The Future of K-12 Procurement

The Future of K-12 Procurement: 4 Key Trends. An EDspaces Research Paper

Our new report – The Future of K-12 Procurement: 4 Key Trends – summarizes the experiences and insights of award-winning procurement professionals who are leading the way in enhancing and building the field of strategic procurement.

Our findings help document the increasingly complex and challenging role in the K-12 school procurement space. An overarching theme from our research is that procurement professionals are embracing change and finding ways to work more effectively in an environment that continues to present significant challenges. Better understanding of the field by all stakeholders can help provide improved support for those working in procurement and attract strong applicants to the profession.

Download The Future of K-12 Procurement: 4 Key Trends report for details on the trends uncovered in our new research:

Tech Tools for Procurement are “Not Quite there Yet”

Public procurement systems for the K-12 market are undergoing a shakeup with recent mergers and acquisitions and dozens of players automating different components of procurement. 89% of our interviewees expressed the desire to use more data to inform procurement decisions, but stated that they did not have the appropriate tools or the time to track and use data. In the coming decade there will be opportunities for pursuing greater efficiencies by using artificial intelligence (AI) in procurement.

It’s Not Just About the Price

While several states still mandate that price must trump all other factors in purchasing decisions, our interviewees provided us with many factors that could be more heavily weighted than the price of a good or service. Buying local, quality/best value, and checking references or past experiences with a vendor all heavily influenced purchasing decisions and sometimes were weighted more heavily than cost.

Networking is Critical for Success

78% of our interviewees stated that membership in the state ASBO provides a vital way to stay up to date on state regulations, engage in professional development, and network with colleagues at conferences and meetings. Interviewees mentioned several other important organizations including ASBO International.

Tactical Recruitment to the Profession is Critical

Many procurement professionals are near retirement or have recently retired and this trend will continue. Leaders in the procurement profession reported on the need to develop a stronger pipeline to the field. Attracting new entrants will be essential in the next five years, but many people do not understand the nature, or growing complexity, of the work. 100% of interviewees reported finding procurement work meaningful and fulfilling. Communicating to prospective candidates the rewarding aspects of K-12 purchasing can attract people who might otherwise choose private sector positions.