The State of Contract Management report 2019, uncovers the latest pain points, trends and best practices in contract lifecycle management. The DocuSign report, conducted with employees involved in their organisation’s contracting process, found that 94% of those surveyed indicated human error had impacted contracts to some degree.
This research was conducted with over 802 employees in a range of roles across several industries. Survey respondents were from both the public and private sectors. More than 60% of those surveyed said they intend to improve their contract management capabilities within the next year.
Leading pain points in contract lifecycle management
The top three pain points identified by the audience in the survey were approvals, clause management, and workflow. Employees indicated that they are still dedicating significant amounts of time to manual contract processes:
- 52% of employees say that their contracts go through 3 or 4 versions before being finalised.
- 33% of employees said a typical contract takes over 30 hours or more because of the number of versions or modifications.
A large number of organisations are still using manual processes like spreadsheets to manage their agreements. In fact, more organisations still use spreadsheets than contract management software.
Moving Towards Automation
Contract Lifecycle Management solutions are built to automate and track approvals, to maintain clause libraries, and to allow automated workflows. The employees surveyed indicated that manual processes are causing several issues:
- 68% of employees said it typically takes more than 10 minutes to locate contracts.
- 65% of respondents said their contract process had caused delays in signing deals.
- 39% of respondents said they had given up on finding a contract in the past. More than half of those gave the reason for this as tracking paper records.
- 27% of those surveyed admitted they had sent a contract to the wrong party.
The results show that manual processes are causing delayed deals, increased costs, and added risk. It’s clear from the responses there are opportunities for organisations to transform by taking steps to automate and create a more seamless and connected contract process. Taking steps towards automation can help with preparing, signing, acting on, and managing contracts.
With a contract lifecycle management (CLM) system and complementary tools like electronic signature, the entire contracting process can be automated and connected. The report indicates that employees welcome emerging technology and are open to contract automation:
- 61% of respondents say AI can help eliminate human error
- 60% say technology may help speed up approvals.
- 46% trust AI to automate contract workflows
A key takeaway from the report is that there are several areas in which contract management can be improved. Employees are open to emerging technology, and that technology is available to improve the contract process now.
Organisations that move towards automation of their contract processes are avoiding business delays and costs. Companies that have adopted CLM tools such as DocuSign SpringCM have eliminated much of the pain associated with manual processes.
Download the complete 2019 State of Contract Management report for more information.