Printing, scanning and re-sending vendor documents is time consuming and error prone. Digitize your vendor documents using digital signatures, electronic storage and take advantage of google-like search capabilities within your own vendor documents.
How do you know it’s legitimate?
First, a brief definition of terms. An e-signature is anything that is signed electronically, but a digital signature is associated with encryption – it verifies that the person who originated the data is the author and that no one has tampered with the data. A digital signature involves technology to validate an electronic signature. The signatory uses a private “key” that is a computer algorithm to represent a “signature”. At the time of signing, this private key combines with a certificate
containing the date and the document’s “hash”. Each combination is unique and one document can be identified from the next, that is why and how it is possible to know if a digital signature &/or document has been tampered with. A public key is also provided for public entities to verify whether the signatory truly signed the document – it checks that the private key is correct.
Digital signatures are trusted by 85 million people worldwide, by many US government organizations, several leading US Universities for transcripts and for Engineering stamps/seals within most states and provinces.
For a details on the law governing electronic signatures, please refer to the following.
In the USA: info on legality of digital signatures
In Canada: info on legality of digital signatures
The coles notes version is that both parties have to agree that the digital signature is binding, that there is intent to sign and that the recording and retention of the record must be valid. This is what VersaFile specialize in and we work with a variety of vendors like DocuSign, eVasco and Notarius to facilitate.
Digital signatures improve the fidelity of a document compared to inked documents – which when scanned commonly lose pages or the signature might not show up clearly or is upside down. An electronic signature, when set up correctly, is a better, more “provable” signature if questioned in court. Courts look at whether the contract was handled like it was inked (pen and paper).
Signatures can be applied to word, pdf, eforms and even engineering documents (legally sealed).
Why do it?
Managing documents via email can not only create version chaos, but it isn’t secure. VersaFile uses IBM Box for file sharing with outside vendors and partners. This provides a secure environment, managed by the organization, to house vendor contracts to ensure each vendor has the most recent and up to date document they require in a secure private cloud environment. This solution also provides full version history for easy auditability.
We also use digital signatures for all of our vendor contracts.
There is a lot of paperwork involved with managing vendors – how much time do you spend just managing these documents?