Past articles, podcasts, and interviews on thought leadership on government operations topics

2022.12.14: Interview: Procurement Through the Eyes of City Manager Harry Black

An hour long chat with Harry Black, the City Manager for the City of Stockton, California. Hear how Black's public sector career spawned from contracting and procurement into the C-suite

2022.11.22: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Programs and Public Procurement - Where do they Connect?

Where do DEI and Public Procurement Connect?

2022.09.15: Procurement as a Service
Procurement is not something that can simply be covered by Finance or Legal - it is it's own professionalized function that sits within the nexus of those groups.

2022.07.14: Procurement as the Focal Point

“A purchasing agent is the focal point for the nexus between finance, business and legal and our relationships with our vendors. I don’t know how you can deliver on some of the expectations of councils to be able to manage that function, protect cost, execute a vendor supplier program and be good at managing our contracts without that focal point.”

2022.06.28: Flipping the Financial Year - In Style!

A great discussion on "Flipping the Financial Year - In Style" with perspectives from state, local and higher education procurement practitioners, and it's available in on-demand audio here!

2022.05.22: Talent Management in the Great Realignment

2022.04.06: Interview: Aubrey Leigh Goodwin 1:1 - State of Mississippi

A great 10-minute discussion with Aubrey Leigh Goodwin, a Deputy Executive Director with the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

2022.03.31: Interview: Chapters as an Enduring Community

A quick talk on Chapters as an Enduring Community.

Thinking about some ways to think about how Chapters can help retain connection, even if individual members may be changing jobs seeking the best for them in their careers.

2022.03.23: Growing Purchasing Into Procurement Speech

Establish the seed to start the process; nurture the change to make it take root; make it thrive through five actions

2022.03.15: Procurement as a Career: Should Public Procurement be on the List for Graduating Seniors?
Let's make a pitch to college seniors to have procurement on the list!

Thanks to Carrie Mathes, MPA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CFCM, C.P.M., CPPB Aaron Carter, MBA, CPPO, CPPB and Jaime Schorr for adding their takes on this topic as people who know the NIGP/NASPO/NAEP worldviews.

2022.02.16: Five Watchwords for Public Procurement in 2022
Great thought leadership from Jaime Schorr, Justin Sullivan, Christin Webb, NIGP-CPP, CPPB James E. Crenshaw, MBA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO Jenny Hedderman, Esq. Christina Semeraro, MPA, CPPO, CPPB, NIGP-CPP and special guest Gary Lambert.

2021.12.14: Our Year of Content in Review

Launch of our Linkedin newsletter, and a look back at all the content in 2021.

2021.10.15: Being a Public Procurement Change Agent
A podcast out of my prepared remarks in the NIGP panel on being a public procurement change agent, and its impact on a positive outcome in automation.

2021.10.08: Supply Chain and Stockpile Management
Thanks to for hosting a great discussion with Curt Topper and Jaime Schorr and Dustin Lanier, facilitated by Pam Goins.

The full video session is available in the NASCA library.

2021.09.16: Interview: Ed Mills, Transformation in Flight

Ed led off with perspectives on how he made choices as to why to transform, and where, and with what resources. Civic Initiatives, LLC was part of the resource mix in several of those projects, so I spoke about some of our role as an aligned partner.

Ed also weaves in references to the Avengers and Deadpool, so he understood the entertainment assignment. Take a listen and share your thoughts if you do!

2021.08.11: Succession Planning in Public Procurement
Chief Procurement Officers can be afraid to release the reigns out of fear that their expectations won’t be upheld. For this reason, the following points allow Agents and Buyers to work up to career-defining opportunities while exercising their leadership abilities in the public procurement arena. These practices allow for individuals to evolve into leaders - who can pick up those reigns in the future.

2021.08.03: Hot Jobs in Public Procurement
A discussion on "Hot Jobs" in Public Procurement

Our panel included Jaime Schorr, Justin Sullivan, James E. Crenshaw, MBA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, Jenny Hedderman, Esq., Yen Pang, Jonathan Walker, Christina Semeraro, MPA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB and Alli McNally.

2021.07.09: New Grant Funding - How does procurement prepare?
With ARPA and ESSER funds starting to come into the pipeline in the next month, it will be an interesting time for procurement.

Normal start of the fiscal year pressure will only be accelerated with new funding that may have specialized procurement needs.

2021.07.07: Gearing Up for an Infrastructure Infusion
With anticipated funding for infrastructure projects, even small public entities are seeing unprecedented funding figures in what could be one of the most significant public "building boom" of our lifetimes. Here's a checklist with proactive tips as you confront an increase in construction and IT infrastructure procurements.

2021.07.01: Rob Handfield/Steve Nichols - Supply Resiliency and Public Response
Thanks to Rob Handfield and Steve Nichols for an EXCELLENT discussion about Supply Chain, Ransomware and Public Response.

2021.06.23: Creating Content - When That's Not What You Do for a Living (NIGP Chapter Presentation)

We've learned a lot about how to make content be useful and doable, and I'm happy to share some knowledge.

2021.06.17: Resilient Supply Chains
Supply Chain resiliency has come back into the news with the ransomware scares, and we had another excellent discussion.

Participants Jaime Schorr Jenny Hedderman, Esq. James E. Crenshaw, MBA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO Jonathan Walker Christina Semeraro, MPA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO, CPPB all chimed in with great points that are worth your ear.

2021.06.09: Procurement Automation Project Fundamentals
Fundamentals and frameworks for keeping procurement projects based on business value, understanding the framework of automation choices, and keeping the project members rowing as one.

2021.06.03: Work from Anywhere
Our Work from Anywhere discussion (now podcast) was a great hit!

Thanks Fred Brittain and Tanya H. for bringing the CIO perspective into our panel discussion with Jaime Schorr, Jenny Hedderman, Esq. Christin Webb, MBA, NIGP-CPP, CPPB and James E. Crenshaw, MBA, NIGP-CPP, CPPO.

2021.05.21: Interview: Sarah O'Brien, CEO Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council
Thanks to Sarah O'Brien for a great discussion. Choose your mode to learn about the great and interesting work of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council.

2021.05.19: Voice of the Customer

The "Voice of the Customer" in Public Procurement. Who are the customers, and how do we hear their voices when we are designing actions and policies?

2021.05.06: Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Infographic

2021.04.28: Tools in the Toolkit
Adding more tools to the toolkit in public procurement! We talk about some of the ways procurement is trying to do more than the standard RFP. From problem statement style bids, challenge style bids, and more, there are new ways to find the right tool for the problem.

2021.04.14: Interview: Rob Handfield on Supply Chain
A live hour long talk with Rob Handfield. Rob was on panels for both National Association of State Procurement Officials and Public Spend Forum this week (busy guy!), so if you liked his content, we go deeply into the recent #NASPO #Covid19 report, PPE, Vaccines, global #supplychain, circular planning and more.

2021.04.01: Client Stories Intro Article

How our clients work with us in 3 main areas.

2021.03.31: Procurement and Technology Security Standards (StateRAMP discussion)
How can Procurement and IT collaborate to make security standards in public sector... well... standard?

2021.03.17: Interview: Nicholas Tincher (University of Wisconsin)
Nicholas Tincher talks about keeping Business Value at the center of Procurement Automation in the National Association of Educational Procurement Centennial Week!

2021.03.24: Strategic Pillars of Procurement Modernization

Panel of Patti Bowers, Barry Zimmerman, & Michelle McNellis

2021.01.21: Driving Change - Pressing Through Headwind
Public procurement can be an agent of change in the way it helps business units to go to market - in a way that learns from the past to improve the future. 

This is the transformative power of procurement that improves outcomes for our citizens, and attracts the next generation to procurement as a career.

2020.12.17: System Thinking in Public Procurement

There is a balance in public procurement between requirements that prescribe “what” is needed versus asking the vendor to describe “how” they would solve the problem.

2020.12.10: Procurement Agility Discussion with Aaron Carter

Aaron Carter & Dustin Lanier: NAEP Procurement Agility Session

2020.11.05: Strategic Sourcing Panel Discussion

Panel discussion on Strategic Sourcing with Ann Dolan - Service New Brunswick; Gary Lambert - Massachusetts; Ash Sheety - Montgomery County; Justin Sullivan - University California System.

2020.10.27: Investing in Spend Data Management
Five ways to get spend data out of the silos. Data, and the insights they bring, are essential in today’s business environment. In the press to enable fact-based decision making, organizations are making huge investments to capture and warehouse massive amounts of data.

2020.10.26: Strategic Sourcing

When a central public procurement team is overwhelmed with transaction management, it is operating primarily in reaction to an inbound request. The transition to a strategic stance - and strategic sourcing - comes with asking not just "what is the oldest thing on my desk", but asking "what's the next best thing to do."

2020.10.08: CIO Innovation in the New Normal Panel

Panel of Ying Chan, Tanya Hannah, Sam Segran, & Jim Weaver

2020.09.16: Procurement Automation: What's the Burning Why?

For any automation project in government to make it through the “hard middle” where enthusiasm wanes and the bug counts grow, there has to be a burning "why".  So what is the “why” on procurement automation?

2020.09.15: The Case for Procurement Automation

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are intended to provide the back office to support the entire organization, spanning finance, human resources, supply chain management and specialty functions.

ERP is a standard expectation of medium to large organizations, and is often executed to bring consistency and transformation.

2020.08.25: Interview: Biko Taylor (KIPP, TX)

2020.08.24: Designing the New Normal Panel

At the 2020 NIGP Forum with Carol Wilson, Abdoul Kabaou, and Gisella Higgins

2020.08.05: Interview: Aaron Carter (U Illinois)
A lively interview with Aaron Carter, where he talked about a variety of current topics, including the focus of University presidents and the role of procurement.

2020.07.01: A Careful Balance

“Dustin, is anyone talking about how deeply connected schools re-opening and governments re-opening is? Because they need to be.” (Client last week). OK, let’s talk about it then.

2020.05.27: What if the Offices Stay Empty
CONDUCTING REAL PROCUREMENT IN A VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT - As government operations continue to be performed with part or all of the staff working from home, the question arises: “What if the offices stay empty?”

2020.05.13: Locked on Target: Applying Agility in Public Procurement
Covid-19 response has caused our public sector organizations to retrench and reload.
Now it’s time to lock in on the target.

2020.04.29: The New Normal in Public Procurement
In marking time since the first US case of COVID-19. It's time to plan for the new normal of proactive government during a sustained response.

2020.04.22: Towards A New Public Procurement Playbook
We have effective playbooks for mitigating hurricane impact. There is a key difference between COVID-19 and a hurricane that makes it time to start talking about a new playbook.

2020.04.15: Preparing for FEMA Reimbursement
3 Things Procurement Officers Can Do Now to Prepare for FEMA Reimbursements

2020.04.01: A New Lens for Vetting Suppliers
"Now, who are you again?"

Tips on validating new suppliers in public procurement during emergency response

2020.03.26: Distributed Workforce
As public procurement adjusts to a new normal, issues with leading a distributed workforce through shifting rules and priorities have moved to the forefront.

2020.03.17: Public Procurement Officers on the Front Line
As the world mobilizes to respond to COVID-19, procurement has a central role.

2020: Identifying Innovators

How do we know an innovator when we see one? They create an environment where innovation is welcomed...

2020: Celebrating Public Procurement Professionals

Celebrating procurement professionals during procurement month and all year long!

2020: Grounding Automation Projects in Business Value
First, run these as business projects with a technology component and not the other way around. Second, business value is about expanding the capacity of #procurement to create value for the organization.
Third, transforming #publicprocurement, making it easy to buy and hard to fail.

2020: Making Sense of Procurement Automation Choices
Learn about a new tool we call PARSE - Procurement Automation Readiness Self Evaluation.

2020: Building the Workbench for Procurement Automation

Building Blocks for Procurement Automation Success.

2020: Transactional Procurement Automation

Transactional procurement automation, from 'req to check', and using an ERP, eprocurement, or both.

2020: Transformational Procurement Automation

Transformational procurement automation aspects for public procurement.

2020: Designing the New Normal Panel

Panel of Carol Wilson, Adboul Kabaou, & Gisella Higgins

2020: Higher Education Panel

Panel of Ed Mills, Calvin Lyons, & Jenny Doherty

2020: Interview: Carol Wilson (Connecticut)
Our interview with Carol Wilson, C.P.M. garnered comments from five state CPOs - a great video to watch about #publicsector CPO's on the front lines. She describes how when Connecticut was deprioritized they began vetting new suppliers in earnest, almost 5000 new leads and suppliers.

2020: Interview: Jaime Schorr (Maine)
Jaime Schorr, State of Maine CPO, took time to help continue our series on Public CPOs managing in the new normal.

2020: Interview: Jenn Meyers (City of Tucson)
Jenn Myers, NIGP-CPP, CPPB is one of the best of the best, and we had a great discussion about thinking about young people and their future in public procurement.

2020: Interview: Jim Colangelo (Michigan)
Jim Colangelo covers public procurement topics including KPIs, organizational design, procurement agility, and new innovations.