A Closer Look at the Digital Transformation of Vendor Contracting

Vendor contracting is ripe for digital transformation. In today’s stressed supply chain, procurement professionals must contend with labor and material shortages and rising costs. This tension exposes procurement leaders to more risks than ever before including missed deadlines, insufficient supply or overpayment. 

To tackle these challenges procurement teams are transitioning from tactical execution to broader, more strategic business drivers. Making this pivot can’t be done overnight with the traditional procurement processes. The ideal solution would help prevent revenue leakage, accelerate legal/compliance review and mitigate supply chain risk in one fell swoop. Such a platform would provide fast, efficient solutions to each of these core issues—enabling organizations to save time and money while increasing visibility and ensuring the overall health of their supply chain.

Introducing Docusign for Procurement

Docusign for Procurement offers procurement teams a centralized digital platform to collaborate on contract execution, review and storage. It’s designed to transform manually-based vendor contracting processes into a wholly systemized, more efficient approach. With it, your team can expedite contract execution and increase contract visibility—while leveraging your existing technology with pre-built integrations. 

Here are four important ways that Docusign for Procurement supports vendor contracting:

1. Faster contracting 

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 smooth an end-to-end digital procurement agreement experience and  accelerates vendor contracting with an intuitive signing experience across virtually any device. It eliminates manual tasks with configurable and automated workflows, saves time by seamlessly connecting eSignature with the procurement tools your teams use everyday and mitigates risk with full audit trail.  

2. Accelerate contract negotiations with the power of AI

Docusign Analyzer uses insights derived from artificial intelligence to automatically, quickly and accurately  analyze clauses and terms in inbound contracts and recommend pre-approved clauses. Designed for the pre-execution stage of your agreement process, Analyzer empowers procurement professionals with a risk scorecard on contract clauses to help prioritize negotiations with vendors. 

3. Streamlined vendor management with powerful AI analysis

Procurement teams have a lot on their hands. Along with sourcing vendors and managing supplier performance, they need to monitor and mitigate risks while ensuring compliance. In the event that 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 the relationship with a vendor, procurement manages vendor exit. 

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

4. Improved vendor negotiation 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.

Docusign improves procurement contract management processes. By integrating with their organization’s workflow, 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.

Digital tools transform procurement processes at Unilever

When multinational consumer goods leader Unilever needed a more efficient and cost-effective solution for contracting with their massive supply chain, they turned to Docusign. By integrating Docusign products into their procurement workflow, Unilever transformed an antiquated agreement process involving emails, printing, scanning, faxing and phone follow-ups into a streamlined, unified digital workflow and made it one of the cornerstones of their Smarter Contracting initiative.

Ultimately, Unilever rolled out Docusign in over 70 countries, reducing contract drafting times by 80% and cutting average contract completion time by 50%.

Organizations all over the world have integrated Docusign for Procurement into their workflows to accelerate the entire vendor contracting process. From initial drafting all the way to final signing, Docusign’s digitized end-to-end procurement solution enables procurement teams to be more strategic and effective.

Learn more about how Building a Modern Agreement Workflow for Procurement can bolster your procurement team’s vendor contracting process.