The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded businesses to change how they operate in order to maintain business continuity. Remote work environments have accentuated the friction caused by paper and handwritten signature processes, increasing the need for eSignature solutions.
An electronic signature, or e-signature, is an electronic sound, symbol or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed by a person with the intent to sign the document. While electronic signature laws and regulations vary depending on the country, most share the same basic principles around signing documents. Organizations that leverage innovative technology will be better situated to return to the workplace than companies stuck in a legacy mindset and resistant to change.
Businesses should consider adopting an opportunistic approach to embrace the disruption, and use digitization as a competitive advantage now and in the future.
The Benefits of an Electronic Signature Solution
The benefits of digitizing the document signing process can be applied across numerous verticals. E-signature solutions are commonly found in industries that require secure document signatures such as legal and healthcare sectors, government agencies, and real estate.
In the legal industry, savvy and innovative firms are turning to electronic signature solutions to boost efficiency and increase customer accessibility to gain an edge over less proactive competition. E-signature technology allows organizations to collect signatures from employees, customers, and partners without needing to print a physical copy, mail or fax records.
In addition to the wide range of industry applications, electronic signatures also facilitate human resource (HR) responsibilities such as streamlining the recruitment process, and speeding up the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable processes.
Organizations that adopt electronic signature solutions provide a compelling capability that can be launched quickly and easily for a plethora of use cases. E-signatures provide organizations with a simplified, paperless signing process that saves time, cuts costs, and increases security.
Create a Paperless Signing Process
Organizations should implement an electronic signature solution into their existing workflow solutions to create a simplified and paperless signing process. Digitizing the signing process allows organizations to collect signatures and approvals on multiple documents from clients or employees anywhere and on any device without printing a single piece of paper. E-signatures’ ease of use provides a smooth customer experience across industries and countries as most end-users are familiar with the eSignature procedure.
The simple and streamlined electronic signing process will increase collaboration as the speedy collection of signatures will prevent projects and deals from stagnating, and promote project progression.
One of the most attractive benefits of implementing electronic signatures is an increased speed of contract execution. Electronic signing can eliminate any unnecessary delays in finalizing contracts, which improves performance. For many industries, the execution speed of time-sensitive contracts is critical to the operational capacity of their organization.
Electronic signatures can save time and accelerate the signing process by:
- Eliminating repetitive signing.
- Accelerating negotiations with security authentication and critical issue monitoring.
- Eradicating any delays in updating or executing contracts regardless of geographic location.
Electronic signatures are able to save organizations money through various means such as reduced labor, material costs, and the financial impact of human errors such as signing mistakes.
The most obvious cost benefit organizations can receive by implementing electronic signature solutions comes from the creation of a paperless signing process. Organizations with a paperless signing process will cut costs on paper, copying, packaging, and shipping.
In addition, the automation of electric signing reduces labor and more importantly reduces the financial risk of human error during the signing process. Electronic signing software mitigates human error through a monitoring system that provides alerts about any suspicious records or compliance issues, forgoing the cost of fixing problems that could have been prevented.
Electronic signatures ensure greater security for confidential and sensitive documents than traditional handwritten processes. Electronic signature solutions provide built in security protocols implemented to securely send, receive, and store the electronic documents. The digital audit trail capability provides easy and secure verification to fight against fraud. E-signatures are also much harder to forge and the software can automatically detect even minor altering. Electronic signatures record more data points than traditional paper processes to provide even greater security to signers.
The overall widespread adoption of electronic signature solutions can be attributed to the simple fact that e-signatures are safe and more secure than a traditional, wet signature. While there are many security advantages to electronic signatures, here are a few of the highlights.
- Electronic record
- Certificates of completion
- Tamper-evident seal
Ensure Regulatory Compliance
Due to the proliferation of electronic signature solutions, countries have been increasingly introducing related legislation. The United States passed The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the European Union established The Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services (eIDAS).
The right electronic signature solution will protect the organization from incurring fines and falling into a deep legal proceeding. A comprehensive audit trail should have the capability to easily verify the validity of the signed document to enable companies to easily prove compliance and deflect potential legal suites.
Using Electronic Signature Technology in your Business
The technological landscape is ever changing and is only changing more rapidly due to COVID-19 and remote work environments. Businesses today can’t fully embrace a digital infrastructure without the support of an e-signature workflow solution.
E-signatures provide organizations productivity gains, operational savings, and improved customer experience through a simplified, scalable, easy to use solution. Businesses that partner with a managed service provider to implement an electronic signature solution into their organization not only position themselves at the forefront of technological innovation, but more importantly, provide an avenue for continued business operation during a time of great upheaval and disruption.