Getting signatures on a document used to be one of the most frustrating daily tasks of any given administrative assistant. Tracking down elusive executives, distributing and collecting multiple copies of a document, and compiling changes multiple times all contributed to the problems of a paper-based document storage system. For companies that relied on contracts, purchase orders, or other document-heavy processes, the result was often documentation chaos.
Obtaining a signed document in hard copy takes about five days on average. Thankfully, business technology has produced a solution: electronic signatures. Instead of five days, the average time to get an electronic signature is around 37 minutes.
Benefits of Electronic Signatures
Clearly, an electronic signature system can save your employees a lot of time! Such a system also entails other benefits. According to recent research, adopting an electronic signature system has enabled 92% of financial institutions surveyed to cut down on scanning errors in their workflows. After all, the chances of human or technological error go up exponentially when you are transferring documents from one form to another (hard copy to electronic copy and vice versa).
In addition, an electronic signature system can save you money. Another study found that businesses across industries save between 55% and 78% on their expenses related to materials, administration, and subscription costs.
Possible Pitfalls of Electronic Signatures
Although electronic signatures can provide many benefits to your company, this is only the case when your signature system is implemented well. Although an electronic signature system eliminates several steps of the document management process, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of losing the document, creating multiple conflicting versions of the document, damaging the document, or exposing the document to a security risk.
Effectively Implement Electronic Signatures with Document Management Software
In order to reap the benefits of electronic signatures while mitigating as much risk as possible, it’s essential to use a modern document management system like M-Files. With a document management system, you can manage the entire review, approval, and signature process while keeping a single authoritative version of the document. Previous versions of the document may be viewed, but there will no longer be multiple copies of the document to cause confusion.
In addition, you can set up workflows so that the document automatically gets routed via email to the appropriate reviewers and signers. You can even send it to external stakeholders such as vendors or customers. This automation enhances the time and cost savings you’d get from implementing an electronic signature system on its own.
A good document management software will include powerful metadata and search functions, allowing you to find documents in moments. It will also implement strict security measures and role-based access permissions, reducing the risk of a data leak or other security threats.
Organize and Sign Your Documents Electronically with M-Files
M-Files can provide all the benefits listed above and more. With its intelligent platform and unique organizational structure (documents are organized by what they are, not where they are stored), M-Files can save you hours of work and reduce your administrative costs. M-Files integrates with all major electronic signature software providers—as well as with your existing business software applications. With M-Files, you can automate workflows, ensure compliance, and collaborate with ease.
If you want to learn more about how M-Files can integrate with electronic signature software, check out this webinar about M-Files and the Adobe Acrobat Sign solution. Ready to get started? The experts at Laminin can help you optimize your information management by implementing business software solutions like M-Files. Contact us today.