The case for making your agreements digital
Every company has a system of agreement, whether they know it or not. In fact, without one, business as we know it would quickly grind to a halt. If you can’t get a timely signature on a contract, or you can’t lay your hands on a contract to renegotiate a renewal, negotiations stall and the bottom line suffers.
Given their importance, why do so many businesses continue to juggle manual, un-trackable, disconnected systems of agreement? Why, when they have invested in digitising so many other areas of the business, do agreements remain untouched?
You don’t want to be left holding the pen when the rest of the world has abandoned paper. As the rest of the business environment becomes digital, so too must your system of agreement.
Measuring the benefits
Just like with any other digital transformation project, you need to be clear on the benefits before you invest. Your initial goal is to identify opportunities to cut costs, reduce turnaround time and mitigate errors by modernising the four stages of the agreement process.
- Time: How long does it take for an agreement to "turn around" in your organisation? Processing times can take minutes when the system is digitised – not days or weeks. Are you there?
- Cost: By removing or automating agreement steps, labour and revenue costs are hugely reduced. Studies have shown that using DocuSign’s eSignature solution yields a saving of more than US$36 per document.
- Loss of customers: Competitors who can deliver a faster, more straightforward process of doing business are taking customers away from those that still have slow or cumbersome closing processes.
- Customer/partner satisfaction: People today expect speed and convenience; they are generally dissatisfied with paper-based forms, wet-ink signatures and outdated processes. Remember, bad reviews spread the fastest.
- Compliance: Can you confidently locate all of your archived paper-based agreements? Are they secure? Are they up-to-date and legally enforceable? A modern System of Agreement ensures the i's are dotted and the t's crossed.
Common agreements used in business
Across all departments in your business, there are many agreement processes that can be made more connected, reliable, compliant and efficient – delivering proven cost savings and efficiencies. Here are some of the most common use cases:
Every agreement (or contract, memorandum of understanding, offer of employment, inventory sign-off, and so forth) has four stages:
- Prepare – documents may be drawn up from a variety of sources, which range in complexity from a simple Word template to a database-driven electronic form that pulls information from CRMs, ERPs, finance software, or public records (e.g. real estate deals).
- Sign – agreements may be sent to multiple parties, including reviewers, approvers, and various signers. Signers sometimes need validation, and the process may need certification to ensure the legality of the agreement.
- Act – once the signing process is completed, information then flows into back end data systems, like billing systems, CRM records, or HR software. Other processes may be triggered upon signing the agreement, like creating a new customer account in both the customer service and finance departments.
- Manage – retained agreements need to be stored, preferably in a centralised location, for accurate record-keeping, ongoing referral, and also to form the basis of templates for future agreements.
Every business can benefit from modernising their system of agreement with the DocuSign Agreement Cloud. For example, it’s easier than ever to integrate agreement automation using DocuSign's connectors with popular business systems like CRM, ERP and HRP. There are powerful APIs which companies can use to build custom integrations.
In short, there’s nothing between you and faster, more efficient agreement processes. Join us at Momentum Sydney to see the DocuSign Agreement Cloud in action.