How to simplify a vendor agreement

Find out how simplifying your vendor agreements can reduce time-to-sign and improve the relationship between buyer and vendor.

This deep dive looks at what a vendor agreement is, who the process affects and why people decide to simplify it. Explore using the navigation below, or find out more about how to simplify contracts in our deep dives on MSAs and SaaS agreements

What’s a vendor agreement? | Who do vendor agreements affect? | Why simplify vendor agreements? | How to simplify the vendor agreement process | How to simplify your vendor agreement content | Useful features | Learn more

What’s a vendor agreement?

A vendor agreement defines how companies buy goods and services. Whether your company is a food marketplace buying produce, or a technology business buying new software, the contract that sets out the terms of this purchase is likely a vendor agreement.

Also known as ‘supply of services agreements’ or ‘supplier agreements’, these contracts are sent by the counterparty and are an important touchpoint for both parties. For the supplier or vendor, the agreement confirms revenue; for the buyer, it’s about keeping track of spend.

Who do vendor agreements affect? 

Vendor agreements can affect stakeholders across the business.

  • The procurement team negotiates on the commercial aspects of the contract and is responsible for buying the product or service.

  • The legal team is responsible for the negotiations with the counterparty.

  • The business stakeholder, or consumer, is the person (or team) who will be using the product or service.

  • The finance team authorizes spend on the agreement. In cases where companies don’t yet have an established finance team, this interaction can be handled at an executive level.

  • Contract managers are responsible for managing the contract after it’s been agreed and signed. Often, if a business doesn’t have a contract manager, this task is left to the legal or procurement teams.

When it comes to contracts, a positive user experience often leads to repeat business, and can help you build on strong commercial relationships

Why simplify vendor agreements? 

Vendor agreements power commercial growth; some of the most successful or fast-growing companies accelerate revenue by improving how they engage with buyers. When it comes to contracts, a positive user experience can lead to repeat business, and can help you build on strong commercial relationships. 

As the value of these relationships increase, so too can the length, density and complexity of the vendor agreements used to define them, both in terms of content and process. This complexity introduces friction, which can have serious consequences – especially in the case of venture-backed scaleups with aggressive growth targets. 

Companies working to simplify their vendor agreement process usually experience pain in both pre-signature and post-signature stages:

  • Pre-signature, clunky, manual contract processes mean that teams working on vendor agreements have to jump between several tools: editing in Microsoft Word, negotiating with the counterparty over email, discussing with colleagues in Slack, reviewing tracked changes, converting to PDF, signing using eSignature, and finally saving fully signed contracts in shared drives.

  • Post-signature, filing and managing these contracts is a time-consuming process. Without a contract collaboration platform, keeping track of documents is often left to the legal team. Vendor agreements saved as PDFs – or worse, printed and shoved into the back of a filing cabinet – are built from unstructured data. This means they’re not searchable, making it hard to keep sight of important terms, renewals dates and other critical information. 

With a searchable repository, all your contracts are in one place, and you can find what you need in seconds

How to simplify the vendor agreement process

A contract collaboration platform can resolve these challenges. Look for a platform that allows you to:

Handle all your contracts in a unified workspace 

Businesses often want to simplify vendor agreements by ending the back-and-forth process between multiple systems. Handling the contract lifecycle in a single system can massively improve your time and efficiency savings – and it’s hard to overestimate the value of dedicating less time to admin tasks!

Find a platform where you can create a contract from a template, collaborate internally and externally, agree, sign and track the document. Switching between systems will be a problem of the past.

A searchable repository

To create contracts from searchable and structured data, you need a platform with a native editor. AI contract review tools help you read old Word and PDF contracts but nothing beats dynamic, machine-readable documents that you can create, manage and track in a single platform. Accessing old agreements has never been so easy; with a searchable repository, all your contracts are in one place and you can find what you need in seconds.

How to simplify your vendor agreement content

Simplifying vendor agreement content is really about legal design thinking and putting the user at the heart of your improvements. Will the counterparty have a positive experience with your agreements? Are your contracts well-designed and engaging so that people want to sign?

There are some quick and easy changes you can make to ensure your vendor agreements are friendlier: 

  • Brand it. Charts, tables and images can make your contract more engaging. Include the logos of both companies at the top of the document to help visualize your commercial relationship and make the contract process more human.

  • Use layering and linking. You don’t need to include every relevant policy or document in your vendor agreement. Find a contract collaboration platform that lets you bundle and attach documents or link in the text. This way, you can keep your agreement clear and concise, while also providing your privacy policy or data protection Ts and Cs (for example).

  • Foreground key terms. There’s no point hiding important terms in jargon-heavy clauses – this only alienates the counterparty and guarantees a poor user experience. Instead, identify the most important terms in your vendor agreements and put them front and centre to close the deal faster.

Check out the ‘Modern contract handbook’ in which experts break down every stage of the contract lifecycle.

Useful features

If you want to simplify your vendor agreement workflow, look for the following features:

  • A rich, no-code text editor. A dynamic text editor will allow you to distribute engaging vendor agreements. Tables, images and charts can help simplify the information in the contract, resulting in beautifully designed vendor agreements that people want to sign.

  • Commenting. The ability to negotiate externally with the counterparty and discuss internally with your colleagues, without ever having to leave the contract, can make a huge difference. And with jumping between multiple systems a thing of the past, you’ll also have a full audit trail and reliable version control.

  • Device-optimized eSignature. Sign agreements on the go, anywhere, at any time. eSignature decreases time-to-sign, as counterparties don’t waste time printing, signing and scanning an agreement.

  • Searchable repository. File all your contracts in one place and search and filter quickly and easily with a contract collaboration platform that uses structured data.

If your contract workflow is superpowered with all these features, your simplified vendor agreements will enable both parties to get to ‘Yes’ faster – all while delivering a great user experience. 

Simplify your contracts with Juro

Is simplifying vendor agreements a pain point for your SaaS company or marketplace? Is your business scaling so fast that your contract process is out of control, with multiple systems involved pre-signature and a lack of visibility post-signature? 

If so, find out how Juro can help you agree and manage your contracts in a unified workspace, saving up to 96% of time on contracts.

Topics: Vendor agreement

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