6 Tips to Modernize the Contract Procurement Process

Challenging market conditions including inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages are just a few of the issues facing the procurement industry. These factors make automating the contract procurement process more important than ever to become more agile while meeting critical deadlines and ensuring sufficient supplies.

Digital procurement tools such as electronic signatures benefit the procurement contract process in a variety of ways, from enabling visibility and remote functionality to expediting the various stages of a contract.

In this blog, we share tips on how electronic signature and other contract solutions can help streamline contract procurement to give suppliers better and faster experiences while equipping vendors with the data and insight they need to understand exactly what’s in their contents before they’re signed.

1. Create an intuitive signing experience

In periods of supply chain disruption, procurement teams must often find alternative suppliers in a timely manner while achieving cost saving goals. Docusign eSignature creates a smooth, end-to-end digital procurement agreement experience and accelerates vendor contracting with an intuitive signing experience across virtually any device.

2. Streamline vendor management

Procurement teams have a lot of responsibilities. Along with sourcing vendors and managing supplier performance, they need to monitor and mitigate risks while ensuring compliance. When something changes or goes wrong, procurement works with the organization's legal team as well as the vendor to remediate and amend contracts. When their organization decides to end a vendor relationship, procurement manages the exit.

Balancing all these tasks manually consumes tremendous hours, but powerful AI analysis provided by Docusign CLM+ can help ease the burden. CLM+ analyzes contracts based on common procurement topics such as discounts, payments terms and inspection/audit rights. These intelligent observations are only possible because CLM+ searches agreements not just by keywords but also by concepts—adding purpose-built AI models for critical procurement topics.

3. Improve negotiations and contract execution

With manual processes, data is an untapped resource in contract negotiation and execution. Older workflow methods can easily take weeks to sign a contract, necessitating multiple attachments and versions in a process that leaves vendors and stakeholders feeling unsatisfied.

Contract lifecycle management solutions (CLM) improve procurement contract management processes. By automating and standardizing contract workflows, procurement professionals can accelerate internal approvals, perform search and analysis for risk and compliance topics and more. It also streamlines third-party contract reviews, negotiations and approvals. With pre-built integrations, businesses can simply and easily introduce these tools into their procurement workflow.

4. Capture consent

Docusign Click makes capturing consent to agreement terms easy with just a single touch of a button. Click’s visual display and acceptance options are customizable, allowing you to tailor consent capture format based on your organizations' needs. This widely used clickwrap solution is easy to deploy and ideal for situations, including nondisclosure agreements (NDA), data processing agreements (DPA) and code of conduct documents (e.g., environmental, social and corporate governance policies such as child labor, conflict minerals and fair wages). 

5. Utilize pre-built integrations

Docusign solutions for procurement easily connect the contract process with your organization’s existing procurement sourcing tool sets such as SAP Ariba, Coupa, NetSuite Financial Management and Oracle Procurement Cloud. These pre-built, customizable integrations ensure your organization can quickly and easily incorporate Docusign solutions into your organization’s procurement workflow.

6. Automate agreements

Agreement Actions is a new Docusign eSignature feature that allows admins to easily configure rules around automating common post-signature actions. This includes the ability to automatically archive completed documents to a cloud storage provider (e.g. SharePoint, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive), export data to Google Sheets and start workflows in Docusign CLM.

With Agreement Actions, procurement teams can streamline processes like vendor onboarding while also ensuring documents get placed in the right folder at the right time. Admins can easily create rules and conditions based on eSignature document fields, template type and other metadata to drive automatic post-signature actions

Learn more about how Docusign solutions for procurement can bolster your procurement team’s vendor contracting process.