6 Ways Using E-signature Can Benefit Your SME
7 minute read
Digital transformation is a huge buzzword for companies of all sizes today. It enables small companies to accelerate their interactions with clients and increase efficiency in every stage of the functional process. Electronic signature, or e-signature, is an important part of this business transformation.
E-signature can help businesses adopt technology, reduce deceptions, digitise the document transmission, and eliminate paperwork. This article outlines 6 ways that using e-signature can benefit your SME.
Before we start, what is an e-signature?
An e-signature is a digital version of your traditional pen and paper signature. It helps you sign documents online and share with any relevant parties or partners. The signature can be created using your mouse, fingers, or a platform that renders your typed name into different fonts.
In Hong Kong, e-signature has been legally recognised since 2000. According to the Electronic Transactions Ordinance Act, multiple forms of electronic signatures can be used in the private sector.
1 - Validity, protection, and security of documents
Although we hold up a written signature as the top standard of authenticity, e-signature is actually safer, as it eliminates risks of signature loss or alteration. If your file requires added level of security, you can consider encryption as a safer option to prevent from hacking and misuse.
It is also easier to create a trail of the signed document to prevent any scam of information leak. The in-built digital signature mechanism captures metadata, device, and account details anywhere it is opened, allowing you to track it down while securing the signing process.
2 - Increase efficiency
According to one of the latest surveys by Adobe, e-signatures enable faster approvals from clients and suppliers, as it cuts down the steps involved in case of manual signatures and thus, save up to 1.3 hours per signing. Right from document preparation and review to signing, approval, and archiving, e-signatures eliminate inefficiencies, ensuring fast processing.
Take for example, a non-disclosure agreement or NDA. Instead of having to search for the template, print, sign, and scan it, we can just search it online, change the parties required, add the signature and send it – even from a phone.
3 - Financial advantages
Adopting e-signature can bolster your financial position in three ways.
Minimise money spent on paper & headcount
Digital signature can help you save significant amount on cost of paper and printers. All the printing, signing, scanning, emailing, tracking, distributing, and storing company documents can be replaced by digital signatures.
Minimise money spent on archiving and storage
The digital files will not take up any physical space, therefore minimising the archiving costs. According to a survey by Ombud, a company can on average save $20 per document by adopting e-signatures.
Your business benefits from increased operational efficiency thanks to e-signature and digital workflows. Together, they can reduce sales cycles and purchase order processing times.
4 - Close sales faster
The convenience and speed facilitated by e-signatures attracts customers, and also helps employees in concluding sales agreements quickly. If it was weeks and days before with printing and scanning, it is now minutes and seconds with e-signatures, even where multiple signatures are needed.
5 - Increased business mobility
E-signature suits remote workers, digital nomads, and those often on the road – a business can function overcoming time and place issues, and deploy a multi-device, multiple location workforce. Empowered by e-signatures, you can conclude a sales deal and sign it anytime and anywhere. You can review and sign off documents even when away from your office or on holiday.
6 - Contract management
E-signatures help in contract management by simplifying and automating processes. For an SME, contracts with suppliers, vendors, and clients crucial to the daily operations. However, manual and on-paper signatures can be a thorn in the side of project management, getting buried in inboxes and in-trays.
For the same amount as a cup of coffee per week, introduce e-signature is an easy way to streamline your business. At Sleek, we use e-signatures daily to get companies up and running faster. Get in touch to find out more.