Published on
May 9, 2023

Signed, sealed, delivered: five benefits of electronic signatures

In today’s fast-paced world, businesses and individuals are constantly seeking ways to streamline their operations and improve efficiency. It’s no surprise that technology has made a significant impact in the realm of signing and executing documents. Gone are the days when physical signatures on paper documents were the only way to authenticate agreements and contracts. Instead, electronic signatures have emerged as a powerful and convenient tool for signing and thereby validating documents digitally.

Electronic signatures, digital versions of traditional signatures, offer numerous benefits over their paper-based counterparts.

Increased Efficiency

Electronic signatures are a game-changer in a fast-paced digital world. Companies that use electronic signatures experience an average turnaround time of 3.5 hours per document, compared to 3 days for companies that rely on paper-based signatures.

With the ability to sign documents remotely, you can now close deals and sign agreements from the comfort of your home, office, or even on the go.

Think about it: no more printing documents, signing, scanning, and emailing them back, and that’s so yesterday. Instead, you can sign electronically, which saves time and makes document signing much more convenient.

An example is when you need to sign a contract with someone in another country. You don’t need to book a flight or even leave your office. You can send the contract electronically, have the other person sign it remotely, and voila! The deal is done.

Cost Savings

Electronic signatures eliminate the need for paper, printing, shipping, and storage, resulting in significant cost savings. Research by Aberdeen Group indicates companies using electronic signatures experience a six-fold reduction in contract turnaround time and a 90% reduction in associated costs. That’s a lot of money saved! One G2 Crowd reviewer said his logistics and supply chain company*, “saved $50,000 annually by using electronic signature technology”.*

Going digital with electronic signatures can save money for your company. Without e-Signatures, you’d have to print, mail, ship, and store paper-based documents, which incurs costs at each process step.

Corporate legal departments, for example, can reduce expenses on paper, ink, postage, and storage by using electronic signatures for contracts and other legal documents.

Shortened Cycle Time

You can complete contracts using a fully digital workflow including e-signatures, reducing the average cycle time from weeks to less than 24 hours — resulting in manifold time savings.

Thus, electronic signatures reduce cycle time by eliminating the need for physical signatures and paperwork, allowing faster turnaround times and a more streamlined process.

Improved Security

Another benefit of electronic signatures is they are secure. Electronic signatures use PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) standards that ensure the integrity of the message and verify the signer’s identity. It validates that the message’s contents haven’t been changed or tampered with during transit.

Think of it like a sealed envelope (but in a digital format) – once the message is inside and the envelope is sealed, you know the contents haven’t been altered. And if anyone tries to change it, you’ll know immediately because the seal will be broken. Even the US DoD uses electronic signatures to securely sign and transmit classified documents.

eSignature solutions provide multiple layers of security to protect your documents. For example, they may use multi-factor authentication, asymmetric cryptography, password-protected documents, and secure cloud storage to ensure your information remains confidential.

Environment Friendly

E-Signatures reduce the need for printing and transporting paper contracts, reducing waste and paper production. Additionally, when you need to get a signature from someone far away, it often requires travel or courier services, which can contribute to carbon emissions. With e-signatures, you can eliminate these “document miles” and make the signing process much more energy efficient.

Using e-signatures can support your business’s sustainability journey by reducing paper consumption, waste, and carbon footprint. It can help you appeal to the environmentally-conscious millennials and Gen Z consumers and ensure your business can continue to thrive as demographics and priorities shift.

If you have read this far, check out Docfield’s “Comprehensive Guide to Electronic Signatures“.

Docfield has built-in capability for electronic signatures. Now you can e-Sign documents, contracts, and forms and still leverage document and contract workflow automation.