Why agreement processes could be letting small businesses down

Digitisation is one of the main ways business owners seek to make their lives easier. However, the removal of paper from businesses, is not just a “nice to have” or an environmental benefit. Many business owners underestimate the direct impact it can have on the bottom line.

One area that is often overlooked in the digitisation process is agreements. Whether we realise it or not, businesses run on agreements. They may be agreements with suppliers, employee agreements, finance, legal and many more.

In many instances, businesses are already using some digital components in their agreements, such as eSignatures, but still have a large paper based component and are missing a digital chain of management. For example, after completing an agreement, information may then need to be manually re-entered for use in other parts of the business such as billing systems causing slow turnaround times and risk of human error. In addition, storage and recall of documents often has no standardised system from one employee or department to the next.

This way of doing business not only makes life hard, but it is out of touch with the expectations of customers, employees and partners, and needlessly burns time and money. The result is a persistent drag on business productivity and a loss of the competitive edge.

By removing the paper trail from the agreement process and modernising the System of Agreement, the process becomes a lot easier to manage and track, it frees up more time to focus on core business and delivers a better customer experience.

A modern System of Agreement connects what happens before and after an eSignature is used, allowing the user to prepare, sign, act on and manage the agreement in a seamless and transparent process from beginning to end, even providing capacity to search agreements to see when they need to be renewed.

South Australian small business, Harris Real Estate, implemented DocuSign’s electronic system of preparing, signing and managing agreements over a year ago to improve their business processes. They welcomed the bottom line boost and edge it would give them in the highly competitive and regulated real estate industry.

Tom Hector, Property Consultant and Auctioneer, Harris Real Estate said, “Since we switched, we’ve had our biggest quarter ever and we’re projecting a 65 per cent increase in sales in 2018”. Not only has this approach to agreements cut out a lot of handling time and improved the speed of the process, it has created a transparent system where everyone involved can monitor the real time progress of the contract.

Once the agreement is signed, any actions are then completed within the electronic system, so no data needs to be rekeyed, reducing risk of human error, and when it comes to storage of agreements, there is a systematic and secure approach, so documents can easily be recalled or searched. “This is allowing us to deliver a whole new level of service to our customers, and means we can spend more time focusing on listings and sales”, he said.

Whether you’re just starting out or growing your small business, digitisation is not just a matter of keeping up with current trends or making life easier. By taking a holistic approach to digitisation and modernising your system of agreement you can achieve a competitive edge and boost your bottom line.

Brad Newton, Asia Pacific VP, DocuSign

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