Sustainable Business Begins With Digital Signatures

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The rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, changing customer needs, behaviors, expectations, and the ever-increasing cost of doing business are pushing organizations to put sustainable procurement at the top of their strategic agenda.

From the EU GPP criteria facilitating the inclusion of green requirements in public tender documents to the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program helping U.S. federal agencies purchase greener products and services, the public sector has taken the lead on green procurement.

However, early adopter private corporations are not behind. They have started to reap the benefits of sustainable procurement practices – mitigation of reputational risks, cost-efficacy in the longer term, and watertight compliance.

Apart from the legal ramifications and high risk associated with unsustainable procurement, there is also a close connection between sustainability and customer loyalty with consumers today turning to brands to address social and environmental issues.

According to a new report commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and conducted across 54 nations, the popularity of internet searches for sustainable goods around the world has increased by 71% in just five years. 

Several other studies have found that customers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products and make repeat purchases. That can have a direct impact on the top line growth and profitability of organizations looking to occupy the catbird seat.

If your organization is planning to join the list of environment-conscious businesses, the foremost and easiest way to begin is to ditch paper signatures by selecting digital signatures.

The hidden costs associating with paper signatures

Some facts that will make you think about the real costs of traditional modes of conducting business (paper-based):

  • 40% of the world’s commercially cut timber is used for the production of paper.
  • Over 30 million acres of forest are destroyed annually.
  • Paper production uses up lots of water. An A4 paper requires 10 liters of water per sheet.
  • The paper industry is the 5th largest consumer of energy in the world. It uses up 4% of the world’s energy. To produce 1 ton of virgin paper, it is estimated that 253 gallons of petrol are used.

Paper-based processes are time-consuming. Especially in pandemic times, firstly they disrupt the business process (lockdowns and inability to send documents through courier). There are also chances of the document being lost or falling in the wrong hands leading to forgery and fraud. It is also subject to damage like becoming wet or catching fire.

No matter how safely you archive paper-based documents, they are never safe enough. And even if your document reaches its destination on time, there is a long wait time associated with getting it back (with a signature). Such long wait times can cost your business if you are looking to source urgent supplies or close in on a customer.

How do Digital Signatures help?

Digital Signatures are signatures in an electronic form. It uses Public Key Infrastructure to secure the document. They are tamper-proof and the high security emerges by encrypting the document and permanently encrypting the information in it. They use different forms of authentication methods to verify the signer and protect your document from forgery.

As most organizations are realizing now, digital signatures are not expensive. They appear to be the more reasonable option especially when you consider the hidden costs associated with paper signatures. Apart from the one time cost of investing in a digital signature solution, the benefits that you get include:

  • Productivity – Assuming you are already using a Contract Lifecycle Management solution, your employees will be able to save an additional 1-1.5 hours per contract by integrating e-signatures with CLM. At an approximate employee cost of $40-60, and assuming a 50% value capture, each signature can save $20- $45 in terms of employee-related costs. Or put differently, the employee can gainfully use this time for more value-adding work instead of signing contracts or chasing up for signatures.
  • Savings – Physical contracts can cost anywhere from $5 to $10 towards printing and courier. The cost of storing, retrieving, producing additional copies, etc. can be much higher.
  • Revenue – Your sales reps need to get print out of documents, send them for signatures, and follow up with clients over phone calls. This process is time-consuming and frustrating. By automating transactions the speed of contract closure increases and sales revenue increases.
  • Efficiency – Remove manual processes and increase efficiency. By automating document management, you don’t need to manually check who hasn’t signed the document. Notifications are automatic and therefore you get signatures faster.
  • Digital Transformation – Moving away from paper signatures is the first step towards bringing about a digital transformation. An eSignature solution integrates with popular business tools and automates a lot of manual processes. This improves information exchange and connectivity across departments.
  • Customer experience – Your customers get an email notifying them of a document that they have received for signatures. They can simply click on the email to sign the document and send it back. The entire process is seamless and quick.
  • Risk Mitigation – Digital signatures reduce the chances of forgery and detailed audit logs prevent disputes. It is always a bonus to have an AI-powered eSignature solution that can highlight risk areas in contracts.
  • Compliance – An eSignature solution meets some of the most stringent global security standards — and complies with the U.S. ESIGN Act, UETA, and EU eIDAS Regulation. These legally binding agreements also come with a detailed audit trail.

Simplify your business processes with digital signatures

  • Create and send documents from anywhere
  • Eliminate the need to print and scan files
  • Use customizable web forms for filling information
  • Download and archive documents in a digital format
  • Keep an audit log of recipient activity- when the document was sent, opened, and signed

Reduce your carbon footprint

Paper signatures mean that you need to print a document, scan it, get signatures. It consumes a lot of time, energy, and effort. Make a positive impact on the environment by going paperless and adopting e-signatures.

Organizations should look for ways to reduce costs, improve workflow processes, and reduce waste. Therefore, using signatures is an economical and secure alternative to traditional contract signatures. If you are already using an e-signature solution, this is a good time to re-think your investment based on the benefits that you are getting from that solution.

Starting with Certinal eSign is low touch and suited to the growing needs of your organization. The AI-powered features assist you with fast decision-making and quick document preparation. Organizations can achieve cycle time reductions of up to 80 percent with Certinal eSign.

To know more, please contact us at marketing@certinal.com.

 

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