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​ Hello everyone!!! It's been awhile since I last posted but I want to keep this brainchild alive for longer than a few months.   So how do we as procurement professionals keep up with the current procurement trends? Personally I have found sitting in on webinars is a useful tool to keep up.  In fact I am listening to a webinar presented by the esteemed Tammy Rimes, current Director of the National Cooperative Procurement Partners!! As a professional it is important that we do not discount free webinars from sources other that our state or national professional organizations.  Many times other organizations related to procurement can help with keeping us ...
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It's that time of year again when the madness of the impending end of the fiscal year begins.  Ours for some reason started at the beginning of the month of May.   The finance department is diligently working to see what is open that can be closed, where money can be freed up to assist with last minute purchases and looking towards when to open up the next fiscal year so that business can continue as the calendar year proceeds.  End users are scrambling to used all the money they can, working with vendors to get goods and services delivered before the June 30 deadline, and hoping that nothing slows down the processes to get them delivered.  For Purchasing ...
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Every profession has its own acronyms and language.  In ours we have "FOIAble"  As members of the public society and as taxpayers having documents or information that can be obtained via polite request or formal FOIA requests is a part of our daily lives and in most instances understandable.  In fact, as procurement professionals sometimes even we need to FOIA someone to get information in order to complete our work.  Transparency can be both good and bad.  So the reason for this subject is the irresponsible, uninformed, not the full story FOIA request.  The ones that are just to data gather without true knowledge of what they are obtaining.  While I am not ...
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Ebbs and Flows, IMO

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DEFINITION: blog blɡ/ noun noun: blog; plural noun: blogs 1. a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. Lately I have seen many inquiries to our professional discussion web pages that has led me to believe that professional procurement is at a low ebb in experience. Hopefully, where there is an ebb there is an upcoming flow. The wave action will continue. This is not bad in and of itself. It is just my observation. Now, you may ask, how did Rey come up with this gem? Or you may not ask but are curious ...
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Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Bank of America Annual P-Card conference for my state. Yes the Commonwealth of Virginia has a contract with them for government credit cards and they cohost an annual event. Since I am new to being a P-Card administrator I went to the conference to gain ideas on how to better utilize the resources available through BofA, best practices on audits, compliance issues and in general learn how others were managing their programs. I have to say while it was a long day (2.5 hr drive each way with 8 hrs of conference in between) I learned a lot and made some new connections! First lets talk about the things I learned ...
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End Users ARGH!!

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Did you ever have that one end user who thinks you are psychic and can read their mind? After all we are sitting right next to them right? Getting end users to respond at all or in a timely fashion can be a challenge. How about that "emergency" they have now because they didn't communicate to you months ago that they were working on something that had a strict deadline! (Lack of planning on your part doesn't constitute and emergency on my part, I WISH!!) For anyone who knows me I am a stickler for on time and on schedule. The military taught me that being early is on time and being on time is late. I stress when I have to drop everything and work on something ...
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Public Service is no laughing matter, but it is the little things we do that does matter. The average, everyday citizen rarely knows the level of work and commitment that goes on behind the scenes to provide them with services they use daily. Many times the public servant's role is thankless. So how do you motivate others? How do you get others involved? I have heard a time or two that the characters in the Winne-the-Pooh stories represent different emotional and social conditions that people face such as depression, OCD, and ADHD. I guess you could say, no, I KNOW you could say that Tigger is a representation of my personality. Hyper, energetic and ...
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Editing, Creating Policy

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Well I have done it now! I have started on the journey to update our Procurement Policy and Regulations. As I reviewed our lead legal document, the Virginia Public Procurement Act (VPPA), I first start with identifying what parts of the VPPA we are required to follow and which parts we can elect to incorporate or not. Once the paragraphs are identified it is then time to move on to what was currently in place. My goal in taking on this arduous task is to improve the documents in order for our constituents and end users to clearly understand what we do, the methods we use, and to show that we are transparent, unbiased and use industry best practices. ...
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Back in the Saddle

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After having surgery and being out of the office for two weeks, getting back into the swing of things. Boy did a LOT happen in just two short weeks. While I am still in "recovery" mode, work must go on... the trick is not to overdo it! The contract mentioned in an earlier post that was having "politic" problems was cancelled. There were issues with an end user not following procurement policy and now I have to figure out how to get that department under control without stepping on too many toes or appearing to be a bully or condescending. Reviewing and negotiating terms with a vendor who does not understand that a contract was established and their ...
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When you have a small shop, like I do, any leave of absence is a challenge. We all have to take vacations right? This time that I will be out is not due to a vacation but for medical reasons so that adds an extra level of stress. So how do you prepare? Here is what we've done: Communicate to your end users and coworkers that you will be out and how long you will be gone. Forecast out all procurements that can be put off until your return. Prepare any documents in advance that might be needed in your absence such as: Notices of Award (leaving the awardee, date and other changeable information highlighted and blank) Acceptance Agreements ...
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P-cards part 2

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So yesterday we ran into the issue that one of our cards at a school was being declined due to lack of funds. Two things occurred here; first the card number we had on file did not match the one in the online system where we can monitor the cards, the second was that we show the card to have more than enough $$ left to process the transaction (about $650). My lovely and wonderful purchasing specialist jumped on the phone with our card processor to find out what was going on. The story continues that the card processor had replaced the original card because they thought their might be fraud on the previous card. (No they had not informed us of this.) ...
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Manic Mondays

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Yes I am channeling the Bangles and showing my age. As is a typical Monday today's best laid plans went awry. Our new ERP system went live to our end users, the Architect started sending emails about multiple projects, a department director is changing her staffing up... its always something. How do we keep our heads? One Step at a time. Granted I now have not one but 3 post-its with notes and to do's but the work is still getting done. I printed this off from a Facebook posting to help me keep up with it all ... How much of this works for you? 15-surprising-things-successful-people-do-differently I struggle with #3 as I make lists for everything!! ...
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Politics and Procurement

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I have always liked to say "There is no place for politics in procurement." but realistically we all know that this is just not true. Thankfully in most of my procurements, politics has had little to no influence, but every now and then you have a procurement that you just cannot keep the politics out of it. So how do you mitigate the politics and ensure that there is no conflict of interest? You stick to your procurement policies and follow your procurement code making sure all of your "i's" are dotted and "t"s" crossed. As we completed a procurement that had political influence I was asked to assist the end user in preparing a memo that summarized ...
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This was a recent posting in the Nsite community and funnily enough we have had the same issue arise here in our office. Who makes the determination on what addresses or information gets entered into your financial system? How do you know the information you have received is accurate? What about multiple locations for the same Tax ID (EIN) number? When you are in a large jurisdiction where procurement and finance are separate departments this is a constant battle on who "owns" the vendor file. When you are in small jurisdictions it is a collaborative effort to make sure both sides of the house (procurement vs accounts payable) have all the information ...
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RFQ for HVAC Units

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The City is in the process of creating a Request for Qualify (RFQ) to establish a pool of pre-qualified submitters capable of providing all labor, supervision, equipment and materials necessary to repair, replace, supply or install HVAC Equipment, controls and related components. If anyone has done one in the past or in the process of completing one, please share. Thank you
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Hello all, The City of Delray Beach is currently in the process of selecting a new Time and Attendance Solution. To aid this process, we are seeking other agencies who have fully implemented the Police, Fire, and/or Union applications of NOVAtime. If your agency has implemented one or more of these applications and is willing to hosting a video conference with the City of Delray Beach to provide us with a demonstration of such application(s), please contact me directly at lingholmr@mydelray.com. Feel free to call me at (561) 243-7153 if you have any questions. Thank you, Ryan Linghol
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The City is in the process of creating an RFP for Utility Rate Study if anyone has done one in the past or in the process of completing one, please share. Thank you!
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Good Morning, We are a small municipality of about 25,000 electric customers and 30,000 water customers. A Transportation Team has been developed to research other governmental, local, state, or municipal agencies on their Fleet Programs. My questions are as follows: 1). Do you have a standardized fleet or are individuals allowed to purchase any type of vehicle they choose? 2). Are employees allowed to drive their fleet vehicles home daily? 2a). If so, which types of employees, i.e., Directors, GM's, Managers, CEO, etc. 2b). Are they able to use such vehicles for personal ...
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Professional Jealousy

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So, if you are in a position where you must perform annual evaluations of your personnel and they in turn rate your performance does this create the best work environment during the rest of the work year? I like the fact that I get a rating from my supervisors, and I also like the fact that my direct-reports have input on my evaluation but is this the best process? I am not sure it is or it is not but my concerns are that when we truly want to evaluate what is valued by procurement services, HR instead wants to generalize to a generic organizational evaluation process and presentation. Oh well, I am just venting a bit today because it seems that HR - "just" ...
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Transitions

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Transitions are inevitable. Whether we self-inflict or have it done to us, we are all in a constant state of flux. As I get older I am less likely to cause my own changes but "by golly" it does feel good when a change is planned and we had something to do with it. It doesn't feel so good when it is a relative surprise. Recently, our Statewide HR office decided that we are to accept changes made to the salary structure and job titles. At first glance this would seem to be a volatile issue that should have been discussed with managers at all levels before implementation. Nevertheless, in a state with over 70 thousand employees this may have been a logistic ...
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