• enhancing compliance and governance standards
  • driving down turnaround times and costs

British Land prides itself on being one of the largest property development and investment companies in the United Kingdom. At its three London campuses - Broadgate, Regent’s Place and Paddington Central and wider retail & fulfilment portfolio its principal mission is to create high-quality and sustainable places for work, living, and shopping.

In line with its sustainable business commitments, British Land has deployed DocuSign eSignature. This has not only helped support organisational competencies, but has also created modern processes, and cost saving advantages. 

Redefining a more sustainable property development portfolio

British Land currently owns and manages 21.6m square feet of floor space across a diverse range of high-quality environments – we know as we are now also a customer of theirs with our own fantastic office space at Broadgate. The already large business is primed for further ambitious growth and finding ways to reduce its environmental impact and streamline business processes, is an ongoing and evolving focus.

Prior to working with DocuSign, British Land identified that the printing of paper-based agreements and contracts was not only unsustainable but also a slow and outdated way of working. 

Processing up to 80 contracts within the head office at any one time was not uncommon, meaning a lot of time and resources were spent on overseeing the physical handling and archiving of printed documents.

The company also identified a need to create more secure working practices to complement a more agile workforce. A transition to laptops enabled employees to work from multiple locations, and combined with a clear desk policy to ensure data security, required new solutions.

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Enhancing and reinforcing digital workflows with DocuSign  

In 2019, as part of the refurbishment of its Broadgate central office in London, British Land sought to introduce new ways of working, including digital work processes. DocuSign eSignature has helped to meet  these objectives by reducing reliance on paper-based processes, while at the same time supporting its sustainability strategy.

“By deploying DocuSign across British Land, it means we’re not just talking about sustainability, but actually doing it.” Neil Carter, Broadgate Estate Director, for British Land.

There have been other clear benefits to the business through the implementation of DocuSign eSignature. Security is now an integral part of the process, as systems are password protected and confidential information no longer printed for review and signature.

Processing and turnaround times have been reduced, while at the same time compliance and governance handled far more effectively.

It is hard to quantify but having DocuSign in place makes things move more quickly, more smoothly. Plus, you can track it. Previously, we were waiting on service partners to send signed documents back to us. Now, we can go into the DocuSign platform and see if we’re still waiting for something to be signed. Being able to send a reminder has made things much more efficient, which makes for a better relationship with our service partners.
Neil Carter
Broadgate Estate Director
British Land

 The templates feature has enabled a greater volume of documents to be produced and shared. At the same time, they deliver smarter oversight to the process flow as all signed documents are sent not only to stakeholders but through to the legal document upon completion.

DocuSign eSignature is also being used internally to add transparency and traceability across the business. For example, internal expenses, previously a manual process requiring a wet signature, are now handled by DocuSign eSignature, with signed expenses sent directly to Accounts for payment.

Elsewhere, the use of DocuSign eSignature  has accelerated the handling of new starters, as well as leavers. “Across British Land we have multiple websites and systems that employees can access,” said Carter , “which caused a logistical problem when looking to rescind a leaver’s privileges. Now, when someone leaves the business, a DocuSign form goes to the owners of each system to confirm the leaver has been taken off the system.” 

DocuSign allows British Land to redefine digital procedures

British Land greatly appreciates how digital processes can enable better ways of working. The organisation believes that the integration of DocuSign into its operations has contributed to a change in the digital mindset of how the business looks to resolve procedural challenges.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel using DocuSign,’ said Andrew Halfpenny, Senior Procurement Manager, “but we are getting in line with best practice and that means aligning ourselves with the sole centre of excellence when it comes to signing documents – and that is DocuSign.”