If your company relies on contracts and agreements to be paid, losing those contracts may be the most terrifying fear you have. Consider what will happen if your factory burned down, destroying all of your forms and backups, or if a hurricane or tornado blew in, scattering your files and soaking and ruining them. Multiple filing cabinets’ worth of documents mould and rot due to a leaking pipe in a storage facility. There are a plethora of scenarios in which paper files might be misplaced, costing your business a fortune in collectible sales.
Since most organisations now use computerised backups, scenarios like this are much less likely than they once were. Backups of your files and signatures on a computer are a significant improvement over the old “I hope nothing bad happens” scheme, but they are far from ideal.
In every way, modern cloud-based digital signature management tools are superior to scanning and backing up paper data. Here is a comprehensive list of the advantages of electronic signature management through the internet.
None of the above-mentioned scenarios for losing files are implausible. Isn’t it just as easy to imagine a fire destroying the paper files as it is to imagine the same thing happening to the machines where the files are being backed up to? This can be aided by storing your hard copy files and digital copies separately, but in some cases, this might not be sufficient. Furthermore, there are several other ways that locally stored computerised files can be lost.
All of your backups will be destroyed if your hard drive fails due to wear and tear or accidental erasure. Furthermore, it is not unusual for businesses to toss out outdated machines while upgrading. It’s entirely likely that an employment contract or an older long-term sales contract would be tossed out with the machine.
You can avoid this form of loss by using a cloud-based online system to store your signatures. Redundancy is built into cloud storage, usually by storing several copies of data on opposite coasts or continents. It is physically unlikely for the cloud-based data to be lost due to a computer malfunction. That is exactly what the cloud is for.
2. Compliance with the law
There is no doubt that in contract conflicts, original hard copy records would be preferred. It’s difficult to argue with a written document signed by both sides, preferably with witnesses. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles that must be overcome before such a contract can be taken to court in the case of a dispute.
There are a few risks to scanning and emailing documents as a backup mechanism. For one thing, changing a scanned document is relatively simple, either through editing software or by making a change and rescanning it, replacing the original scan with the copy. This is not to say that a scanned document lacks legal weight; however, a copy will never be as heavy as an original. That’s why, rather than making copies of a single signed form for all concerned, most people would sign different copies of important documents.
Unless your company operates out of empty aeroplane hangars (which is unlikely), you have a finite amount of space to store old papers. Paper agreements can be lengthy, and holding a large number of them for an extended period of time ensures that you will run out of space if you remain in business long enough.
Traditional filing storage strategies provide rules for how long to keep some types of files, but even then, keeping track of the timetable for when certain files should be destroyed is a hassle. When you factor in the time spent organising and storing those paper files, as well as the effort and expense of safely deleting the files when they are no longer legally required, you might have hired the equivalent of a full-time employee (or more). That’s a lot of work for something you shouldn’t have to do in the first place.
Traditional contract signing takes an unusually long time. To begin, you must arrange an hour or so for all parties to carve out of their days, which may necessitate advance preparation for some. One of you would most likely have to travel to reach the other, which will take up even more of your time. When reading a possibly lengthy text, you sit in front of the other individual and any witnesses you might have.
After that, you sign your name in a couple of locations, wait for them to sign, and then leave.
The records must then be scanned and the hard copies filed. That’s a lot of time taken out of most people’s days for something that could have just taken a few minutes.
When it comes to electronic signatures, compare the amount of time it takes. You can build your contract and submit it to be signed using a cloud-based eSigning service. Instead of watching others read through the contract, you can go about your day and complete other tasks. The signer can read the contract at their convenience, without feeling rushed or having to worry about anyone staring at them as they read, and they can take as much time as they need.
Although it might sound strange to address cost savings when considering the addition of a service, the real cost savings are apparent when all of the other factors are considered. Switching to a cloud-based electronic signature manager lowers contract maintenance costs in any way.
If you’re still not convinced, imagine how many tasks your team might complete in the time they’re waiting for people to sign contracts. In most instances, this alone is sufficient to cover the eSignature service’s limited costs. How many more sales will one salesperson make if they were granted the time they spent last month sitting with clients as they signed contracts, for example, if your business is in sales?
This isn’t even taking into account the increased efficiency of your administrative support workers in terms of filing and data entry. You’re using even less office materials, such as paper, ink, and file files, in addition to saving time. The number of printers you need drops significantly, as do the power and use contracts that come with large office equipment.
You’ll need less storage space, which means more productive space or the freedom to operate from a smaller location. You’re less likely to lose data, which means you’ll be able to collect on all of your open contracts faster.