Technology is wonderful isn’t?
I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but I have some pretty good excuses. I mean, you try finding the time to post when, already in 2017, you’ve logged 47,000 miles flown across Europe.
Anyways, I’ve been able to spend a good bit of the last couple of months talking to business owners, boards and investors about some of their key business challenges and, more importantly, where their current technology is letting them down in addressing these challenges.
So I’ll edit that: Technology IS wonderful, but only when it’s working for you properly. In itself, it’s not much of a thing to rely on.
I’m probably a little biased on this front. You see, although I run a company that designs, builds and integrates, trains and supports business systems, I don’t actually have a technical background. I cut my teeth building up management consultancy business that worked closely with companies to refine and build their strategies and then help them to implement the changes needed in the organisations to make these strategies work.
My point in telling you this is, for me it’s not about the cool tech gadgets – it always comes down to one thing: what is going to work for the business.
Over the last six months, I have had a chance to work closely with business owners in the USA, Canada, Lithuania, Norway, the UK, Lithuania, Romania and Poland. I’ve been able to learn about their businesses, learn about their challenges and learn about their opportunities. It’s one of my favourite parts of this job.
In my meetings, I kept hearing variations on the same theme:
“Great, we’ve been given the go ahead, but it can take ages to get the signed contracts back.”
“Just because we’ve been told we won, doesn’t actually mean anything until we get the signed contract.”
” My sales guys think the job is won when they get the email. It’s not. If the paperwork takes another two months, that can seriously hurt our cash-flow”
I think you get the idea.
And this is one of those areas that technology really has advanced in a way that can make a very real, and financially noticeable, impact on your business. E-Signatures are becoming even more widely used and accepted. If you don’t know much about them, head over to RightSignature and take a look yourself.
E-Signatures are a great example of how we can build processes into your business systems to significantly improve your current processes.
I’ll give you a direct example: ours.
When we get the confirmation from a client that they want to go ahead with one of our proposals, we have (for about 12 years) sent a standard “agreement” letter that confirms they are happy to go ahead and engage it. And for years we had to create the document, enter in the details, save it as a PDF and send it to our clients. Then they would have to print it out, sign it, scan it and send it back (or worse, post it!) to us before we could begin.
Talk about a pain. It took time, effort and potentially added days (or weeks) before we could start the project.
Using Podio and RightSignature solution (the same one we build for clients) we have this 100% automated, and the average time we’ve recorded over the past couple of months has been less than 12 hours.
Now the system generates the documents, sends them for an E-Signature using RightSignatures’ legally binding online solution, and automatically attaches the signed agreement to our sales order. Perfect. Everything is signed, everything is neat and tidy, and it doesn’t take us (or the client) any time at all.
And this goes beyond just sales. For a lot of companies (particularly creative ones) there is a very defined business need to have clients physically sign off on projects or documents. The need to approve artwork, or final drafts…anything, really.
But you’d be surprised how often this gets neglected due to time and hassle factors. I learned this the hard way my first ever year in business when we got a verbal confirmation on some print from a client, and then they decided they didn’t want it. I never got a signature. I had to pay the costs myself.
So if you’re struggling to get signatures where you know you need them, or it is taking your team days to get signatures (which is holding up your sales) drop us a line and find out how we can improve your processes and significantly speed up your TTS ( time to signature).
And for those who have never seen how this works, I’ve attached a short (five min) video showing our system. OK I’m no Spielberg, but it demonstrates it effectively enough!