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How GYG Singapore moved to paperless contracts

The Singapore franchisee of Mexican cuisine specialist Guzman y Gomez has turned to electronic agreements and digital signatures to ease the administrative burden on its HR team

Even as Guzman y Gomez (GYG) grew its business in Singapore from its first outlet in 2018 to over 10 restaurants today, the Mexican cuisine specialist found that its technology infrastructure was not keeping pace with the rate of digitalisation that it was undertaking.

“About three to four years ago, we decided that we needed to upgrade a lot of our infrastructure very quickly, from accounting software to labour management to point-of-sale systems all the way through to inventory controls and compliance related stuff in HR,” said Josh Bell, general manager at GYG Singapore, the local franchisee of the Australian restaurant chain.

“We needed to move quickly with a lot of e-commerce related things – we were moving towards controlling our own website, and being a franchisee, we needed rapid response on the e-commerce things that we were doing,” he added.

On the HR front, GYG Singapore was hiring up to 20 people a day at one time. That meant a lot of paperwork had to be done manually to get new employees to sign their employment contracts, which had to be modified whenever there was an error or mistake.

“That was very painful, and it’s not just about getting the contracts to the staff to read, sign and return. If we have an incident where we need to dig into a contract, we’ll flick through hundreds of them and find the respective clause,” Bell said, adding that the company was dealing with pallets of paper contracts that were stored at a warehouse.

That prompted GYG Singapore to look for a digital solution to ease the administrative burden on the company’s HR team which also had to keep pace with the evolving manpower regulations in Singapore. After evaluating a few solutions, it decided on DocuSign, a cloud-based application that helps organisations manage electronic agreements and facilitates digital signing of documents.

For GYG Singapore, DocuSign ticked the right boxes, especially its user interface which Bell described as clean, seamless and easy to understand: “You don’t have to click back to try and find out what you've clicked on, which is fantastic for our team”.

Another draw of DocuSign is the availability of templates which GYG Singapore found useful for processing contracts for as many as 100 part-time workers during peak periods. With the templates, Bell said GYG Singapore could send out 20 contracts in just five minutes after uploading a comma-separated values (CSV) file with the personal details of the workers.

“There’s no printing of contracts or manually putting in a name into a Word document – the templates feature reduced our HR team’s workload by 80%”, Bell said.

Finally, GYG Singapore was also drawn to the search and storage functionality of DocuSign, which made it easy for the company to retrieve employee contracts. This has enabled it to respond to HR related situations quickly without having to retrieve a physical contract, Bell said.

GYG Singapore is now looking to extend its use of DocuSign to supplier contracts. It is also in the midst of integrating DocuSign with another software platform that will provide GYG employees with an app to access employee contracts, staff policies and information about leave entitlements.

Being a cloud-based offering, DocuSign needs to address potential security and compliance considerations that its customers may have. To help organisations be compliant or more compliant as they would with paper-based processes, DocuSign captures information related to a document transaction, including IP addresses and timestamps of when a document was sent, viewed and signed, according to Nick Van Breda, regional vice-president for Asia at DocuSign.

“All of that is housed in what we call a certificate of completion, which basically has all of that information and can be used as your representation of a transaction in a court of law. It's also backed by the Electronic Transactions Act here in Singapore,” he added.

In addition, Breda said DocuSign’s infrastructure is secured through what it deemed as “bank-grade” security and complies with the ISO 27001 security standard.

“We work with 13 out of 15 of the largest financial institutions globally and so when people are evaluating DocuSign, they’d know that these very large banking institutions have come and gone through this process, and obviously security is the number one concern for them,” he added.

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