In the last one and a half years the world realised the difficulty in conducting business with paper as the dominant form of agreement document. Even where agreements were hammered out on emails the process of putting a legally binding signature with the attendant process of company stamp and initials on each page of a multi page document created a huge bottleneck. These blocking elements included the requirement of printer and scanner, the difficulty in scanning multiple pages with full fidelity, the loss of quality with each subsequent print and scan phase or the logistical problem of couriering the set from the ‘work from home’ place of the senior management member.
Even in non-pandemic times physical paper dependence was already being re-examined by organisations and industries across the spectrum. Geographically dispersed senior talent was finding it difficult to manoeuvrethe complex multi-layer approval and signature process for legal or official documents. Crucial and time critical documents would often wait at the executive’s office desk while they may be out traveling for multiple days to meet customers, partners, regulators, employees or even be on vacation.Additionally, there was the problem of finding and accessing original counter signed documents for regulatory or compliance requirements. Large organisations would need to dedicate expensive real estate space at the head office for storage of critical documents. The physical document situation tookan even more ominous shape in industries that are consumer facing or deal with a large work force / partner network.
“Rethink and digitize physical processes and footprints. Many organizations will need to rapidly reinvent processes that previously required physical documents, to become paperless. Enabling the submission of scanned copies for document verification and supporting contactless servicing capabilities (for example, by creating digital forms to replace physical forms and enabling electronic signature capture) will likely be key priorities” according to a McKinsey report.
Agile organisations in the increasingly competitive market have thus been adopting smart document solutions. The solution is custom tailored to meet the specific strategic, workflow and business needs of key departments and function in the organisation with tight integration in the enterprise IT system.
This is important because Smart Document Digital Transformation requires a sophisticated solution that can capture, route, execute, store, and track high volume of daily transactions while preserving the integrity and security of information processed. Significantly electronically / digitally signed documents are permissible in the court of law as per IT act of 2000. The solution had to combine Electronic Signatures, Digital Signatures, Automated workflows, Authentication Services, Identity Management, Document Management, Document Tracking & Long-Term Storage in one easy to use platform.
Take the case of UK based pharma organisation developing and commercializing new therapies for oncology and rare diseases. This involves hundreds of clinical trials and experimental data recording. They would go through cumbersome print-sign-scan-mail routine to obtain signatures internally within the organization for each candidate and procedure. The time spent on the traditional print-sign-scan-mail cycle was negatively impacting rapid progress in addition to lost productivity and staggering costs. In an endeavour to improve its process, the pharma major implemented Smart Document Solution to define workflows and sign documents electronically.
With this implementation, they successfully converted the time-consuming paper-based process into an efficient, streamlined digital signing process that resulted in significant savings. It enabled clinical research associates to spend more time on their experiments and less time chasing paper. The process also led to greater compliance with internal policies. All these elements have a direct impact on the organisations cost of therapy development and profitability.
Organisations can thus enhance their bottom line with Smart Document Solutions and eSignatures by reducing expenses related to Print/Sign/Scan Cost, Operational Cost, Manpower Cost and Storage Cost. Top-line growth is enhanced with productivity improvements, timesaving, accelerate approvals, higher security and assured legal compliance.
Apart from basic benefits offered by Smart Document Solutions and eSignatures there are some specific business benefits that MSB is helping customers with. These include acceleration of internal processes by 90%, reduction in signed & completed document turnaround time by up to 90%, saving money through process efficiency & cost reductions, helping grow businesses by offering convenient and enhanced end customer experience,reduction in agreement errors from an average of 25% to just 2.5% and data encryptionfor privacy and security of business-critical documents.
According to Gartner “The dramatic global increase in remote work has increased the need for business accessible electronic signatures for a variety of use cases, both internal and external
(Customer, partner or vendor). Even though electronic signature business requirements are typically well-defined,the technical, regulatory, and legal requirements vary by country, complicating crossborder use cases. More countries are requiring digital signatures supported by highassurance digital identity schemes. Organizations that had not converted paper processes to digital workflow prior to the pandemic are the most likely to turn to workflow-focused electronic signature solutions to fill the gap in their digital business capabilities for policy-driven use cases. Many of these use cases would previously not have been candidates for electronic signatures, but they do require the capture and storage of consent or agreement.”
Let us take the case of an Indian IT company providing infra & business continuity services. In their sales process, along with the sales contracts, they would sign functional requirement documents with each client to ensures quality development. All these sales contracts, requirements, and delivery documentation needed paperwork that is legally binding for future reference. Their adoption of Smart Document Solutions resulted in speeding up of the sales cycle and thus helping in closing more deals. Additionally with these documents being easily accessible disputes or misunderstanding were quickly resolved resulting in higher end client satisfaction and more business.
In our view the sectors that can derive the biggest impact of Smart Document Solutions in their top line and bottom line are Automobile, Insurance, Banking, Healthcare, Education and Real estate industries. MSB Docs believes that the next few industries that will get revolutionised with customised eSignature and Smart Document Solutions are the Entertainment & Film Industry and the Sports Sector.HR and regulatory & legal compliance as a function across industries will also benefit tremendously. Thus,even if one is not from the industries mentioned, even their industry and many functions within are ripe for Smart Document Solutions Disruption for competitive advantage. It is time that organisations act on Smart Document Solutions imperative.