In this blog series, we've been exploring the benefits of eSignatures for different business departments including marketing, sales and finance. This week we discuss eSignature benefits for procurement.
Every stage in the procurement process relies heavily on documentation and approval. From initial purchase requisition and requests for quotations, through to comparative bid analysis, contracts, purchase orders and goods received notes – each component of the procurement process needs to be clearly read, policy-checked, administered, approved and filed as documents make their way through the supply chain.
How eSignatures benefit the procurement process
Document approval workflow
The entire process can be brought to a grinding halt if there is a delay in getting a signature on any business critical documents. Business inefficiency impacts the bottom line which affects the company’s ability to compete.
A recent Deloitte survey revealed that 37% of Chief Procurement Officers are looking to invest in contract management solutions in the next 12 months. An eSignature solution such as SigningHub helps reduce the chance of issues occurring.
Streamlining procurement processes with SigningHub
Instead of chasing signers around the building, procurement executives can send, track, receive and access documents from anywhere. Even if managers are working remotely, the approval process isn’t held up, as documents can be signed electronically.
Of course, documentation in the procurement process can use various file formats. SigningHub supports open standards, meaning everything from purchase orders to invoices can be automatically converted into PDF/A format. It also ensures documents are secure and valid in the long term and not locked to any particular vendor format.
There are often different levels of approval required in procurement departments, Signing solutions like SigningHub provides businesses with the benefit of verification evidence being embedded inside the signature. This evidence includes the signer’s identity, their attribution status (validity to sign), the issuer’s identity and the signing time, in accordance with a trusted Time Stamp Authority.
Compliance and legality
Another important element to consider is that procurement documents need to be compliant and legally binding. Although all types of digital signature can be submitted as evidence in court, only the most advanced types provide the greater assurance of the signer’s identity and authenticity.
Different countries have different statutory requirements so it is important to ensure that the eSignature solution being used provides unique digital certificates and that they are embedded within each signature created.