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Reflections on Forum, 2018

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Reflections on Forum 2018   I have been attending Forums for quite a while. I am not an every year attendee for various reasons usually associated with workloads and personnel support. Nonetheless, I try to attend as much as I am able and have never failed to come away from them without learning something of value. Even as I begin the sunset of my career, I find gems of wisdom and personal fulfillment in what I experience. It is amazing to see the evolution of the Forum itself from a mostly volunteer event to one having so many professional support elements to it.  Meeting and feeling the enthusiasm of so many young professionals is energizing. A large ...
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​ The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is currently working to improve its acquisition of future technologies in long term projects, and is seeking insights into how other agencies approach this matter. For example, how do you ensure that at the end of a 15-year construction project the most modern technologies (which may not currently exist) were acquired and incorporated into the final product.  How does your agency ensure that up to date technology is incorporated in long term construction projects? Does your agency have any best practices to ensure the latest technology is included? Any contractual provisions implemented? Any specific ...
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​  Good Morning, I'm searching for Proposals in the State of Florida for Asset Management and the need of use of the CCNA  (FSS 287.055) in the evaluation process. If anyone can shed light on this, please let me know.  Thank you.
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Professional chefs place incredible value in having a quality set of knives that are their own.  It is a requirement. A mechanics life blood are their tools.  They rely on their tools for their livelihood, recognizing quality tools and the right tools are essential.  Having the right tool can save them significant time yielding more money in their pocket. I consider myself a professional Do-It-Yourselfer.  I haven’t found much I can’t do, or at least try.  I don’t like to pay others to do what I can do.  My son and I built his first car!  While I cannot afford all the tools I would like to have; I do know that when I do buy a tool I buy quality.  I have ...
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RFP FOR SD-WAN

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​Good afternoon, Has anyone done a solicitation for SD-Wan solution, if so please share.
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I am looking for an RFP for Real Estate Appraisal Services. anyone want to share your document with me?
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I have been giving procurement systems some thought lately and have this observation. Most, I’ll say all, e-procurement systems focus on ‘bids’, more accurately formal bids, and ‘suppliers’. I believe it is safe to apply the Pareto principal to procurement transactions. 20% of the dollars are spent with 80% of the transactions. 80% of the dollars are spent with 20% of the transactions. 20% of the procurements are done through formal bid and 80% are done through small purchase methods such as POs, p-cards, and off contracts. There are many software companies that provide software that only address 20% of our procurement transactions.  It seems ...
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​ “Investing time to learn something in your professional make you RICH in your KNOWLEDGE, if you are not then it will make you POOR in your PERFORMANCE.” ― Sivaprakash Sidhu In our profession we all know the strength of numbers, the strength of collaboration, and the strength of sharing knowledge, but did you ever consider the strength of testimonials? How many times are you asked, "So what is it you do"? Does your "boss" or leader really know what it is you do for your organization?  How about what you do for other organizations such as your local chapter or NIGP?   This is where the power of the Testimonial can come ...
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January is Cert Prep Month! Time to get serious and buckle down to prepare for the May exams. Our 2015 Research Report explores the  Value of Procurement Certification and we see some powerful takeaways -  71% of managers say certified individuals know what is required to perform their jobs better, 74% recognize certified individuals as experts and 85% say certification validates specialized knowledge. I'd love to start a dialog on the what you see as the value of certification. How has it impacted your career? Look forward to your thoughts. Cathie
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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 bläɡ/ 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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