group contracting of state Chief Procurement Officials (CPOs) for the benefit of state departments, institutions, agencies, and political subdivisions; as well as other eligible entities including cities, counties, special districts community colleges, universities and some quasi-governmental and nonprofit organizations.
Keep reading to get to learn more about NASPO ValuePoint and what a day on their team looks like!

Read more “A Day on the Team: NASPO ValuePoint”

Market Research

Another Resource for your Procurement Toolbox: PTAC

 Like most problem-solvers, procurement professionals have a metaphorical toolbox that they reach into from time to time to assist in acquiring best value. In this article, we discuss one of the tools in the public procurement toolbox, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). In case you haven’t utilized this tool before, let’s get you familiar with it! A guiding principle of public procurement is the maximization of competition. PTACs help to increase bid participation by working one-on-one with small businesses and assist them in competing for government contracts.

Read more “Another Resource for your Procurement Toolbox: PTAC”

Data Analytics

Meaningful KPIs in Four Easy Steps

Have you been tasked with developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your organization and don’t know where to begin? This quick primer can put you on the fast track!
We’ve all heard different variations of the phrase, “what gets measured gets done,” but how much of that is really true? What and how much of our activities do we need to measure to know whether or not we have achieved the desired results, and what changes to make moving forward?
Measuring and tracking key activities can incentivize employees to perform well and achieve success in specific areas. However, sometimes organizations can fall into the “metric trap” and drive for raw activity numbers rather than focusing on truly measuring key activities that influence their success. So how can we avoid inverse response behavior, where managers and employees end up focusing too much on numbers? Here are a few key questions you should ask before setting out on a performance measuring journey:

Read more “Meaningful KPIs in Four Easy Steps”

NASPO Events & Education

Surveys that Matter

How many surveys have you completed this year? Chances are you have already participated in several reviews and customer satisfaction surveys. The real question is how many surveys we complete actually matter? In today’s big data world, businesses need to gather data and understand customer behavior in order to gain a strategic advantage or identify new business opportunities. Requests to participate in customer satisfaction surveys, guest surveys after returning from a domestic or international travel, or surveys to evaluate your recent dentist’s visit have become a part of life. The average consumer seems to be bombarded with a lot of “tell us how we did/tell us about your visit” surveys and requests for feedback. Researchers try to strike the right balance between gathering the right amount of information while being mindful of survey fatigue which can lead to low response rates. Rightfully so.
If you are interested in a survey that matters, a survey that offers a comprehensive nationwide perspective of state procurement practices, look no more! NASPO has the best vantage point to provide insight into how various state central procurement offices handle the procurement of goods and services across the country and infer valuable trends. NASPO’s Survey of State Procurement Practices is a comprehensive data collection, and the longest running survey for the association.

Read more “Surveys that Matter”

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.
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!

Read more “Have a Safe Cyber 2018”