Our Senior Director of Global Procurement Conrad Smith presented a talk outlining the "document disconnect" in procurement. According to research conducted by IDC, 63% of line-of-business leaders think document processes negatively impact customer satisfaction.
Hello, I am Conrad Smith, from Adobe’s Global Procurement organization.
[Conrad, please feel free to add more of your background to introduce yourself. E.g. How long have you been with Adobe and in Procurement? What is your team’s responsibility? Etc.]
Adobe has been an innovator of new technology for over 30 years, and continues to focus on new innovative technology to meet today’s business challenges Adobe is the inventor of PDF, the global standard for secure, reliable document workflows and continues to drive digital documents forward.
Adobe offers a complete solution for document workflows across platforms and devices, that uniquely enables organizations to bridge the document productivity gap. Adobe enabled the paper to digital revolution and PDF has become the standard for how business is conducted, and how governments work with their citizens. This is largely due to the fact that there are over 1 billion Free Adobe Readers installed across the world, including mobile devices.
A few years ago, we started to notice several key trends.
Of course, all types of digital documents are exploding. Adobe has a long history of helping companies and people digitize their documents. We continue to see this explosion reflected in our own Acrobat and Reader numbers.
The big trends here are:
Mobile is huge. Right now, we’re seeing up to 400,000 mobile Acrobat installs per day, just from the three major app stores.
E-signatures are taking off, with more than 100 million agreements processed with Adobe EchoSign.
The PDF ecosystem is thriving – we pioneered it, but in just the last year, more than 50 billion PDFs were opened in Adobe products alone (and we’re not the only company in the PDF space!)
While we are seeing huge growth of digital in the market,
Transition: We also know our work is not yet done. There is a disconnect we see as people and companies are trying to get their work done with critical documents
Our customers tell us that documents are still a big challenge and we are calling this the document disconnect. We asked IDC to help us quantify the impact that this is having on organizations.
First, as much as we have been helping organizations make the transition from paper to digital, paper is still not gone. According to IDC- 80% of document-based processes are at least partly dependent on paper
Next, think about how much time we can all spend doing our jobs, vs things like paperwork. According to IDC, the average worker is spending 1/3 of their time on admin tasks. Think about this as spending time on things that don’t add any value, but we are being forced to do, such as re-keying data from one system to another.
Last, we used to talk about all of this in terms of productivity, but what we are finding is that this actually has real impact on the top and bottom lines. Think about a bad experience you might have where you need to fill out 3 different forms with the same information 3 times.. It makes no sense, but this is very common. According to IDC 63% of document processes negatively impact customer satisfaction and when you think about it, that also makes sense.
Whenever paper is involved along with people trying to fill the gap, the entire process is slower, more error-prone, and can’t scale. The growth of mobile devices in the workplace just makes this problem worse because the ability to work with documents is even more limited. The consequence is that business results suffer, decreasing revenue, increasing risk and increasing cost.
We also know that PDF is used when most critical documents are at hand (contracts, legal agreements, critical business documents).
And by the way, the “document disconnect” is just as prevalent in Procurement at it is in other parts of an organization. Wasn’t the digital era supposed supposed to make this easier for us in procurement?
Here are a few examples that we can probably all relate to:
FORMS: How many times have we had our business partners or vendors fill in redundant paper forms that also require someone to re-key into back office systems.
SIGNATURES: We’ve all had the experience of trying to get a contract signed quickly and your signer is out of the office or on a ski lift and only has a mobile phone
APPROVALS: Anyone still rely on fax machines or email attachments to get approvals and documentation from internal stakeholders or from vendors. Painful right?
AUDITS: We’ve all had the the daunting task of making sure the right people are always using the right agreements for the right task but more importantly, making sure the right people are signing them and are using the right agreements
TRANSITION: So we (Adobe) think this is our opportunity
How do customers bridge the gaps in existing document processes? They need a complete solution that works across desktop, web, and mobile, making it easier for employees to get their work done from anywhere. They need the ability to automate e-signing and approvals of documents, so that your users no longer need to use paper for contracts and forms. Finally, they need to track and protect documents, even when those documents go outside of the company.
Let’s start with Signatures.
We truly believe in adding e-signing for everyone. We make it simple to collect signatures from others, no software required for the signer. We have added e-signing services that used to be separate, now they are included with every paid subscription seat of acrobat. Fill and Sign, where you can literally sign anything. All of these tools are part of the document cloud and can be configured, customized and extended to meet business needs. This includes things like controlling the process, order of signing, etc.
The fastest way to get documents signed and approved: Get others to sign from any device (no software required) Send for signature included in every subscription seat (formerly Adobe EchoSign) New Fill and Sign makes signing anything fast and easy, including smart autofill across devices Business tools to automate any signing and approval process
Integrated Document tools
From being touch enabled, to making the tools you need more discoverable and simple to use. We have focused also taking paper to digital editing in one easy step, as well as significantly improved the way acrobat can help you work with scanned images. We know that 30% of PDF’s opened in our products are scanned images, and now it is much easier to make that content useful and reusable.
We also have a very deep integration with MS office and can send you information on that if you are interested.
The most complete PDF solution, reimagined New simple, intuitive and touch-enabled interface New tool center, simplified and quick access to the tools you use most Easily convert any paper document to editable digital ones (Photoshop magic now included) Edit, export and reuse any PDF content Integrates with MS Office and Sharepoint
Last but not least, a big effort for us was around mobile. Making sure you can easily continue your work from one device to the next. Simple creation, editing, commenting and reuse, all from your android or IOS device. Now that you’ve got a good idea of what the Adobe Document Cloud is, let me switch gears and show you how this can help you within Procurement. Two all-new companion apps add mobility and functionality to the reimagined Acrobat and Document Cloud experience.
Two all-new companion apps add mobility and functionality to the reimagined Acrobat and Document Cloud experience
Acrobat Mobile Create, edit, comment, sign, organize, and, of course, read simply Consistent UI and tools across desktop and mobile devices Pick up where you left off with Mobile Link, while your files, settings and signatures stay with you
Fill and Sign Fill out and sign anything as simply as pen to paper
Lets start by walking you through a possible day in the life of a Procurement document.
The cast to this scenario is pretty simple. It typically involves a buyer, within an organization. A manager and a vendor.
Some of these characters you might recognize, some of them you might not. Believe it or not, Samantha Brown is actually on my team and she’s a Sr. Buyer with Adobe procurement. I’ll play the role of the Manager. Lets use Frank Underwood as the Vendor.
Samantha drafts up a vendor agreement, creates a PDF via Acrobat DC
Conrad her manager marks of the changes via Adobe Acrobat DC.
Samantha then makes the changes and sends them to her Vendor via PDF
Frank her vendor gets the PDF and marks up his changes via Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and sends them back to Samantha
Samantha incorporates all the changes into the new agreement and then sends it via Ariba CLM and Adobe Document Cloud eSign services
Given the contract is over $100k, Conrad gets a copy of the contract first and signs off on it via his mobile phone with Adobe Document Cloud eSign Services given he’s on vacation. The contract is then routed to the vendor automatically after Conrad signs it
The vendor gets a copy of the contract via his email and signs it via Adobe Document Cloud eSign services (NOTE: the vendor does not need to own/purchase anything in order to sign the agreement via Adobe Document Cloud)
After the Vendor signs the agreement, it is automatically routed back to Samantha and posted into Ariba CLM and Adobe Document Cloud eSign services. Samantha also gets a notification of the signed and completed contract.
6 months later, Samantha’s legal department asks for a copy of the final contract. She searches for it within Ariba CLM and sends them the final contract with complete audit trail and eSignitures via Send and Track within Adobe Document Cloud
One later the contract comes for renewal. The process then starts all over again. Samantha sends the current contract around for edits and changes…..
The direct benefits that the Adobe Procurement organization has been transformative.
Our contract completion cycle is reduced by 73%: going from 2-3 weeks to 1-2 days. 79% of contracts are completed in 7 days or less. Plus, there was a 70% increase in contract completion.
From our vendors’ perspective, they loved how much more efficient this process was and they were getting paid faster too.
Implementing a solutions of these nature also help chip away at the document disconnect. Addressing the document disconnect can provide exceptional benefits in terms of reduced cost and risk. Line-of-business leaders we surveyed estimate that fully addressing the gaps in their departmental document processes could yield a:
• 36% increase in revenue • 30% reduction in cost • 23% reduction in business/compliance risk
IDC believes that organizations that address their “document disconnect” in the near term will enjoy clear advantages over competitors that ignore it. Despite the outsized impact that the “disconnect” has on the organization and its customers, ROI can often be realized without disruption of existing systems or great expense. Organizations can “start small” and work incrementally. The maximum benefit, however, will accrue for organizations that seek to address the document disconnect enterprisewide.