Missouri says goodbye to the NIGP Code? by Jon Hansen

Posted on August 7, 2015


In my June 2nd post Hawaii moves away from the NIGP Code . . . will other states follow?, I shared the news that the State had decided to begin using NAICS instead of the NIGP taxonomy.

While some have questioned whether a transition to UNSPSC would have been a better move, the underlying focus of the story was on the decision to drop the NIGP Code. Particularly what it may, or may not represent, in terms of what other states do in the future.

When the news hits the street next week that Missouri has sent the NIGP a polite letter indicating that they are not going to renew their license to use the code, I can’t help but wonder if this represents the early stages of what will become a major migration.

Even though the reasons given for making the move reportedly centered around licensing costs, there likely remains an undercurrent of concern regarding the NIGP-Periscope letter that ultimately became the foundation for the #CodeGate scandal.

In what has been described to me as the blunder of all blunders – at least in the procurement world, Rick Grimm’s co-endorsement of a Periscope letter that included a not so veiled threat to pull winning bidder Perfect Commerce’s license after Missouri had awarded the latter an important contract, lives on.

I am not suggesting that cost is not a factor, especially since the NIGP taxonomy is pricey and even problematic in several key areas, including supplier adoption. However, there is a continuing feeling of vulnerability given a perceived looming threat of a repeat of what happened when Periscope didn’t make the cut in the Show Me State sweepstakes.

What is even more interesting is that no one is openly discussing the proverbial elephant in the room. I am talking about the non arms length relationship between the NIGP and Periscope – especially when it comes to the stewardship of the code.

“. . . nobody ever tells you that they’re going to kill you, doesn’t happen that way. There weren’t any arguments or curses like in the movies. See, your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends, the people who’ve cared for you all of your life. And they always seem to come at a time that you’re at your weakest and most in need of their help.” – Goodfellas

What we are more likely to see happen is the continuing facade of a polite yet sterile rapport between all concerned, while more NIGP code customers make their quiet and refined way towards the exit door.

This is after all, the procurement way.

poisonous tree3

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