March is an exciting time of year for procurement professionals. The Institute of Public Procurement (NIGP) has dedicated it as National Procurement Month, a time for recognition among those in the industry for all the hard work that they do, and the impact that work has on society. Though public procurement is the most directly associated, procurement professionals in higher education and the private sector recognize National Procurement Month as well.
The NLGA (National Lieutenant Governors Association) put together a release thoroughly describing the importance of National Procurement Month, calling public procurement an “essential function of government providing for the purchase of goods and services necessary for the safe and effective operation of the state/territory”, that it “requires specific knowledge and skills”, and that “state and local governments everywhere are supported by a highly qualified and dedicated procurement staff”. It’s high praise, but they’re right! You can read the NLGA’s full resolution here. And they aren’t the only ones. NIGP has compiled a list of National Procurement Month-related declarations from state and local governments across America (scroll down when you load the page to see them).
Recognition is great, but what happens in March in the procurement industry? It turns out that in addition to being a time to show recognition and appreciation for the the month does see increased activity in the form of events. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how you can get your organization ready to get the most out of National Procurement Month.
National Procurement Month Events
Depending on your industry, different events in March may be of interest. Procurement professionals in higher education will be attending NAEP’s (the National Association of Educational Procurement) newly-christened Educational Procurement Innovation Conference (EPIC for short), formerly known as the Annual Meeting. It will be held on March 17-20, 2024 in National Harbor, Maryland. This is an opportunity for attendees to network with other procurement professionals in the higher education space from around the nation. Topics of focus, according to NAEP, will be contracting/risk management, supplier relationship management, spend management, team development and structure, and emerging trends and technologies.
March is also a busy time for regional events. For example, the University of North Carolina System will be holding its 36th annual finance conference from March 13-15, 2024. Card Integrity will be presenting with some of our clients at the conference. Though every place differs, we do find the beginning of spring to be a popular time for these kinds of regional finance-related events. Check with your specific state or university system to see what conferences and events are coming up.
Here at Card Integrity, we will also be hosting a webinar in 2024 centered around National Procurement Month and appreciation for procurement professionals and the vital work that they do. We’ll have more details as this date approaches. If you’d like to be notified about this event and others, you can sign up for our newsletter below.
We’ve also compiled a list of national procurement, purchasing, and auditing events in 2024. There’s a lot more happening after March as well.
Recognizing and Appreciating Your Peers
The main aspect of National Procurement Month, is of course, recognition for the important role it plays, and the people that make it possible. Read about some ways how you can recognize and appreciate your team.
Promoting Procurement’s Value
Procurement has a reputation for being undervalued and often underfunded. How much truth there is to this is impossible to tell, especially because every workplace is different. But when we see a lack of resources as a recurring reason among organizations considering our help as a third party supplier, it gives that reputation credence. Repeated instances become a pattern, after all.
National Procurement Month is an opportunity to bring awareness to others in your organization as to just how vital and important procurement is. Acknowledging National Procurement Month whether at the office or on social media will get more people to think about it than you realize.
This March, take every opportunity to network with your peers and be open to learning more. And finally, celebrate your successes! You deserve it, and so do your people.