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NIGP Consulting

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Leading Procurement Practitioner Takes on New Role in NIGP Consulting Program

Austin, TX, February 27, 2014 – Matt Walker, President of NIGP Code and NIGP Consulting Services, announced today that Jean Clark, FNIGP, CPPO, C.P.M., CPPB, CPM, will join NIGP Consulting as its Director of Procurement Transformation Services, effective March 5, 2014.

Clark has been brought on to assume the responsibilities of coordinating, managing, and further expanding the NIGP Consulting program and finding additional avenues to promote its services to public procurement entities. Additionally, she will oversee consultant development and evaluation, quality assurance, and financial management of the program, while participating in project preparation, consultant assignment, and marketing efforts.

“My ongoing mission as a procurement professional is to assist public sector organizations in achieving enhanced efficiency and transparency through procurement operations,” said Clark. “I look forward to continuing fulfillment of this objective through my relationship with NIGP, and I’m thrilled to join the consulting team and have this opportunity to strengthen the program and maximize the effectiveness of its services.”

Clark holds over 30 years of experience in state and local government procurement. Her extensive background covers a broad spectrum of procurement reform services, including inventory management, system automation and implementation, project management, policies and procedures, organizational dynamics, strategic planning, and staff development and leadership. She served as the Chief Procurement Officer at the Arizona State Procurement Office for 10 years before retiring in early 2014.

Other career highlights include a current position as Treasurer of the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council. In 2012, Clark was named Government Public Policy Leader of the Year by the Arizona Capitol Times and earned NIGP’s premier honor to receive the Albert H. Hall Award. Clark was further recognized for her agency’s transformation of procurement practices, garnering the 2011 NIGP Innovation Award for her hard work and support in revolutionizing procurement. Her procurement leadership is further reflected through her former positions as President of the NIGP Board of Directors and President of the National Electronic Commerce Council Board of Directors.

“We at NIGP Consulting understand the unique challenges faced by public entities and are passionate about improving processes and driving cost savings through procurement transformation,” said Walker. “I am confident that having Jean Clark in this new role will play an integral part in achieving the continued growth of this program. She is a true leader in the industry, and we are excited and lucky to have her join us.”

ABOUT NIGP CONSULTING

The NIGP Consulting Program (www.nigp.com) is proven to align business practices to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness of procurement operations in the public sector. It provides knowledgeable consulting on procurement strategy, organizational structure and issues, relevant benchmarking, process reviews, and best practices identification. Services include procurement reviews, business process reviews, strategic planning, policy review and development, and organizational/resource assessments.

The program offers an unparalleled level of expertise in the procurement industry. All consultants are certified public procurement professionals and possess an abundance of knowledge and leadership experience through direct roles in procurement. Key NIGP Consulting offerings include reviews and recommendations around: Enabling legislation, organization and staffing, management reporting and forecasting, interdepartmental relationships, benchmarking and best practices, performance evaluation, purchasing policies and procedures, records management, purchasing system/technology preparedness, and project management.

NIGP Consulting clients include the State of Arkansas, the cities of San Antonio, Palo Alto, and North Miami Beach, the counties of Sarasota, Milwaukee, and Lee, the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, and the Austin Independent School District.

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Enhancing Efficiency and Transparency in the Public Sector: How Periscope’s Valuable Solutions Deliver Proven Results

A recent report was published by a global consulting firm regarding how governments are making positive strides in better managing the various challenges met in the public sector and in enhancing transparency to gain public trust, despite heavy debt loads and budget constraints. The analysis indicates that governments are able to achieve these objectives and successfully do more with less by adopting such practices including increasing their use of accessible data, connecting with citizens for valuable input and feedback, advancing their knowledge base, and working with other sectors to improve procurement processes. This approach focuses on the four aforementioned concepts and encourages public sector leaders to think more logically and leave behind legacy processes that are no longer effective. Periscope Holdings applauds the report and is a firm believer in these practices, offering essential procurement solutions and services that are designed for the public sector and align perfectly with the highlighted recommendations.

Increasing Use of Data and Analytics

Data tracking and analysis capabilities facilitate informed decision making and lead to more accurate results in measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. The report recommends gathering detailed performance statistics, applying benchmarking techniques, and using relevant data to promote government initiatives. Periscope’s e-procurement solution BuySpeed incorporates key procurement performance metrics and best practices from our clients to further develop our industry-leading suite of management dashboards and reports powered by BuySpeed’s Business Intelligence (BI) module. The State of Arizona implemented the BI framework to monitor performance and track spend and has since experienced a 26% reduction in costs toward various commodities and services. Further, the company works with state and local government entities to aid in master data cleanup for a more standardized format, rationalized inventory, and visibility of spend, and to deliver benchmarking analysis through its NIGP Consulting Program. The team is currently working with the State of Arkansas to conduct a material master data cleanse, which is expected to improve reporting capabilities, reduce inventory and carrying costs, increase vendor participation, and provide a highly structured, industry-standard classification system.

Connecting with Citizens for Input and Feedback

The movement toward citizen involvement is growing, and more governments are relying on the public for input on the design and development of services, in order to not only better meet their expectations but also to transfer some level of accountability. Additionally, they are improving productivity and further encouraging citizen participation by boosting transparency of data through technology. BuySpeed Sourcing and eProcurement software transforms the public procurement and competitive solicitation process by providing a one-stop-shop for viewing bids, solicitations, vendor responses, contracts, and more. BuySpeed’s vendor management functionality empowers private enterprises and ensures that primary suppliers of products and services to our state and local governments are sharing the administrative load associated with a fair and competitive procurement process. Further, this capability allows vendors to easily register for free, download bid notices and respond to bids online. The City of Baltimore more than tripled its vendor registrations, from 3,000 to nearly 10,000, after a successful launch of BuySpeed in 2007.

Advancing the Knowledge Base

This report points out that gathering well-trained employees who are driven by a purpose is absolutely essential in the strategic success of public sector programs. Procurement staff assessment, including the areas of knowledge, skills, experience, and workload management, is a primary component of many of the procurement reviews designed by Periscope’s NIGP Consulting services. Additionally through the efforts of the NIGP Consulting Program, we strive to advance the overall competency level of our public purchasing clients, assist them in achieving and maintaining necessary certifications, and assess staff skill sets relative to best practices in the industry. We work with our clients to leverage valuable educational resources that are available to them, such as those through the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). Upon entering a project with the NIGP Consulting team, the County of Sarasota raised staff credentials with over 1,000 training hours logged within a 12-month period and members earning advanced certifications, such as CPPB, CPPO, CPM, and FCCM. Employing individuals who possess thorough backgrounds and advanced knowledge and skills is yet another way governments are able to gain greater productivity and do more with less.

Improving Procurement Processes

This overarching approach to government reform highlights the need for governments to improve the procurement of products and services and reduce costs. At Periscope Holdings, this is the foundation on which we have built our sole purpose. Our company focus is to eradicate waste and maximize value the value of every dollar spent, and we work every day to ensure that the tools and services we provide fulfill this mission for each and every one of our clients. The BuySpeed solution streamlines processes, decreases expenditures, and creates transparency to drive significant savings and ensures close collaboration with suppliers and vendors throughout the entire procure-to-pay process. Periscope is currently developing new offerings that will allow even greater visibility to and analysis of products and services that governments are purchasing collectively – qualities that will further assist public entities in making meaningful benchmark comparisons while also empowering a market-focused supplier community to be responsive to government needs.

The public sector has the opportunity to benefit from increasing their use of data, connecting with citizens for input and feedback, advancing their knowledge base, and improving procurement processes by first being willing to make a change. Governments should step up and implement creative solutions that will generate savings and raise efficiencies. Procurement transformation encompassing these four practices is a valuable investment and a crucial step to creating a more effective and manageable organization. Periscope takes pride in offering unique, purpose-built functionality and useful services that are proven to bring about procurement success.


Delivering Sky-High Results

NIGP Consulting Guides Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority Toward Centralized Procurement

Struggling to maintain a decentralized procurement system, the Raleigh-Durham (N.C.) Airport Authority (RDU) began to experience delays and inadequacies in its processes and to discover gaps in spend, resulting from disorganization and insufficient communication. With purchasing functions disbursed along multiple routes across multiple departments, RDU suffered a range of issues, such as an overall sluggish procurement cycle, an overwhelming number of assigned approvers and purchase order requestors, and a misunderstanding of approval paths by employees. The authority also had an excessive number of suppliers with similar needs to be met, a staggering amount of small-dollar purchases, and overlooked automatic contract renewal terms. Other problems included a lack of standardized RFP and contract templates and no centralized repository to house solicitations and contracts.

In 2012, the Airport Authority took action, developed a vision, and compiled a set of objectives to lead to a complete procurement transformation. “Our mission was to create a robust procurement department as the primary provider of procurement services to enhance transparency and increase efficiency of our processes, all while maintaining a strong customer focus,” said Joe Styres, Deputy Director of Finance, Business and Administration at Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. RDU sought direction and support from the public procurement professionals of the NIGP Consulting Program to jumpstart their strategy to standardize, to the extent feasible, the acquisition of all non-construction products and services by means of streamlining the procurement contracting process.

RDU engaged the services and expertise of a team of three veteran NIGP consultants and involved approximately 50 personnel to provide abundant feedback via individual interviews, small focus groups, and data to review, in order to narrow the scope of the Authority’s needs and maximize the effectiveness of the project. Key areas included in the breadth of the project were: business process; organizational structure and staffing; policies, procedures, and practices; source documents; and staff development.

Upon conducting an analysis of the data gathered from interaction with personnel, the NIGP Consulting team was able to determine several fundamental pain points on which to focus and tailor their solutions. The consultants found that the departments of Requesting and Purchasing were drowning in high-volume, low-transaction-value activities, and that the procurement function was deeply fragmented. Further, the contract administrators in need of products and services did not fully comprehend the procurement process and essentially had too much responsibility over it compared to those organizations following best practices.

Styres added, “The NIGP Consulting team helped us analyze the volume of work we were doing and the level of effort we were spending. It was a classic case of two different ‘ends of the pool.’” On the high-volume end of the procurement spectrum, there was an unnecessary portion of staff involved, lack of delegation of authority for purchase approvals, and no substantial tools to support procurement activity. For the low-volume, high-complexity procurement items, they identified insufficient staffing and lack of the proper training and credentials needed by procurement and contract administration personnel to effectively manage such relatively high-dollar, high-risk acquisitions. NIGP Consulting also pinpointed that the organization fell short in spend analysis reporting capabilities and both knowledge and usage of cooperative and blanket purchasing agreements, which led to lost opportunities for supplier consolidation and savings on operating costs. And finally, 80 percent of all transactions totaled less than $1,000 each, indicating the need for a purchasing card (p-card) program in place at RDU.

The consultants laid out a roadmap of recommendations unique to RDU’s circumstances for the Authority leadership to implement. This included changes, like integrating its purchasing functions into a single, concise Procurement Department; organizational restructuring to manage procurement, which entailed hiring a Procurement Department Manager, assigning a Purchasing Officer for the “volume” business, a Contracting Officer for the “complex” business, and a Procurement Associate for support and management of the P-card program; redesigning of the competitive procurement processes based on contract value; increasing purchase approval levels across all organizational levels; drafting updated policies and procedures manuals; and, providing in-depth training for new and existing Procurement and Contract Administration personnel and vendors on the new policies and procedures, tools, and capabilities.

Taking these essential steps toward complete procurement revitalization has since produced significant benefits for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. Styres is pleased with how the project has driven his team’s productivity and cost savings. “The NIGP consultants did an excellent job of analyzing our particular situation and making clear, actionable recommendations for change,” he said. “NIGP provided a ‘desired state’ blueprint of the future in the areas of organization/staffing, training, process, policy and procedural change that we are executing on and continue to implement successfully.”

For more information on this project or to learn more about the NIGP Consulting Program, please contact Joe Styres at joe.styres@rdu.com or Matt Walker at mwalker@nigp.com.


Periscope Congratulates NIGP Consultant on National Honor Received at Forum

Periscope would like to congratulate Terry McKee, Purchasing Manager for the Knoxville Community Development Corporation, on the recent honor he received at the 2013 NIGP Forum in Orlando, Florida. McKee was one of three individuals selected by the NIGP for the “Spirit of the NIGP” award, which is presented to public procurement professionals across the country who demonstrate leadership, service, and dedication to the purchasing profession. McKee was commended for maintaining an integral role in growing the organization and for consistently upholding strong ethical standards in his work.

Aside from his position at the KCDC, Terry McKee has been a part of the NIGP Consulting Program since 1995. The NIGP Consulting Program, which Periscope proudly manages, develops, and promotes on behalf of the NIGP, aligns business practices to achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness through various consulting services, like procurement reviews, business process reviews, strategic planning, policy review and development, and resource assessments. McKee serves as a key example of the highly ethical and distinguished professionals that are the driving force behind the program’s success. Our award-winning, industry-leading consultants, like McKee, possess a wealth of knowledge and experience as certified public procurement professionals who have served as Manager, Director or Purchasing Agent of at least on public purchasing agency and have an average of 18 years of experience. The program’s project offerings include, but are not limited to recommendations and reviews around organization and staffing, reporting and forecasting, benchmarking and best practices, performance evaluation, purchasing policies and procedures, and project management.

For more information about the NIGP Consulting Program, please contact Matt Walker at mwalker@nigp.com or 512-666-9405. To view the full article published by the Knoxville Daily Sun, please click here.


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