About The Award

The Cronin Award is intended to serve two purposes. First, of course, it seeks to recognize outstanding state procurement initiatives—providing some well-deserved appreciation to a State and its procurement personnel that have undertaken and accomplished projects that result in distinct benefits to the State in economy, efficiency, delivery of services or some combination of each.

Second, by calling attention to these efforts, the Cronin Award serves as a means to disseminate and to encourage adoption of these initiatives by other States. In this way, Cronin awardees and finalists create opportunities for improving the procurement function nationwide, which can multiply those initial benefits many times over.
 

Please note: Nominations for the George Cronin Awards for Procurement Excellence are intended for state central procurement offices, and must be submitted by, or with approval from, the NASPO voting member (CPO) within your state. If you have questions about who can submit for the award, please contact Lori Denhart at ldenhart@naspo.org

 

Click here to download the new submission template and get started on your nomination!

 

 


The submission template provides guidelines that will help you build a strong submission. The evaluation of the Cronin Awards consists of four categories, each one examining a different aspect of the project's impact and each weighed separately to provide an overall score (more details available in the subsections below). Submissions are limited to four pages, although optional supporting material can also be submitted as a separate document when needed to showcase images, examples, or documentation that is too large to fit within the four-page submission itself. Supporting materials should do just that—support and document the statements made and results described in the submission itself.

 

Introduction to Submission / Executive Summary


It is useful to committee members for a submission to begin with a short executive summary/introduction that describes the purpose and scope of the project and gives a brief overview of the implementation process. The introduction should also include a summary statement of the content of each of the four categories and a comment on the results of the project. If there is anything in the submission to which committee members should pay particular attention, it is helpful to mention it in the introduction. This executive summary should not exceed one page and is included as part of the total pages for the submission.

Below are the categories you should ensure are covered within your four page nomination. Using the template above will make this a lot easier.

 

Scoring Categories


Innovation


(30 points) – unusual or unique approach, scale, or magnitude of effort; conceptual originality. This category should answer the question, “What makes this project stand out as a notable contribution to the procurement function?” It is intended to capture the nature and impact of changes in your state operations, but it also rewards path-breaking ideas or efforts that may not have been considered or attempted elsewhere. Because substantial originality is so rare, this category offers the highest potential point total to a submission that is able to point out differences and to distinguish itself from closely similar projects completed or underway in other states.
Transferability


(35 points) – primarily an external focus that assesses the practical ability by other states to replicate or use as a benchmark, considering expected resources required and generality of the legal or structural environment in which the entry was implemented. A project or initiative that can be used broadly by other states as a template will receive a higher score than one with benefits that appear to depend on the particular geography, environment, governmental structure or particular needs of the submitting state. In some cases, it may be necessary to explain how an apparent state-bound effort can be adapted for greater transferability.
 

Service Improvement


(20 points) – an internal focus that assesses the extent to which transactions or service delivery is made more effective; includes consideration of nature of stakeholder involvement by agencies/users in development & implementation of program or project; change management strategy sufficient to promote adoption. Every purchasing organization provides a service to other state agencies, and this category is intended to assess results—the impact of the project on improving the delivery of those services. More weight is given to specifics than to generalities. When metrics are provided, it is beneficial to include a short (non-technical) explanation of how those metrics were produced. Also, committee members look favorably on descriptions of the input, participation and adoption by stakeholders.
 

Cost Reduction


(15 points) – validated or potential for cost reduction, including considerations of efficiency. Although cost reduction may not be quite as highly weighted as the other three categories, well-documented estimates or projections of savings is often the determining factor between otherwise generally equal submissions. Cost savings figures are given more weight when they are objective and include an explanation of how they were derived. Although increases in efficiency are less open to precise calculation, the manner or method by which the increase is realized should be described. In general, undocumented claims of very large cost reductions are less likely to receive higher scores than smaller, but significant and well-supported cost savings estimates.
 
 
Resubmissions

Resubmittal of past nominations is allowed, however it must meet the following criteria:

  • The resubmittal cannot have received any level of Cronin award (e.g., Gold, Silver or Bronze) from a past year
  • The resubmittal must contain new information from the previous submission
  • The resubmittal must clearly describe the significant changes/circumstances that make this program viable for resubmission

The Cronin Awards Committee will review the resubmission justifications to determine whether the submission will be included with those to be scored. If the committee determines the reasons for resubmission are substantial, then the entire document will be reviewed along with the other submissions. If, however, the committee determines, based on the justification, that a particular resubmittal does not merit inclusion in the group to be scored, the resubmittal will not be scored. All states involved with a resubmittal will be notified of the committee's decision to include or exclude their submission from scoring immediately following the committee's decision. 

 

SEVERAL STATES HONORED FOR PROCUREMENT EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION

The Cronin Awards were presented at NASPO’s Annual Conference, September 8-11, in Grand Rapids, MI. The 2019 recipients are:‚Äč

  • Gold Award Winner: State of Michigan, Circumventing Risk with Contract Management

    In order to better manage its contracts, Michigan’s Central Procurement Services (“CPS”) developed a proactive Contract Management program by which it would ensure greater contract compliance by both the State’s agencies and its vendors. At its core, this program builds upon and formalizes the policies for what we should have been doing all along, while adding new processes, policies, and positions to effectuate the needed change. This program is designed to ensure that the State gets the full benefit of its contracts.

  • Silver Award Winner: State of Florida, Market Analysis and Procurement Strategy

    The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS), Division of State Purchasing utilizes the Market Analysis and Procurement Strategy (MAPS) process to determine which procurement method to employ and to achieve a best value for Florida. The MAPS process is used in determining if the Department should issue a new, competitive solicitation (purchases exceeding Category II, $35,000), to re-solicit an existing contract, to renew an existing contract or to allow an existing contract to expire. The MAPS processes resemble a research paper which highlights the following sections: background information, the current industry, customer and vendor information, pricing analysis to determine pricing of comparable contracts, risk assessment, special circumstances and a recommendation. The MAPS is an excellent tool for determining past procurement decisions and for determining what course of action is needed for future purchases, always keeping State of Florida customers in mind.

  • Bronze Award Winner: State of Minnesota, Innovation Begets Innovation: How Challenge-Based RFP’s Have Been a Winning Solution for Minnesota

    The Minnesota Connected and Automated Vehicle Challenge (CAV Challenge) is a new and flexible procurement process that fosters innovation as the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) procures connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology. MnDOT approached our Office of State Procurement (OSP) with a problem—how could they harness the rapidly-evolving technologies associated with CAV through the procurement process? OSP and MnDOT met, and MnDOT was concerned that the typical narrowly defined requirements in a request for proposal (RFP) would inhibit vendors from submitting real technological innovation with CAV. OSP was wary of making statutory changes specifically for MnDOT and wanted to preserve the values of fair and open competition in the procurement process. Could we work within the statute? Could we preserve fair and open competition while helping MnDOT lead in CAV technology? Through collaboration we determined that answer is yes and the CAV Challenge was born. The CAV Challenge is open for vendors to apply to at any time. Proposals are reviewed every other month. Rather than narrowly defined requirements, MnDOT lists broad goals in the RFP, and vendors are scored to the extent their project aligns with those goals.

  • Finalist: Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Excellent Data = Meaningful Analytics: Improving Vendor Report Information Management

    The Operational Services Division (OSD) needed a tool that would simplify the reporting process and ensure the integrity of vendor-reported quarterly Massachusetts customer sales activity data and provide Business Intelligence (BI) analysis and defensible reporting of that data. This tool would provide an efficient, secure, and reliable means of collecting, managing, storing, and reporting on sales activity against statewide contracts, replacing a spreadsheet-based manual reporting collection process. The focus was on leveraging a highly configurable Software as a Service tool to replace the current Vendor Report Management spreadsheets.

  • Finalist: State of New York, Online File Requirements System

    New York State Procurement Services establishes more than 1,300 centralized statewide contracts for commodities, technology, and services valued at approximately $22 billion for use by state agencies, municipalities, and other public and some nonprofit entities. As centralized procurement, we are tasked to acquire commodities and services at competitive, volume-discounted/reduced prices while complying with statutory requirements and ensuring the strategic effectiveness for all procurements. Two primary goals of centralized procurement are to 1) increase the percentage of authorized users buying from centralized contracts, and 2) act as a single customer to the vendor community on behalf of all state purchasers.

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