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44% of public sector purchasing departments now use e-procurement software alongside their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.

The state of public sector e-procurement is changing. And those changes directly relate to the same trends changing the face of B2B ecommerce.

As with business ecommerce, younger and more digitally driven purchasing managers and procurement teams at government, academic and charitable organizations are now turning to more forms of digital technology — including e-procurement — to buy goods and services, says a new survey of 2,000 North American public sector buyers from procurement applications and services provider Euna Solutions.

Today, 44% of survey respondents now use e-procurement software alongside their enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Also, 65% now use a mix of legacy and newer digital technology.

“This hybrid approach allows the ERP to handle the core functions it excels at,” the report says. Meanwhile, “the e-procurement solution can manage the more complex functions of purchasing and vendor management.”

Other findings from Euna Solutions’ procurement survey

Project volumes are rising, and public procurement professionals are prioritizing compliance, efficiency, and vendor engagement, the survey says. But only 44% of public-sector purchasing managers said they were somewhat confident and 25% said they were not very confident their respective organizations could handle the current workload.


A younger work force wants more digital tools. Nearly 30% of federal employees will be eligible for retirement by 2025. Moreover, 27% of the workforce will be made up of Gen Z by 2025, the survey finds. But public agencies face challenges in recruiting younger purchasing professionals that want more ecommerce and digital tools to do their job.

“Gen Z and millennial workers have a more intimate relationship with technology than any previous generation to enter the workforce,” the survey says. “Younger employees have a very low tolerance for inefficient processes and procedures, instead championing tech-based solutions that streamline (or in some cases, automate) tedious tasks so they can focus their energy on more complex and strategic initiatives.”

20% of public sector purchasing managers still use mostly paper processing and outdated legacy systems to purchase goods and services for their organization. Only 14% of North American purchasing managers say their procurement process utilizes the latest digital tools and technologies.

“For many public purchasing shops, the pandemic forced them into the digital age out of sheer necessity — even if the transition wasn’t always a smooth one,” says John Alexander, Euna Solutions senior vice president, product.


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