Sidebar

Electronic Signatures Enhance the Paperless Environment

Document Management
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

With advances in technology, the operational benefits and laws have paved the way to support a more efficient process.

 

Increasingly, companies are discovering the countless benefits of a paperless office, and with the automation of documents comes significant savings. Achieving a truly paperless environment includes instituting solutions for the document workflow process from beginning to end. One of those components, which is often missed or not included, is that of capturing a signature.

 

The process of obtaining a signature involves printing a document; physically acquiring that signature in person; sending that document back to where it belongs; copying, faxing, scanning, or filing that document; and performing all of the data entry involved to make sure everything is recorded. The inefficiencies involved in manual processes like this cause significant wasted time and money.

 

And consider the problems if a document is misplaced. How much does a lost document really cost a company? How much time is spent looking for, processing, and delivering a document, and what is the loss for the company?

 

Studies indicate that employees spend 40% of their time managing non-essential paper documents. The average document gets copied 19 times, and it's estimated that 7.5% of all documents get lost and 3 percent of the remainder get misfiled.

 

Benefits of Signature Capture

So let's take a closer look at the benefits of signature capture.

 

When a document is electronically captured, it can be sent immediately to the vendor, customer, and/or home office to be processed. That in and of itself changes the way a company or organization does business. That signed document is received in real time, processed, and then sent to the appropriate person or archived for easy retrieval in the future…all without someone having to print a document.

 

No printed documents means less money spent on paper and ink, but it also means there is no expense involved in handling the paper document. This eliminates the time it takes to physically take that document and scan it for archival. Or the time it takes to enter the details of that document into a database and file it away. The Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) estimates that processing a hand-signed page costs a company $6.50. The document that is signed digitally can be routed to the appropriate person for review and approval, for archival, and for confirmation of the transaction.

 

Those physical papers on your desk are costing your company money. The longer it takes to process an invoice, the longer it will take for you to receive that money. With mobile signature capture, a document is signed and you receive that detail immediately, allowing you to bill faster and receive that payment quicker.

 

Digital signatures provide improved customer service. With digital documents, you're able to answer customer or vendor questions immediately instead of sifting through a file cabinet or pile of papers at your desk. You're able to obtain their signature and send your customer a receipt in real time. In addition, digital documents reduce the chances of having lost documents. For every lost document, you have a customer-service headache as well as wasted time in trying to find the document and going through the process of retrieving another signature so that you have the signed document on file.

 

Documents that are signed electronically are more secure. You no longer have to be concerned with the chances of natural disaster or fire eliminating your important paper documents because they're all stored electronically. For regulatory compliance, an audit trail tracks all of the steps in the signature process, from the time stamp of the actual signature to the final signed document.

 

How Does It Work?

The process of obtaining a signature is quite simple. Using a web- or Java-capable mobile device, such as an iPad or a tablet, a signature can be captured on the spot and applied to any business-critical documentssuch as invoices, bills of lading, proof of delivery, HR documents, and patient recordsimproving end-to-end document management and workflow. Users can access electronically signed documents via point-n-click from any web browser, anytime, anywhere around the world. In addition, digitally signed documents can be retrieved from any green-screen ERP package by command so that access to the document is right at your fingertips. Documents can also easily be shared and distributed via fax or email anytime. Futhermore, that document can be stored digitally for archival for future retrieval, doing away with the need to scan, copy, file, or retrieve paper documents.

 

The process of digitally signing an IBM i document is the same. The document is electronically signed, merged with the spool file data, and secured on your IBM i. User-friendly menus are typically provided to design the form, locate the signature on the form, define the spool or database file to merge with, and provide a way to email, fax, or route the document appropriately. You can also utilize conditional instructions to merge signature with multiple documents.

 

Are Electronic Signatures Legally Binding?

The federal ESIGN Act, signed into law in 2000, authorizes the use of electronic signatures as legally binding and as valid as their paper equivalent, which provides companies the significant benefit of reducing the amount of paper they use and store. Signatures are 100% legal, ensuring that contracts entered into electronically will be legally effective and valid. Laws requiring retention of paper originals were pre-empted, allowing companies to now retain electronic copies of documents rather than a paper copy.

 

Other laws have passed since then, such as the Uniform Electronics Transaction Act (UETA), which has been implemented by most states for uniformity in use of electronic records and signatures, and the Digital Signature and Electronic Authentication Law (SEAL) for financial institutions. These laws have strengthened the market and have led to the increased adoption of electronic signatures.

 

Internationally, it has been recognized that signed paper documents provides a level of inefficiency that delivers a less than ideal document workflow. Now, digital signatures are valid and legally binding in a majority of countries around the world.

 

A Paperless Environment

A traditional handwritten signature has held back companies from obtaining a paperless office for years, but with advances in technology, the operational benefits and laws have paved the way to support a more efficient process. Adoption of electronic signatures is increasing and improving the document workflow process.

 

Dan Forster

Dan Forster is president of inFORM Decisions, a company he founded in 1994 after working 20 years with producers of other leading electronic document management solutions. Dan was part of a team that introduced IBM midrange users to the first implementations of AS/400 laser form, check, and printer connectivity solutions in the mid-1980s. His company, inFORM Decisions, was one of the first to implement a comprehensive iSeries host-based e-document distribution system powered by intelligent routing capabilities for fax, email, archive-retrieve, and laser forms. inFORM Decisions' iSeries document management solutions address the costs and inefficiencies of paper based business workflow. Dan can be reached at dforster@informdecisions.com or 949.709.5838 x102.

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • Profound Logic Solution Guide

    SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation.
    Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects.
    The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the companyare not aligned with the current IT environment.

    Get your copy of this important guide today!

     

  • 2022 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    Fortra2022 marks the eighth edition of the IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, Fortra captures data on how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT and cybersecurity initiatives it supports.

    Over the years, this survey has become a true industry benchmark, revealing to readers the trends that are shaping and driving the market and providing insight into what the future may bring for this technology.

  • Brunswick bowls a perfect 300 with LANSA!

    FortraBrunswick is the leader in bowling products, services, and industry expertise for the development and renovation of new and existing bowling centers and mixed-use recreation facilities across the entertainment industry. However, the lifeblood of Brunswick’s capital equipment business was running on a 15-year-old software application written in Visual Basic 6 (VB6) with a SQL Server back-end. The application was at the end of its life and needed to be replaced.
    With the help of Visual LANSA, they found an easy-to-use, long-term platform that enabled their team to collaborate, innovate, and integrate with existing systems and databases within a single platform.
    Read the case study to learn how they achieved success and increased the speed of development by 30% with Visual LANSA.

     

  • Progressive Web Apps: Create a Universal Experience Across All Devices

    LANSAProgressive Web Apps allow you to reach anyone, anywhere, and on any device with a single unified codebase. This means that your applications—regardless of browser, device, or platform—instantly become more reliable and consistent. They are the present and future of application development, and more and more businesses are catching on.
    Download this whitepaper and learn:

    • How PWAs support fast application development and streamline DevOps
    • How to give your business a competitive edge using PWAs
    • What makes progressive web apps so versatile, both online and offline

     

     

  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

     

     

  • Why Migrate When You Can Modernize?

    LANSABusiness users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.
    In this white paper, you’ll learn how to think of these issues as opportunities rather than problems. We’ll explore motivations to migrate or modernize, their risks and considerations you should be aware of before embarking on a (migration or modernization) project.
    Lastly, we’ll discuss how modernizing IBM i applications with optimized business workflows, integration with other technologies and new mobile and web user interfaces will enable IT – and the business – to experience time-added value and much more.

     

  • UPDATED: Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    FortraIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Encryption on IBM i Simplified

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDB2 Field Procedures (FieldProcs) were introduced in IBM i 7.1 and have greatly simplified encryption, often without requiring any application changes. Now you can quickly encrypt sensitive data on the IBM i including PII, PCI, PHI data in your physical files and tables.
    Watch this webinar to learn how you can quickly implement encryption on the IBM i. During the webinar, security expert Robin Tatam will show you how to:

    • Use Field Procedures to automate encryption and decryption
    • Restrict and mask field level access by user or group
    • Meet compliance requirements with effective key management and audit trails

     

  • Lessons Learned from IBM i Cyber Attacks

    SB PowerTech WC GenericDespite the many options IBM has provided to protect your systems and data, many organizations still struggle to apply appropriate security controls.
    In this webinar, you'll get insight into how the criminals accessed these systems, the fallout from these attacks, and how the incidents could have been avoided by following security best practices.

    • Learn which security gaps cyber criminals love most
    • Find out how other IBM i organizations have fallen victim
    • Get the details on policies and processes you can implement to protect your organization, even when staff works from home

    You will learn the steps you can take to avoid the mistakes made in these examples, as well as other inadequate and misconfigured settings that put businesses at risk.

     

     

  • The Power of Coding in a Low-Code Solution

    SB PowerTech WC GenericWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed.
    Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

    • Discover the benefits of Low-code's quick application creation
    • Understand the differences in model-based and language-based Low-Code platforms
    • Explore the strengths of LANSA's Low-Code Solution to Low-Code’s biggest drawbacks

     

     

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    FortraRobot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    FortraRobot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.