Customer Stories

signNow for civil engineering: How eSignatures helped DRMP transition from paper to digital

DRMP uses signNow's eSignature for civil engineering to transition from paper to digital.

Constructing public facilities is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive. A single project can take years to complete, and having to submit daunting amounts of paperwork doesn’t help speed the process along. But paperwork in civil engineering is something that comes with the territory. Processing invoices, bills, purchase orders, tenders, contracts, specifications, approvals, HR forms, and other types of documentation consumes hundreds of man-hours every week. Relying on paper-based processes dramatically increases operational costs and drives employee performance down, causing delays and inflated budgets.

By understanding the pitfalls of paper dependency, DRMP has set out to digitize its internal processes once and for all. One of the first steps was replacing inefficient wet-ink signing with eSignatures – and that is how signNow came into play.

Customer profile

DRMP is a multi-discipline civil engineering company with offices located in the Southeast United States. The company’s key areas of expertise are civil engineering, GIS, structural engineering, construction services, transportation, stormwater management, and land development.

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Interviewee’s name
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc.

Challenges before adopting signNow

The need for a cost-effective eSignature solution: Before switching to signNow, DRMP used DocuSign for their external correspondence. However, they were only able to service a few accounts primarily because the local department of transportation insisted that they use a software solution that they were already familiar with. But for internal use, DRMP was looking for a less costly alternative.

“We did already have a DocuSign account. But just based on what our needs were and from a price standpoint, signNow was superior to DocuSign.”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

An abundance of inefficient manual processes: Internally, DRMP used to rely on pen and paper. As a result, the company had to deal with some of the most typical issues associated with traditional document turnaround such as delays, lost documents, missing signatures, missed deadlines, etc.

“We were looking for a good way to automate some of our signature workflows because the previous process was very manual. You had templates getting printed for purchase orders and HR documents, and then they would be signed and scanned to get emailed back to somebody who then had to print them and put them in a file folder.”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

Lack of document traceability: Paper-based processes can get clunky and messy. Before introducing signNow, DRMP employees used to spend hours reaching out to the right people and waiting for their responses in order to get approvals and sign-offs.

“In some cases, it could literally take weeks, and you would not really know where the document is unless you followed up via phone, tracked it down, and pinged people with reminders.”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

Absence of remote signing capabilities: With wet-ink signatures, signing could only be done in person. With many employees at DRMP having busy schedules out of the office, documents frequently ended up lying around and waiting to be signed, creating delays in business processes.

“With the paper processes, if somebody was out of the office, it was impossible for them to even look at their manila folder. Especially for some of our principals and executives who would travel a lot or be out of the office.”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

Solution: Moving to signNow

To find the right solution to the problem, DRMP considered several eSignature products and did a few demos with some of the most popular players on the market. Because of the large number of internal documents in circulation across offices and departments, DocuSign was eventually phased out because of its exorbitant cost. signNow, on the other hand, got the company’s attention for its robust functionality and lower price.

“In the process of evaluating what it would take to facilitate eSignatures with DocuSign, we discovered that the cost to send our documents and have people in DocuSign is going to be very, very high. At that time, it just seemed like we didn’t require everything that DocuSign was providing. What we needed was exactly what the capabilities were in signNow.”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

To implement eSignatures internally across every team, DRMP created a group of initial signNow users who could demonstrate the benefits of eSigning to their teammates and gradually introduce them to digital workflows.

“We had a project manager responsible for signNow’s introduction in the office put together several demos to gather support from the administrative assistants, those in the Accounts Payable and HR departments. Creating this small group of internal champions really helped us show value to all other members of the team. Now, each team has its own signNow expert, and when a new member comes on board, they always have somebody who can quickly bring them up to speed on how we use signNow.”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

Results achieved with signNow

Today, almost every department at DRMP has someone with a signNow account. Besides the administrative assistants, other staff members on the IS team, HR, Marketing, and Accounts Payable are also using seats in signNow.

After three years of using the product, DRMP has experienced the following benefits:

one

Improving the efficiency of internal processes and ensuring the continuity of business operations:

“signNow allows executives to not only make more efficient use of their time, but also be able to sign when they are on the road or at home at night, or even on the weekend. If you happen to see the signNow folder filling up, you have the app and you can take care of business and keep things moving.”

two

Improving the efficiency of internal processes and ensuring the continuity of business operations:

“The paper-saving part is great, but the time savings are really worth the money. It was a huge, huge help. We were really able to turn things around a lot faster than when we had paper processes.”

three

Digitizing and automating the internal invoicing process.

“Our Accounts Payable group uses signNow heavily. So, anytime invoices are coming in, they put them into signNow to route for approvals before they send the bill or check.”

four

Completely eliminating issues such as lost documents and missing signatures by using automated signer reminders.

“Once a document is in signNow, not only can you set reminders to ping people, but whoever created it can see exactly where it was left off in the process.”

five

Reducing manual hassles with reusable templates.

“We are using some of the templates for routine purchases. We also have PO templates in there. The HR group has its own team, and so they use it for their documents. They have some templates for standardized forms that they use.”

six

Being able to sign documents remotely anytime and anywhere with the signNow mobile app.

“The fact that our principals and executives can just pop in whenever – and they get the notification on their iOS or Android device that a document is ready to be signed – really helped a lot.”

Last but not least, adopting eSignatures early enough allowed DRMP to stay productive during the COVID-19 outbreak as documents kept circulating digitally despite the lockdown.

“In hindsight, if we had not introduced internal eSigning three years ago, we would have been in big trouble when the pandemic hit. With signNow, we could safely send everyone home with confidence that our document routing and approvals would not skip a beat!”
Chris Cantrell,
Vice President of Information Systems at DRMP, Inc

 

 

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