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By Michael Thornton posted 09-13-2019 11:53


Public Procurement Professionals MUST use their education, training, knowledge, experience, and tools in providing the best outcome for stakeholders, the agency and citizens.

Modern day meteorologists have all these same things available to them to monitor and forecast weather conditions. With their information and resources they inform the public, making the best outcome possible on the other side of what can be a catastrophic event. Proactive, rather than reactive, decisions and actions can be executed. Much different from the long ago past when they merely recapped the day’s temperatures. They have moved from being weather people to meteorologists.

Public Procurement Professionals believe and promote, “For the best outcome _ (fill-in the blank) _“. For the best outcome, Public Procurement Professionals require professional tools the same as today's meteorologists. Every procurement office should have an e-procurement solution that provides the best tools for both the agency and the Supplier. Suppliers are more willing to participate in solicitations with an agency that conducts business electronically.  If a Supplier had to choose between two equal solicitations, they could only select one, and one uses a digital response and the other uses a paper response I am confident the Supplier would choose to respond to the Solicitation using the digital response. Use of a quality e-procurement platform demonstrates an agencies commitment to being efficient, progressive and Supplier friendly.

Same is true with meteorologists; they have access to historical data and data models. Using historical data and current conditions meteorologists forecast a hurricanes development and path.   Public Procurement has access to its own personal procurement data and through other services can access other agency spend data. There are professional resources available such as GOVSHOP.COM that provide tools for market research. These tools and resources must be included in our Public Procurement Toolbox.

If the professional in any profession doesn’t know how to use their tools, data and information those resources are useless. Public Procurement Professionals must pursue education in our profession to be considered a professional. While professional certification is desirable it is not always attainable. NIGP: The Institute has developed the new Pathways Professional Development program for those that would like to focus on a specialty and receive a credential in that specialty.  Specialization is a good thing, if I live in Kansas I would prefer my meteorologist be specialized in tornadoes and not hurricanes.  I live in Florida and look to those that are experts in Hurricanes.

Through the areas of technology, data and education Public Procurement Professionals can elevate what we do to a PROFESSION and not a vocation! Let’s start providing useful and actionable information for our stakeholders, agencies and citizens to provide the best outcome.

Thanks for listening.  Things you think of when all preparations are done and you are waiting for a hurricane. Stay safe everyone!

1 comment



09-16-2019 08:01

Some great thoughts, reminders, and encouragement here. Thanks for sharing Mike!