Procurement Automation Buffers Retirement Wave

Published August 19, 2022

With $200 billion in federal procurements each year, retirements are raising alarms across acquisition and oversight staffs. The “tsunami” of retirements has just begun, but more than 325,000 federal workers are expected to be eligible for retirement in 2023 according to a recent article in Serving Those Who Serve.

Losing the expertise of seasoned procurement professionals (those with 5 – 20 years of tenure) will leave big holes in procurement offices as they attempt to recruit fresh talent while maintaining deliveries under rigorous adherence to policy and law. Process automation through innovative cloud applications may be critical to filling the gap.

Better guidance and monitoring of purchase activity below the Simplified Acquisition Threshold is increasingly called for in IG reports. Although implementing new policies and retraining staff are common recommendations for program shortfalls, training alone is not effective in replacing institutional knowledge lost when seasoned employees retire.

Cloud-based procurement automation platforms provide guardrails for newcomers ensuring procedures comply with agency policies and laws. The next generation of procurement professionals may require RPA and AI solutions until skills and expertise are developed through tenure. These workers demand technology, with nearly half reporting they would leave a job that fell short on technology.

“Our Actus procurement applications provide approval and oversight workflows enabling new employees to rapidly become productive and compliant. With smart automation, employees do the right things in every situation without the need for manual record keeping or statement and audit preparation. With decentralized purchasing programs and mobile employees, getting junior staffers up to speed by implementing automation will be critical for agencies to adapt and thrive.”

Mike Tocci, President of Paperless Innovations

Through Cloud-First initiatives SaaS applications are readily available in authorized platforms currently in use by federal procurement programs.