In the first part of this blog mini-series we looked at the surprisingly high cost of paper, printing, photocopying and delivering documents when calculated over the course of a year.
Having printed and distributed the documents for signing, they are returned and we now need to assess the next part in the process. Again, our sample company produces 10,000 documents a year and each is around ten pages, with three copies required for signatories:
Most companies want to connect their signed documents with a digital record, which means that each page needs to be scanned. With the cost of equipment, maintenance and other administrative costs this works out at a cost of 3p per page. In addition, there is a human element in preparing the documents for scanning, which could take around 10 minutes, so we need to allow a cost for this, and we have calculated it at £1.33 per document.
Paper storage and disposal
If companies choose not to use a digital archive, they will want to ensure any signed paper copies, and not just the scans, are safely stored, particularly when legislation requires storage for between seven and ten years.
There is administration involved, which we calculate to around 0.66p per document, and we are also allowing for a third of those documents to be disposed securely at 0.2p per document.
TOTAL COSTS FOR PAPER-BASED SIGNATURES
Paper, printing & delivery = £45,600
Scanning = £49,000
Storage & disposal = £20,600
TOTAL = £115,200
Just a quick reminder, this shows the total cost of paper-based signatures on 10,000 documents of 10 pages with three separate signatories - £115,000 – which equates to £2.60 per sheet!
Now, let’s look at the cost of digital signatures.
These calculations are based on SigningHub, which allows users to create unlimited digital signatures within unlimited document uploads. The service is metered on the number of signing users and at enterprise level, which would equate with the level we have assumed for the paper-based signing examples, the cost per user is £12 per month or around £144 annually. Even if you were to assume that 100 users were required to sign documents, the bill would still only amount to £14,400 a year – a mere fraction of the cost of paper-based signatures.
With digital signatures there are no paper costs, no printing costs and no delivery costs and no need for giant filing cabinets to store documents.
We also offer volume discounts and signature packs, so even if the number of end-users or signatories is much larger, the costs will always be lower than traditional methods – in fact, the more users, the higher the savings.
If you calculate the likely cost yourself using the figures we have outlined, then you can see what savings digital signatures can provide your business. Contact Us today and prepare to be surprised!