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Congratulations Cronin Awards Winners Tennessee, Wisconsin and Massachusetts


LEXINGTON, KY – October 11, 2016 – The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) presented its annual George Cronin Awards at its national conference last month in Minneapolis. The awards recognize innovation and efficiency in state procurement.

The state of Tennessee’s Department of General Services received the Gold, highest honor in the competition. Tennessee’s award recognized the state’s effort to streamline its awarding of radio contracts. The state consolidated multiple contracts into a single, innovative contract that allows for technology evolution without contract amendment, and balances user needs while ensuring highly competitive pricing. The effort has saved the state $2.5 million since the effort began in 2014.

“We had an opportunity to enhance public service, provide up to date technology and save the state money in the process,” said Richard Kotler, Category Specialist with the state’s Department of General Services.

The Silver or Second Place Cronin Award was presented to the state of Wisconsin for its IT Procurement Best Practices Playbook. The playbook offers a new approach to professional development in state procurement and is an innovative way to address procurement reform. Several football themed “plays” in the book address cost savings such as “Don’t Let the Anchor Drag You Down,” and “Sandbag (Excessive) Revenue Streams.”

The Third Place winner was the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which partnered with neighboring states Connecticut, New York, and Vermont to re-bid their environmentally preferable cleaning products and programs. While green cleaning products were traditionally more expensive, the effort generated discounts to the buyers of an average 20 percent. For example, a $9 million contract, would reflect average savings to the state of $1.9 million per year.

The State of Wisconsin was recognized as an additional finalist for its state employee training program on negotiation skills. The state developed a one-day interactive negotiation course that teaches elements of planning, techniques “at the table,” and the closing phases of negotiation. In addition to the professional development of purchasing officers, the program has saved the state more than $41,000 in training costs.

Additionally, NJSTART, a state of the art eprocurement system developed and implemented by the state of New Jersey earlier this year was also recognized as a finalist. NJSTART has already attracted more than 13, 000 vendors and has consolidated all procurement activities into a one-stop shop. The state estimates that NJSTART will reduce the state’s purchasing costs from $1.2 million per year to $875,000.

The Cronin Award serves as a means to disseminate and to encourage adoption of breakthrough initiatives by other states. In this way, Cronin awardees and finalists create opportunities for improving the procurement function nationwide.

Click here to learn more about the awards, winners, and see all nominations from this year.

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