You’ve heard about how many companies are moving toward paperless environments and automated document workflows. You’ve probably also heard stories about how implementing these things can dramatically reduce costs, improve customer and employee experiences, and increase overall revenue.
And maybe you’ve even considered implementing paperless processes in your own business.
But frankly, you’re a bit skeptical.
You’ve seen digital trends come and go, some with less than impressive results. You remember when MySpace dominated the internet and Google Glass was going to revolutionize wearable technology.
Successful businesses have been using good ol’ fashioned paper for centuries and your manual document flows to seem to be adequate. Plus, what if the “paperless revolution” is just another passing, ephemeral fad that will soon evaporate?
It’s a valid question, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, if you’re going to invest time and resources into something, you want to be sure you’ll get a significant ROI.
Thankfully, there is much more than anecdotal water cooler stories regarding the power of implementing paperless processes and automated document workflows.
In this post, we’re going to highlight three real-life case studies where companies saw big results when they went all-in on digital.
We’ve always believed the proof is in the pudding, and with that in mind, here’s a big serving of proof.
Paperless? Automated Document Flows? What Are We Talking About
But first things first. Before we dive into the nitty gritty details, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.
When speak about going paperless and automating workflows, we mean using digital tools and technologies to take slow and time consuming processes and make them much easier and faster. These processes are often manual, require significant amounts of time and energy, and are often archaic.
Paperwork is THE classic example of these time consuming manual processes. Think about all the time and energy traditionally used to fill out tax forms, organize and file job applications, or onboard new employees.
If you can streamline and automate these processes, you can significantly increase company efficiency and reduce friction points for customers, which ultimately pads your bottom line.
Getting Everyone On Board With Digital
Something as transformative as moving from paper to digital, understandably, comes with costs. Certainly, there are costs involved in acquiring new applications, technologies, and platforms, which requires work from your IT department.
But it’s more than that.
You also have to get buy in from employees who have been doing tasks a specific way for years and now must learn a completely new process. Additionally, you often need to help customers understand your new systems, which can lead to an additional burden on your customer support staff.
And most importantly, you need to secure the support of top-level executives. If they’re not on board, it’s going to be hard to move your organization toward any sort of meaningful digital transformation.
Real Life Case Studies, Real Life Results
While it’s true that going digital involves an investment of time and resources, the return it generates far exceeds these. Don’t believe us?
Here are three specific examples that demonstrate exactly what we’re talking about.
Instacart: From Tedious Onboarding To Massive Growth
Instacart is a massively popular service that allows customers to purchase groceries through an app and then have those groceries selected and delivered by expert shoppers.
As you can imagine, there are numerous logistics challenges with such an endeavor. The shoppers must be properly vetted to ensure they can properly fulfill every aspect of their job, from finding the products to selecting substitutes when necessary to making the final delivery.
In the early years, Instacart relied on traditional pen-and-paper methods to onboard their army of shoppers. Shoppers would fill out and manually sign an onboarding packet and then send it to Instacart, who would then print it and manually scan each page into their system.
As you can imagine, this presented serious bottlenecks as Instacart grew in popularity. The company needed a solution that could significantly simplify and speed up the onboarding process.
Using Dropbox Sign and our eSignature API, they were able to take the shopper information received at signup, automatically populate and personalize fields in the onboarding PDF, and then send the documents to the shoppers to sign.
By using verified, legally binding documents and eSignatures provided by Dropbox Sign, Instacart virtually eliminated all the paperwork involved in the onboarding process, allowing them to add shoppers at a rate that matched their rapid growth.
Looking back on the transformation, co-founder Max Mullen noted, “We don’t like dealing with paper documents. That was part of the motivation to go towards Dropbox Sign eSignatures. There certainly is no chance of us going back to paper or doing anything other than using the Dropbox Sign API to get everything signed.”
SimplyInsured: Disrupting The Insurance Industry By Going Totally Paperless
The health insurance industry is, traditionally, an absolute nightmare when it comes to paperwork. Dozens of pages of personal information must be filled out, with a signature accompanying each page.
SimplyInsured, who analyzes thousands of insurance policies to find the best ones for small businesses, wanted to create a process that was both entirely online and almost completely seamless.
As you can imagine, reimagining an almost exclusively paperwork-oriented industry was no small task. They needed an eSignature process that would allow them to process 100% of the insurance documents online.
Their first step was to determine if they could build an in-house solution. After realizing that would take up to seven months, they began evaluating third-party solutions. They evaluated almost every solution on the market and concluded that Dropbox Sign was the only solution that would allow them to create the kind of hassle-free process they needed.
Speaking of integrating Dropbox Sign with their existing systems, co-founder Vivek Shah said, “We did our integration in just four days. It was really quick. And the core library we built in those four days continues to drive our business today. When compared to the seven months it would have taken to build our own solution, it became obvious Dropbox Sign was the right choice.”
Now SimplyInsured is able to offer a revolutionary, completely digital health insurance solution that minimizes friction for customers.
Grayson College: Revolutionizing Archaic Financial Aid Systems
Grayson College is a premier learning institution located in Denison, Texas. And with 5,000 students enrolling each term, you can imagine the amount of paperwork that generates.
When you combine that with thousands students trying to secure financial aid before approaching deadlines, it creates a logistical hurricane. The result would often be students failing to complete all the necessary paperwork, requiring follow up from the college staff, or missing the deadline altogether, resulting in no financial aid.
The college wanted a solution that would help students keep track of deadlines and ensure that they completed all the necessary paperwork.
Using Dropbox Sign’s API, they are able to embed documents and have students sign them directly within the student portal. When the students sign the documents, the financial aid staff is notified and a copy of the document is stored within the student’s dashboard.
Completion rates have dramatically increased as well the overall efficiency of the financial aid office.
As Senior Project Manager Casey Dickson noted:
I was in a meeting with our Director of Financial Aid and Director of Admissions and Registrar. I asked them for feedback on their experience since the integration went live. The Registrar said that the embedded FERPA release has greatly increased their office efficiency. They get the paperwork quickly and it’s already been signed.
Grayson College has been so happy with the results that they’ve begun rolling out Dropbox Sign in other areas, eager to streamline more of their processes.
The Future Is Digital
Digital transformation isn’t a flash in the pan, soon to go the way of Google Glass and MySpace. On the contrary, it offers companies a unique opportunity to get ahead of the competition.
While many companies continue to utilize archaic legacy systems, digital transformation allows you to make your company more efficient, customer centric, and ultimately, profitable.
For your competitors, the future is still the future. For you, the future is now.