The logistics industry is handy in obtaining, producing, and distributing products/goods to the desired destination and in the right quantities. In a business sense, the logistics process entails not only the transportation and delivery of products, but also the storage, inventory, handling, and packaging of these products.
It’s obvious then, every player in the logistics industry would love to see the above processes become more cost-effective, efficient and most importantly, convenient for their customers. Technology has been a major contributing factor to achieve this much-needed efficacy and efficiency in the logistics sector.
Efficiency in the online contract signing
Perhaps the most noteworthy case of technology use is in the contracting process, where shippers and other logistics experts are discovering that digital signatures and electronic documents are vital in improving business processes. Digital signatures minimize the hassles linked to paper contracting. Basically, they considerably reduce contract completion time and allow logistics operators to offer clients better service.
The intricate, traditional, labor-intensive way of signing business documents can cost an organization millions of dollars of lost revenue. Actually, for busy organizations, wet-ink based agreements slow down important contractual processes, leading to loss of opportunities. Thus, to shorten the process of closing deals, a lot of organizations in the logistics business are transferring their contract work to the web, simply via the adoption of e-signatures.
Freed from the trouble of chasing down physical signatures and mailing documents manually, logistics companies are able to serve clients better and attract new customers. Adopting paperless processes and contracting in the cloud seems sensible for any organization; however, it is a game-changer for the logistic operators who usually sell themselves on efficiency and promptness. Basically, by signing documents online – anytime, anywhere – logistics operators live up to their clients’ expectations; in the sense that, they get the contracting process completed quickly.
Are e-signatures safe for signing logistics-related documents?
The first thing logistic businesses wish to know before adopting e signatures is the risk of involvement. Lack of knowledge in matters of electronic signatures can certainly make some managers apprehensive. However, what every logistic professional should understand is, signing documents online is safe and secure.
Since the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) was passed on June 30, 2000, organizations all over the world have been able to eSign documents safely, while at the same time, remaining confident that such documents are as legally binding just as those executed by wet-ink signatures.
Other benefits of electronic signatures for the logistics industry
1. Reduced costs – When logistics businesses prefer paperless processes, they cut expenditure on printing, paper, as well as courier, shipping, postal and data storage (physical space) costs.
2. Greater efficiency – As we earlier mentioned; a fully digital signing process powered by a reliable e-signature solution like Foxit eSign, enables documents to be created, sent and signed online, speeding up workflows and reducing turnaround times.
3. Increased productivity – Less time spent processing and signing logistics contracts allows your members of staff to focus on other more important tasks like closing deals and making deliveries.
4. Accurate processing – As you might be aware, haulage operations accrue large amounts of receipts and data every day. Adopting eSign technology ensures there are no holdups arising as a result of misplaced documents and duplication of paperwork. Additionally, there is no need for re-keying data or information manually thus, leaving less room for mistakes.
5. Greater customer acquisition – Electronic signatures can be executed on any device, anytime, anywhere, allowing your employees to close deals faster and minimize the risk of cancellation of agreements from potential clients.
6. Reduce legal risk and ensure compliance – The hassle of tracking paper-based logistics documents can results in compliance issues, especially when the audit season approaches. Once a contract has been found in some way to have been tampered with, it could result in regulatory violations and fines. E-sign solutions keep track of who signed a contract and at what time. These signed documents are automatically stored in the systems so they can be easily retrieved for future use.
7. Increased customer satisfaction – If you want your logistics business to thrive, ensure your clients are always contented with your services. Electronic signatures are easy to use and allow customers to execute a sign on common gadgets, such as tablets or Smartphones. More so, using eSign technology to sign documents reassures customers that their personal information is safe and secure.
8. Environmental friendly – Reducing paper use saves the environment and advances your logistics business’s credentials as an eco-friendly company.
Common logistics industry documents that can be signed electronically
When goods are transported either locally or internationally, the delivery ought to be accompanied by the pertinent documentation. The number or type of documentation differs depending on if the delivery is being made within or outside the country. The documents also vary depending on the technique or method of carriage used. The following are commonly used logistics documents that may be required based on the rules of the importing country.
- Bill of landing
- Freight bill
- Customer agreement
- Certificate of origin
- Cargo insurance certificate
- Commercial invoice
- Waybill form
- Consignment Note (CMR)
- Dangerous good declaration note
- Packing list
- Delivery note
Today’s customers are knowledgeable, tech-savvy and expect top-notch services from the organizations they do business with. Customers want a guarantee that they will get a high level of customer care throughout the period of conducting businesses and their personal information will be secure from the onset.
There are plenty of ways logistics businesses and shippers can meet these customer demands. Actually, by leveraging technology, businesses can meet a majority of those demands. For instance, it is clearly evident that e sign technology can practically streamline all the contracting work, known to tire out logistics operators.
Logistics businesses, therefore, should always harness the benefits of electronic signature software to close deals quicker and focus more time and resources on delivering goods efficiently and safely to their growing customer bases.1