The Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) will be taking a more hands-on approach to managing the state’s procurement process and contract portfolio in 2016.

The new ADOA Director, Craig Brown, is not new to the purchasing profession. He came from running the supply chain operations at Intel. The new State Procurement Administrator, Judy Wente, also comes from years in the private sector at APS and Intel with a finance background. Both believe that there are many opportunities to bring effective purchasing strategies from the private sector and have promised more accountability and efficiency in the state procurement process moving forward.

ADOA’s mission is to “deliver results that matter by providing best in class support services,” Director Brown said at a December 11th conference.

In order to achieve this vision, Director Brown explained that ADOA personnel must embrace change, solve problems, and build trust. He identified implementing stronger measurements and encouraging risk-taking as two of the most immediate goals he has for the individuals who lead the ADOA.

In the new year, ADOA will also focus on obtaining the lowest total cost for vendors’ products and services, while not sacrificing other important traits like service, availability and quality.

“We have a strong fiduciary responsibility…. The whole deep pockets of the state, get a big fat contract, this kind of language is going to change because we are dutiful on spending efficiently and aggressively to save the taxpayer dollars.” Director Brown said.

ADOA will also be exploring whether it can work with fewer vendors each year, for a lower total cost, while getting better results. Vendors will be chosen based on their pricing, performance and on what else they can offer to the state. Brown cautioned, ”We will not be arbitrarily reducing supplier base, but if we get value out of working closer with fewer people and we can get all of our needs, benefits will happen to both parties…. You get more business and I get lower costs.”

In addition to expecting more from state vendors, Director Brown also intends to make the procurement process faster and leaner with less cumbersome forms and RFPS. This includes making RFP scopes of work more clear, improving communication, creating consistency and working together in strong partnership.

Other new mandates include conducting spot audits of vendors and requiring suppler scorecards.

Brown ended his presentation with: “The best will get business.”

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