The coronavirus pandemic affected just about every part of people’s lives, including how they did business. With so many office employees and business partners working from home, it was necessary to adopt relatively new technologies to accommodate the change.
One example can be seen in e-signatures. The technology and regulatory framework for collecting remote digital signatures have been around for a little over two decades, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that they became widely popular in the business world. Now, it appears they are here to stay.
What Are E-Signatures?
E-signatures, short for electronic signatures, are a type of technology that allows people to sign documents digitally from anywhere with an Internet connection. To be considered legally binding, e-signatures must be collected using a specialized software program or API that allows them to be validated. Business owners who have yet to adopt this essential technology can learn more about using an e-signature API from a reputable software provider.
The Benefits of E-Signatures
Collecting e-signatures instead of requiring people to physically sign documents makes life easier for everyone. At first, some business professionals were hesitant to adopt the technology. Now, the following benefits make it clear that learning how to use e-signatures in the course of conducting business is worth the effort.
- Faster document turnaround times
- Lower printing, scanning, and mailing costs
- Greater convenience for everyone
- Improved security and regulatory compliance
- A smaller environmental footprint
Common Applications for E-Signatures
When the technology underlying e-signatures was first developed, it was large, multi-national corporations that first took the plunge and started using it. Now, businesses of all sizes are benefiting from switching to e-signature collection and digital signatures are commonly used in almost all the same ways as more traditional alternatives. Examples include:
Converting leads into customers takes a good deal of paperwork. Associates must send quotes, invoices, and proposals and get future customers to sign agreements before the sale can go forward. Collecting e-signatures instead of written signatures on physical documents saves sales teams a lot of time and allows them to remain focused on following up with leads instead of managing paperwork.
In many industries, vendor agreements are just as important as sales contracts. When business owners contract people or companies to provide a specific service, installation, or product delivery, the agreement must be signed by both parties. With e-signatures, business owners and vendors can complete the process remotely, making it easier to make arrangements across state or national borders.
Human resources (HR) departments always have a lot on their plates. Finding and hiring qualified candidates was always a challenge, but the labor markets have become even more competitive since the pandemic ended. Now, finding people to fill vacant roles takes far more time, which leaves HR professionals with fewer resources for employee onboarding. Using e-signatures for offer letters, employment agreements, and policy documents gives HR teams more time to focus on managing the onboarding process and current employees.
Make the Switch
Most businesses hold a greater reliance on technology now than they did just a few years ago, and that’s a good thing. Adopting new methods of doing business such as collecting e-signatures improves efficiency and makes everyone’s lives easier. It’s time for anyone who has been holding out to make the switch.