DocuSign: Accelerating Business from the Dotted Line to the Bottom Line
eSignature (also called e-Signature, electronic signature, E-signature, eSign, etc.) tools like DocuSign have been leveraged for many years by companies (including Corcentric) across many industries and geographies to simplify and speed the pace of business – contracts, NDAs, SOWs, and myriad other types of documents. For a simple reason: it’s fast and efficient.
Because eSign is fast and efficient, it’s surprising that for all the proven benefits of using eSignatures, companies still have a way to go to eclipse “wet ink” signatures. That resistance could be seen as a leading indicator for the digital transformation of business processes as a whole. After all, without a signed contract there is no business, and if contracts are being signed by hand, what does that say about the possibility of digitizing business processes on either side of those dotted lines?
The Post-Pandemic Digital Transformation Landscape
But nothing disrupts like disruption, and between the global pandemic and enormous supply chain problems it fostered, the digitization wake-up call is now impossible to ignore. Among other impacts, the pandemic ushered in the era of the remote workforce. At the same time, it proved the overwhelming value of having integrated workflow automation functionality – such as Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) with embedded eSignature – as a requirement for business continuity.
Imagine the speed of business with a group of contract counterparties all in different locations around the country or the world, waiting for the delivery of paper documents to be reviewed, redlined, sent back for revisions, and returned for more reviews. This spiral of – very expensive – ineffectiveness was significant and made immediately apparent to companies across their organizations, most notably invoicing and payments during the pandemic.
In fact, according to DocuSign, “The top business tools that emerged as essential these past two years are video conferencing and electronic signature.”
While it shouldn’t have taken something as dramatic and disruptive as a pandemic to convince the digital signature skeptics, the writing is now clearly on the wall. Or more precisely, the pixels are firmly on the screen.
Digital transformation is all about process efficiency (and cost effectiveness)
A quick glance at the main Corcentric blog page shows very consistent recurring themes: Digitization and transformation, streamlined workflows, process automation, revenue generation, and business efficiency. With good reason – that’s what we do.
As a subset of those topics, going paperless is another theme that gets a lot of notice on the Corcentric site — paperless invoices, paperless receipts, paperless payments, paperless contracts, to name a few. This focus on streamlining workflows by adopting cloud-based Source to Contract, Procure to Pay and Order to Cash processes has its basis in the proven facts that digitization cuts costs, reduces or eliminates human data entry errors (and risk), speeds up business significantly, and minimizes a company’s carbon footprint. That’s why you’ll find e-signature tools integrated with solutions including contract and document management, financial, CRM, human resource, and ERP systems.
E-Signature puts the “E” in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)
Speaking of going paperless, according to the Sierra Club, the United States produces about 20,700,000 tons of paper. Based on EPA statistics, that equates to 68 million trees. That number could come down as business digital transformation increases, but even half the amount has a staggering environmental impact. Even factoring in that about half is recycled, there is more than ample room for companies to reduce paper consumption a lot more. Adopting digital strategies like eSignature can help meet corporate ESG policies.
In terms of our SaaS contract lifecycle management (CLM) with embedded eSignature capability including DocuSign, this area of digital transformation turns the entire contract process from the traditional “business bottleneck” into opportunistic business accelerator. This is all due to process efficiency, which enables companies to achieve agility. Agility stands as one of the defining factors that separates business leaders from laggards during disruption.
An article in American Lawyer recently asked, “Can focusing on efficiency improve your bottom line?” The short answer is “yes,” companies that run efficiently tend to be more profitable. Accelerating business efficiency is all about taking friction out of workflows. Integrated e-Signature capabilities in solutions like contract lifecycle management not only speed the process of getting to the final step of contract execution, it simultaneously creates a complete audit trail of all signatures internally and contract counterparties.
Digital transformation is made for modern business challenges
- Speed of Business – Enterprises need to create faster results, with less friction, as high-performing digital businesses in order to get and stay competitively ahead.
- Process Efficiency – Increasing amounts of information, unstructured data, and complexity require automation to optimize workflows, contain costs, and maximize value extraction.
- Revenue Leaks – Lack of visibility into all areas of a business, from invoices to payments, contract obligations, terms, rebates, IP status, etc., negatively impacts revenue across core operations.
- Increasing Risks – Internal and external compliance, fraud, and risk management have to be airtight since the costs and impacts to multiple aspects of a company are substantial.
E-Signature: Simple, visible, auditable, and legal.
A somewhat consistent pushback to adopting eSignatures (such as DocuSign) is misinformation around how legally binding they are. As DocuSign makes clear, electronic signatures are legally recognized in the US as provided for in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and state and territory versions of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) which apply to electronic records and signatures related to transactions. They are also used, trusted, and enforced in almost every industrialized country around the world.
These laws define an electronic signature as, “any electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” In (legal) essence, an electronic signature can’t be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.
Corcentric has had eSignature integrations capability embedded in our cloud-based solutions and apps, including Contract Management, for decades. Our customers rely on it for the added security and auditability it provides in mitigating third-party and vendor risk, fighting fraud, and complying with myriad legal and regulatory requirements in markets in many parts of the world.
The most important part of any contract are the eSignatures that close the deal.
According to Spend Matters, “the emerging certainty that uncertainty will reign in this decade is a call to adjust accordingly.” The only way to counter uncertainty and volatility is to adopt a resolutely agile culture, and that requires the highest levels of digitized process efficiency – like DocuSign’s eSignature – to get contracts signed faster and keep business moving from the dotted line to the bottom line.
To learn more about Corcentric Contract Lifecycle Management and how DocuSign eSignature can accelerate your business efficiency, download your CLM Starter Kit. We also invite you to schedule a personalized solution demonstration.