If you’re like most companies, the thought of using eSignature technology and going paperless is an intriguing one. Lifting the burden of piles of paper sounds fantastic, and the idea of never having to deal a printer again is compelling.
Yet, you remain unsure.
You’ve done the research, like what you see, but have a few hesitations on whether eSignatures is the right move for your organization. Sure, change is hard and embracing new technologies can be difficult. We understand the uncertainty. All that paper, oddly enough, is like a nice, warm blanket. You are comfortable with the current processes, and it's hard to let go.
We’re here to say don’t delay any further.
The main reason why you should make the change now?
Cutting back on paper means cutting back on costs
Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of using eSignatures is the amount of money that they can save you.
With something as prevalent as paper, we often ignore the actual dollar amount associated with its use. We need it, we buy it, we move on. Rarely does anyone in a business environment question the purchase of paper.
In many ways, it’s similar to a commodity like milk or bread. Even if we notice a slight uptick in its price, it remains a necessary staple of the business world, so we believe we cannot operate without it.
It’s not just the paper itself either. We often excuse associated costs that come with using that paper.
Consider the following:
- The related expenses that go into printing, copying, or scanning paper documents. You must also account for the toner and maintenance and upkeep required on your business machines.
- The shipping costs required to send physical documents versus virtual files.
- The cost in storage, either in real dollars for off-site facilities or lost in a lease due to square footage set aside for boxes of documents.
- The disposal fees when it comes time to purge outdated or unnecessary paperwork.
- Taken individually, usage costs may be nominal, but they do add up.
The office worker in the US uses on average 10,000 sheets (or two cases) of paper every year. It may seem a slight number, but when you account for printing and copying, costs can increase upwards of 31% of the original purchase price of the paper.
Considering a case of paper costs roughly $50, that means $131 in paper per employee.
Add to that expenses from document distribution, storage (which usually means 10% to 15% of your monthly office lease), and destruction of dead files, and the expenses quickly rise.
Adding insult to injury, a large number of printed materials never even make it out of the printing tray. As Kelly Glaser notes:
The real issue is how that paper is being used or, in this case, not used. According to a recent survey, 70% of the total waste in offices is made up of paper and as much as 30% of print jobs are never even picked up from the printer. Even worse, 45% of printed paper ends up in the trash by the end of the day. When you consider that the total amount spent annually by U.S. companies on printed documents is $120 million, it’s clear that there is a lot of pointless printing in modern offices (and a lot of wasted money).
Even a modest office of 25 to 50 employees will experience a considerable level of savings moving to eSignature technology.
But there’s a lot more to signing a piece of paper than penning in your name and initials.
It’s not just money you will save.
A more efficient way to function
When you adopt eSignature technology, dollars aren’t the only thing to consider. Streamlining your paper management procedures does wonders for your operations and levels of efficiency.
Think about the time it takes your company to obtain a signature on a hard copy document.
Do you measure it in minutes? Hours? Or can it take days? If your organization falls into the last category, you are by no means alone.
To grasp the full scope of what goes into to getting a contract or other document signed traditionally, let's detail it out:
Look, we even tossed in the email shortcuts to help streamline the process, but even then there's a lot of printing and scanning.
At best, it’s a cumbersome process.
Now, let’s detail it out, this time with eSignature technology doing all the heavy lifting:
If you’re keeping track, we used 117 words to describe the first procedure. The eSign instructions required less than half that.
Free your team from the pushing of paper
If you’re not convinced already, there are still several more benefits to streamlining your document management efforts with eSignatures. For example, the advantages an eSignature platform present for your team members also stand on their own.
We’ve already touched on the reduction in time by not having to print, scan, or mail documents that require signatures. But similar to the overlooked costs of paper, eSigning can also relieve your employees of some of the hidden realities that come with a paper-centric company.
First, it eliminates the need to chase down signatures and makes following up far easier. When the document execution process is handled electronically – from start to finish – emailing reminders or sending out a fresh set of docs is as simple as a click of the mouse or tap on a trackpad.
It also dramatically reduces the need to check for and correct errors in the documentation. In addition, there is no need to fiddle with difficult PDF forms that can be a challenge to create and manage.
Next, lost docs become a thing of the past. If your signer misplaces a contract or fails to sign signature pages promptly, you no longer have reprint, rescan or re-email the forgotten or lost pages to get them signed. Just submit a new set of documents seeking their eSignature.
Finally, moving to eSignatures makes the overall storage and management of your signed agreements easy to control. Gone are the towers of floor-to-ceiling document boxes, the dead file destruction costs, and the stacks of paper blooming from desks and floors like miniature cities.
Your hard copies are now soft copies and fully managed electronically.
All of this amounts to less time your team has to spend organizing paperwork. Which means more time to focus on what matters – your company.
Try it out for yourself!
Even if you choose to push your transition out a little longer, you are ultimately just delaying the inevitable. Society is moving to less paper. When you stop and realize the number of tasks you perform every day on your smartphone or tablet, it's not hard to see the execution of signed document as a logical next step. So why delay and deny yourself and your company the rewards that come with eSignatures?