Locations: Pforzheim, Germany (headquarters); 7 branches in Germany; 1 branch in Bulgaria and 1 in Thailand
with e-signing of employee contracts
Drive digital transformation by implementing a proactive change process
Leverage electronic signatures to streamline administrative workflows
Enhance brand perception with new hires by cultivating the image of a modern and innovative employer
Smooth transition from paper to electronic documents and signatures due to the reliable audit trails
HR document processes have become more efficient
E-signing employment contracts helps attract great talent
Digital transformation isn’t a process that only affects large corporations. Meyle+Müller GmbH+Co. KG (M+M) is proof that even medium-sized companies can master digital and benefit from it. Based in Pforzheim, Germany and specializing in media production, M+M is increasing the number of contract documents that are signed electronically instead of using pen and paper.
The decision to adopt e-signatures was easy for the company. Since it was founded over one hundred years ago, it has always been open to technological change. Starting out as a small craft business in the graphics industry, M+M has become a modern service provider trusted by global brands.
Employing over 350 people in multiple independent and highly specialized subsidiaries and business units, M+M is now a large and innovative media service provider in Germany. Its brand represents state-of-the-art solutions, workflows, and systems for omnichannel media production. Its principal business areas include large-scale media production, creative services, photography, CGI, post-production, packaging, and media-related IT. M+M mainly consists of the Pforzheim-based IT subsidiary apollon, Hamburg-based Hanse Reprozentrum GmbH, and Ulm-based consulting firm Think Open. In addition, M+M has offshore production plants in Bulgaria and Thailand.
Efficiently providing media solutions to customers is one of M+M’s great strengths. That’s feasible only because in-house workflows are as efficient as possible. Hence, it’s only natural for M+M and apollon to keep evaluating how the companies can leverage new technologies to improve workflows. By introducing electronic signatures, they ease their internal administrative workloads enormously.
Executive Assistant, Meyle+Müller GmbH+Co. KG
M+M and apollon recently started migrating their contracting business to e-signing processes, picking employment contracts as their first use case. “We identified employment contracts as a scenario we can very quickly transform using Adobe Sign because we don’t need to create new forms but just edit a few fields,” says Atessa-Lena Wächter, HR Assistant, involved with M+M’s recruiting processes.
The company’s HR department now manages all document processes related to employment contracts using the Adobe Sign web interface. This includes contracts for new hires as well as changes to existing contracts. A common web browser is all they need to do their job.
After a successful job interview, Atessa-Lena Wächter creates a personalized contract on her computer. Using the Adobe Sign web interface, she then adds fillable fields to the contract that enable each party to add their signatures. Next, she determines the order of signatories and initiates the signing process so both the applicant and the executives are notified via email.
All stakeholders sign the document on the desktop using a keyboard. Alternatively, they can even use their fingers or a stylus for signing on-the-go on a tablet or smartphone. The web interface provides an overview of all ongoing signing processes so Atessa-Lena Wächter stays abreast of the status. Automatic reminders help avoid delays.
The company isn’t concerned about legal issues because applicable contract law states that electronic signatures are to be treated as equal to hand-written signatures. What is more, Adobe Sign maintains a detailed log of all steps of the signing process so stakeholders can see how a signature was added and when, providing evidence that would be admissible in court. The fact that a signature added on a smartphone doesn’t visually match the signatory’s original signature doesn’t matter.
However, if an applicant is uncomfortable with signing electronically, they can always revert to handwritten signatures. M+M and apollon defer to the signatories for that decision. Since they introduced electronic signatures however, the traditional way of signing documents has only been used in rare cases. “The speed that electronic signatures with Adobe Sign provides has resonated with nearly all parties involved. Many colleagues are happy that they no longer need to manually file a paper-based contract but can now save it on their hard drive,” says Wächter.
HR Assistant, Meyle+Müller GmbH+Co. KG
The new Adobe Sign signature process is a great time saver for M+M’s HR department. “What used to take three to four days can now often be done in a few minutes thanks to Adobe Sign,” says Wächter. Even the use of consumables has been reduced significantly. If a document is signed electronically, printed copies are no longer required, which in total saves up to 20 sheets per document process. This is one of the many benefits of digital which, when taken as a whole, contribute to modern, efficient corporate management.
In addition to operational advantages, corporate branding also benefits from the digital transformation of HR. “By providing an electronic contracting process, we can showcase our modern corporate culture to job applicants even before they join us,” says Alice Kirstein, Executive Assistant at M+M. “When we used to have paper-based signature processes, applicants would often back out. That doesn’t happen anymore because we can now get contracts signed much faster thanks to electronic signatures with Adobe Sign.”
In addition to employment contracts, M+M is considering the use of Adobe Sign for other document processes across several business units. Because of the successful introduction to HR, the company intends to roll out e-signatures for client and vendor contracts as well. Even this initiative is not based on hunches, but the result of the change process supported by all business divisions. “We are getting more and more digital. The widespread adoption of electronic signatures using Adobe Sign shows that we are headed in the right direction,” says Kirstein.