Bizongo’s Digital Contracts for Inventory Control
Building a digital contract system to maximize client delight while keeping inventory costs in check
Monitoring costs and exposure to unplanned spending is critical to any organization. At Bizongo, we hold packaging inventory for our clientele to ensure no stock-outs. But first, we had to make sure Bizongo wasn’t increasing its own inventory holding costs. How could we achieve cost optimization on inventory, when our promise is to hold stocks based on each clients’ ad hoc and consistent usage? It seemed not having a formal sign off on how much to hold, was the root cause. To enforce this legally, we opted for creating legally enforced digital contracts. Building the contract experience The more we brainstormed on the experience front, the more complexities we had to tackle. First, we had to understand how contracts are being consumed, and how to enforce them in this COVID era. Understanding legalities that bind a contract and most of all, How to ease the entire experience.
Understanding user needs As an end-user, drafting contracts can be a tedious job. To fill in a whole contract document for many companies on a regular basis is indeed boring. For this, we split the huge (WIP) contract document and separated it into its constituent terms and conditions. Not all the sections of the contract are pre-written. We realized quickly, being in a made-to-order packaging setup, we had to tune certain portions of the document, to each customers’ liking. As stated in the start, our focus was inventory. Inventory management facilitated by Bizongo’s Intelligent Auto-Replenishment System provided security of ready to ship stocks to many of our major clients during the COVID-19 lockdown when physical procurement had come to a standstill. All these features supporting Bizongo’s business had to be integrated within these contract sections. Also, we had to think of how to handle future contract sections, many contracts within a company, the visibility of all contracts active/expired, and its update history.
The User Interface As to reduce the cognitive load on the user, we came up with various ideas on how to handle these separate T&C sections while creating the contract effectively. For this, we created a lego structure where T&C sections can be easily added or removed. More importantly, the content of these sections was pre-filled and formatted. This helped our colleagues pick and customize their contracts per client. All of this, without any worry of proofing mistakes. With elements placed strategically, we provided visibility for the above points without cluttering the space. Looking into reducing repetitive effort, we made input fields to be auto suggestive or pre-filled them so that the user can create a contract in a matter of seconds! Powered by DocuSign, Bizongo’s Digital Contract helps our clients to view, sign, and document their contracts easily. We constantly modified the hierarchy and structure both in design and code to better usability. We as the tech team had created 4–5 variations of designs by the end of a week. Testing the design A fast-paced user testing with rough prototypes helped us to get an idea of how the teams expect customized contract creation to be. We materialized the working front-end app within hours so that our Legal and sales team could course-correct instantly. Based on the internal feedbacks, we reiterated the whole experience constantly to make it production worthy.
Waiting for feedback The game is still on as we see this feature rolling out. Our next step would be to gather data and confirm our hypotheses: “Contractualising inventory numbers will provide a significant boost in optimizing our inventory holding costs.” Contracts will still be the first guard rail that we have attempted. A very simple, but a binding solution to make sure inventory doesn’t spiral out of control. We will continue to build more around this base, once the hypotheses are proven true.
Thanks to Honey Tibrewal who led this from product and Babu Lal Meena from our engineering team, and all business team members.