Public procurement professionals across the nation are tasked with looking for new and innovative ways to modernize and streamline their processes, ensure transparency and provide best value; all while being mindful of cost reduction. Procurement professionals support every branch of government down to the smallest twig. At NASPO, we believe in recognizing outstanding state procurement initiatives across the country with the George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence.
Evaluated based on four categories: innovation, transferability, service improvement and cost reduction, the five finalists for the 2019 Cronin Awards raised the bar. We want to highlight our five finalists (in no particular order) before we announce our award winners on Wednesday, September 11th at the NASPO Annual Conference.
Florida: Market Analysis and Procurement Strategy (MAPS)
Designed to assist procurement professionals in determining which procurement method to employ to achieve best value, the MAPS process provides procurement professionals with an invaluable tool. The MAPS document provides critical information about top spend by Florida customers in an easily understood way through the use of visual aids. The data contained within MAPS includes current industry information, customer and vendor data, risk assessments and any special circumstances or recommendations that should be considered. The reduction of staff time spent on solicitations and reaping the value of referencing previous MAPS documentation at a later date has shown that Florida has created an easily transferable road map with their MAPS system.
Massachusetts: Excellent Data = Meaningful Analytics: Improving Vendor Report Information Management
An efficient, secure and reliable way to collect, manage, store and report on statewide contract activity. Massachusetts’s Operational Services Division created a tool to ensure that vendor-reported customers sales activity data was accurate and could be analyzed and monitored. Originally using a set of manual tools, the recognized that there was an agency-wide need to reference this critical Vendor Report Management data from these reports. Massachusetts took action and, with the help of an outside consultant, implemented a secure cloud-based sales report submission portal that includes data management and workflow tools – and even a BI platform to generate business user self-service reports. Due to their new Vendor Report Management System, both the OSD and vendors have experienced steady improvements and have achieved cost savings through efficiency.
Minnesota: How Challenge-Based RFP’s have been a Winning Solution for Minnesota
Minnesota’s challenge-based RFP transforms the procurement process by introducing flexibility, while still preserving fair and open competition. Rather than narrowly defined criteria, the RFP lists broad goals and invites responders to submit a solution that fits within those goals. This approach has allowed Minnesota to obtain cutting-edge technology quickly and efficiently through their Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Contract. Where the requirements are unknown, hard to define or rapidly evolving, challenge-based procurement has proven to be a useful and efficient method.
Michigan: Circumventing Risk with Contract Management
The Michigan Central Procurement Services developed a proactive contract management program to ensure greater contract compliance, with both internal and external stakeholders. The assessment of existing practices was performed by an outside firm and recommendations were made on an enterprise-wide scale. Tools such as a Contract Management Team, Contract Monitoring Plan, interactive dashboards, SLAs, and metric performance reports were implemented. The focus on proactive Contract Management has improved the quality of goods and services, clarified roles, avoided unnecessary costs, and resolved contractual matters quickly. Recognized as the only public sector finalist for the World Procurement Risk Mitigation Award, Michigan’s Circumventing Risk with Contract Management is a program intended to ensure that the state receives the full benefit of its contracts.
New York: File Requirements System
New York State Procurement Services launched its File Requirements System in 2011 to assist in the annual road salt solicitation. The File Requirements System mandates agencies, municipalities and authorized users to submit the number of tons of salt they plan to purchase during the next season, this is referred to as the road salt’s solicitation filed requirements. Submitting the filed requirements for purchase obligates the buyer to purchase at least 70% of the good filed for and obligates the vendor company to supply up to 150% of the amount of good the buyer has filed for at the originally contracted price. Uniquely, the file requirements system pre-populates the purchase volume from the previous year when state and local government purchasers log on to commit to a purchase volume for the next year’s requirements. Moving from a traditional manual system of mailed letters requesting volume of product needed, the file requirements system has saved New York state more than $1.8 million in postage, reproduction, mailing and staff time in the last 5 years.
The Bronze, Silver and Gold winners of the 2019 George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, September 11 during the NASPO Awards Celebration dinner. As an additional recognition to the top 5, each finalist will present their projects in a series of webinars provided by NASPO later this year.
Want to learn more about this prestigious award? Click here! Once you are on the Cronin page you can see past submissions, past winners’ webinars, a history of the awards and information about the scoring categories.