Sertifi Says: Reboot Your Thinking About eCommerce to Include eSignatures
Electronic signatures for vendor-to-hotel, hotel-to-guest and employer-to-employee contracts is the next logical step in the e-commerce strategy for hospitality
"Think of an eSignature platform as today's answer to a Swiss army knife for hospitality sales – it has the tools needed by virtually every department to fast-track B2B and B2C transactions," he said. "Automating the contract process not only makes properties run more efficiently and at a reduced cost, but it supports a company's 'Green' initiative, streamlines human resources processes, and more quickly puts heads in beds from group and meetings business. Better yet, it's extremely easy to use and costs little to implement."
The New 'Sign' Language for Gen Xers/Yers
Scott Anderson, president of High Country Hospitality, a provider of operational, strategic, and marketing consulting services to hotels, mixed-use developments, golf course facilities and shared ownership facilities, said he believes that an eSignature platform would quickly be adopted by Generation X and Generation Y users. This 18- to 32-year-old demographic is the fastest growing segment in America's workforce and spends approximately $200 billion annually on travel. They love instant gratification, are very technology dependent, and have BIG expectations in service delivery. Therefore, asking Gen X or Gen Y customers and/or employees to sign documents electronically is a sure-fire way to get them in your doors faster, either as future guests or new hires.
"Gen Xers and Yers like to do things online quickly vs. their baby-boomer predecessors who prefer reading and transacting in print," Anderson said. "Whether it's vendors targeting hoteliers who prefer to incorporate eSignatures into the RFP and contract process for sales and catering – because let's face it, it's the Gen X / Gen Yers of the world who are having weddings today – or human resources execs looking to attract Gen X/Y line-level employees who subsequently prefer to fill out paperwork electronically, the bottom line is business is being transacted quicker and with far less negative impact to the environment."
Sertifi's Rae agreed with Anderson that the vendor community is ripe for eSignature adoption.
"Sertifi can quickly help industry suppliers process agreements, which in turn means closing deals faster," Rae said. "In addition, Sertifi has pre-built integration with Salesforce.com [NYSE: CRM], the leading enterprise cloud-computing company that is helping hundreds of hotels operate more efficiently with no hardware, no software and no headaches. Hotels working with the Salesforce.com platform will immediately benefit by integrating Sertifi to their existing CRM application and by leveraging Force.com, Salesforce Mobile, and Visualforce functionality. Website integration increases the ability for hotels to receive executed forms and contracts through in-session signing. Any technology supplier that offers a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform to hotels can immediately begin benefitting from the operational efficiencies that Sertifi provides."
The real key to adoption for vendors and hoteliers alike is through proven top- and bottom-line savings.
Savings Speak Volumes
Across the board, Sertifi is reducing the time it takes to get contracts signed by at least 20 percent, resulting in a minimum 10 percent increase in business.
· InterCall, a division of West Corporation and a leading provider of outsourced communication to some of the world's largest companies, organizations and governments, uses Salesforce.com as their CRM platform. Prior to adopting Sertifi's eSignature, the company faxed or mailed contracts to customers via FedEx and waited for customers to sign and return contracts via mail or fax. Contracts took three to 10 days to be signed, countersigned and completed. With Sertifi, InterCall reduced the length of time it takes its sales representatives to get a contract signed by 50 percent. The company estimates that Sertifi's solution saves about $9,000 per month in paper and FedEx shipping costs.
· As the U.S.'s largest online job site, CareerBuilder.com puts more than 1 million jobs in front of poised job seekers wherever they are. Most of these postings are negotiated through customer agreements and contracts. Prior to turning to Sertifi, CareerBuilder.com sales reps would send contracts to their customers, receive signed copies by fax and manually forward the paper contracts to billing and production. This process took about three days to complete. With the help of the Sertifi eSignature solution, CareerBuilder.com reduced the amount of time it took to get a contract signed by more than 20 percent, and it increased the number of contracts signed and returned by more than 10 percent. CareerBuilder estimates that Sertifi saves each sales representative almost three hours per month in work. That equates to an additional 36,000 selling hours per year.
"The list is long of satisfied customers who have achieved a significant return on their investment from Sertifi," Rae said. "By simply rebooting their thinking to incorporate an eSignature platform into their eCommerce processes, hoteliers and vendors alike will be successful in a very short amount of time."
Legalese of eSignatures
Hoteliers questioning the validity of electronic signatures can rest easy knowing there are laws in effect for their protection. In June of 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (US E-SIGN ACT) that makes electronic signatures just as legally binding as ink signatures on contracts and documents. In order to avoid each American state from having conflicting laws, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws developed the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). In essence, in the United States, all incompatible state laws are superseded by the ESIGN Act, making eSignatures legally binding in all 50 states.
Sertifi welcomes any hotel company or vendor to visit http://www.sertifi.com and call Doug Rae at 949-422-6033 to get an eSignature demonstration to see how Sertifi can help businesses save time, save money and increase contract signature turn-around time.
Phone: (732) 574-9000
sales and human resources departments to close business faster and reduce costs by electronically sending, e-signing, and managing agreements with customers. By speeding the time it takes to get customer contracts signed and returned, it affords more time to close on new business. Sertifi is ideal for sales, catering, or human resources groups who require signatures on agreements. For more information, call Doug Rae at 949-422-6033, email email@example.com or visit www.sertifi.com.