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The Costs And Benefits

Posted 15th April 2020

With the swift expansion of electronic document storage and authorisations, more and more businesses are understanding the real cost savings alongside the other advantages. Those other benefits include security, efficiency, integration, customer relations and of course savings.

What are the real savings to business, and have you thought about all of them apart from the obvious? In a recent case study, a Large Law firm outlined the savings for them in reducing their paper based system and shifting to an electronic one.


Saving Paper

The Law Firm saved approximately 1.4 million sheets of paper over a 12 month period. These paper savings were made by:

• Documents sent and stored electronically

• Secure instant electronic access to files to authorised personnel

• Electronic reminders and notifications of transactions

• Clear audit trails of document history

• Electronic form templates

By sending documents electronically a saving of £11,740 was made in paper procurement. Not only was there a massive reduction in cost but the environmental benefits where large as well.


Print Savings

By digitising their document process and using electronic signatures, they significantly reduced their printing requirements to be sent to clients for signature. As a direct result of eliminating the printing of 1.4 million pages, they saved an estimated £105,000 on printing costs.



The Law Firm produces 18,000 new matters a year not including re issuing and other matters.

The cost of postage based on the one “matter” at £2.60 (£1.60 for the actual letter and £1 for a stamped addressed envelope). In all around £46,800 in savings.



Through the use of electronic signatures, they were able to significantly reduce the time spent on document administration saving approximately 50% of the time previously spent on the various tasks associated with preparation. The average salary for administrative staff is £17,000 per annum (, therefore saving £8,500 per administrator with a total saving of £17,000 for The Law Firm. Allowing them to better task administration staff and more effectively communicate with clients.



This is not always taken into consideration when the digitisation process is reviewed but it forms a major part of the regulatory requirements to maintain documentation for a certain number of years, depending on the business.

Savings are based on each archive box storing 2000 sheets of paper, and being stored for the minimum of seven years as per regulatory requirements, at a cost of £149 per box per annum.

• 1,400,000/2000 = 700 boxes

• 700 x £149 = £104,300 per annum


Environmental Savings

As a result of the reduced usage of paper there were significant CO2e savings:

The primary production of 1.4 million pieces of paper results in 7,616 kg CO2e.

The waste disposal of 1.4 million pieces of paper (either by combustion or composting) generates 171 kg CO2e.

The estimated reduction in CO2e as a result of less postage was 471 kg over the year.

In total more than 8,258 kg CO2e was not released into our atmosphere over a one-year period, just from eliminating the use of paper contracts.

There are also other significant environmental savings that were not calculated as part of the study. Because there are too many variables like distance to the storage facility, postal variables and geographical use of transport etc. However, it equates to around 7 tons of paper not having to be transported each year to and from clients via postage as well as storage facilities.


In Total

The over all cost saving per year by going paperless for documented legal matters was £284,840.

Whilst this is an extremely large saving, because of the size of the Law Firm, all companies can still achieve significant savings including much better efficiencies by using digital signatures. E-sign are committed to helping any and all businesses transition to this technology and other associated services.


Feel free to call us to find out how we can help improve document flow in your business.

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