Customer Spotlight: November 2017 Purchaser of the Month!
Mike Thornton, CPPO – Purchasing Manager for City of Leesburg, Florida has been named Vendor Registry’s November 2017 Purchaser of the Month! Take a look at our brief Q & A session with Mike for some valuable insight on his career and letting us know how the City of Leesburg is doing since hurricane Irma.
Congratulations, Mike! We’re grateful to work with you and the City of Leesburg!
What drew you to a career in purchasing?
I have been involved in one way or another with public procurement for the past 26 years. My previous position was with a private sector software company. I enjoy public procurement because of the variety of the work. We are a smaller agency so we get to work with all kinds of commodities.
What specific feature do you like the most about Vendor Registry?
The Vendor Management module was our primary reason for changing systems. Vendor Registry provides my office with the tools we need to truly manage and communicate with our vendors. We are also using the solicitations and contracts modules that have many of the same benefits as the vendor management module.
Recently you dealt with a natural disaster, how did you handle it? Do you have suggestions for other purchasing folks who will have to deal with something similar?
Florida was recently hit by Hurricane Irma. It served as a real eye opener for many Florida agencies. The last events were in 2004 when Florida experienced a significant hurricane season with 4 hitting Florida that year. That was 13 years ago and I believe many agencies had let their guard down. Irma found many agencies unprepared and lacking the necessary contracts for storm recovery. A disaster is defined as a ‘sudden event.’ The best time to prepare for a disaster is before it strikes. Agencies have to plan in advance and procurement plays a critical role to insure their agency has the appropriate contracts in place and vendor contacts available.
As an added blow, Hurricane Irma affected all counties of Florida, some more than others. All agencies were looking to the same vendor base for assistance. It is important that you have vendor contacts outside of your area, even your state, to provide commodities necessary for storm recovery.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I enjoy seeing projects to completion and providing the benefits to my user departments that we say we can provide.
What has your experience been like with the Vendor Registry team?
The Vendor Registry team has been nothing short of GREAT to work with! Our transition from our previous system to Vendor Registry was seamless and very easy. Vendor Registry staff was there every step of the way.