Today we are in a place where we have realized the importance and operations of using electronic communications. For the last 15 years, the idea of a paperless office was something new to the imagination. Even though we had embraced the electronic signature software to create digital documents, the idea was fairly nascent to us. 15 years later, we are in a place where we have cloud-based creation to have more seamless and connected document handling. A good example for this can be Google docs where you can have access to your work from anywhere, using any internet-connected device, as long as you’re logged in. eSignatures are therefore an ideal way to go paperless, yet connected to every element, wherever you want , whenever you want.
What is eSignature?
ESignatures can be defined as a process that is logically associated with a record and adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. eSignatures use free specialized software applications that are applied to digital documents. They can be created using a scanned image of the person’s ink signature, hand-signature created on a tablet using a finger or a stylus, a mouse squiggle on a screen, a typed name or even a biometric hand-signature.
Integration of eSignatures into businesses can ensure a successful customer experience. There are various technological methods to introduce eSignatures into your business process.
However before you learn how to introduce eSignatures into your business process you should consider the benefits when choosing an eSignature platform for your business.
Why should you introduce electronic signatures into your business process?
Electronic signature isn't only a device in digital transformation, but an essential part required to accelerate business processes that reshapes the regulatory, institutional, and technological environments. To a certain extent, its effect is practically identical to the introduction of email into our day by day activities. The e-signature,much the same as the email, breaks time and space boundaries, encourages our lives and empowers us to take business activities to the next level. Let's have a look at its key advantages and functionalities for any business
Productivity is enhanced
The traditional stages in signing documents includes printing, signing, scanning, sending and then repeating. E-signing follows the same principle, but works on a simplified version of this process, eliminating steps like printing, scanning or mailing. Moreover, less mistakes and a quicker turnaround lead to a lower level of disappointment for all the parties involved, giving less to abandon this signing process. So it is safe to state that e-signature increases the level of proficiency and fulfillment, everything being equal.
Better time management
Generally, signing documents electronically saves annually 5 days (approx) for companies. . E-signing ets these record times as it depends on instant and automated digital processes.
The streamlined workflow empowers various parties to sign at the same time a record, without scanning or printing it. This speeds up the implementation of decisions, by radically decreasing the work around time.
Cost of paper eliminated
Paper is an asset that we frequently abuse and overuse at the expense of the general well-being of our planet. A large chunk of a company’s budget is wasted only on ordering, storing, postage, mailing, archiving them. Digitizing the whole marking process eliminates the need to print paper and in this manner reduces down all related costs. Besides, less paper utilized, more trees saved.
Electronic signature is legally binding
Electronically signed documents and contracts are legally binding. It is because of The European Union’s eIDAS, all the documents that are electronically signed can be treated as a form of evidence in case of commercial litigation and no judge can reject it solely because they are electronically signed.
Electronic signature is highly secure unlike the traditional ones
Besides legality,security is another problem area that raises concerns, however few could envision that e-signature is in fact more secure than the traditional paper one. Any tampering with the electronically signed documents can be traced and hence checks various defects.
How to introduce eSignatures into your business process
Choosing a good and flexible technology platform
A decent eSignature service provider won't tie you into inflexible cycles that limit how you can utilize the technology. For maximising your ROI, you have to make sure that the technology you choose is flexible when it comes to process as well as the applying the esignature solution on different devices.
Developing Your Signing Process
An electronic signature allows a person to carry out a signature transaction. When you create your own signing framework, you need to make sure that all your association and administrative needs are met. For this situation, you need to have a clear idea of your signing process early in your e-signature migration.
Testing the work process on a small-scale
E-signatures are genuinely simple to convey from a specialized perspective. However, a few mistakes and setbacks can come up as clients acquaint themselves with the technology. A small initial rollout can assist you with working through any bottlenecks in the framework before expanding and extending your solution.
Incorporate some leaders on board
Before introducing eSignatures into your business processes, you need to incorporate a few workers from each department that deploy the solution to champion the technology to their peers. It is possible for employees to not adapt to this new technology however, workers at every organization show their peers how useful the new technology is, and can make this adaptation process a lot easier and smoother.
Be ready to accept the Challenges while you implement eSignatures
Embracing an eSignature solution in your business cycles may sound terrifying. That is the reason why one needs to confront the progressions and changes with the right methodology.
First, one should implement eSignatures to compete with competitors. Secondly, eSignatures are legally binding that eliminates some of your key business problems. This in return will save you some time and money and enhance overall work productivity by increasing transaction speed.
Let your employees adopt a mindset of digital transformation
The process of persuading workers about the advantages of implementing electronic pdf signature solutions might be both overwhelming and a time-taking and a tedious task. It is important to tell your company workers how this particular technology can improve their working experience. Business leaders can venture up by pushing, advocating and educating their workers why eSignatures are essential expansion in the working environment and how they can improve work processes.
Target some tech-savvy customers
One of the advantages of introducing eSignatures in your business processes is that it gives you the option to process documents remotely via your phone or laptop. Smart devices that are updated along with their older versions cause display issues which hinders the eSigning process. Moreover, virus protections and pop-up blockers can meddle with the workflow. Hence, it is important for the vendors also to to keep up with the software void interference as much as possible. Electronic signature integration can guarantee an effective client experience especially to businesses that are yet to adapt this technology.
Understanding the software and its requirements
There are numerous digital signature software platforms. Most organizations offer cloud-based programming, which is download-free, so anybody with an internet can get to it. Vendors generally provide free trials for you to try before you buy. It is advisable to read real reviews before you purchase any software.
Understand the Legal Implications
Before you learn how to introduce eSignatures into your business processes, you need to know about the laws that make digital signatures just as valid and binding as written signatures. One should always be aware of the legal requirements for their specific businesses.Businesses like Retail and Real estate will have different legal restrictions than Healthcare and finance. Laws like Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) provide the legal framework for the use of e-signature in America. For India, companies follow the Information Technology Act (IT Act) 2000, to determine the legal regulatory and industry standards that they adhere to.
Creating a Data Storage Policy
ESignature software platforms need to create a data storage policy to manage e-signatures. It is advisable to ask your preferred vendor if they provide this facility. If not, figure out what expenses may be associated with storing this data. Data storage costs depend on whether data is stored on-premises, managed internally, in cloud or outsourced.
Once you have understood the measures of how to introduce eSignatures into your business process, you can use it in any sector that you wish to. To help you walk through some of the most common ways businesses use eSignature tools, we have segregated some of them by industries.
How to introduce eSignatures into your business process: Industry Use Cases
Sales/Purchase Orders and Invoices
Change request documents.
Emergency contact form
Basic details form
New hire paperwork
Class Action Communications
Joint Venture agreements
Board Resolutions written by the legal department
Power of Attorney Agreements
Policy Agreements and Notifications
Claim Processing Documents
Account opening and maintenance
Loan Applications Disclosures
Budgets on events
Electronic signatures use compliances to enhance the customer experience and drive business value. Some of these compliances are ESIGN, UETA, HIPAA, PCI DSS etc. If your business falls into one of these five industries you should start brainstorming into how to introduce eSignatures into your business process. More and more industries have started to adapt this solution for the benefits derived from them. From improving customer experiences to completing important transactions, it's covered in just a few clicks.