What is E-signature ROI? 9 upside measurements

Costs, productivity, and revenue all record positive value

Procédé manuel relatif à la paperasse

Electronic signature allows organizations to create, personalize, send and sign agreements digitally and securely. With hundreds of millions of signatures sent digitally, businesses love the speed and ease of electronic signatures – just like their customers do.

Electronic signature brings value to all stakeholders in the agreement process, including customers and employees across organizations in human resources, sales, legal, purchasing and more. The ease and convenience of e-signing gives customers the connected digital experience they expect, while employees value the efficiencies that speed up operational processes. Compliance teams value unified and standardized systems that reduce the risk of lost or poorly executed agreements.

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Before we get started, let's talk about what is meant by “return on investment” (ROI) and how it can be measured.

What is return on investment (ROI)?

A high return on investment means that the gains from an investment compare favourably to its cost. As a measure of performance, ROI is used to assess the effectiveness of an investment or to compare the effectiveness of several different investments.

How is ROI measured?

To calculate the overall value of an e-signature investment, a Strategic Value Assessment must include these three fundamental elements:

  1. Cost savings (paper, pens, printing)
  2. Productivity benefits (speed at which you advance the job at hand)
  3. Increase in revenue (expected value of investment)

Here are nine ways electronic signature can deliver return on investment and create value for your business and customers.

1. Productivity

Agreements are everywhere in business. Electronic signatures give organizations the power to do more than sign agreements digitally. They make it possible to overcome document management obstacles that arise both before and after signing, such as locating and correctly routing documents for signature, then centrally storing paperwork and initiating downstream actions. With 90% of agreements still prepared manually, there are many obstacles. 

eSignature makes it possible to get documents signed in minutes rather than days. Imagine the extra time your teams would have if each person could save even an hour each day spent on document management.

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2. Cost Reduction

Electronic signature eliminates the costs of locating, printing, mailing and storing contracts. Reducing these handling costs amounts to an average savings of $51 CDN per document. E-signature also eliminates the hidden costs associated with human error and NIGO (out of order) documents, which can cost up to four times more to process than contracts submitted correctly the first time.

3. Revenue Acceleration

E-signature eliminates data entry errors and frustrating manual experiences that slow down sales. To recognize income sooner, you have to finalize agreements faster. With electronic signature, up to 82% of contracts are completed in less than a day, and 50% in less than 15 minutes. By choosing an electronic signature solution that also includes the ability to collect payment during the signing process, you can help your organization move from contract to revenue even faster.

4. Efficiency

There is no need to waste time chasing updates on the status of an agreement. Top e-signature solutions provide real-time information about people who have, and haven’t, completed their part of the signing process. If the same document needs to be sent to a large number of recipients, save time and avoid errors associated with manually creating and sending separate documents to multiple recipients with a Bulk Send feature. All you need to do is import a list of signatories and each will receive a single copy of the same form to sign.

By approving (or terminating) agreements faster, teams and organizations improve the overall visibility of business processes. This means less waiting and more time to act. By reducing assets related to sales, payments, and inventory negotiations, organizations can recognize revenue faster than ever.

5. Speed of Innovation

Adopting e-signature accelerates the pace of digital transformation across the organization. By abandoning paper-based signatures, teams are modernizing the infrastructure to assemble a cutting-edge technology stack.

eSignature doesn't just speed up signature collection, it also integrates with hundreds of popular business tools and automates painstaking duplication work. Digital processes increase connectivity between parts of an organization and give IT greater control over the entire technology system. By committing to this digital transformation, organizations reduce internal and external development costs as well as the opportunity cost of unrealized innovations.

6. Customer Experience

Customers expect fast, convenient, and technology-based experiences. Modernizing agreement processes and removing the barriers of offline manual labor help deliver the frictionless digital experience customers want, with little implementation or risk.

Electronic signatures enable your customers, employees and partners to enter into agreements anytime, from virtually anywhere, on virtually any device. Responsive signing functionality adapts document formatting to the size and orientation of the device, so customers don't need to pinch and zoom a small PDF to access documents.

7. Risk Reduction

Email is one of the most vulnerable platforms to cyber attacks, yet 80% of employees have sent a contract via email. Sending and signing contracts digitally significantly reduces cyber risk – and also reduces operational and vendor risk. The digital storage of contracts also reduces the possibility of dealing with document disaster recovery.

8. Compliance

Top e-signature vendors meet some of the most stringent Canadian, US, European and global security standards - including PIPEDA and GDPR - and comply with the EU's eIDAS regulation. Every legally binding agreement sent through a legitimate e-signature platform generates and stores a strong audit trail that is legal and enforceable – limiting your organization’s legal exposure.

9. Environmental management

Companies that rely on manual, outdated systems to sign business agreements are wasting time, money and paper. Without electronic signature, documents must be printed, signed, scanned and sent back. Completed documents must be stored or shredded. Electronic signature completely eliminates the need to print, reducing paper use and waste. It’s an enormous environmental impact that adds up. Since 2003, Docusign and its customers have together saved more than 20 billion sheets of paper and 2.5 million trees.

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