December 15, 2017

Procurement Conference a Success

The State Bureau of Procurement concluded its second annual conference on November 16 at the Alliant Energy Center. Attended by over 160 public procurement professionals, the conference offered education and networking opportunities. The event featured six breakout sessions on topics of interest to the procurement community and its customers including market research and data-driven contracting, an advanced workshop on the new STAR Sourcing system, and a roadmap for the One Procurement initiative. Three panels of experts also spoke to using agility in IT procurement, public vs. private procurement elements, and overall sourcing best practices. In addition, attendees took part in two keynote sessions – “The Art of the Question” from Richard Pennington from the purchasing cooperative of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO ValuePoint) and “Five Sources of Untapped Power” from UW-Madison professor Lyn Van Swol. Conference materials are available online: > State Bureau of Procurement > SBOP Conference. For more information, please contact Jessica Vieira at (608) 266-5452.

Vendor Resources: Updated Vendors' Guide

The Vendors’ Guide has been updated to reflect recent changes to the solicitation process, including introduction of the eSupplier Portal for Bidders. This document is intended to help companies learn about the procurement process and answer questions regarding how to do business with the State. This guide is available on the VendorNet homepage. Questions or comments about the Vendors’ Guide can be directed to Jessica Vieira at (608) 266-5452.

Agencies Making Strides with Electronic Bidding

State agencies using STAR have posted 25 sourcing events – with more than 35 additional events currently in development – using the new Strategic Sourcing electronic bidding system! We have also seen an increase in bidders registering in the eSupplier Portal to receive bid notices and respond online with the registration list growing on a daily basis. The State Bureau of Procurement, along with STAR, will continue to provide tools and guidance on the best ways for agencies to use this new system. Those using STAR and those using VendorNet to post bids should continue to encourage prospective bidders to register using the simple three-step process. For more information, see the eSupplier Job Aid.

Ho Ho NO! Gifts from Suppliers

It’s the time of year when suppliers may want to show their appreciation by offering gifts to you or your agency. As State procurement professionals, we may not accept any gifts from suppliers. It is our duty to avoid the perception of impropriety and adhere to the personnel section on ethics for employees (Chapter ER-MRS 24 and s. 19.45(2), Wis.Stats.). If a supplier attempts to offer you a gift, simply refuse it and explain the need for procurement professionals to remain independent. If a supplier mails or brings a gift to your agency and leaves it without talking to anyone, best practices are:

  • Notify the supplier to retrieve the gift immediately.

  • Redirect the gift anonymously as appropriate to a local food pantry, homeless shelter or other charitable organization. Flowers may be donated anonymously to assisted living centers, hospitals or other charitable organizations.

  • Discard the gift.

Agencies should then follow-up with communication to the supplier and request that the supplier refrain from sending any gifts in the future. If you have questions, please contact

Strategic Sourcing: Tips & Tricks

Introducing a new forum to share tips and tricks for creating solicitations within the Strategic Sourcing module!

Accessing Reports. To gain access to the reports available for your solicitation (including bidders’ list, NIGP codes used and a list of bid factors), users with the SS Manager role may use the following navigation within the Strategic Sourcing module: Main Menu > State of Wisconsin (STAR) > Strategic Sourcing > Enterprise Administration > Download Event Documents. Select your search criteria from the “Search by” dropdown menu, enter your search terms and click the “Search” button to generate a list of available reports.

Tracking Your Progress While Using Templates. When using the Enterprise RFB, RFP or Simplified Bid templates, the titles of each section on the Document Management page will all begin with “RFx_”. Instead of deleting this text from the titles immediately, only delete the text once you’ve fully completed each section. This will allow you to easily track which sections you’ve already edited and which ones you still need to do.

Page Formatting. When editing the sections of your document, you have the option of selecting different “Styles” (e.g., “Normal” or “Heading 1”) from the dropdown menu at the top of the window. By default, the page will be set to “Normal” which includes double-spacing. To reduce the amount of white space on each page, we suggest choosing “Normal DIV”, the single-spaced style at the very bottom of the dropdown menu. Keep in mind that if you use this style, you will also want to include a blank line at the end of your section or the next section will begin on the line immediately following your current section.

Looking for additional resources for Strategic Sourcing? STAR agencies can access a variety of job aids, tools, and resources on STAR Connection (STAR Connection > Resources > Finance and Procurement > Job Aids > Search for “Strategic Sourcing”). If you would like to share a Strategic Sourcing tip or trick you’ve learned, please email your ideas to Jessica Vieira.

Contract Spotlight

Copiers and Related Devices. This is a friendly reminder to be wary when giving out information over the phone. We have recently been alerted to scammers attempting to gain identifying information about the office copiers in use, including serial numbers. The callers may identify themselves as a company providing maintenance or selling toner at a reduced rate. The goal of the scam is to gain enough information to be able to submit an invoice for an order that appears legitimate.

When receiving calls from contractors on the Copiers and Related Devices contract (505ENT-M15-MFDCOPIER-00), the caller should identify themselves by name and company. If you have questions or concerns regarding a caller, take down their name and phone number and let them know you will get back to them, then contact the company directly using the contact information found on the contract page on VendorNet. For questions about this contract, please contact Dan Raudonis at (608) 266-9796.


Continuing to Grow! WISBuy has had a year of growth. With more than 3,100 active users in WISBuy we have seen a 57% increase in daily spend and a 44% increase in the number of daily transactions in WISBuy over the previous year. In addition, we have added more than 1,100 new users this year and begun to offer weekly phone trainings (contact for more information).

The data we gather from purchases made in WISBuy is used to help our procurement managers negotiate the best deals possible when it’s time to renew contracts. With that in mind, we would like to thank our users for helping to capture 92% of State agency office supply spend through WISBuy in October. We plan to continue to work with agencies on ways to increase our transactions in other commodity areas, such as computer IT and MRO supply purchases made through WISBuy.

Wisconsin State Bureau of Procurement Leadership Engaged Nationally

In the last month, SBOP Director Rick Hughes attended the Joint Roundtable on Procurement Leadership conference between the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) and State Chief Administrators (NASCA) in Atlanta. This event featured an opportunity for Wisconsin to have a voice in discussions on IT procurement reform, contract administration and procurement governance. More than thirty other states also participated.

State Bureau of Procurement Reels in Summer Intern Funding

As part of our active engagement with the national association, SBOP received word from NASPO that Wisconsin was one of eight states selected for its fully-funded 2018 Public Procurement Summer Internship program. More details to come in the future about the internship project and the work of the selected candidate.

Staffing News

Rick House Retired. Rick House has retired from State service after 25 years. Rick began his career with the State in 1993 in a position at Darwin Road with the Department of Natural Resources. He took his first procurement position at DNR around 2006 and in 2014 he transferred to his current position at DOA as the State’s Vehicle Procurement Manager. Thank you, Rick, for your service to DOA and the people of Wisconsin!

Welcome, Leann McGowan! The State Bureau of Procurement is pleased to welcome Leann McGowan to the Enterprise Sourcing Section. Leann will be responsible for vehicle procurement including the annual vehicle buys as well as managing the vehicle-related contracts such as managed fleet maintenance, tires, vehicle lifts and car rentals. Leann spent the last year and a half as a Purchasing Agent Senior at DNR. During that time, she procured contracts for a variety of goods and services and worked closely with the fleet managers to create purchase requisitions for vehicles. Prior to her time at DNR, Leann worked at a trucking company where she wrote production specifications and created service manuals. Leann brings a wealth of vehicle knowledge and experience to this position and we are excited to have her as part of our team. Welcome, Leann!

Jim Witecha Named SBOP IT Section Chief. Jim Witecha is the new Section Chief for Enterprise IT Sourcing. Jim is a US Navy veteran and has a bachelor’s degree from UW Stevens Point. He also went on to earn an MBA from UW Milwaukee and a law degree from Marquette University. He worked as a contracts professional for GE Healthcare and in-house legal counsel at a software company prior to beginning his state service at DPI as a Contracts Specialist-Advanced. In 2015, he joined the State Bureau of Procurement, Enterprise IT Sourcing Team, where he focused primarily on IT service contracts. Congratulations, Jim!

Welcome Dan Raudonis to the State Bureau of Procurement! Dan Raudonis joins SBOP as a Procurement Specialist-Objective. Before joining us, Dan was a Contract Specialist in the DOA Division of Facilities and Development Management. He has also served as a Contract Administrator for the EBT program at DHS, a Contract Specialist with purchasing responsibilities for the United States Air Force, and has five years of experience as an IT specialist. He joins the team managing contracts for desktop computers, MFD/copiers and other hardware. Welcome to SBOP, Dan!

Congratulations, Penny Lawler! Penny Lawler has been promoted to a Procurement Specialist-Objective in the SBOP Consolidated Agency Purchasing Services (CAPS) Section. Penny has been with CAPS since 2015 as a Purchasing Associate and Procurement Specialist-Entry. Penny came to us from STAR where she provided administrative support during the project’s critical implementation phase. We appreciate Penny’s great customer service and dedication to the public procurement profession. Congratulations, Penny!