Breaking the ink-to-paper habit can help businesses save billions. Find out how e-signing is making organizations large and small more agile, streamlined, efficient — and green.

Long before anyone had contemplated lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, the world was already shifting to virtual working. It made sense then, and it makes even more sense now. So many paper-based tasks take up time and distract from core job responsibilities; why not let machines do the work?

Managing paper costs companies USD 8 billion annually  — $20 on average just to prepare and file a document. If you lose a hardcopy it costs ca. $120 on average to locate it. If you have to recreate a document, it's another $220.

Replacing paper with web and mechanical with digital is just so much more efficient. And now that video calls from the kitchen have entered business culture, the floodgates are open. 

Everyone’s doing it. To stay lean and competitive, all-digital working has to be a priority.

But how do you digitize effectively? There are a lot of solutions out there. Where are the actual pain points that need to be addressed?

In this blog we’ll show you why trading traditional signatures for digital can unblock loads of hidden potential.

Less time on the dotted line

Even as more work has moved online, the way we affirm contracts, agreements, tax forms, and legal submissions has pretty much stayed un-touched. Something basic and elemental about ink-on-paper signatures makes it hard to let go. 

But manual signing is the source of a thousand bottlenecks. Getting a new hardcopy document drafted and approved internally takes time, but then you have to factor in physically sending, tracking, receiving and filing. It's costly, time consuming and loaded with opportunities for error. 

Happily, today there's more than one way to seal a deal. E-signatures are compliant and legally binding. What used to require the physical intervention of multiple people across multiple locations can now be done with a few clicks of a mouse (or taps on a smartphone).

How e-signing make you more efficient

1. Fast, consistent document creation

When key clauses and wording need to be included every time a new document is generated, templates can be a huge time saver. They provide assurance that everything is being created consistently, no matter who’s doing the creating. 

An e-signing platform like SignRequest lets you build a document once and save it forever as a template. Along with standard content, you can even add features to the template like signing order and notifications when you need to prompt recipients to take action.

2. Seamless collaboration

Complex forms and contracts always require multiple people to input and approve. With SignRequest, you can create and share one version of a document for edits and add comments. 

You’ll know everyone has access to the correct version and eliminate sending attachments back-and-forth by email. 

3. Efficient workflow

The great thing about the cloud is how easy it can be to connect and blend their functionality for one seamless workflow.

At SignRequest, we’re integrated with some of the most popular business platforms, including Salesforce, Google Workspace, M-Files, plus 2,000 more. We’ve pre-connected the dots so you can focus on growth.

Efficient is green

And here’s another thing: e-signatures help the environment. 

We’re still cutting down billions of trees annually to feed our printers and filing cabinets. Paper accounts for 26% of the waste dumped in landfill sites. As it decomposes it becomes another source of methane gas, which has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

In a time when more and more consumers are choosing brands based on their sustainable credentials, e-signatures can make you leaner — and greener. 

Read how our clients are using them to raise their digital game.

Profiles in digital efficiency

Accelerating rollout of digital services

LiveClinic is an American MedTech firm focused on the delivery of digital healthcare services. When COVID-19 started to impact areas the US healthcare couldn’t effectively serve, they realized they could use their platform and network of healthcare volunteers to reach patients in remote and underserved communities.

To provide services effectively, LiveClinic had to ensure that permission and contract documents were easy to use and understand. 

With SignRequest’s straightforward interface and intuitive user flow, LiveClinic was able to roll out services to new communities without sacrificing trust, compliance or ease of use.

With documents ranging from six to seven pages in length, this amounted to savings of thousands of sheets and stopped LivClinic from having to fly in reams of paper, printers, and scanners.

Enabling remote working

Dutch fine arts university ArtEZ offers a creative curriculum across a range of disciplines: fashion, graphic design, theater, dance, music, interior design, and architecture.  With 42 departments, three locations, more than 3000 students, and 900+ employees, it’s a large and sophisticated organization.

When COVID-19 restrictions forced the university to move to remote working, internal approvals ground to halt. Processes were paper-based and highly manual, requiring multiple signatures from a variety of administrative departments and functions.

To overcome the challenges of distance and disconnection, they adopted SignRequest for document management and e-signing. The easy onboarding process meant it could be implemented rapidly across the university. They can now prepare and sign standard documents in three minutes or less, for an average time savings of 5 minutes per document.

Automating the chain of command

Global convenience store chain 7-Eleven has more than 3,000 locations in the Philippines. When the pandemic landed, they had to find new ways to keep shelves stocked and tills ringing. With more than 1,000 employees in thousands of retail locations and 17 warehouses, the number of manual processes executed daily across the business was immense. The realities of social distancing and commercial lockdowns forced the company to look at those processes differently. 

They selected SignRequest’s enterprise solution to digitize crucial internal processes like approving in-store promos, signing new sales and distribution contracts, as well as HR recruitment and hiring. The high volume of documents, organizational complexity, and need for rapid deployment made SignRequest the perfect choice. 

All 1,000 staff members were up and running in a matter of days. Before SignRequest, it typically took one to two weeks to get paper documents signed. Now, most documents are signed within days, and it's common to receive a sign back within a few hours. 

A better way to seal the deal

E-signing is trustworthy, compliant, secure, and legally binding. It eliminates the time and risks that come with doing things by hand, and some of the biggest companies in the world have made the jump. It's helping them streamline manual processes and boost efficiency across departments and supply chains.


Ready to give digital signatures a try? Choose one of our plans and take SignRequest for a test drive today. Or contact us to find out more

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