Procurement Blind Spots


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Virginia Forum 2010

The complex nature of some RFPs and IFBs can lead to blind spots in the procurement process. The challenge is being able to recognize blind spots before they compromise outcomes. This workshop focuses on how and why we develop blind spots that may impede our ability to adapt or learn in complex and uncertain procurements. Attendees will recognize the importance of the procurement reconnaissance needed in the decision making process and explore creative techniques to avoid potential blind spots.

Presenter: Alan H. Culpeper, CPPO, VCO – Director of Procurement, Culpeper County, Virginia

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Published in: Business
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Procurement Blind Spots

  1. 1. Procurement Blind Spots Alan H. Culpeper, CPPO, VCO Culpeper County, Virginia (540) 727-3488
  2. 2. Blind Spot?
  3. 3. A Purchasing Agent has the integrity to face facts, and the courage not to be intimidated by them.
  4. 4. Procurement Blind Spots  Explore Sources of Procurement Blind Spots  Theories of Learning Blind Spots  Impacts of Procurement Blind Spots  Different kinds of Procurement Blind Spots  Blind Spots and Our Procurement Making Decisions
  5. 5. Exercise +-
  6. 6. The Oxford Dictionary Definition Blind Spot: An area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality.
  7. 7. Count the F’s
  8. 8. Top Four Procurement Blind Spots  Going At It Alone: “No one else can do it but me”  Being Ignorant: “It’s my way, or the highway”  Avoidance: “I’ll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day”  Downloading (Not Listening): “Yes, I know that already”
  9. 9. Blind Spot Preventative Maintenance  Direct Attention  Harness Emotions  Overcome Defensiveness  Procurement Knowledge  Reality Check  Change the Behavior  Blind Spot Awareness
  10. 10. Direct Procurement Attention
  11. 11. Direct Attention Practice
  12. 12. Broadening Attention A Purchasing Agent consults with his/her colleagues. We talk through alternative approaches, explain our views, and listen to others’ views. It is the best teaching tool we have.
  13. 13. Who is in Your Master Mind Alliance?  End-Users  Suppliers / Vendors  Climate / Environment  Technology  Finance
  14. 14. Focus Attention
  15. 15. Focusing Attention “The only way to do great work is to love what you do…your time is limited, so don’t waste it” Steve Jobs
  16. 16. Harness Emotion Keep your composure. A Purchasing Agent should take risks and go through conflict with equal level-headedness. A Purchasing Agent should never submit their judgment to emotional swings.
  17. 17. Sources of Procurement Blind Spots  Being Arrogant  Refusing to listen  Attacking and judging other people  Defending your position to the very end
  18. 18. Sources of Procurement Blind Spots  Being Empathic  “Oh yes, I know exactly how you feel”  Downloading  “Yeah, I know that already”
  19. 19. Overcome Defensiveness
  20. 20. Defense Mechanisms  Denial  Blaming  Verbal Aggression  Flippancy  Excuses  Avoidance
  21. 21. Analyzing Your Defense Mechanisms
  22. 22. Procurement Knowledge Our Decisions Reflect those Views.
  23. 23. Understanding Procurement Law I can do it, if it is: Legal, Moral, and, Ethical
  24. 24. Reality Check Purchasing Agents do their own reconnaissance work for IFB & RFP. There is no substitute for knowing the Rules of Procurement and not knowing the realities of the law.
  25. 25. Sensing Solicitation Problems  Where are problems likely to emerge from?  What’s the worst that could happen?  What scenarios could develop that could threaten the integrity of the RFP/IFB?  Is there tension or conflict in the RFP/IFB?  What signs should I look for that may indicate problems or areas of concern?
  26. 26. Sensing RFP Opportunities  Where are opportunities likely to develop?  Can we develop a process that spots and focuses attention on or toward potential opportunities?
  27. 27. Four Stages of Behavior Change 1. I have to change 2. I can change 3. I want to change 4. I will change
  28. 28. Blind Spot Awareness  Visionary  Self Awareness  Satisfaction  Arrogance  Emotions  Values  Attention  Behavior
  29. 29. Blind Spot Awareness
  30. 30. Top 10 Reasons You May Be A Purchasing Agent 10. You have an ear for hearing a price drop. 9. You keep a bible on your desk for making vendors swear on delivery dates and times. 8. You have a sponge pad on your shoulder for vendors to cry on.
  31. 31. Top 10 Reasons You May Be A Purchasing Agent 7. You keep a bucket of water next to your desk to throw on hot deals 6. Vendors think you have a direct pipeline to the finance office. 5. When you’re at home you refer to “Money” as “Funds”.
  32. 32. Top 10 Reasons You May Be A Purchasing Agent 4. Your spouse is embarrassed to go car shopping with you because you always play hardball negotiations. 3. You make your yard boy sign a contract. 2. You pin an indemnification note on your kid when they go to a birthday party.
  33. 33. And The Number 1 Reason: 1. You ask your kids to submit a written budget request for next years allowance.
  34. 34. Procurement Blind Spots Alan H. Culpeper, CPPO, VCO Culpeper County, Virginia (540) 727-3488