By Jason Lemkin, vice president of Web business services at Adobe and former CEO of EchoSign
E-signatures are a huge asset to the education field, especially for a community college system with a limited budget. The California Community Colleges’ Tech Center and California Virtual Campus began using EchoSign’s e-signature solution in February 2010 and saw amazing results. The technology at first was used only internally for invoicing. However, when faced with a project requiring signatures on a memorandum of understanding related to Internet service provision from more than 60 colleges throughout California, the CCC Tech Center turned to e-signatures.
Using the traditional paper method of signing contracts resulted in a turnaround time of about three weeks. “But with EchoSign,” said Bruce Racheter, fiscal and contract manager for the California Virtual Campus, “our average distribute-and-retrieve time was less than a day, with many responses coming in in less than four hours. We even had one document signed, returned and completed in about 45 minutes. That’s a record time for this office.” In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the CVC and CCC Tech Center processed more than 11,000 documents requiring signatures, so shrinking the turnaround time to just one day saved a great deal of time and money. Employees no longer waste time tracking down missing or late signatures, as they can use EchoSign’s built-in reminder and tracking systems.
Going beyond the cost and time savings, switching to a paperless contracting system also helped the CCC Tech Center achieve their sustainability goals. With a digital system, the use of paper is significantly reduced as contracts don’t need to be printed at each stage, and envelopes and other paper products necessary for mailing aren’t used. Plus, since documents aren’t transported throughout the state, the CCC Tech Center contributes to fuel and vehicle reduction during the mailing process.
The CCC Tech Center experienced the perfect marriage of sustainability and time and cost savings that is possible through e-signature technology. This is just one example of colleges using e-signatures: other universities have seen the results, as well. It won’t be long before schools across the nation get on board and add to the one million contracts that are transacted through EchoSign each month.