June 20, 2018

A Farewell from Rick Hughes

It was with earnest deliberation and mixed emotions that I recently decided to leave the State of Wisconsin and pursue a new challenge in the public procurement arena. My last day as Procurement Director will be Friday, June 22.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed working at the State Bureau of Procurement these last seven years. As the Director of Procurement, my goal has always been to make our procurement office as effective as possible and to do a better job of telling leaders, agencies, businesses and citizens why sound procurement practices matter at every opportunity. Additionally, I strived to get people excited about this field and to stretch to be the best at it because our state needs us to be excellent. I have really enjoyed seeing the bright stars of this field and future leaders collaborating about this work and its challenges.

Thank you all for your personal commitment to the profession of procurement as you developed and sharpened your skills in response to the needs of your agencies and the expectations of the citizenry and supplier community. Although there is need for continuous improvement, I have confidence in you all to reach your full potential in this field and I will cheer for you from the sidelines.

 - Rick Hughes


Approval of IT and Private Consultant Purchases Over $150K

Executive Order 288 directs State agencies to submit any information technology or private consultant services purchase (including consultants over $150,000) to the Secretary of the Department of Administration for approval. The Bureau of Procurement is actively working with the Division of Enterprise Technology on an enhancement to the Automated RPA system which will allow agencies to submit these requests online. More information will be coming in July regarding this enhancement. Questions relating to this project may be directed to doawispro@wisconsin.gov.


2018 Procurement Conference

Plans are continuing to come together for this year’s State of Wisconsin Procurement Conference, scheduled for October 31, 2018 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. Stay current on these developments by regularly checking the 2018 Procurement Conference website. In addition to the official Save the Date flyer, you will soon be able to access this year’s brochure, agenda and registration instructions. Can't wait for this year's conference? In the meantime you can view the presentation materials and handouts from both of the previous Procurement Conferences as well. Contact Jessica Vieira at (608) 266-5452 with any questions.


Training Updates

Strategic Sourcing Classes Offered in July. Before being granted access to use the Strategic Sourcing module in PeopleSoft, users must complete the required training courses. We have scheduled the next round of in-person Strategic Sourcing classes for Thursday, July 19 at the Department of Administration building in downtown Madison.

Students will be required to complete three classes: one computer-based introductory course and two instructor-led classes. Students should sign up for all three classes in ELM by searching for “PRO308” in the “Find Learning” window. Because of the prerequisites, students should sign up for the classes in the following order:

  • PRO308: Introduction to Strategic Sourcing (eLearning)

  • PRO308: Strategic Sourcing – Creating an RFB and RFP (July 19, 8:00am-12:00pm)

  • PRO308: Strategic Sourcing – Score and Award (July 19, 12:30pm-4:30pm)

The instructor-led classes provide students with hands-on experience using the system and are taught by procurement staff who regularly use the system themselves. Since the classes are taught in the DOA computer lab, space is extremely limited – we encourage you to sign up soon! If you have questions about the classes, please contact Jessica Vieira at (608) 266-5452.

Software Licensing 101. IT procurement has many dimensions and the markets are constantly changing. Buying evolving solutions for customers with ever-increasing demands is exciting, but also carries its challenges. This session will be a candid, practical and often witty look at negotiations, methodology, tools and approaches to managing the sourcing and contracting processes of IT. Join us as we review tools and methods that can be most effective in IT procurement events. Participants will learn to recognize what makes IT procurement unique and discuss ways to capitalize on those elements as well as discussing negotiation approaches to IT contracts and software licenses.

Space is still available for the Software Licensing 101 class scheduled for July 25 from 9am to 4pm. The class is open to current State employees and there are no prerequisites. Sign up today on the SBOP Training page or contact Jessica Vieira at (608) 266-5452 with any questions.


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 Brenda Derge at (608) 266-8613.


Strategic Sourcing: Tips and Tricks

Organizing Supporting Documents: The STAR team has recently added the ability for sourcing managers to choose the order in which supporting documents are displayed. On the “Supporting Documents” page, there is an editable field to the left of the document title. By default, all documents will be assigned an order of “1” and will display in the order they were added to the system. To change the order they are displayed in, sourcing managers can simply change the number, with a document assigned “1” displaying at the top of the list. If two or more documents are assigned the same number, they will display in the order they were added to the system.

Download Event Documents: (Navigation: Main Menu > State of Wisconsin (STAR) > Strategic Sourcing > Enterprise Administration > Download Event Documents) To download an event’s documents, navigate to the “Download Event Documents” window and enter the relevant event number to download groupings of documents (e.g., Bid Factors or NIGP Codes). As the event progresses, additional reports become active (e.g., the Event Q&A report will become after receiving and answering a question) and after the event has been awarded, sourcing managers are able to download all attachments at once.

Download a Single Bidder’s Response: STAR has also recently added the ability to download a single bidder’s response to an event, instead of having to download all event responses and sort through them manually. To access this feature, go to “Download Event Documents” and use the “Bidder ID” search field to identify the appropriate bidder. Attachments from the bidder will still need to be downloaded separately using the "Download All Attachments" section of the "Download Event Documents" page.

Event Q&A: Once the “Questions Close” date and time have passed, bidders are unable to submit general questions through eSupplier, however the system will still allow them to ask questions tied to specific sections of the solicitation through the "Submit Online Response" window. When a late question is received, the procurement specialist should review it on a case by case basis to decide whether the question merits an answer or amendment and whether a new Q&A period should be opened to accommodate it.

Bidder Communications: When bidders receive an email from the sourcing manager through the "Bidder Communication" tool, they receive an email from STARdonotreply@wisconsin.gov. The intention is that bidders would then sign into eSupplier to view the communication via the “My Communications” link on the Bidder Homepage. If the sourcing manager chose to allow responses to the communication, bidders would be able to respond to the email through this portal. However, if bidders attempt to respond to the initial email from STARdonotreply@wisconsin.gov, it will not be sent to the sourcing manager.

If sourcing managers require a bidder response to a communication, it may be beneficial to direct the bidders to use the “My Communications” link on the Bidder Homepage (see the Bidder Homepage Overview for a visual guide) or to include the email address they should respond to in the original message.

Looking for additional resources for Strategic Sourcing? STAR agencies can access a variety of job aids, tools and resources on STARConnection (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.


WISBuy Tops $1 Million in Monthly Spend

WISBuy celebrated a milestone in May, topping the $1,000,000 mark in monthly sales for the first time since its launch in 2014! Sales for 2018 calendar year-to-date are up nearly $1.7M and transactions are almost 5,500 higher than in 2017. The staff in the KIT (Knowledge Management, Improvement and Training) Section continue to work closely with users regarding WISBuy training and use. We are confident this milestone will be the first of many achieved in the next year. If you have specific WISBuy needs or questions, please email doawispro@wisconsin.gov.


Staffing Update

Charles (Chuck) McCrary and Kevin Reuter have joined SBOP as Program and Policy Analysts. Their primary responsibility will be the implementation of a new IT Vendor Management Program, which is a collaborative effort between DEO and the Division of Enterprise Technology. Prior to joining the Bureau, Chuck was a compliance and security officer with Hewlett-Packard with a wide range of experience related to cyber security, IT risk assessments and service level agreement (SLA) management. Kevin was a business development and account executive with Conney Safety Products with a wide range of experience related to managing large accounts and working with cross-functional teams on procurement-related projects.

Matthew Kojm has also joined SBOP as a Summer Intern (part of the DOA SAAIP program) and will work on various projects, including supporting the procurement policy reform effort. Matt is majoring in Political Science and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.