Digital transformation remains a hot topic in the business world—and for good reason. According to a recent study, almost 75 percent of organizations today are carrying out digital transformation initiatives, with the rest not far behind.
For the organizations that have yet to start, contract approval processes is a great place to begin the digital transformation journey. Why? Because most organizations spend heavily on contracts, with companies in certain industries having 90 percent or more of their costs tied to contracts.
Yet, procurement operating expenses across industries account for less than one percent of these companies’ total spending, according to McKinsey.
The Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) realized the benefits of digitizing and automating its contract approval processes, while quickly learning that automation alone is not enough for achieving digital transformation.
A Good Start
The MRA is the delivery arm of the planning department in the Perth, Australia government. The MRA works with the local government, private developers, and industry stakeholders to drive urban redevelopment across the Perth metropolitan area. The organization oversees hundreds of active contracts worth almost AU$500,000 million a year.
In 2013, Paul Atkins, MRA director of procurement and contracts, automated the company’s contract approval workflow processes with Microsoft SharePoint. The workflows automated on SharePoint were an improvement from the manual process they had in place previously, but the process lacked visibility that often resulted in significant delays.
“We’re a small team in Procurement and Contracts,” says Atkins. “Making changes to workflows was a time-consuming and fraught task. Email notifications weren’t as intuitive and successful as we needed. Maintaining workflow history for auditors was difficult. And we still lacked visibility into the process.”
Depending on size and complexity, getting MRA staff to approve a contract could require up to 100 steps. Atkins and his team needed a better way to manage the contract approval processes and address bottlenecks in the process to keep things moving forward.
Next Step: Nintex
MRA worked with a Nintex partner, Connected Systems, to implement a solution using advanced workflows on the Nintex Platform.
Now when a new contract approval process starts, a Nintex workflow kicks off an email assigning actions to applicable executives. Atkins and his team can easily customize the email notification to improve clarity around the required actions, which results in quicker and more accurate responses.
The new solution also makes updating workflows so fast and simple that the MRA team can handle them internally and as frequently as necessary. Best of all, MRA now has visibility into what was previously and opaque contract approval process. Executives can see the actions they need to take and quickly identify and address bottlenecks.
Contract Approval Optimization Achieved
The Nintex solution has enabled Atkins and his team at MRA to move beyond contract approval automation, to contract approval optimization.
“With Nintex, we know how many requests we receive and approve in a given month, and can put our work in the context of the agency’s overall mission and need,” says Atkins. “We can show how we’re providing strategic sourcing and supply chain management.”
Interested in learning more about how the MRA optimized their contract approvals with Nintex? Read the case study.