Stop wasting hours chasing signatures – Jacob Engels, at Paperless, has a better way

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Did you know that globally, electronic signature transactions have increased from 89 million to a whopping 754 million in just five years?

An e-signature app may at first appear trivial, but it is a major element in the overall digitization of current businesses. Signing something by hand, in ink is often a bureaucratic bottleneck in a company’s corporate document approval process. Millions of people – usually clerks and assistants – all over the world spend hundreds of hours a year tracking down managers and signatories just so that they can sign on a dotted line. An e-signature app, however, enables millions of businesses to experience huge advantages in their daily operations; reducing document turnaround by a phenomenal 80%, a staggering increase in productivity by up to 85%, and an average saving of $20 per document (Source).

In our latest podcast, Tom speaks with Jacob Engels, Co-founder of Paperless. Jacob and his team have created a document automation and eSignature tool specially designed for small teams and business departments. With Paperless.io you can easily create, legally sign, send, and manage documents all in one place.  Jacob admits there are numerous e-signature tools on the market to choose from, in fact, he, himself describes the crowded marketplace as a ‘red ocean.’ But, as you read on you’ll discover Paperless has a lot more to offer than some of the bigger names in the e-signature space.

Hit play to listen to the Podcast! Take it all in digest the full blog post below!

Watch The Fully Chaptered Video Interview

Contracts and business agreements contain sensitive data, yet when it comes to managing and creating them, many business owners are ‘Duct-Taping’ together Google Docs or PDF/Word Docs, then exporting and uploading the file haphazardly into an e-signature tool. It can be frustratingly time-consuming, and a very messy procedure. Paperless believe speed of execution and workflow automation is crucial to today’s businesses, and it shouldn’t be a pain to send out a simple business document or a simple contract. It was this frustration that spurred Jacob and his team to build Paperless; for their own internal use. Soon clients got curious… and now, fast forward to today.

Paperless now helps hundreds of small businesses work smarter, onboard new hires easier, close deals faster, and much, much more.

We are seeing eSignature’s future growth run parallel with the surge in demand for workflow automation and SaaS technologies. E-signatures are an inexpensive and efficient alternative to handwritten signatures, enabling businesses to close deals, streamline contracts, and is naturally the more environmentally-friendly choice. With the industry’s incredible popularity, it can be easy to opt for the big names. We challenge you to delve deeper into how they solve your issues and in turn, see what Paperless has to offer. You’ll discover their passion for disruptive tech as well as their desire to produce a product that is customer-led. They are driven to help small businesses adopt the age of digital transformation and quite simply get business done faster.

What is Paperless?

Paperless is a platform where you can create, sign, manage your digital documents and contracts, as well as uniquely automate your whole workflow. E-signatures are just one part of the whole experience. With Paperless you can:

  • Easily create flexible and intelligent documents with their no-code builder
  • Personalize your contracts
  • Collect signatures in seconds and decrease your turnaround by 85%
  • Keep track of your document activity with real-time status
  • Save all your documents securely in your single source of truth destination.

How many hours do you usually spend preparing proposals, collaborating on contracts, or following up and chasing signatures? Regardless of the size of your business; creating, negotiating, and implementing contracts is an essential part of your business operations. Dealing with the legality, compliance, and clauses, each step of the whole management process can be a time-consuming affair. Paperless intend to alleviate all these burdens by up to 85%.

Why use an e-signature platform?

It is common practice to be sent a pdf requesting your signature, so what are the advantages of simply adding your signature with a stylus versus using an e-signature platform instead? Jacob breaks it down with points to consider when needing a document with a signature: 

  • Where does the document come from?
  • How do you want the recipient to sign it?
  • What do you want to do with the document or the data?

Not only does using a platform save you time and money… it also improves customer experience, enables you to monitor workflows – helping you to pinpoint the status of your documents, plus it helps you search and retrieve documents with just a few clicks. Many businesses need the data on a document to be readily extractable, as it is more often than not, needed to be used elsewhere. Most individual pdfs are simply static documents, which would then require the tedious task of the end-user manually extracting the information. The other stark difference is, with an e-signature platform you wind up creating a Single Source of Truth for your very important documents. Having a single database for all of your important digital contracts allows you and your team to quickly and easily access the documents you need – when you need them, it enhances contract compliance and helps the smooth running of operations.

…it shouldn’t be a pain to send out a simple business document or a simple contract. And you shouldn’t spend a lot of time personalizing it in Word and Google Docs.

Jacob Engels

Build a Contract database and automate it

As we have discovered, data from contracts and business agreements are often information that is needed elsewhere in a business. With the beauty of using Paperless, you now have, in your digital hands intelligent and innovative documents. You have information that can be easily transferable to other areas of your business, for example, your CRM. Using their API or Zapier, you can now leverage this data, populate new documents, and create a smart workflow using existing data. This is making your INPUT ‘work’ for you. Now, you’re working smarter not harder!

How to connect your Contract Database with CRM

Synchronizing your data extracted from Paperless contracts and documents into other aspects of your workflow, are unique features to Paperless, and are a cinch to do. This is done by using the integration tool and inputting the same names into the ‘unique ID’ fields in your CRM, for example, you can confidently extract the exact data you require and use it for other purposes.

After completion of the signature process, each document receives an audit trail that proves the authenticity and integrity of the document. As evidence in court, it proves the origin and authenticity of signatures and captured data. So, if you wanted to know whether Paperless’ Digital Signatures were legally binding and could hold up in court, the answer would be: “Yes, definitely!”

How secure is it to save Contracts in Paperless?

Their top priority is to protect the data of European businesses. Paperless are fanatic about security! They are aware that the paperless platform will contain documents that are private or contain sensitive data, all Paperless documents come with a detailed, complete, and traceable description of all operations that are carried out during the document’s lifecycle.

  • Authentication: Paperless offers multiple authentication options for signers including a secure link via email or direct integration into existing, secure applications.
  • Documentation: Everything that is sent to Paperless servers is documented unalterable and systematic. All metadata like User-Agents, IP addresses, and timestamps down to the millisecond are logged.
  • Data Validation: All data entered by recipients and signees are checked both on the client-side and on the server-side for completeness, integrity, and correctness.
  • SSL encryption: All data and personal information sent to or from Paperless is encrypted in transit using industry-standard 256-bit encryption with a 2.048 bit RSA key.
  • Paperless is made and hosted in Germany.

Paperless vs DocuSign

DocuSign is one of the most popular e-signatures out there, amongst them, there are a plethora of other similar tools too. However, the majority of these tools largely focus on simply the signature. The files that are often used are pdfs, which allows for easy access, but is also very limiting. Whereas Paperless focuses on building secure, intelligent documents that can be easily personalized and are considered as part of the whole contract or signed document process. In addition, many of the e-signature platforms are hosted in the US, and for those looking for EU hosting, it can be an expensive outlay.

The Paperless Movement is all about making people aware of what they actually need. So people realize what they really need instead of running after shiny objects.

Tom Solid

What is the pricing model of Paperless?

Another radical difference between DocuSign and Paperless is the business model. DocuSign’s volume-based business model is not suitable for most growth-oriented businesses that need scalable and cost-effective document automation and eSignature software. Paperless, on the other hand, allows you to send unlimited documents per month for one fixed price, so you never have to worry about not meeting your budget.

Future outlooks

Paperless integrates via Zapier, so you can automate your workflows with tools you use every day Helping you increase your efficiencies, reduce errors, and create a better experience for everyone involved. In fact, with your Free Zapier account, the integration is seamless, no coding is required, and the working automation pipeline can be done in under 2 minutes. Plus, for those looking to build their own custom integrations, Paperless provides a powerful and well-documented API to create, send and sign documents from your own application. They see their unique proposition, and this continues to be their current focus; working with customers, listening to feedback, and building on their strengths. Jacob has shown us, that if you start off right with a flexible document it can make the whole process so much easier for all those involved. Their approach aligns well with our ICOR® Framework:

  • Managing our contracts and data,
  • Having a single source of truth for our documents, and
  • The automations involved that allow us to seamlessly work more efficiently and effectively.

He has demonstrated that switching or enhancing your contracts and e-signature processes can be a simple step in your journey to becoming paperless, as well as remaining conscious of which data we readily send into cyberspace.

Conclusion

If you are interested in secure, genuine e-signatures and contract management for your business operations, you can find out more about Jacob and Paperless, they are offering a 30-day Free Trial. We believe this is a company to watch out for, and that they are sure to be back in the Paperless Movement community E-signatures and contacts are a regular occurrence in business, if you are creating your documents and contracts via Word and exchanging PDFs via email, perhaps it is time to explore whether this is really the most efficient way to run your business. Jacob Engels has shown us there are clearly better alternatives; not just in terms of creating them but, also in their management, security of their sensitive material, and their ability to leverage data for further use. It is time for you to work smarter and not harder! 

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