Fifth annual report also uncovers the majority of public procurement professionals surveyed are confident about their organizations’ readiness to support increased project volumes
Euna Solutions, a leading provider of purpose-built, cloud-based solutions for the public sector, today released the fifth annual “State of Public Sourcing” report. The benchmarking study offers valuable insights into current trends and emerging best practices in public procurement in 2023.
An analysis of anonymized data from the Euna Procure platform, powered by Bonfire, consisting of tens of thousands of projects from nearly 600 U.S. public agencies, revealed that the number of procurement projects in the public sector is up by 26.5% from 2022. Fortunately, as project volumes increase, procurements teams remain optimistic as more than half (54%) of public procurement professionals surveyed expressed confidence in handling the increase.
2023 has already seen 6.5 million invitations sent out through Euna Procure as agencies are trying to engage more with vendors; this is a 47.3% increase over 2022. However, the number of proposals submitted has only increased by 3.7%. This indicates that while there’s plenty of engagement happening, it’s not always translating into bids. It is more important than ever to craft vendor invitations with purpose and intent to attract the attention of the right bidders.
Additional highlights from the 2023 report include:
- ERP/eProcurement hybrid models are the way of the future. The report reveals that 44% of survey respondents now use eProcurement software alongside their ERP. Additionally, more than half (65%) said they currently use a mix of legacy and more current technology to complete their tasks.
- Procurement teams take on social procurement for a brighter future. When looking at the agency priorities that are top of mind in the public sector, environmental sustainability and vendor diversity initiatives are top priorities for 61% of respondents. Within these initiatives, the industries leading the charge include higher education (75%), transportation (73%) and state/provincial/federal government (68%.)
- Greater adoption of DBE (disadvantaged business enterprises) programs. With a focus on vendor diversity, many agencies are putting extensive efforts into DBE-related fields in their projects, meaning they are asking for DBE status in the bidding process. According to the survey, 18% of respondents now incorporate DBE-related fields into their projects, up 163% from 2021. This increased push has also resulted in more proposals from disadvantaged vendors, with a 38% jump in DBE-submitted proposals from last year.
The report also discusses a challenging talent gap in the public sector. As a large portion of the current workforce is inching closer to retirement age, public agencies need to take action now regarding recruiting to stay ahead. Many agency departments are now looking to millennial and Gen Z workers to fill the labor gaps, but to compete for this workforce, they need to stand out to attract younger hires. This means making significant changes to their organizations’ culture in the form of more growth opportunities, social/environmental responsibility, and mental health support, among other factors.
Another significant factor in attracting a younger workforce is providing the highest levels of technology available. As a generation raised on digital platforms, there is no patience for outdated, inefficient working methods. For younger workers, continuing to work with manual processes and legacy technology can be a dealbreaker when choosing an employer. For procurement departments specifically, adopting modern, purpose-built eProcurement tools that eliminate tedious tasks and give the employees time to focus their energy on more significant and complex projects can go a long way in attracting the best talent.
“The increase in project volumes revealed in our report, paired with a tight labor market, can put a lot of stress on public procurement departments,” said James Ha, chief growth officer at Euna Solutions. “Adopting technology that helps ease the administrative burdens of procurement tasks can go a long way in the operating efficiency of an agency. With a transitioning workforce and younger workers looking for more advanced tools in the careers they choose, it is more critical than ever that public agencies adopt a future-proof digital strategy to improve resiliency and strengthen operational excellence.”
To download the full 2023 State of Public Sourcing Report for free, visit https://eunasolutions.com/sops/2023
The 2023 “State of Public Sourcing” report is backed by data collected between January 1 – May 31, 2023, from almost 600 U.S. public agencies that use Euna Procure platform, powered by Bonfire; survey feedback obtained from 142 public procurement professionals; and other research gathered from trusted sources across the procurement space.
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