A Better Way to Manage Agreements

Digital transformation helps companies reinvent how they do business and prepare for unanticipated disruptions. The past two years present a prime example of companies modernizing their operations to offer hybrid and remote options for both employees and customers.

Productivity and convenience are at the heart of these flexible experiences to which we’ve grown accustomed. Going back to the old way of doing things like manual processes, in-person-only interactions and paper-based transactions isn’t an option.

Digital transformation is a journey to a better way of doing business

If your organization is like most, it’s already on a digital transformation journey. And no matter how far along you are, it’s important to proceed thoughtfully and incrementally. Like with any project, you want to focus your efforts where change is needed most—and where it can have the biggest and fastest impact.

For many companies, the most significant transformation opportunity is in how they create, sign and manage their agreements. Those processes touch fundamental parts of business—like contracts, onboarding, procurement and acquisitions—and they’re commonly riddled with inefficiencies.

Transitioning to digital and cloud-based tools to manage these types of documents is a crucial step in modernizing your operations to give users flexible and convenient experiences. Whether you're just starting or have already implemented agreement software and migrated to the cloud, digitizing and automating labor-intensive and inconvenient processes offers an all-around better experience for your employees and customers.

Finding a better way of doing business through your own digital transformation journey will help you achieve the following five benefits:

1. Collaborate with virtually anyone, anywhere at any time

Digital tools like contract and agreement management software deliver the flexibility and speed needed to complete virtually any task from anywhere. In addition to supporting a more distributed workforce, it’s critical for business continuity during unexpected disruptions.

But even with digital tools, agreement workflows can still be unnecessarily complex. A mostly digital workflow that still includes manual and face-to-face steps will undermine the purpose of implementing these tools in the first place.

When agreements are managed online from end to end, you can work together, even when you’re not in the same room, time zone or country. And make sure to choose a tool that integrates simply into the applications your teams are already using. Seamless integrations increase adoption while eliminating frustrating bottlenecks.

2. Centralize control and tracking

The moment a document in a digital agreement workflow is created, that action is recorded, and each subsequent step is outlined and assigned. As users interact with the agreement, a detailed record is kept of each activity, including commenting, editing, negotiating, signing and storing.

It’s incredibly challenging to track and control versions of documents when hard copies are mixed in with digital versions. It’s even worse when several reviewers are added to the mix.

A fully digital, consistent and holistic agreement process ensures proper version control, meaning you can access all of a document’s previous drafts—and the actions taken on each—back to the day it was created. This removes confusion and disagreements, streamlining the entire process and getting you to a final agreement much faster.

3. Extract new intelligence from existing assets

Digital transformation means you no longer have to store your completed agreements in file cabinets. Instead, they can be digitally stored and backed up locally and in the cloud. And when your agreements are centrally stored, they can be searched quickly to extract valuable information, uncovering hidden risks and opportunities.

Agreements are filled with data waiting to be converted into actionable insights that drive smarter business decisions. Powerful AI tools can quickly find, filter and analyze agreements for key terms and clauses without human intervention.

Tasking humans with manual contract analysis is error-prone and massively time-consuming. But this isn’t about replacing people; it’s about amplifying their contributions and freeing up their time for more strategic and revenue-generating tasks.

4. Create better experiences for lasting success

As personal life and professional life have blurred, so have the technologies that power both. Employees and customers now expect the same easy, self-service transactions that consumers know and love.

When agreements become onerous, you risk losing top talent and valued customers. Bringing people together in agreement requires you to meet them where they are, physically and mentally. Digital transformation is essential for providing these convenient and quick interactions that delight your customers and allow your employees to focus on the things that matter most. Automating tedious tasks and streamlining the agreement process removes obstacles to innovation and productivity.

When work gets done more efficiently and agreements are reached faster, it’s a better experience for everyone—making your business more attractive to employees and customers.

5. Operate more sustainably

Organizations today have a unique opportunity to build sustainability into everything they do. Employees, customers and investors increasingly want to engage with businesses that reflect their own environmental values. That means it’s no longer an either-or proposition between sustainability and profitability.

There are many ways to meet this moment, but the first step is committing to operating sustainably and then making small changes that lead to immediate benefits. Digital transformation is a great place to start.

Transitioning from traditional, paper-based and in-person workflows to digital, remote-friendly cloud workflows can reduce or even eliminate waste and wasteful processes. Digitizing and automating your agreement processes not only protects our planet’s resources—like forests—it also enables work to be done from anywhere. This flexibility increases productivity while cutting emissions from commuting and work travel.

Doing the right things for the environment now also means doing the best things for your business.

Find a better way

You now have the opportunity to fundamentally change how your organization operates. Digitally transforming your contract and agreement processes is one of the best and quickest ways to leave the past behind and give your employees, customers, partners and vendors the modern convenience and flexibility they want.

If you’re looking for a better way to create, collaborate and communicate, Docusign can help.

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