Streamlining the procurement process with eSignatures

Posted by Victoria Morgan on 14-Dec-2016 14:50:28

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 the 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.

Streamlining the Procurement Process with eSignatures

The entire process can be brought to a grinding halt if there is a delay in getting a signature on any one of these important 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.

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 a range of file formats, but SigningHub supports open standards, which means that everything from purchase orders to invoices can be automatically converted into PDF/A format. This also means documents are secure and valid in the long term and not locked to any particular vendor format.

Since there are often different levels of approval required in procurement departments, businesses also benefit from the verification evidence embedded inside the signature afforded by a solution like SigningHub. 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.

The other 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.


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