(Based on input from Brad Fondak, Global IT Manager at Search for Common Ground, 02-04-2017)
Search for Common Ground (SFCG or Search) is an international non-profit organization that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict. The world’s largest peacebuilding organization, with headquarters in Washington, DC and a European office in Brussels, Belgium, SFCG seeks to help conflicting parties understand their differences and act on their commonalities. With a total of approximately 650 staff worldwide, SFCG implements projects from 59 offices and in 48 countries, including in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.
Founded in 1982, SFCG works to transform the way the world deals with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. We use a multi-faceted approach, employing media initiatives and working with local partners in government and civil society, to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies' capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.
"Signing, reviewing, and approving documents has always been a challenge for us"
Due to the diversity and breadth of our staff and operations, signing, reviewing, and approving documents has always been a challenge for us. Often, it involved waiting for executives to return from long trips and signing dozens of documents in a crunch of time, or using expensive courier services to send items from location to location for review and approval. Also, documents that get emailed or faxed back and forth are frequently disorganized, unclear, and hard if not impossible to audit and maintain. Lastly, the time this all took delayed progress and wasted countless hours of staff time to organize and manage it all.
"SignRequest has changed all of this"
SignRequest has changed all of this. We now are able to send any document to be reviewed and signed by relevant parties both inside and outside the organization, and they can do it immediately. Once a document is fully signed, everyone receives a copy and can work off of the same version. It’s also electronically filed and so storage is much easier.
In addition to ad-hoc signature requests, we have created several systems that use SignRequest in order to facilitate quick and accurate turnarounds. The first is a link between SignRequest and our Human Resource Information System. Now, documents can be sent and filed in the employee’s records without any additional movement or staff time. The employee signs, and it automatically goes to the right place in the system without any rescanning, copying, or even any further manual intervention.
We have also developed a system that streamlines our Consultant contracts using Google Drive as well as SignRequest for staff to prepare, review, and gain approval from our internal teams and external consultants all in the same process, ensuring that everyone sees the documents when they should and all of the appropriate compliance information is kept together, all without mounds of paper or confusing alternate versions.
"In short, we have been very happy with SignRequest"
In short, we have been very happy with SignRequest and are looking forward to working with it even more during the coming year. It is a wonderful system that has proved easy to implement and use for both internal staffers and external partners.