As a modern company industry leader, you understand the power of efficiency and compliance. Technology has allowed you to take strides in streamlining your daily processes. In fact, most teams now use 50 to 70 SaaS applications on average
Enter eSignature. It is a valuable tool that ensures your compliance requirements are met. It can drastically increase efficiency in handling contracts and other essential documents. Get ahead of the curve by incorporating electronic signatures in manufacturing. This article will walk you through everything you need to know.
How You Can Use eSignatures in Manufacturing
Electronic signatures or eSignatures streamline processes and reduce the time and costs associated with paper-based document management. They offer increased security, improved accuracy, and enhanced compliance. Here’s how you can use them.
Contracts and agreements
Procurement departments often deal with many contracts with different vendors and suppliers. This process can be time-consuming and demanding. With eSignature solutions, organizations can quickly sign and execute contracts without relying on paper-based methods.
For instance, suppose a manufacturing plant wishes to obtain a machine from a supplier. In that case, they can use eSignatures to execute the contract outlining the terms of the procurement agreement, such as delivery schedules, warranties, and payment terms.
The manufacturer can then retain the signed contract in a digital format for easy reference later.
Manufacturing companies receive numerous sales orders, requiring expedited processing for timely delivery. eSignatures can help expedite sales order processing by allowing sales teams to receive and sign documents electronically. The electronic format eliminates the need for printing and mailing paperwork.
Say a manufacturing company receives a sales order from a customer. The sales team reviews the order, adds necessary adjustments, and uses an eSignature to confirm the orders’ accuracy and approval. The signed document is then automatically sent to the customer and the production team, saving time and effort.
Like sales orders, purchase orders can be signed and processed faster using eSignatures. Purchase orders are typically complex documents with detailed information on products, pricing, delivery, and payment terms. eSignatures ensure the accuracy of purchase orders, reducing the risk of errors.
For instance, a procurement department places a purchase order for raw materials from a supplier. They can use eSignatures to confirm the order and agree on the terms of the agreement, such as the quantity, price, and delivery schedule. They can sign documents electronically, reducing manual efforts.
The invoicing process in manufacturing can be challenging because it involves several stakeholders such as:
- Sales departments
eSignatures simplify the invoicing process by enabling digital signing and distribution. Invoices are processed and paid faster, improving cash flow and minimizing payment delays.
For example, an accounting department can send production and material costs invoices to the procurement department. The procurement department uses eSignatures to verify the invoice. It will confirm that the costs and quantities charged are accurate.
The signed invoice is then automatically processed for payment, resulting in efficient and timely payment processes.
eSignatures reduce the chances of errors and the time required to sign and distribute billing statements. With an eSignature solution, clients can sign billing statements quickly and securely.
For instance, a manufacturing company sends a billing statement to a client outlining the costs of goods and services. The client uses their eSignature to verify and approve the charges, saving time and streamlining payment procedures.
Quality control documents
In manufacturing, quality control is crucial to ensure that finished products meet the customers’ specifications. You may use eSignatures for the documentation and approval of quality control measures. It allows faster processing of documents and reduces the risk of human error.
For example, a company can use eSignatures to approve documents related to
- quality control inspections
- confirm that specific measurements or tests have been met
This streamlined approach ensures the company can produce high-quality products while meeting regulations and standards.
Benefits of Using Electronic Signatures in Manufacturing
Electronic signatures allow companies to eliminate many traditional documentation processes. Instead, companies leverage technology to enhance their business practices. Here are some of the benefits.
Secure and compliant
Traditional pen-and-paper signatures or manual verification processes can be cumbersome and time-consuming. On the other hand, electronic signatures are much faster, more secure, and ensure traceability through audit trails.
Manufacturers can protect their confidential data and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. For instance, a manufacturing company must comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA.
Moreover, electronic signatures provide secure authentication and data protection mechanisms to ensure compliance, such as signer identity verification. Signers must upload a valid ID to verify their identity before attaching digital signatures.
Furthermore, electronic signatures can be integrated with existing security frameworks such as Active Directory (AD) and Single-Sign-On (SSO) to provide additional layers of security.
Manufacturing processes require the involvement of various stakeholders, such as production teams, engineers, suppliers, and regulatory bodies. With traditional signatures, collaboration can be slow and error-prone, leading to miscommunication and delays.
Electronic signatures speed up collaboration and reduce errors. For example, stakeholders can sign documents from anywhere, at any time, using any authorized device with an internet connection.
This process eliminates the need for in-person signings, mailing, or faxing of documents. Electronic signatures also reduce the chance of errors, which can occur when two people try to sign the same document simultaneously.
Paperless signing solution
Manufacturers reduce the use of paper in their operations with electronic signatures. It helps save money and time but with environmental benefits, too. In the United States, companies spend $8 billion on managing paper annually, and an average price tag of a file document is $20.
With paperless efforts, companies can reduce their carbon footprint, promote sustainability, and achieve greater corporate responsibility.
With electronic signatures, manufacturers can eliminate the need for printing, scanning, and storing physical documents. All documentation can be uploaded, signed, and stored electronically, making it easy to organize, manage, and retrieve.
Digital documents enhance the accuracy of the information stored. They minimize errors that can occur in paper documents. Since electronic signatures are legally binding and have the same validity as traditional signatures, manufacturers can rely on them to sign contracts, purchase orders, and other official documents.
Implementing Electronic Signatures in Manufacturing Processes
Migrating to electronic signature apps saves businesses 55 to 78 percent on administrative costs. Implementation requires several steps, and you should also consider compliance and legal requirements.
Consider the following:
1. Evaluate the available electronic signature platforms. Choose the one that best fits the companies, needs, considering security, functionality, and cost.
2. Develop policies and procedures for the use of electronic signatures. These should include guidelines for creating and managing digital signatures and rules for verifying the integrity of signed documents.
3. Train employees on using electronic signatures and the policies and procedures governing them. This training should cover how to create and manage digital signatures and verify the integrity of signed documents.
4. Conduct a pilot implementation of electronic signatures in a limited scope to assess effectiveness and test compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
With early implementation, you can maximize the benefits of this tool and gain a competitive advantage in the market.
Creating and Signing Manufacturing Documents with Fill
Manufacturing companies constantly strive to improve their operations and optimize their processes. That’s where electronic signatures become valuable.
Here are the reasons why Fill can help manufacturing companies streamline their document signing process while ensuring full compliance.
1. Customizable templates – allow manufacturing companies to automate their document signing process. Create standardized documents that can be used repeatedly for different purposes. You can customize templates to include specific fields for electronic signatures and other data preprocessing.
2. Easy signature capture – electronic signatures can be captured anywhere, anytime, using mobile devices or computers. Scan documents, attach a signature, or write one digitally, and that’s it. Fill ensures that every signature is legally binding and meets compliance regulations.
3. Secure storage and sharing – all documents are stored securely in the cloud. Share these documents easily with other authorized users. Fill also ensures that only authorized users can access documents, protecting them from both external and internal security breaches.
4. Simplified compliance – Fill’s electronic signatures are designed to meet legal and compliance requirements, including eIDAS, EU GDPR, and UETA/ESIGN. Our electronic signature solution provides proof of signer identity and tamper-evident audit trails that guarantee document integrity.
Our solution will help manufacturers automate and digitize their document signing process. Achieve operational excellence while eliminating the time-consuming paperwork hassle. Join the growing number of manufacturers experiencing the many advantages of electronic signatures with Fill.
Sign up for a free account today to take advantage of these benefits.