Electronic signatures: improving our processes and cutting our carbon footprint

As technology rapidly changes, it’s essential for businesses to adapt and innovate. Rowben Consulting’s latest move?  DocuSign.

Transactions using electronic signatures have been a growing movement across businesses for over a decade.  Recognised in Australia since 1999 thanks to the passage of the Electronic Transactions Act, and with an average annual growth rate of around 50 per cent since 2014, using electronic signatures has become a popular – and smart – way to do business.

In the past, consultants at Rowben Consulting would have to print, sign, scan and email forms and contracts to candidates and clients. The receiver would then have to repeat this process to return the documents to us.  On average, 64 pieces of paper were being printed per transaction.  Not only did this make us a significant contributor to Australia’s high levels of paper wastage; it was also a very long process for all parties involved.

Now, using DocuSign, Rowben Consulting’s clients and candidates can complete their signing whenever and wherever they want.

There are preset font options to make signing straightforward.  However, if you don’t feel comfortable using these, there are two alternatives available.  If you’re using a phone or tablet, you can draw your signature manually.  Alternatively, you can simply hand draw your signature on paper and upload it for use.

For those who do want to keep a hard copy of a contract, there’s also an option to download and print it once signed.

Since introducing DocuSign at Rowben Consulting, over 90 per cent of our documents have signed in this way.  The significant efficiency and environmental benefits of this shift are shared across Rowben Consulting and our associates.  Together, we’re reducing administration time and drastically reducing paper usage.

Given Rowben Consulting was using, on average, up to 7000 pages (or 57.6 trees) of A4 paper per month, we’ve seen real environmental benefits since we made the switch.  We’re cutting our carbon footprint as well as our costs, and now we’re thinking about how else we can reduce wastage in the office.  With cloud sharing applications such as Dropbox and a move towards digitised documents, there’s a lot more we can do in this space.

While we still find ourselves using notepads and sticky notes, introducing DocuSign to our office has resulted in a happier, greener and more productive team.  We hope our clients and candidates are seeing the benefits too.

Louise Santori August 2017