Cindy Fay – City of Griffin, Georgia
Cindy Fay, procurement analyst for the City of Griffin, has been named Vendor Registry’s June 2017 Purchaser of the Month!
To celebrate, we had a fun Q & A session with Cindy so she could share some valuable insight on her career and how she’s become one of the great women in her field.
Congratulations, Cindy! We’re grateful to work with you and the City of Griffin!
How many years have you worked in purchasing?
I am a relative newbie of nine years in Public Procurement. I started with the City of Griffin in 2008 and until then, I had no real concept of what public procurement was all about. I was, however, armed with a very diverse background as a Functional Analyst in the Training & Support division of a financial software company. Even though we had no government clients, I trained and consulted with a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies across the county with my primary product being Accounts Payable and my secondary product Purchase Order, so I was accustomed to different regulations and policies as well as dealing with a wide variety of issues.
When I started with the City, I quickly discovered that the Procurement department consisted mainly of a handwritten requisition log with an occasional bid submitted and published. There was no in-house training, so I took every available class that Georgia DOAS-SPD (Dept of Administrative Services – State Procurement Division) offered the non-state agencies, and I became certified both with the State and NIGP. Even though the City is still ‘manual’ with regards to Procurement, I have used the best practices I learned to grow the department function to emulate an automated system.
How long has your agency used Vendor Registry?
Griffin started using Vendor Registry in May 2015. Sometime in April, I remember getting a ‘cold call’ from Vendor Registry. Being a one-person shop I normally do not have the time that I would like to have to devote to sales reps. This was one I wanted to hear; I had just been discussing options with a peer that could help with the workload just earlier that week. I remember they had mentioned Vendor Registry, but since I had no budget to work with, I had dismissed it. Whether it was an omen or curiosity, when I got the call, I felt that I needed to find out more.
Why did you choose Vendor Registry?
There are several reasons that I chose Vendor Registry to present to my management. The most prominent ones are:
- First, I knew I needed help. Georgia agencies were still getting acclimated to the new requirements of O.C.G.A. §13-10-91 (E-Verify) and §50-36-1 (SAVE). It was a confusing time that put a tremendous additional workload on all Georgia agencies.
- There were no fees for Vendor Registry’s basic services. There was no way I would ask my vendors to pay to do business with us when they were already getting that service for free.
- Vendor self-service put the responsibility of keeping the records current back on the vendor, where it belongs. No more accusing calls when they did not get a notice because we did not have a correct commodity code.
There are many companies that could satisfy those basic needs well, but there was something else that that I felt the other companies did not have. That was sincerity – a genuine desire to have a product that everyone could afford and the insight to understand that the best way to do that would be to listen to the experts – their client base.
The customer service and support people that I have worked with have been exceptional; they are always willing to help and go the extra mile to help us resolve a problem. I have periodically done some “it would be really nice if” scenarios. Whether it is a good idea they want to incorporate, a good idea that they aren’t able to do at present, something that may just benefit a couple of people or even a ‘what were you thinking’ idea, I always get honest feedback and feel that my comments, even the ridiculous ones, are appreciated. That’s important to me.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Most people in Procurement are short-staffed and overloaded, so hearing ‘favorite thing’ sometimes brings a chuckle. After that chuckle, I would say I have two things I like about my job. First, I’m always doing something different. In the nine years I have been here, I doubt that I’ve had two days the same. That keeps me learning. The second is more specific to this job. I thrive on making a difference, hopefully for the better. Since there was no official Procurement process here, almost everything I have done has made a difference and that makes me proud.
Bonus question: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
That one’s easy for me. Purple is my color and I have two shades – Violet for when I need to be bold and assertive and Mauve for those softer times.
We’d like to thank Cindy for taking the time to participate in our Purchaser of the Month award. We’re proud to work with strong procurement folks, and Cindy is a wonderful example of just that!
Know someone who should be nominated for Purchaser of the Month?
Send a nomination to John Barron at firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name, the name of the person you’re nominating, their contact information and why that person (or department) should be next in the spotlight!