It’s not business as usual but you still need to run your business.
Employees are now working out of their homes to carry out their jobs as companies across all industries are having to support a massive surge in demand to equip their employees with the right technology and tools to continue to work productively.
While remote working is not new and has been trending upwards in recent years, the difference is businesses must now reconsider how they can continue to operate their business effectively via digital means – such as the need for tools and processes in which to enable signing and concluding business contracts electronically and digitally.
Signed contracts allow businesses to continue to run and be transacted, ensuring adequate cash flows during these challenging times when social distancing is driving companies to rethink how they can connect with customers, prospects and internal employees.
Benefits of Electronic Signatures
Adopting electronic signatures (or e-Signatures) can be a quick win for your business. In lieu of physical contact with customers and staffs, contracts and agreements can now be prepared, approved, signed, and managed electronically — without requiring printers, scanners or traditional ink and paper.
With e-Signatures, you can create from pre-approved templates and auto-populate or manually enter data with the ability to collaborate and comment with multiple parties. You can then automate reviews and approvals by initiating a custom workflow process. Signing authority can be implemented quickly and securely by routing electronically to multiple parties for signatures in parallel or in a prescribed order.
The ability to monitor the status of each participant during the process is very useful and effective as it helps expedite the entire process. By integrating e-Signature workflows, you can reduce document turnaround times by as much as 80%, allowing users to review and instantly sign them at a time and location that is most convenient for all.
The work doesn’t stop there. There is a list of follow up activities that are associated once contracts are signed. Internal processes that are triggered by tasks/procedures such as billing and payments are common; however, securely retaining the signed agreements in a centralized location that can be easily searched and retrieved is just as important — after all, these are legally binding documents. Signed contracts shouldn’t just be stored in an employee’s laptop because the inability to share data digitally will undermine business effectiveness and service delivery. Physically printing and storing them in a storage cabinet, especially nowadays, is simply not feasible – even when businesses return to normal, physical documents will create challenges for security, retrieval and access.
When implementing e-Signature solutions in your organization, you should consider how best to digitize your approval processes with your existing industry-specific applications that are already in place. It should be easy to deploy and adequately support and streamline your workflows.
Common Use Cases
Use cases for e-Signatures can be commonly found across the business. Approvals and contracts take place all the time whether externally with customers or internally with employees. Within your Sales department – you can adopt e-Signature workflows with new customer sign-ups, sales orders and account provisioning to help close sales quicker. Within your finance department, you can implement e-Signature workflows for activities such as invoice processing, expense reporting and inventory sign off to improve tracking, auditing and reporting. And lastly, you can deploy and automate e-Signature workflows with asset tracking, change requests, maintenance authorizations and order fulfillment to ease the burden from your existing IT resources within your IT department.
If you are currently exploring the adoption of e-Signature workflows within your organization, we recommend the following next steps:
- Identify use cases that can impact cash flow – in order to main essential services
- Examine e-Signature use cases for business value
- Find a product/solution that you can support and grow with your organization over time
- Implement to solve your immediate business requirements, get buy-in and use as a platform for future expansion
- Focus on “must-have” versus “nice to have”, if cost becomes an issue
- Adopt e-Signatures now