Frontline Service Case Study: How the Austin Firefighters Association Simplified their Payroll Process and Encourages Improved Donation and Volunteer Efforts Using eSign Genie
In the past year, members of the Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) have repeatedly risen to enormous challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and an unprecedented winter snowstorm. While continuing to provide unwavering and heroic service to members of their community, the AFA has also sought to provide simplified paperwork, payroll, and donation process to its members.
In this case study, we’ll explore important improvements the AFA has made in its daily process and how eSign Genie has played an integral part.
The Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) represents the local Austin, TX chapter of the International Association of firefighters, which is over 1,100 members strong.
As hard as Austin’s firefighters work to protect and help their community, it’s crucial that they have a dedicated advocate in place. As the AFA’s Linkedin page states, “The AFA provides a strong voice in the development and implementation of new training and equipment, and has worked hard to ensure the proper staffing of fire and EMS departments. The AFA is a member-driven organization—for firefighters, by firefighters.”
The Process Before Electronic Signatures
Prior to utilizing electronic signatures as part of the payroll and donation process, required documents were completed, printed, scanned, and sent in manually. While this process would generally get the job done, it could often prove problematic for those who did not have printers or scanners readily available, or delay AFA members who didn’t have the time amidst busy schedules. Furthermore, physical paperwork processes did not provide security or identity assurance.
Why eSign Genie Was Approached by the Austin Firefighters Association
The Austin Firefighters Association (AFA) sought an easy-to-use, simple to learn, and secure electronic signature solution that would enable firefighters to easily approve changes to payroll and make donations straight from their paychecks in a safe, fast, and straightforward manner. There was also a need to improve and simplify donation processes for donation drives.
The need to simplify paperwork processes for firefighters and community volunteers primarily drove the decision of the AFA to approach eSign Genie. With that being said, several integral objectives were relayed upon initial communication by the Local Union President and the President of the Relief Outreach fund:
Allow firefighters to approve payroll changes and deductions faster in a method that can then be emailed directly to staff.
Improve Donation Efforts:
Provide an easy method for firefighters to donate straight from their paychecks.
More Secure Documentation:
Improvement of security and signing identity was essential to relay better confidence to AFA members and other involved organizations.
Here’s Why the AFA Chose eSign Genie as Their Electronic Signature Solution
Seamless security features are a top priority with eSign Genie. With things like certificates of authenticity, 2FA, SOC 2 Type 2, and detailed audit histories, eSign Genie’s software was designed to easily support the enhanced security and signer identity improvements the AFA sought.
Because providing a user-friendly signing solution that could easily support over a thousand firefighters and local volunteers was essential, the straightforward and easy-to-use design of eSign Genie’s electronic signature software proved important.
The Austin Firefighters Association’s (AFA) relationship with eSign Genie began with a free trial and continued to grow through a catastrophic winter storm in Texas. During the storm, while firefighters were busy sheltering and rescuing misplaced individuals, AFA operations Tim Olson didn’t have time to implement a new document signing process; so eSign Genie extended the free trial until the time was right.
Once the decision was made for the AFA to use eSign Genie as its electronic signature solution, Tim Olson got everything up and running in no time while utilizing the extensive Knowledge Base, helpful walkthrough videos, and expert as-needed customer support.
How eSign Genie Has Helped the AFA Successfully Meet Its Goals
While signing up for an electronic signature software solution was certainly a new process and a new expense for the AFA, it wasn’t long before they began seeing impactful results in an important way. Tim Olson explains it well when he says, “It’s paid for in something that’s hard to measure because members will be more apt to donate money and to make changes when they want to. It will make it easier on them and save them time from having to come to this institution or go into their local station to make changes. So it’s one of those things that would be hard to measure in dollar terms.”
Faster document completion
Faster document completion from anywhere with the click of a button and through use of an easily learned user interface
Accessible and Streamlined Document Process
An accessible and streamlined document process that helped the AFA improve sign-up rates for donation drives; 20 people signed up in the first 3 days of a drive enrollment period, when previous years sometimes saw no sign ups at all.
Better supported identity confirmation
Better supported identity confirmation with signing certificates and auditing that enabled better trust to be more effectively established in the process.
Through electronic signatures, the AFA has also been able to establish an easier and faster payroll management system for firefighters to make deduction alterations and improve payment changes. The simple process of clicking to sign and send a communication in a matter of minutes saves time for busy firefighters who previously had to come into the fire station or manually print everything, sign, scan, and then send.
When speaking of the paycheck donation process
In the past, complaints were made of the donation process not being easy for firefighters. After implementing eSign Genie, Tim Olson with AFA operations states, “I’m happy with the results and the feedback I’ve gotten is very positive with regards to how easy it is, and the fact that no one has called me to ask questions about how to do it; that in and of itself, I think, speaks a lot.” Tim Olson, AFA Operations
Plans for the Future
eSign Genie is excited to continue working and supporting the needs of the Austin Firefighters Association. As the AFA continues with its dedicated commitment to local firefighters and the community, it anticipates expansion of their digital signature use by:
Improving donation efforts;
Going forward, the AFA plans to simplify and continue to improve donation drive processes by allowing easier communication, volunteering, and donation completion through the use of eSign Genie.
Utilizing a continuously expanding Knowledge Base
Utilizing a continuously expanding Knowledge Base and access to a growing and knowledgeable eSign Genie customer support team to quickly fix problems and learn about new features.