Moving to Strategic Contract Management in Procurement

Procurement teams are increasingly using electronic signature technology to digitize the signing process with suppliers. But even when organizations remove the bottleneck of requiring a physical signature, manual processes after signature leads to needless costs, wasted time, unnecessary risk, and supplier and employee dissatisfaction.

We commissioned Forrester to survey 176 global procurement decision makers on the challenges they face in the agreement lifecycle after signature. 48% reported errors and rework due to incorrectly entered data after agreements were signed, and 62% reported an inability to search the full text of all agreements.

According to the study, the top priorities of procurement teams are to enhance security and compliance, improve customer experience, and increase business agility. With that in mind, let’s look at how digital transformation benefits every step of the agreement lifecycle in procurement after signature:

Visibility and search

Even when agreements are stored digitally, 42% of organizations said their agreements can't be searched from one interface. In addition, only 6% said their agreements can be searched and analyzed not just with human-provided keywords but also concepts or other AI-like techniques. Organizations need to be able to comb through libraries of agreements to extract important terms, pricing, delivery obligations, payment terms, renewal clauses and product/service performance SLAs. Intelligent search capabilities can be trained to extract all of the information procurement teams need, and uncover provisions such as automatic renewals, indemnification specifics around breach events, force majeure across the supply chain, dynamic pricing structures and more.

Intelligent insights for measurement and reporting

50% of surveyed organizations said that their process for reporting on trends, milestones, and obligations contained in completed agreements was inefficient. Procurement teams need to generate reports to explain the impact of their work to executives and the rest of their organizations. It’s also valuable for procurement teams to measure their own performance. Regular reporting can help the team identify strengths and weaknesses that would be hard to pinpoint otherwise.

Docusign Insight provides configurable, custom dashboards for impactful reporting. Built-in data visualization technology empowers teams to generate interactive reports showing critical terms without specialized training or coding skills. For the procurement team, it’s incredibly valuable to be able to spot anomalies and detect trends with an easy-to-understand, graphical view into key agreement metrics.

Integration with business systems

When it comes to managing and acting on agreements after signature, two processes are key: capturing information from agreements and triggering actions based on agreements. 63% of surveyed organizations reported that they are automatically capturing data from agreements in a system of record, but they’re still manually triggering actions based on those agreements, like work orders, invoices, and inventory purchases. In fact, only about half of organizations’ agreement processes are integrated with other business systems like ERPs. Organizations can easily embed Docusign into existing tools with 350+ pre-built integrations, like SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, Oracle, and many more.

By integrating Docusign Agreement Cloud with preferred procurement software, organizations can enhance supplier visibility, monitor risk exposure, identify saving opportunities, and ensure business owners follow the process correctly.

For more insights from the survey, download the full Leading Firms Progress Towards Paperless Procurement report.