+12Ksheets of paper saved
67%reduction in contracting time
+593kgs of CO2 emissions averted
Swansea is one of the largest unitary authorities in Wales. The Council's objectives include; safeguarding people from harm, improving education and skills, transforming economy and infrastructure, tackling poverty, maintaining and enhancing Swansea's natural resource and biodiversity, supporting the well-being and future generations act, as well as transformation and future development.
Swansea’s work with DocuSign supports their commitment to the transformation and future development of the Council–by digitising the signing process with DocuSign eSignature, the Council is speeding up contract turnaround times, eliminating paper, improving efficiency, and enabling contracts to be executed from almost anywhere at any time.
Electronic Signatures replace the need for paper
Before implementing eSignature, the Council relied on printing, posting and wet-ink signatures to complete contracts. This process was slow, labour intensive, and used a huge amount of paper. Having already digitised the procurement process up to the point the contract was drafted and sent to legal, the procurement team were on a mission to increase the agility of the work environment by digitising contract signing.
The team were seeking to save the time of officers and staff, speed up contract turnaround time and bring audibility and transparency to the agreement process. The lack of visibility the old process provided meant that there was a real difficulty in chasing up outstanding signatories and often needing to reprint and resend contracts.
Both Legal and Procurement teams were heavily involved in the implementation of eSignature - ensuring legal compliance. Both departments are now leveraging DocuSign eSignature to complete all contracts over £140K and on an ad hoc basis for lower value procurement contracts, as well as to execute traffic orders and grant documentation.
Executing high value procurement contracts with eSignature
Swansea Council Category Manager, Lee Morgan chose to tackle high value contracts originally because they were the largest in terms of paper volume and the most time consuming to complete. Contracts would be printed in duplicate before being routed to legal to execute the agreement. Then they would be sent out to the supplier for signing, before being sealed once returned to the Council. A sealed contract would then finally be issued to the supplier. Physical copies then had to be stored and archived for years. This process was slow and inefficient. It involved multiple documents being signed by multiple people and often took in excess of 30 days to complete.
eSignature has digitised this entire process, and the Council has seen a 67% increase in speed, from contract creation to execution. Equally as important, contracts no longer need to be physically stored - freeing up huge amounts of space and manual labour. Now, contracts are stored securely on the cloud and can be given a destruction date. Additionally, each signer can track the document and see where it is and who needs to sign it, with the option to set automatic reminders to alert signers to complete the contract. Reprinting, resending, and sourcing contracts from archives are also a thing of the past, as each signer automatically receives a copy of the completed document.
eSignature reduces Swansea Council’s environmental impact as well as saving on time and costs
Swansea Council has ambitions to reach net zero carbon emissions and is always looking for ways that it can reduce its environmental impact. The council has been impressed by the significant environmental savings e-signature has brought so far—saving 12,000 sheets of paper, averting 593 kilogrammes of CO2 emissions and eliminating over 32 kilogrammes of waste. During the pandemic, eSignature was also crucial in facilitating remote work. Without it, officers would have had to travel into the office in order to sign and seal documents.
Swansea Council will continue to expand its use of eSignature
Feedback has been positive—with no arduous training required to use it, employees are enjoying the benefits of the solution’s intuitive user interface. As Swansea Council continues to develop its digitisation agenda, it is also currently evaluating its use of eSignature and exploring new opportunities where it can be leveraged.
Due to success in procurement, the team is hoping to roll out eSignature for all procurement contracts. Electronic signature will also be integrated into berthing agreements for the Marina, since issues with boat owners being able to print and sign agreements became even more pronounced during the pandemic.
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