Future of the construction industry: Going paperless

Posted by Marnus Synman on 31-May-2023 10:31:00

Our latest industry blog explores how eSignature solutions, like SigningHub, can strengthen document security and increase productivity in the construction industry. Our most recent post covered the role of digital signatures in government.

Modern architecture is one of humanity’s marvels. As a society, we’ve conquered incredible heights and distances through the combined power of engineering, mathematics and physics.

Underpinning every new structure or building is an army of architects working relentlessly to complete high-quality projects on time.

These firms visualise our houses, workplaces, cultural monuments and the infrastructure we use daily.

Bricks, Mortar and Digital Signatures

Document workflows in construction

The construction sector handles large volumes of documents, ranging from contracts and invoices to change orders and building plans. These documents require signatures from multiple parties, including:

  • Clients
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • And others

Managing these paper-based workflows can be time-consuming, error-prone and costly. Fortunately, eSignatures and bulk signing have transformed how this sector processes documents through optimisation, increased security and ensuring compliance.

Challenges in the construction industry

Paper-based workflows

One of the primary challenges of construction industry document workflows is the sheer volume of paperwork involved.

A typical construction project generates thousands of pages of documentation. Firms must ensure all documents are reviewed, signed and filed. This process can take weeks or months, leading to delays, errors and disputes.

Additionally, paper-based workflows are vulnerable to loss, damage and theft. It could jeopardise the integrity and confidentiality of the information contained in them.

Multiple signers

Another challenge is the need for multiple parties to sign the same document. This process can be a logistical nightmare. The project may require signatures at different stages. In many circumstances, not all parties may be physically present.

Furthermore, the manual process of printing, signing, scanning and emailing documents can lead to errors and inconsistencies. These can cause delays and legal disputes – both can be costly.

Construction regulatory compliance

Construction companies and architects are subject to various global regulations concerning data protection. Depending on their project location, they may adhere to the following:

  • European Union - General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • California, United States – California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • Canada - Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

These regulations require companies to implement strict data security measures, such as encryption, access controls and data retention policies. They aim to protect the personal and sensitive information of customers, employees and partners.

Industry-specific regulations

In the UK, construction companies must comply with industry-specific regulations.

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) requires contractors and subcontractors to register with the government. They are required to deduct taxes from their payments to other workers.

Compliance with these regulations can be complex and time-consuming. It involves gathering and verifying large amounts of data from multiple sources and ensuring its accuracy and completeness.

Benefits of eSignatures and bulk signing in the construction industry

Bulk signing, eSignatures and digital workflows offer construction companies and architects several benefits, including:

  • Faster turnaround times – With eSignatures, companies can sign and approve documents in minutes rather than days or weeks. They enable projects to progress faster and reduce the risk of delays and cost overruns.
  • Improved accuracy and consistency – Electronic signatures eliminate the need for manual data entry and lessen the possibility of errors and inconsistencies. All parties sign the same digital document, protected by strict security guidelines against tampering.
  • Increased security and compliance – eSignatures use encryption, digital certificates and audit trails to ensure signed document authenticity and integrity. Additionally, they assure compliance with data protection regulations.
  • Enhanced collaboration and mobility – Electronic signatures allow construction companies to sign documents anywhere and anytime using a device with an internet connection. The technology eliminates the need for in-person signing and enables remote collaboration between all parties – even in different time zones or countries.

Real-world case study

MiTek is an industry-leading provider of digital identity verification and financial services for the building industry. It faced the challenge of managing significant volumes of contracts and agreements with clients and partners.

The company needed a scalable and secure way to process these documents. They required obtaining signatures from multiple parties in a timely and compliant manner.

MiTek chose Ascertia’s SigningHub platform, which provides advanced eSignature and bulk signing capabilities, to streamline its document workflows. With SigningHub, MiTek was able to:

  • Centralise document management – It could store and manage all documents in a single platform, accessible to authorised users from anywhere, at any time.
  • Automate signing workflows – MiTek could create custom signing workflows for each document. Additionally, it can define the signing order, required signatures and deadlines for each signer. SigningHub ensured all parties signed the document on time and in the correct order.
  • Implement bulk signing – SigningHub enabled MiTek to simultaneously send multiple documents to several parties for signatures. It reduced the time and effort required to manage documents individually.
  • Ensure compliance – The platform’s advanced features, including digital certificates, encryption, and audit trails, ensured all signed documents were tamper-proof and compliant with industry and regulatory standards.

The results of implementing SigningHub were impressive, improving time and costs for management document workflows, customer satisfaction and retention rates.

It allowed clients to sign documents faster and more securely by eliminating the need to print, sign and mail paper documents.

Go paperless in the construction industry with SigningHub

The construction industry faces significant challenges in managing document workflows. eSignatures and bulk signing offer a way to overcome them by streamlining workflows, improving accuracy, enhancing security and ensuring compliance.

Construction companies can benefit from adopting these technologies to reduce costs, accelerate project timelines and further foster customer and partner relationships.

Contact our team to discuss how SigningHub can help your construction or architecture business go digital.

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