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Artificial Intelligence Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White

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Procurement's Breakout Year

As we flow into the second decade of the 21st century, global and mobile digitization now touches every facet of our personal lives and work. While cloud computing and social networking dominated the conversation for the first decade, the shift towards a mobile workplace elevates the practical demands of modern business processes today. 

In this fresh paradigm, Procurement serves as an ideal model for digital transformation. Procurement entails a careful thread of paperwork and workflow. From purchase orders to master service agreements, procurement workflows feed into the 100 million projected documents, 3 billion overnighted envelopes and 552 billion pages faxed each year[1]. Moreover, employees spend countless hours ensuring appropriate signatures, approvals, and sign-offs. Such challenges spark the current and future trends noted by my customers and peers. At DocuSign, we use our own product to address objectives such as

Speed of Execution: We have eliminated overnight delivery and fax machines and tangled e-mail threads passing documents back and forth – DocuSign keeps the workflow fully digital to helps us finish business faster

Accuracy: We never worry about missing data or signatures on contracts. DocuSign guides our signers through the process to ensure that every t gets crossed and every i gets dotted

Mobility: DocuSign approvers and signers sign contracts, and approve purchase orders anytime, anywhere, on any device. We know this because each document’s history is time and location stamped!

Operational efficiency: With DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform, not only is the execution of signatures and approvals streamlined but also, and perhaps more importantly, the preparation of documents to be signed and post signature archiving are all streamlined

Elimination of paper: We conserve resources and add savings back to our business instead of financing operational budgets and wasting staff time on administrative tasks

In the past eighteen months, I’ve reflected on the evolution of Procurement and the wave of trends inspiring my peers in the community. I strongly believe that growth stems from continuous learning. Upon joining DocuSign, I put together my “board of advisors” – a group of thought leaders and practitioners including the leadership at Spend Matters, industry analysts and Procurement executives at companies like Google and Salesforce.com. When I first joined DocuSign, I remember asking each of these friends and mentors if there was a Procurement textbook for an Internet startup. The replies were consistent: “There isn’t one.” Now, I tap into this braintrust on a regular basis as we write our own textbook on how to create a top-notch Procurement department.

It is important to note that the digitization of business has made the benefits of Procurement accessible for small to medium businesses. Now they can leverage the ease and transparency of electronic workflows to manage vendor relationships and manage spend. 

As we move forward into 2014, creating a dialogue in our community has never been more critical to our success. In sharing challenges and aspirations, we make way for innovation and enable our success.  So look here for future posts on procurement best practices and insights from the board of advisors, our DocuSign MOMENTUM Procurement Advisory Council, and my own personal experience. 

Never miss a beat in the conversation. I encourage you to tap into ongoing conversations by checking out the following top five blogs and top ten twitter handles: 

Top Five Blogs

Top Ten Twitter Handles

Connect with Anu via Twitter @anugard for her latest thoughts on procurement. 


[1] “DocuSign analysis, Davidson Consulting and IDC”

 

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