E.ON Completes HR Tasks in 10 Minutes with Electronic Signature

Imagine cutting transaction times from 4 weeks to 10 minutes. That's what E.ON experienced after implementing electronic signature within its HR department.

The “Customer Spotlights” blog series takes an inside look at DocuSign customers who are benefiting from digitising their business processes with electronic signature.

I recently caught up with Matthew Brady, HR Administration Team Manager at E.ON UK, to learn more about how this leading utilities provider took a ‘land and expand’ approach to implementing electronic signature, starting within HR.

Q: Thanks for joining me, Matthew. To start, can you describe a high-level overview of your organisation and your role within it?

A: E.ON is a a utilities company dealing in gas and electric with just shy of 10,000 employees in the UK. I work in the HR shared service and my role is to manage the processes for new external starters to the business and also any leavers.

Q: What business challenge were you trying to resolve when you began considering electronic signature?

A: We’ve been trying to push ‘digital’ quite a lot recently. For E.ON itself, there’s a separate digital team, but from an HR perspective, the shared service is historically very paper-based and we’ve had an aspiration to go digital with our employment contracts for some time. This is one of the first examples of us going digital.

In the last year, we found our customers – our new colleagues – were scanning the employment forms we had sent them and were returning them electronically. It was this customer-lead feedback that made us consider doing things differently, as well as our own recognition. The level of work coming into my team also increased due to a recruitment drive so we wanted a way to do that quicker and smarter for both us and our customers.

Q: What was your business process prior to using electronic signature?

A: We were sending out employee packs with up to 17 pieces of paper; the offer letter, terms and conditions, and varying pages of inserts that new starters needed to fill in and return before we could put them into our system and pay them.

Once a team member received a request, it would take the best part of 20 minutes to prepare the pack; writing the contract terms and conditions, printing the contract off, and arranging the postage. We could send a pack out and not get the documents back for up to four weeks.

Q: So how did you first encounter DocuSign?

A: A few people within shared services received documents from other companies via DocuSign, so we could see a couple of live examples. I then did some research on your website to get closer to the service DocuSign could offer us. 

Q: How has the experience of implementing electronic signature been for you and your team?

A: It’s taken my leadership team a bit by surprise at how easy it’s been to get DocuSign implemented and experience the benefits. To set it up, we had a web session, a couple of ‘train a trainer’ sessions, and then it was in our hands. It reinforced how digital it was, and could be, for us.

Q: Has electronic signature resolved your HR challenges?

A: DocuSign has revolutionised how we send out HR contracts at E.ON. If we had written down the brief of what we wanted DocuSign to do, it would have met that easily. I did the template design and the ease of setting that up, taking our current PDF templates and putting them into the system, was impressive.

We thought going digital was going to be a bigger challenge than it was. DocuSign was so easy to implement and use. The user experience is so simple that it’s been straightforward for me to show others how to maintain those templates and send documents from an administrative point of view. You show someone it once and they’re off and running.

Q: Can you share any results you are seeing with DocuSign?

A: The fastest we’ve completed a transaction is ten minutes with DocuSign. It’s also reduced the amount of errors that we experience. For example, we receive sort codes and account numbers to ensure we pay new hire salaries into the right place, and there have been times with paper forms that these have been input incorrectly, which has impacted someone getting their right salary. DocuSign has eliminated that. Having the ability to use the regex codes and tools to guide people through what we want them to fill out has also helped reduce errors and make sure we’re getting data in that we can use straight away.

In terms of hard savings, the welcome packs cost about £5 each to post and this year we’ve averaged 120 new starters per month, so we’re saving £7200 annually on postage alone. The cost of DocuSign doesn’t come close to what we were spending on the paper packs, postage and the return processing time.

Q: Have you received any customer feedback?

A: During the first couple weeks of using DocuSign, we were giving customers a call to see how they found the eSignature experience and it was all resoundingly positive. They spoke of the convenience and the fact that they could fill out the electronic document instantly versus doing it manually.

We often ask for a proof of employment history so might need to see a copy of a previous contract. The customer can photograph that on their phone, attach it instantly, and it all comes back in one go. Whereas in the past, we might get part of it in the post and part of it electronically, so it’s brought all of that together.

Great the hear, Matthew. Thanks for your time!

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