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Cook County Presents: “Procurement Transformation in the Windy City.”

On Tuesday, August 23, 2022 representatives from Cook County, Illinois, and implementation partner Civic Initiatives will present at the NIGP Forum 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts, on how they have partnered to transform the county’s procurement process. Cook County’s Chief Procurement Officer, Raffi Sarrafian, and Civic Initiatives’s Dustin Lanier, Certified Public Procurement Officer, will lead the discussion.

In the past several years, Cook County, with the help of Civic Initiatives, has launched a series of improvement projects with the goal of making their procurement process more efficient and effective. During their presentation, Sarrafian and Lanier will discuss the impetus for the project as well as their goals. They will provide examples of initiatives that have been implemented or are underway and they will discuss how partners like Civic Initiatives and EqualLevel have contributed to their procurement transformation. All the while sharing lessons that could prove helpful for other local governments considering similar innovations. Among the projects they will be discussing is Cook County’s utilization of EqualLevel’s eProcurement marketplace to automate and significantly reduce manual entry for the county’s requisitions, POs and invoices.

With a population of over 5,000,000, Cook County is the second most populous county in the U.S. The county’s 2022 operating budget is just over $8 billion. “We have close to 600 active contracts in the aggregate of a little over a billion dollars (with) somewhere around 400 million in procurement…all necessary for the daily operation of Cook County,” said Sarrafian on a recent episode of the podcast, “Public Procurement Change Agents.” Given the county’s size and volume of spend, streamlining processes could produce significant savings both in employee time and purchasing dollars.

Civic Initiatives was founded in 2010 and has provided procurement transformation assistance to entities across the U.S. The firm supports operating model reform, spend management, and procurement automation. 

“NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement,” develops, supports and promotes the public procurement profession through research and educational programs, professional support, technical services, and advocacy initiatives that benefit members and other stakeholders. Their annual NIGP forum brings together professionals at all levels to learn from and support one another. The conference will take place August 22, 2022 to August 24, 2022 and will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Sessions will be offered both in-person as well as virtually. Industry events such as these are critical for promoting information sharing among procurement professionals across the U.S.