If you have used our Paperless Savings Calculator, then being able to put a figure on just how much paper is costing both your business and the planet is likely to be enough to convince you to start making steps towards a paperless office.
No doubt your customers and staff will be supportive. Customers have digital-first expectations; our research shows 88% of consumers expect to complete agreements digitally. In turn, 59% of staff feel companies that use paper forms are outdated.
So, you want to go paperless with electronic signatures – but how?
1. Embrace the cloud
Nearly half of the thousands of documents printed are thrown away the same day. The vast amount of paper being used is wasteful, such as printing out emails, duplicate copies for team meetings or hard copies of forms to be signed.
More and more companies are embracing the cloud, storing digital documents and sharing them across desktops, tablets, and mobile without a hard copy in sight. Many companies are now familiar with the likes of Microsoft’s OneDrive, Box, and DropBox. DocuSign allows users to retrieve documents from a number of cloud storage services, including Evernote, Microsoft SkyDrive, Egnyte and Citrix ShareFile.
With Google Docs having more than 1 million paying customers, it makes sense that DocuSign has now launched DocuSign for Google Docs to enhance customer productivity. Templates are available to streamline everyday workflows, including a standard mutual NDA template.
2. Educate staff to enable a paperless culture
40% of office waste is paper, with each member of staff wasting 680 grams of paper on a daily basis. Having the digital tools is one thing, but staff needs to be motivated to use them.
Understanding the implications of paper usage and the paper industry’s impact on the environment can go a long way. To produce a single sheet of A4 paper, for example, requires ten litres of water. The average tree creates 8,300 sheets of paper and the process is harmful to the planet from beginning to end, from deforestation to air pollution. Paper production is the fourth leading source of greenhouse gas emissions among domestic manufacturers.
Going paperless can have a more direct impact on staff. Filling out forms manually and keying information into databases increase opportunities for error and slow the pace of business. With eSignatures, this risk is removed for a faster, more accurate, process. Encourage your team to try out the Paperless Savings Calculator themselves to see just what they could save by making a digital transition with their documents.
eSignatures make processes more efficient, increasing staff productivity by more than 60%. DocuSign employs automated email reminders and deadline notifications, for example, to nudge signers to complete the process rather than use up sales executives’ time chasing manually.
3. Choose an eSignature provider that complies with the GDPR
If you’re going to go paperless, you need to play by the rules. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018. This EU regulation serves to protect people’s personal data and its free movement. Valid consent must be explicit for data collected and companies must be able to prove that customers consented to opting in.
When looking for a digital solution to solve consent challenges, it is important to review and analyse whether approaches to global regulations and contractual commitments, for example, deliver on the confidentiality and integrity that regulations require.
DocuSign, for example, holds the highest level of certification available, ISO 27001:2013, assuring global information security across data centres, digital platforms, and operations.
Advice from our paperless customers
Don’t just take our word for it. Here are five quick tips for implementing eSignatures and a more paperless way of working from some of DocuSign’s customers:
- “What I’ve found works well is to identify someone in the department that gets the value and have them drive the project. The message lands a lot stronger if there’s someone other than IT promoting it.” – Lead IT analyst Gareth Fuller, Pentland Brands
- “Rather than trying to roll it out for every use case in the organisation just as a point of principle, think about where you are going to get the best value, in the shortest amount of time.” – Chris Standley, Vice President of Trial Technologies, Worldwide Clinical Trials
- “Agree a process internally as to how you’re going to use the solution. Seek to gradually implement it on a piloted basis, but also think about the wider potential of it.” – Ian Anderson, Town Clerk, Hull City Council
- “See how processes are working around documentation and if they are efficient or not. For me, it’s a no-brainer. Electronic signature will happen in most countries, and developed countries should implement it as quick as possible.” – Business Development Director Javier Rubio, BBVA Switzerland
- “Just do it. When I look back, I realise we should have rolled out the implementation faster and not been so hesitant.” – Nicole Hennig, Salesforce Project Manager, Treatwell
Find out more about the Paperless Savings Calculator and see what you could be saving with our new eBook.