Tag: technology

Professional Development

Major Procurement Trends: Helping Your Office Move Forward

In the past twelve months, what significant challenges has your procurement office faced? Have you had internal conversation about the struggle to replace a retirement-age workforce? Did you have to adjust in order to overcome a supply chain disruption caused by a major weather event? Chances are that you have- and you are not alone. For every qualified individual, there are six vacancies in the procurement sector, and we all have watched the news as natural and man-made disasters like devastating wildfires have affected millions of people. So, what should you and your fellow procurement officials do in the face of all of this uncertainty?

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NASPO Events & Education

A Day in the Life: Cindy Lombardi

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.

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Technology & IT Procurement

Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture

The private sector has invested more than 1.4 billion dollars in blockchain since 2014. To put this number into context, this is on par with the amount of money spent on internet investments during the early 90’s! What do you know about blockchain? Personally, I knew almost nothing besides the fact it was a technology people were excited about and that it had something to do with Bitcoin. Luckily for me, Procurement U recently released a free course entitled “Blockchain: The Public Sector Big Picture”. This course provided me with a basic understanding of how blockchain works and explains it in a simple, approachable way through videos and interactive graphics.  As someone who is not the most technically savvy, I can say that this course helped me understand blockchain and made me excited about its potential uses. This course goes over how blockchain works and how it can be used in procurement. Take this Procurement U course to start exploring blockchain and its uses in your office!

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Technology & IT Procurement

Top Tips for Procuring Accessible Technology

Imagine trying to use a computer without a mouse. Imagine trying to watch a video without speakers. Imagine trying to type an email on your phone without being able to see the screen. These are all  examples of inaccessibility – and we can imagine how frustrating that would be. Accessible technology means that everyone can use the same technology, no matter how they need to manipulate it in order to process information.
So why is accessible technology so important to procurement?

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Technology & IT Procurement

Building a Procurement Team for a Digital Future

Want your procurement staff to be ready for the next big thing? There is undeniable value in a staff that is savvy with current technology, but how do you prepare your staff to be ready to keep up with the digital trend that’s here to stay? In many cases, trends come and go, but sometimes they are the forces that drive innovation and success for businesses worldwide. Organizations of all sizes who embrace changing times are better able to develop strategies to manage change in a way that positions themselves for the future. Digitalization is achieved through the use of technology to strengthen existing processes and practices. It can also be looked at as the thread that is woven through multiple silos of information as means to integrate people, processes, and data throughout an organization. Outside of cost savings, there is value in digital efficiency, especially since procurement plays a vital role in shaping strategic models that support the execution of a multitude of contractual goods and services.

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Technology & IT Procurement

The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part…

Living in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
In the previous installment of this two-part series I discussed the amazing transformation and evolution made possible by automation and technology advancements of the 20th century. Today’s technology transformations such as robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnologies, and the Internet-of-Things will have a great impact on society, disrupting every industry and improving many aspects of our personal and work lives. They also create problems for governments around the world that must now figure out how to regulate this new environment and respond to socio-economic concerns such as displacement of workers by automation, or inequality.
Of all big tech companies using AI to enhance their products or services, Amazon is clearly leading the pack with home automation products like Alexa, its version of a personal assistant. Facebook has recently sunset “M,” which hoped to take current personal assistants to the next level where the trained AI machine would have had the same knowledge as the user and do more things than regurgitating various scenarios scripted by app developers. However, the race to lead in AI as a service is on.

Read more “The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part II”

Technology & IT Procurement

The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part…

The Benefits of Automation
The Technological Revolution, including automation in manufacturing and the automotive industry is synonymous with great innovations and rapid developments taking place during the Second Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century through the early 1900s. Advancements like the assembly line and automated machines, which replaced work that used to be performed manually, led to positive outcomes, including efficiency and mass production of manufactured goods at significantly higher rates.
It’s a known fact that in a manufacturing setting, robotics and automated machines improve productivity and reduce labor costs. And yes, they replace workers. So, it is not surprising that businesses will always embrace automation. To business, automated machines are like the perfect worker who works seven days a week, never takes breaks, never asks for a raise, and never gets sick. Sounds like a deal you simply cannot resist, doesn’t it? Ask the same question of a blue-collar worker displaced due to automation and expect a different answer.

Read more “The Age of AI: Will Robots Take Over? Part I”

Green Purchasing

A “Whirlwind” of Green

$180 billion – that is the estimated economic loss the United States will experience by the end of the century if no action is taken on climate change. States are increasingly interested in implementing sustainable purchasing practices and can often use their unique geographical locations and physical attributes to their advantage. Thinking creatively is key when diving into the world of sustainable purchasing, and in this post, we will explore some of the ways states are setting exceptional benchmarks in the pursuit for clean and storable energy.
In 2016, the “House Bill to Promote Energy Diversity” was signed by Massachusetts lawmakers. This bill, in part, directed utility companies to solicit offshore wind contracts by June 2017, requiring output every two years of at least 400 megawatts (MW) each. Each megawatt is equal to one million watts, which means that each MW can translate into power for hundreds of thousands of homes, depending on usage. Massachusetts’ ultimate goal is to generate 400 MW of storable wind energy, every two years, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard by placing wind farms in federally-owned waters.
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