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Digital consultancy 4C has released research that reveals that UK businesses are losing millions of pounds due to manual processing of agreements. The average loss for those without a fully automated agreements process is over £10 million a year, while three in ten companies (28%) cite losses of £1 million or more.

The survey of 501 professionals found a lack of automation is resulting in wasted resources. As a result, UK businesses are spending, on average, the equivalent of almost nine working days a month processing agreements, while one in ten is spending over 200 hours – the equivalent of more than one full working month.

The research also found just one in ten companies have adopted a fully automated process for managing contracts and agreements.

Jani Van Hecke, Head of Contract Lifecycle Management Practice at 4C said: “Businesses often neglect the non-customer-facing part of their operation, so it’s no surprise that the manual processing of agreements is resulting in lost money and time for companies across the UK. This research highlights the true scale of the problem that outdated processes create and serves as a wake up call to UK businesses.”

Only (8%) of companies have a fully automated process for managing their agreements and a quarter (24%) of companies’ agreements are held in shared spaces (either physical or virtual) where anyone in the business can access and edit them

Gareth Stephens, UK CEO at 4C comments: “It’s encouraging to see UK businesses recognise the digitisation and automation of their manual agreement processes as important to their operation. Cost and data security are cited as barriers to automation, yet our report shows that manual processing of contracts is hurting their revenues.

“By shifting company culture to make agreement automation a priority businesses can protect their data and drive business growth.”