Spring is in the air and so is Procurement. DocuSign hosted its third Procurement Advisory Council (Adco) meeting in San Francisco on March 10th and once again, the room was full of old friends, colleagues and new acquaintances – over 30 Procurement leaders gathered for a provocative conversation on Procurement process and tools. It was a diverse group of practitioners and analysts representing a variety of industries including Bio-tech, High tech, Government and Telecommunications.

After a brief overview of DocuSign, two practitioners shared their stories on how they used DocuSign to improve their Procurement process. An integration of Salesforce CRM, Apttus CLM and DocuSign allowed one customer to scale the Procurement organization to support the organization while managing resource constraints. Another customer met aggressive growth expectations by standardizing all of their internal approval and signature processes (contracts, invoices, vendor onboarding, legal, benefits etc.) and making them easy and mobile. Kearney shared research showing how digitization leaders and followers differ on technology implementation – leaders are much more involved and as a result see an average return on supply management assets of 10X compared to a typical company that sees 5X.

Then came the most valuable part of the event – the group discussion where we shared thoughts on:

  • 100% digital future of represented companies
  • Brainstorm on DocuSign product roadmap

The event ended with each moderator highlighting one big theme that emerged at his or her table.

While there were some interesting differences among the groups, there were two common topics that always rose to the top:

  • Digital strategies evolve through bottom-up and top-down initiatives. We heard several variations on this story: An individual or a small group in the organization starts using a user-friendly tool to make a given process faster, cheaper, better. Then it catches the eye of an executive sponsor and becomes a top-down initiative and gathers steam.
  • Compliance is increasingly becoming difficult to enforce without user-friendly processes and tools. This reminds me of my friend Duncan Jones of Forrester who says: “Make the right thing the easy thing to do”.

For another perspective on the Procurement Adco meeting and on MOMENTUM, check out Bill McBeath of Chainlink Research.

How are you changing the way the procurement process is done at your organization? I’ll be attending AribaLIVE in Las Vegas April 7-9 and would love to hear from you. Follow me on twitter @anugard or shoot me a tweet and let’s continue the dialog.

Please comment below.