A recent survey conducted procurement applications and services provider Euna Solutions reveals that the state of public sector e-procurement is undergoing significant changes. These changes mirror the trends that are transforming the landscape of B2B ecommerce.
The survey, which included 2,000 North American public sector buyers, found that younger and more digitally-driven purchasing managers and procurement teams in government, academic, and charitable organizations are increasingly turning to digital technology, including e-procurement, to purchase goods and services.
According to the survey, 44% of respondents now utilize e-procurement software alongside their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Additionally, 65% reported using a combination of legacy and newer digital technology. This hybrid approach allows the ERP system to handle core functions while the e-procurement solution manages more complex purchasing and vendor management processes.
The survey also highlighted the rising volumes of projects in the public sector, with procurement professionals prioritizing compliance, efficiency, and vendor engagement. However, only 44% of public-sector purchasing managers expressed confidence in their organizations’ ability to handle the current workload.
The survey also shed light on the workforce dynamics in public agencies. By 2025, nearly 30% of federal employees will be eligible for retirement, and Gen Z will make up 27% of the workforce. These younger employees have a strong affinity for technology and seek digital tools to streamline processes and automate tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on complex and strategic initiatives.
Despite these trends, the survey found that 20% of public sector purchasing managers still rely on paper processing and outdated legacy systems. Only 14% reported utilizing the latest digital tools and technologies in their procurement processes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation in public purchasing, pushing many agencies into the digital realm out of necessity. John Alexander, Euna Solutions’ Senior Vice President, Product, notes that while the transition may not have been seamless for all, it has highlighted the importance of embracing digital solutions.
Overall, the survey underscores the growing demand for digital tools and technologies in public sector e-procurement. To attract and retain younger talent, organizations need to adapt to the preferences of the digitally savvy workforce. By implementing e-procurement solutions and leveraging the latest digital tools, public sector organizations can improve efficiency, compliance, and vendor engagement.
– Euna Solutions procurement survey
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