4 myths about electronic signatures in the construction industry, busted

Rising costs and labour shortages are keenly felt in the construction industry. Big-name builders are going bust, and the rest face tough challenges to stay solvent. It’s why, more than ever before, construction companies need to think more strategically about how they operate.

One of the big things that the construction industry grapples with is tech adoption. Despite wave after wave of transformation improving the workflows and processes of other industries, construction companies often lag behind other industries when it comes to technology. Already hard-pressed to keep up with deadlines, book in tradies and source building supplies, it’s not a priority. And the simplest technologies — those with the largest impact on productivity and efficiency, like electronic signatures — can get overlooked.

This is despite the fact that construction companies are dealing with contracts every day. Juggling tighter schedules and more complexity than ever, their manual processes for everything from proposals and RFI’s to change orders can impact already compressed timelines. 

On the flip side, electronic signature technology significantly improves execution of processes and workflows, eases collaboration and communication between project stakeholders, and alleviates bottlenecks and friction. They help construction projects move faster, removing friction and facilitating better collaboration between all parties to the project. 

So why aren’t more construction companies adopting electronic signature? Because of these four myths, that’s why. (The below myths are our TL;DR of a new ebook about electronic signatures in the construction industry, which you can access now.)

Myth 1. We don’t have time to figure out how to implement electronic signatures.

Busted. It takes a few minutes to get started with an electronic signature solution like DocuSign eSignature. Once set up, you’re ready to start preparing and sending contracts for signing in a few clicks.

Compare this speed with how much time your team currently spends on manual, paper-based contract management — printing, scanning, filing, faxing, mailing, couriering, and chasing documents that potentially hold up the next stage of a big project. Consider the hours spent standing around on-site waiting for a signature to approve the next phase of a job.

With an electronic signature solution in place, that signature could be captured on-site via the foreman’s mobile phone. And all the project documentation — contracts, specs, certificates of insurance, and other documents — are also easily accessible in just a few taps. 

So, if you think you don’t have time to set up an electronic signature solution, it’s time to flip your perspective. Think of all the time you’ll end up saving and the profits you’ll pull in by getting projects finished faster. 

Myth 2. Paper is just more secure.

Is it, though? Just because we’ve been writing on paper from as early as 25 B.C., it doesn’t mean it’s the most secure option available today. In fact, paper is painfully easy to alter and incredibly susceptible to human error. Even with the best protocols and intentions, paper documents will always be inherently vulnerable.

Electronic signature solutions, on the other hand, provide a full audit trail and tamper-evident seals to elevate the security of your contracts. Only approved parties can edit a document via a unique login or link, and you’re notified of any activity or changes. If someone tries to compromise or change a contract without consent, digital evidence is left behind.

Myth 3. Technology is too expensive.

If you just look at the upfront cost of some technologies, then yes, they may seem expensive. But if you dig a little deeper and consider the return on investment the technology will deliver, then another picture emerges. 

Those who budget for technology adoption in the construction industry — be it a new collaboration platform or a robotics program — understand that their investment will translate to increased productivity and greater profit down the track. They end up working smarter and faster, potentially winning more contracts, and getting further ahead. 

When it comes to electronic signatures, the initial investment is rapidly paid off by eliminating the hard costs of paper, copiers and postage. Some construction companies report saving as much as $25 to $65 per document after adopting electronic signatures.  Added bonus? Beyond the upfront savings, the financial benefits accrue through faster deals and reduced risk. 

Myth 4. I need to budget for big-ticket construction tech items.

While the statement above may be true, it doesn’t mean you can’t also budget for smaller technology solutions. In fact, electronic signatures are an easy win that give your company a competitive advantage. The cost of implementing electronic signatures is low compared to more complex software and devices, and you’ll quickly realise savings. 

Instead of relying on a handshake or email to cement an agreement, make the small investment in electronic signature to ensure you’re not left with the burden of unpaid work or a project that hasn’t gone to plan. 

Time to build a better future for your construction business?

With the myths busted, it’s time to think about the best electronic signature solution for your construction business. Explore DocuSign’s solutions for the construction industry or get in touch for a chat about how electronic signatures could be the ticket to helping you finish that next big building project on time.


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