3 Simple Ways That E-Signatures Save Money

Mary Ellen Power, December 23, 2014
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We get excited about electronic signatures here at Silanis, and you can't really blame us. Sometimes we get so excited about the intangible business benefits that lead to major tangible gains that we don't bother mentioning some of the simplest ways to save money with e-signature solutions. Sure, we can talk about driving business efficiency, empower digital workflows and supporting mobile device use until we're blue in the face, but we don't want to ignore the basics.

So let's take a look back at the basics. In particular, the simple, core ways that you will save money by implementing electronic signature policy and technology. Here are three areas where you'll be able to cut costs:

HOW TO CALCULATE E-SIGNATURE ROI

Organizations of all sizes are adopting electronic signatures as part of their digital business processes. But without a detailed ROI case, e-signature project teams can end up underestimating the value or may have difficulty defending the priority of the project. 

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1. You'll need less paper
Paper is cheap. But buy enough of anything and you'll end up spending a great deal of money on it. If you're getting workers to sign a contract, and the deal has about two sentences of key information and 10 pages of legal jargon that is just the usual boilerplate kind of stuff, you're using a great deal of paper just for a basic document. This is a fairly common practice, as businesses have plenty of reasons to have customers and employees sign a variety of agreement types. The amount of paper used adds up even more when printers jam, copiers malfunction and print out dozens of sheets incorrectly or a bunch of copies of a file get printed with a minor error and need to be thrown away.

Paper is a sunk cost. You aren't creating value through those contracts, they're just the infrastructure that employees, sales workers and customers use to move on to the next step. Turn to e-signature solutions and you can avoid all of the printing and save on paper.

2. You'll use fewer stamps
Postage is not so cheap. Stamps are fairly expensive and the amount you'll spend on any large documents or records can escalate quickly. This is increasingly problematic as technologies like cloud computing enable organizations to support a remote workforce. Sending contracts, non-disclosure agreements and other files to workers and customers through the mail is an expense that adds up quickly. However, postage alone doesn't create that cost.

Many organizations are so accustomed to sending out mail that they've had to invest in specialize stamp machines and similar hardware. Replacing those systems if they break is another huge cost, as is purchasing ink and similar supplies. All of these expenses can be completely eliminated when it comes to contracts, agreements and similar documents by deploying an e-signature solution.

3. You won't need to print as many files
This heading has already been implied, but think about the compounding costs here. Ink is extremely expensive. Toner is worse. Getting specialists in to set up printers and copiers, then repair them when they go down is also extremely expensive. There's a reason why the person who has gift with copy machines is deified in many offices, and it's because printers and copiers are the most finicky, recalcitrant technology systems out there. They're also extremely expensive to keep supplied. You don't just save on paper when you stop printing contract and agreements, you also eliminate the need to use print-related supplies as often.

Establishing an electronic signature strategy comes with some capital costs, but the savings created by e-signatures are huge. They are also compounded by operational gains that come together to create a major return on investment and drive away the nightmares of copy machines breaking down during critical, last-minute print jobs. Check out our beginner's guide to e-signatures to take your first steps away from paper, printers, stamps and ink.