When I think of the word automation I can’t help thinking of the robot from the 60s TV series ‘Lost in Space’. Automation feels like a sci-fi concept, but it is fast becoming the way that we make our everyday working lives more productive.
McKinsey, analysts who specialize in looking at things like productivity, reckon that in the USA, as much as $2 trillion could be saved by automating processes in business. Obviously, that sort of money applies across the board, and to businesses of all shapes and sizes including major enterprises. However, even the smallest of companies can benefit from automating certain processes, contract automation being one of them.
What is contract automation?
If you’ve ever gone through the process of creating, signing, sealing, and delivering a contract manually, then you’ll know it is a multi-step, painful and slow process. It’s not so bad if there are just two signatories reading, agreeing and signing it. But often, contracts require multiple parties to agree to it and sign it off. Contract management can be a job in its own right, taking you away from your core business, whatever that may be. Anything that can automate that sort of manual process is a good thing. But automation is only as good as the underlying seamless nature of the process it is replacing, and esignature technology is the driving force behind contract automation.
In the world of software, one of the golden chalices of design has been to pair down the use of software to as few clicks as possible. It’s all part of creating a great user experience and making software earn its way. In the world today, there is a lot of ‘technology for technology’s sake’ but some technologies, ones that actually make life easier, are worthwhile exploring. Contract automation using software platforms like ApproveMe is a way to take the highly manual process of contract generation and make it work at the click of a button.
How to easily manage contracts from within WordPress
WordPress is one of those software innovations that have made the whole area of web design and development accessible to everyone. WordPress is a type of software known as a ‘content management system’ or CMS. One of the really innovative aspects of a WordPress CMS is that is has been built to be extensible. That is, other people, like the ApproveMe developers, can add bells and whistles to WordPress to give it more features and functionality. In the case of ApproveMe we have added the ability to automate contract management and allow esignatures to be added to those contracts. We’ve done this by creating a platform that takes the onerous manual process of creating, agreeing to, and signing contracts, and made it fully automatic – click of a button stuff. Instead of going through the laborious motions of:
- generating a contract,
- sending it out,
- getting it agreed,
- re-jigging it,
- sending it out again to be signed by person 1,
- then having it scanned back in,
- sending it out to person 2 to be signed,
- having it scanned back in,
- and on and on…
ApproveMe’s WordPress add-ons offer a platform that builds workflows around the whole manual contract signing process so you just have to set it up, click, and away it goes. It’s a case of once you use it, you’ll think why didn’t I do this before; like the real world…only better.
How to automate the process of sending, receiving and updating contracts
So how does the ApproveMe esignature platform actually work for contract automation? Firstly, you have to have the ApproveMe WordPress add-ons installed. The add-ons are the magic that performs the workflow and automation process, and that handle the esignatures, making them legally binding. These add-ons let you set up your online contract and add instructions to take esignatures from certain approved people. Your signatories are assigned to the document using a pop-up, where you simply add a signer by specifying their name and email address; your signatories then being informed automatically, by an email alert, that they can access and sign the document. It’s neat, it’s simple, it hits the sweet spot of automation, and makes everyone’s life a little bit easier.
Check out our article on exactly how the ApproveMe WordPress add-ons makes the contract automation process as easy as clicking a mouse.
Having remade templates made for certain things
Part of making automation seamless and pain free is to reuse templates – why reinvent the wheel after all. If you have already paid a lawyer, for example, to create a contract for you, then generally this can be reused as a template for other similar contracts. This applies across many aspects of a business that need to be signed off by one or more stakeholders. Examples include having set T&C’s for web design procedures, and non-disclosure agreements.
Automation might make me think of the past and ‘Robby the Robot’, but it is clearly the future of business allowing us to get on with what we do best and leaving the grunt work to the software.