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Certified electronic communications, key elements for document management

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Pau Mestre,

Legal Manager of SIGNATURIT

In recent years, the proper handling of contracts and trust services, such as electronic signature and certified electronic communications, has emerged as a determining factor for the positive development of a company. But not all organisations understand its importance.

Businesses often negotiate, oversee and modify the terms and conditions of their agreements with third parties over long periods of time, only to realise the agreement was not concluded as they intended. This can give rise to various issues, not only of a litigious nature but also in terms of renegotiating the agreement, the payment of fees or even internal and external audits.

That’s why contract management affects everyone involved, from workers and clients to partners and third parties. The protection and monitoring of contracts minimises risk, reduces the time invested and maximises the benefits for the company.

Those responsible for contract management within companies (HR, sales and legal departments, among others) are not only in charge of negotiating the terms and conditions of the agreements and their due compliance; they are also responsible for the documentation and acceptance of any changes or amendments that may be necessary during a contract’s implementation and execution.

Contract management therefore requires the continuous protection of a company’s contractual relationships, tackling and resolving any difficulties that may arise throughout the life cycle of the contract.

The most common contracts that we can find within a company are employment contracts, sales invoices, orders and service agreements. On the other hand, depending on the business itself, we can find more complex contracts relating to construction, goods or services projects governed by strict regulations or specific technical specifications, as well as intellectual property agreements, outsourcing contracts or international trade contracts.

Most of the latter involve the management of deadlines for a contract’s execution or overseeing a relationship with multiple parties responsible for different aspects of a project. In these situations, there is a need to swiftly and effectively manage the conclusion of a contract or set of contracts in order to be able to commence the activity in question, thus avoiding delays or unwanted additional costs.

The relationship between the parties relies on the success of this coordination, because through the systematic management of potential claims and conflict resolution, it is possible to avoid complex litigation between the parties. This maximises the project’s economic benefit while limiting any associated risks.

It is not uncommon for a company to lose large sums of money because a contract is poorly formulated or because unidentified technicalities arise due to lack of resources. Effective contract management is key in creating a strong commercial relationship, which establishes a roadmap that ultimately reduces and mitigates incidents. This in turn generates greater long-term profitability. This task requires an investment of time and resources; but when handled effectively, it ensures stability in a business context where companies need to reduce costs and increase their performance.

On the other hand, there are regulatory compliance issues that require the generation and conservation of evidence, such as: consent regarding the protection of personal data, pre-contractual information in the financial field, or the conclusion of a contract concerning the protection of consumer rights.

For example, in both employments contracts and consumer or supplier contracts, data protection must be handled meticulously, and it is typically necessary to obtain and maintain customer consent. Not complying with regulations surrounding legitimacy and data, among other issues, can lead to substantial financial penalties.

Likewise, when it comes to pre-contractual negotiations, non-disclosure agreements, and project development, certified electronic communications and electronic signatures become key elements in the protection of the company’s know-how, in that they allow for the management and registration of communications provided to third parties that contain sensitive information.

To ensure that businesses meet all regulatory requirements, Signaturit offers the ideal solution for formalising the processing of contracts quickly and efficiently through electronic signatures. With the advantage of offering automated, paperless, secure and accessible transactions, Signaturit’s digital signature solutions guarantee greater efficiency and scrupulous compliance with all legal and technical regulations.

In addition, after being recognised as a Qualified Trust Service Provider of the European Union, Signaturit has also obtained the ISO 27001 certification, which endorses it as an Information Security Management System based on the international security standard.

In summary, the use of trust services in a company’s contracting processes guarantees an improvement in the contract’s management, avoiding incidents of any kind (delays, accreditation, non-compliance with deadlines, etc.) and implies greater regulatory compliance, thus protecting the company and its day-to-day activity. In short, trust services not only streamline contracting processes, but are also a key element for the protection of the company.

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