Introducing Josh Klika, Procurement & Contracting Consultant
I am looking forward to the opportunity to be your Procurement Jedi, providing guidance and support for your adventures.
My career in government procurement started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. While on a delivery for an electronics store, I drove by a state government supply warehouse, and a few days later, I applied for the warehouse worker test (yes, at that time, you took a written test to apply for a state job). After passing the test I was offered a job at that exact supply warehouse I had driven by that inspired me to think about government work! Hence, my over 20-year adventure in government procurement began!
After my initial job as a warehouse worker, I learned about other job opportunities along the supply chain and gravitated towards procurement roles. Working in procurement at different state agencies gave me the opportunity to learn many elements of the field, as each agency presented me with unique situations and puzzles to solve. I adopted the saying of Master Yoda in my approach: “Do or do not. There is no try.” I wanted to do something and learn from every adventure.
A procurement adventure has many elements. To highlight a few based on my own experiences, I had opportunities to impact how inventory is identified and tracked in an inventory management system statewide, worked on statewide contracts with environmental and supplier diversity initiatives, and created events with the goal of educating and connecting suppliers to government opportunities. I also had the opportunity to work through challenges often faced in the procurement field; that of taking on new responsibilities, but with fewer resources. I’ve also worked in leadership roles, coaching and mentoring employees to identify solutions for the growing demands on procurement professionals. Through these experiences, I continually learned from those around me, both seasoned procurement professionals and people new to the profession. Including these diverse perspectives in my journey created the path to my next adventure.
After my career with the state, I was fortunate to serve as the Contracts and Procurement Program Manager for the City of Olympia. In this new adventure I was able to collaborate with customers to identify projects that streamlined procurement and contracting process, better meeting customer needs, all while having to learn the different procurement guidelines for local government.
During my adventures, I have also valued innovation and having fun with my work. For example, I created a Star Wars leadership training to highlight the different approaches that exist as leader. Most recently, I facilitated a supplier collaboration and innovation session with peers where we addressed challenges we face in our profession and what it means to try new things in our current environments.
All the experiences I have had remind me of the Choose Your Own Adventures books that I read as a kid. Rather than a single narrative, these books offered readers different choices that lead you to multiple endings and outcomes. After experiencing the outcome from one choice, you could make a different choice and see where it led you. Sometimes the outcome stayed the same, other times the new choice led to a different ending.
To me, making decisions for procurement resembles these books. The more you experience each path and see the ending, you can consider which path along the way creates outcomes that provide the best ending.
Being part of MRSC, I hope to learn from your stories, ideas, and challenges and I look forward to being able to share perspective and resources to support your potential procurement path and outcomes.
I look forward to collaborating in creating paths for your adventure! I’m excited to be part of a resource that empowers innovation and great outcomes!
MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.