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Entering a New Era of Procurement: From Digital to Connected Procurement

Public procurement has undergone significant change in the last few decades. What used to be an operation filled with literal stacks of paper is now a more streamlined, digital process. Yet, evolution doesn’t stop there. We’re on the brink of an even more collaborative and impactful era—the connected era of procurement.

The Paper Era of Procurement

Before, procurement offices resembled an archival room rather than an active workspace. Large filing cabinets, sticky notes, binders, and mountains of paper consumed procurement teams. While this process worked (for the most part), it was taxing on resources and space. Eventually, paper processes started to lag farther behind the growing complexities and demands of public procurement.

Losing documents was one risk procurement teams couldn’t afford to take. Lost documents led to delays, compliance issues, or sometimes even financial losses and legal troubles. Physical documents, once misplaced or mis-filed, disrupted the flow of work. To make matters worse, the lack of reliability in audit trails caused serious concerns with accountability. Without a traceable record, struggles to maintain transparency, track procurement activities, and adhere to policies followed.

The Spreadsheet Era of Procurement

As the flaws of the paper era became clear, procurement teams turned to technology for help. Computers, Excel spreadsheets, thumb drives, and email became essential tools. These digital resources did modernize the process, but as projects grew in number and complexity, new problems emerged. The solution wasn’t as foolproof as hoped.

Spreadsheets, while efficient for small projects, are prone to human error. As a result, the data may be inaccurate or inconsistent. Without the ability to collaborate without running into version control issues, keeping stakeholders on the same page was challenging.

Though the spreadsheet era was a step forward, it wasn’t the ultimate solution. Spreadsheets paved the way for more sophisticated, interconnected digital solutions.

The Digital Era of Procurement

Urgent needs for efficiency, transparency, and greater capacity spawned the digital revolution. This era brought computer networks and advanced software solutions, such as ERPs. These digital solutions transformed administrative tasks, improving data storage and management. The greatest benefit of all, though, was the revolution in communication.

Yet, as demand grew, the initial technologies began to show their limitations, too. Agencies purchased entire programs as-in with little room for improvement or changes. Not to mention, upgrading to the next version of these technologies was costly and labor-intensive. Over the years, teams defaulted back to mundane processes or created a complex web of workarounds to get things done.

Learn more about this in our eBook: Supporting Today’s Public Sector Workforce

Take it a Step Further – The Connected Era of Procurement

While many argue that the digital age marks the pinnacle of procurement’s evolution, we disagree. Public procurement is moving on to something even more powerful.

Welcome to the next phase in public procurement – the connected age. This era builds on the digital tools procurement teams are already using. Procurement is becoming more collaborative and community centric. Here, procurement teams connect and leverage insights, experience, and resources from their peers across other organizations.

This new age builds on the efficiencies of legacy solutions and marks the birth of community procurement.

The Primary Benefit of Community Procurement

Community procurement is about sharing resources and knowledge. Imagine accessing a pool of qualified vendors, piggybackable contracts, and project templates instantly. Harnessing knowledge from other organizations nationwide is a powerful way to analyze and benchmark key purchasing data to make more informed decisions.

The foundation: a vibrant community dedicated to collaboration. Sharing industry insights isn’t just a new phase of procurement; it represents a radical shift in how procurement should operate.

Why Get Excited About the Connected Era?

Transitioning to this new form of procurement means rising above those traditional silos. Connected procurement brings a future where procurement teams are no longer isolated. They’re integral parts of the organizational ecosystem and the broader community of procurement professionals. In turn, teams see enhanced efficiency, innovation, and greater community contribution.

The connected era of procurement redefines public service delivery. Procurement has the power to influence the world that surrounds us—breaking down barriers and building an environment of shared knowledge. This era goes beyond saving time and cutting costs—though that’s also a large part of it. It’s about maximizing our potential to serve communities and improve lives.

Boost Collaboration and Streamline Processes with Open Access Community Projects

At Euna Procurement, our vision is to empower procurement professionals to reach their full potential. We champion this new era for the greater good of procurement teams, stakeholders, and communities.

That’s why we’ve created a resource to help procurement teams across North America work together.

Sign up for our Open Access Community Projects and instantly gain access to these benefits:

  • Search through up to tens of thousands of public projects by location, project type, organization, and more
  • Access project details and all public supporting bid documents
  • Draw from thousands of new projects added monthly from over 500 public sector agencies
  • Free to use for everyone in procurement

Your voice and expertise contribute to how public procurement operates. Join us as we forge ahead into this new era.


Learn how to find the right solutions partner to enhance your ERP, save time and resources, and ultimately deliver a greater impact on the communities you serve.

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Learn how to find the right solutions partner to enhance your ERP, save time and resources, and ultimately deliver a greater impact on the communities you serve.

Download eBook