Think Smart with Electronic Signatures

Mary Ellen Power, April 17, 2013

Mid-market companies are spearheading the nation’s economic recovery, says the National Center for the Middle Market. The Center’s latest Middle Market Indicator (MMI) survey indicates that companies with annual revenue between $10 million and $1 billion are poised to add an estimated $520 billion in new revenues and $1 million in new jobs this year. That’s good news and we all could use some of that right now. Take a moment to toast. When you’re finished celebrating, don’t neglect the next step of the celebration – think smart about how you’re going to be one of those successful businesses. With more work and more workers, the paperwork will also multiply. There are bound to be more contracts with customers, more addendums with vendors, more bank paperwork for the business and more insurance forms and HR documentation between the company and employees. So what’s the common denominator amongst all of this formality? It’s the signature. That one action is often what slows down the workflow – and your success. Today, our workforce is mobile as is our network of associates, both professional and personal. Unless they’re working at Yahoo, many work remotely out of a home office. Or they’re on the road with an iPad or smartphone to keep them connected to employers, colleagues and to private dealings. Even those who maintain a desk in the office are known to hold up signing ceremonies because they’re in all day meetings or have a to-do list overflowing with top priorities that take precedence over reviewing and signing contracts and other documentation. There is a pretty simple resolution to paperwork vs. everything else that needs to be accomplished. With electronic signatures, documents can be signed from anywhere, at any time from any web-enabled device. Customers, vendors, colleagues and consultants can securely e-sign without special software or necessary downloads. User authentication is maintained with a set of identifying information based on the company’s requirement and data authentication embedded within the document ensures nothing is changed after the signature is added to the page. All of this makes for an e-signature that will stand up in court. One success story brought about by thinking smart is Smart Property Systems. The software provider added electronic signatures to its existing SaaS platform to provide a paperless turn-key real estate management system for property managers, landlords and owners’ associations located throughout the world. Electronic technology prevents any part of the electronic chain of documentation to move to paper. This allows all Smart Property Systems customers to provide their networks with the ability to review and sign lease applications and credit checks from anywhere using a desktop, laptop or tablet. It also enables the quick collection of rents, dues and fees online without a wet signature for Merchant Accounts. In addition, the electronic signature solution offers complete state compliance and a safe and secure way to store and organize documentation. Signature Mortgage is also geared up for a successful future using e-signing technology. As a small regional operation, the lender did not have the budget or IT resources to build, purchase or support the types of electronic signature solutions that larger national competitors were investing in. Bob Catlin, CEO and Founder of Signature Mortgage, turned to the cloud to find a winning electronic signature solution. There was no hardware or software to purchase, integrate or deploy, Signature Mortgage was up and running within 48 hours. Now customers can review and sign all of the mortgage documents online, from anywhere, at anytime. The results include a 35 percent increase in loan volume and Signature earns more per loan because they save on time-consuming paper processing, and travel and courier costs. The added plus: customers think it’s great. The ROI on e-signatures cuts across multiple areas. The cost of transacting on paper (the paper itself, administrative labor, and errors) can be virtually eliminated with e-signatures. Time spent chasing signatures, fixing paperwork and locating misplaced documents can be reclaimed for other tasks. More efficient processes, shorter transaction processing and approval cycle times makes for happier customers and positively impacts the bottom line. To learn more about how your business can think smart and work smart with electronic signatures, download the Signature Mortgage case study.