6xFaster turnaround time for signed documents
>$25KSaved on shipping costs annually
2 hrsApproval time, down from 2 weeks
Managing all of the people and moving pieces involved in a construction project is a complicated task. Add inevitable change orders and loads of manual paperwork into the mix, and you’re bound to hit some bottlenecks. That’s a challenge nearly everyone in the industry confronts. When faced with potentially weeks-long delays or investing in a faster, digital solution, the choice is clear. At least it was for Camden Property Trust.
Camden, which takes its name from a mash-up of founders Richard Campo and Keith Oden, is one of the largest real estate investment trusts in the nation. When the company went public in 1993, it maintained 6,000 apartments in Texas. Today, Camden oversees the construction, maintenance and operations of 59,104 properties across 15 different markets and 174 communities.
When it comes to getting the appropriate sign-offs needed to keep projects moving, efficiency is Camden’s number one priority. Using DocuSign and Procore helps teams across the country minimize delays through streamlined workflows that speed up approval processes, lower costs and free staff from tedious administrative tasks.
Signed, sealed and delivered 6x faster
Since implementing DocuSign eSignature, Camden has seen significant savings in time, cost and effort. Before DocuSign, a change order was a two-week process—often involving overnighting contracts between Camden’s Houston headquarters and project sites. With DocuSign, the average time for a document to be signed and completed decreased by six times, from nearly two weeks to two days.
In addition to time savings, digitizing agreement processes has helped the company save over $25,000 each year on shipping costs. “DocuSign eliminated all of that mailing, so we’re not only cutting costs—we’re also saving a lot of paper,” said Executive Assistant Deborah Soland. “Our contracts are over 100 pages long—and we often had to make two copies.”
For Camden employees, DocuSign has eased the frustration of complex approval processes, making workflows simple, fast and mobile—a big sell for project managers who frequently travel from site to site. According to Soland, the intuitive user experience has received a positive response from everyone in the company. “I’ve heard a lot of excitement in the office, and there’s usually a story to go along with it—how DocuSign helps them do their jobs more conveniently,” she said.
Taking speed to the next level with DocuSign + Procore
When Camden first implemented DocuSign “it was a game changer,” said Soland. Integrating eSignature with its Procore construction management software was a “game changer times ten.” Now, Camden has a central spot to streamline contract generation, manage change orders, speed invoice-to-payment processes—and track status in real time, with a full audit trail showing who did what, when.
Employees no longer have to generate documents in one tool and upload them into DocuSign. The integration provides a seamless, end-to-end digital process—helping project teams and administrative staff gain even greater efficiencies. “We took change orders from two weeks to two days—and now two hours,” Soland said. Change orders and invoices flow from Procore to DocuSign with a single click for approvals routing. Then admins send them off to the accounting team to kick off the payment process.
Before checks are cut, the accounting team uses Built (a Procore plug-in) to automatically generate lien waivers—a vital step in protecting Camden against future claims—and email them to subcontractors via DocuSign. Once lien waivers are signed, payments are released and trackable through Procore.
“We were really excited to hear that Built uses DocuSign's eSignature capability,” Soland added. “It was actually one of the key selling points.”
Keeping projects on time and on track in the new normal
During the pandemic, digital tools like DocuSign eSignature have become more essential than ever for Camden’s teams to keep business running while maintaining social distancing measures. “I don't know if we could even be working from home if we didn’t have these tools in place today,” said Soland. “Anytime we need anybody to sign anything, we use DocuSign.” Usage has exploded since Camden first implemented electronic signatures years ago. From facilities to HR to IT and accounting—“Pretty much every department is using it now.”