+2,354Growth in users since 2016
1/3of envelopes are signed in 0-4 hours
Specsavers is a British multinational optical retail chain, offering optometry and optician services for eyesight and hearing testing. Operating mainly in the UK, Ireland, Australasia, Canada and the Nordic countries, the company has over 46,000 employees working across some 2,293 stores, as well as in support offices and along the supply chain. Specsavers has a global objective to deliver the best sight and hearing care to as many people as possible. Applying DocuSign eSignature and DocuSign PowerForms into its core business has enabled the organisation to simplify its document agreement processes, thereby enabling employees to minimise administration tasks and dedicate more time to clients and their needs.
DocuSign eSignature shapes time-saving strategies
Prior to using DocuSign eSignature, Specsavers relied on old-fashioned ways of working. Documents for signing would need to be printed and sent via post for review, wet ink signing, and return. This resulted in inevitable delays in agreement procedures as contracts would often take up to eight days, if not longer, to be processed. Jamie Holden, Contract Manager at Specsavers explains the need to modernise internal processes: “With stores across multiple countries, and a need to improve governance, we were looking to automate processes in order to save time on administration and do what we do best – help people.” The use of DocuSign eSignature has enabled the business to create agreements for review and approval far more efficiently than with previously, allowing Specsavers employees to focus on preventing sight and hearing loss wherever possible. The average completion time for agreements presently stands at six days, with almost one-third of agreements signed within four hours.
Specsavers creates digital opportunities with DocuSign
Once Specsavers identified a need to reduce inefficiencies within its organisation it chose DocuSign due to it being a highly respected brand and market leader. In 2016 just 50 employees were using eSignature. Today, Specsavers has 1,200 seats – an increase of 2354%. DocuSign eSignature is regularly being used across several departments within the Specsavers business, including HR, Legal, Procurement, and Accounting. All agreement documents are now sent and signed digitally, except for those agreements that legally still require a wet ink signature, such as deeds and land registry documents. The Specsavers HR team is considered a heavy DocuSign user within the organisation. It is used for both internal review and for all stages of the hiring process. Employment contracts are created within the HR recruitment system and sent out via DocuSign straight to the applicants or future employees for signing and automatic return. Specsavers primarily uses DocuSign eSignature but has found that integrating applications using the DocuSign API has brought additional benefits. For example, the use of DocuSign PowerForms has eliminated the need for time-consuming manual document creation. The self-service system enables a Specsavers employee to pull collected data into existing applications and create a document for review within moments.
“We use PowerForms a great deal,” says Holden. “We use that from within the platform, going out from a contract management solution where we use the DocuSign API, and we use it from within our contract Manageable system.” The organisation does not offer franchises; rather each store is a joint venture partnership. Due to this unique way in which Specsavers operates, each store is its own business and therefore responsible for submitting its own reports and submissions to HMRC.
A key benefit of using DocuSign eSignature is that it has assisted the business to centrally produce financial reports and digitally send them to all partner stores within the organisation for review and approval via eSignature. The approved documents are then also automatically shared with HMRC - further reducing time management of documents and enhancing efficiencies. A clear indication that DocuSign eSignature has been accepted within the business came when Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins, personally endorsed its use. As Holden explains:
“Getting a message from the head of the business informing you they don’t want to use wet ink signing any more, and to just send everything via DocuSign is all the endorsement needed.”
By excluding wet ink signatures from many of its processes Specsavers has found additional time efficiencies, such as being able to action an agreement regardless of location. As Holden explains: “DocuSign has added a mobile aspect to the way we work. It’s the ability for somebody to receive an email and sign it without missing a beat and without losing their own time. That has been the key thing for us.” Furthermore, Specsavers has been able to action Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives which are a key concern for the business. Prior to using eSignature, draft documents comprising hundreds of pages would need to be printed and reviewed multiple times, presenting a cost and resource burden to the business. DocuSign has enabled them to meet their aims of dramatically reducing paper usage across the business. Since deploying automation tools, Specsavers has carried out competitor analysis programmes, specifically around integrations, software solutions, and contract management solutions. In each instance DocuSign has been identified as the most beneficial to the business. As Holden explains: “In most cases we just don’t have issues choosing DocuSign. It’s straightforward to use, people understand it, and the DocuSign API works how we want it to work.”
Future iterations involve greater DocuSign integrations
Deploying DocuSign eSignature within Specsavers has automated the workflow processes of agreement signing across the business. The automation of previously time-consuming manual tasks has improved time-management efficiencies and made for smarter ways of working. Going forward, the aim for the business is to create a complete legal journey that is seamless and digital. To achieve this Specsavers is already working with DocuSign to further automate processes using the DocuSign contract management tool. By embedding legal services into every stage of the supply chain it will move to a fully digital business. As Holden explains: “Working with DocuSign has allowed the business to easily see the advantages of having a digital journey of automation and adopting that way of thinking.”