Digital Procurement: Why Procurement Teams are Leaving Manual Tasks Behind

Digital Procurement

Digital procurement brings many benefits. The truth is, paper documentation, manual processes and paper trails bring several challenges for procurement teams. In today’s environment, procurement teams need to increase business agility, enhance security and speed up the contract management process. 

In a Forrester Consulting study, commissioned by Docusign in January 2020, procurement leaders shared some of their challenges and successes regarding digital initiatives in the agreement process. 

In this post, we look at the challenges caused by manual processes and the benefits that digital transformation and automation can bring.

Paperwork causes challenges for procurement teams

Using paper and manual processes often prevents procurement teams from reaching their objectives. In the Forrester Consulting Survey, respondents in procurement said they faced the following challenges:

  • 45% of procurement teams report a drop in customer experience levels when using paper and performing manual processes
  • 39% have experienced delays in recognising revenue 
  • 35% said they had to delay project kick-offs due to paper processes
  • 30% said they endure reduced completion rates or abandoned deals because of paperwork
  • 19% said they face legal and compliance risk

Procurement digital transformation and automation

In an effort to solve challenges and drive toward goals, smart procurement teams have begun to automate their contract processes. Companies that don’t go all-in on digital transformation miss the benefits of automation. The majority of survey respondents have already started digital transformation, and 68% already use electronic signature software to get contracts signed. However, procurement teams still experience problems with manual processes in other stages of the contract lifecycle:

  • 63% of respondents said they had to rework contracts during preparation due to errors when manually transferring data
  • 48% of respondents said they manually duplicated information between systems when preparing contracts
  • 55% of respondents had to route agreements to members of their organisation manually
  • 48% of respondents had to manually rework contracts due to incorrectly entered data

Contract management in procurement

Procurement leaders that responded to the Forrester survey also suggested they had problems with contract management. 

  • 62% said they were unable to search the full texts of agreements easily
  • 49% have a lack of visibility into signed documents
  • Only 8% of procurement managers prepare agreements from templates auto-filled by other business systems
  • Only 12% of procurement managers automatically upload agreement information to trigger the next steps in contract management
  • Only 6% of procurement teams can store agreements where they can be searched and analysed by technology
  • Only 31% of procurement respondents use contract management software anywhere in their organisation


Procurement infographic

Contract lifecycle management software can help procurement teams to meet their goals of improving customer experiences, business agility, security and compliance. 

Docusign CLM, which was named as a leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Contract Lifecycle Management, can help procurement teams to do business faster. Read the full Forrester State of Systems of Agreement 2020 survey.