5 Considerations for e-Signature Solutions

May 29, 2018 • Contract Management • 4 minutes

Today, companies expect to work faster and smarter. Having an e-signature solution is just one aspect of this.

Working with contracts means signatures are a part of daily life. Yet many companies are still working with e-signature solutions that don’t best fit their needs, or even worse, still signing with pen.

In the contract lifecycle, e-signatures are a critical component. It’s the step that finalizes a deal and begins the formal agreement between two parties. Ensuring that part of the process is simple and goes smoothly helps the relationship between two parties begin on the right foot. Here are five components to be aware of when incorporating e-signatures in an organization.

1. Legality

The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act revolutionized how people moved forward with signing legal documents. Passed in 2000, it made electronic signatures and records valid ways to sign contracts in the United States. The EU passed similar legislation, and now most countries around the world have also passed laws confirming that e-signature is accepted as a legal way to sign a document. E-signature providers should comply with these international laws.

With customers in over 132 countries, Concord’s e-signature technology was created to meet the needs of regulations around the world, including the U.S. Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the European Union EC/1999/93 Directive. Ensuring that contracts are compliant in every way, especially the binding signature, is critical to maintaining a smooth contract lifecycle.

2. Multiple Signers Per Contract

One of the ways contracts can be unique is the number of people who need to sign each document. Some only need two; other contracts need numerous signatures. With a manual process, a large number signatures necessary meant mailing a document back and forth or taking it from office to office. With digital processes making lives easier, e-signature has reinvented this process, making getting twenty signatures as simple as getting two. A successful e-signature solution should make it easy to get more signatures faster.

With the right platform, this is no problem. This is one of the reasons Concord offers unlimited e-signatures with easy notifications to all parties, regardless of whether they have a Concord account. Every company and contract can have specific needs and e-signature shouldn’t be a barrier to compliance and growth.

3. Number of Signatures

Paying per signature is a tedious way of doing business. Especially for enterprise businesses with thousands of contracts, keeping track of those numbers doesn’t make sense. The number of people who can sign a contract per company should never limit the ability of a company. Moreover, certain businesses need to sign multiple documents at once, a feature that should be available to increase the speed teams can move at.

Concord not only offers unlimited e-signatures, but also makes them free. Multiple documents can be signed at once, and signatures and signers are never limited.

4. Implementation

As with any piece of software, implementing the e-signature platform used is critical for success. Creating a plan for change management and adoption will ensure users are well-trained and the organization is getting the most out of the system.

E-signature should be an easy, user-friendly tool that takes less time than signing a document with pen and paper. The learning curve should be very small—most training should take place around the contract management platform the e-signature integrates with or works within.

5. Security

Contracts contain sensitive material. Signatures are just one part of this, but including a name on a document is a binding agreement that requires trust and confidentiality. This part of e-signature again turns towards the bigger picture of contract management. Contract management should be more than just a repository—storing documents on a desktop or even an online folder often does not have the proper levels of security. Additionally, if signatures need to be added or the contract re-evaluated, access should be quick and simple, but only for the people who should have visibility into the document. A contract management platform with bank-level security provides peace of mind for both parties involved and confidence that signing a document not only starts a good relationship, but one that is trustworthy.

Finding the right e-signature solution is critical for success. E-signature that works hand-in-hand with a contract management platform is the best way to ensure all these elements will be a part of a company’s signature process.

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