Without competitive internal processes, there’s a ceiling to how successful any company can be.

To stay ahead in the market and to be a disruptive force, innovating internal operations is vital. The traditional approach of operations is being challenged and circumnavigated by technology-driven companies.

Process is no longer about planning and strategising. It is about automating. In short, the most efficient operations teams are working to make themselves obsolete, automating as much of the internal practices as possible.

So, what does an innovative, competitive internal process look like?

It improves the efficiency of legacy contracting processes

Legacy processes can significantly stall companies whilst their more agile competitors lurch ahead. This is particularly so in paper-based systems of agreement – the process that businesses use to prepare, act upon and manage agreements.

Manually keying in pricing information, scanning or faxing contracts that then require week of chasing for a handwritten signatures, are now outdated processes that make internal operations stagnate.

Digitising your business’s Systems of Agreement can transform the entire lifecycle, making a material difference in handling time and reducing NIGO (Not In Good Order) rate.

Having an easily integrated platform can act as a ‘hub’ to coordinate and connect with all the other systems and processes that are involved with generating, directing and managing agreements. This means that data can be pulled from your current CRM to automatically populate agreements, before routing the agreement to multiple parties to sign.

Another example is the ability to collect payments as part of the signing process, instead of being two disjointed steps. Agreements can also be retained in a centralised place, reused as templates, or purged as part of GDPR data compliance.

It is easy, intuitive and scalable

For a new internal process to be implemented successfully, it needs to be intuitive and easy to adopt. Whilst some training should be expected, it shouldn’t be so time-constraining that it becomes a burden on the teams it is meant to support. If it is hard to use, it won’t get used.

New processes can be introduced in increments, building upon quick wins. Alternatively, they can be more scalable if they integrate with an existing CRM, maximising investment and potential use cases.

It delivers ROI

Deploying a new internal process should come with some assurance that it will deliver on return on investment – from cost and time savings to less quantifiable benefits like staff satisfaction.

Social enterprise, USEL, now saves £21.89 per transaction after digitising documents with DocuSign, by eliminating the costs of paper and postage. Overall, USEL saw an ROI of almost £290,000 over three years, due to improved internal process productivity.

When considering ROI, it’s worth noting the long-term gains of investing in innovation. “Innovation is our only primary source of new wealth,” says Paul Hobcraft of Innovation Excellence.[1] So, “why do investors often remain ‘blind’ to innovations that have horizons that are not within the annual review?”

Cost-effective innovation “lies in developing the vigilance to identify innovative outputs that might become useful inputs,” advises Bright B. Simons in Harvard Business Review, “and the vision to design technical and business model experiments that turn out winning combinations.”[2]

DocuSign has partnered with Forrester to launch The Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) of DocuSign report. The report explores the ROI experienced by DocuSign customers keen to innovate and disrupt their industry, including those in internal operations. Read the full report.


  1. http://innovationexcellence.com/blog/2012/12/11/what-is-the-missing-cost-of-not-innovating/
  2. https://hbr.org/2012/10/is-the-cost-of-innovation-falling