Every day, millions of readers around the world open a newspaper, visit the website or browse the mobile app of the German publisher Axel Springer. The company has been providing readers with timely news, information and entertainment for 75 years. Axel Springer publishes dozens of brands, including the German national newspaper Die Welt – Stepstone, the leading job portal brand in 25 countries – and Bild, the highest-circulation tabloid newspaper with millions of readers across Europe.

An important element of Axel Springer’s success is the use of digital technologies. Digital activities are now a significant part of the company’s revenues, and the popularity of web portals and mobile applications continues to grow. Internally, in addition to software development, Axel Springer has invested in enterprise technology from big names such as Salesforce, Microsoft and Adobe to keep more than 15,000 employees connected worldwide through seamless electronic workflows. Dax Data, a local Adobe distributor, offers a proof-of-value service that demonstrates how your organization can also benefit from Adobe Acrobat digital solutions.

Holger Weber, head of contract and license management in financial IT and procurement at Axel Springer, was particularly interested in using Adobe Acrobat Sign to streamline contract management for the groups he supported, knowing that electronic signatures could free employees from time-consuming documentation.

“Just as many of Axel Springer’s brands went digital, it was time to fully digitize our document management processes as well,” Weber explains. “But many teams still liked the habit of working with paper. Most of our organization moved almost entirely to e-signatures within a week, and many other departments across the company got on board. The effect was so great that we don’t plan to ever go back to paper and wet signatures.”

The transition to digital technologies

Before Acrobat Sign was adopted, most departments at Axel Springer relied on stacks of printed paper. Each document requiring a signature will be placed in a signature folder and moved between offices. Folders can sit on the edge of a desk for three weeks before they are signed for and returned.

Axel Springer has taken steps to make the transition to Acrobat Sign as quick and seamless as possible. “We recorded training videos for new users and created a support portal where people can apply for an Adobe Acrobat Sign license,” explains Mark Belahubek, CRM engineer at Axel Springer, which supports Acrobat Sign users. “Some people had a question or two, but overall people were amazed at how intuitive Adobe Acrobat Sign is.”

Today, teams at Axel Springer handle several thousand transactions per quarter through Acrobat Sign. Delivering electronic documents is easy. Users receive an email and click on a link. Signing is just as easy, just a few more clicks. In addition to simple delivery and signing, the average signature processing time has been reduced from several weeks to just 25 hours.

Accelerated speed is critical for many teams. For human resources, this means the ability to deliver offer letters to top candidates as quickly as possible, providing a better experience, making a strong impression and encouraging candidates to sign with Axel Springer. The corporate law team can get contracts concluded faster, even when dealing with multiple signatories working from different locations.

Many departments create and review documents in Microsoft Word before submitting the final document for signature and approval via Acrobat Sign. Unlike paper contracts, Acrobat Sign comes with tracking capabilities that help teams know exactly if a document has been received, reviewed or signed – no more folders on desks. With less time spent reviewing documents, the digital legal team saw significant time and labor savings.

Acrobat Sign also opens the door to new digital document services. All documents can be saved as searchable PDF documents for better paperless file management. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are no longer printed. Instead, employees can use self-service portals to select the appropriate type of NDA and automatically forward it to all necessary parties. Axel Springer also hopes to begin using integrations with solutions such as Salesforce to further streamline document workflows.

Contact Dax Data to take advantage of our current offer and save up to 50% on an introductory package of 3000 Adobe Acrobat Sign transactions. Terms and conditions apply.

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