BENEFITS OF ELECTRONIC CONTRACTS
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The eGrainsm System is a secure, web-based system where grain contracts can be electronically created and settlements recorded by licensed grain dealers, eliminating the need to use pre-printed forms. eGrain can easily customize any grain contract to work on the eGrainsm System so warehouses can utilize electronic signatures with producers and other grain companies.
The eGrainsm System currently creates and manages the following types of electronic contracts:
- Price Later Contracts
- Credit Sales Contracts
- Basis Contracts
- Deferred Payment Contracts
The paper contract system is cumbersome, costly and inefficient. Pre-printed, paper contracts must be accounted for at all times whether they have been used or are still unused and must be kept on file for several years after being executed. Paper contracts, in many states, are highly regulated and require a written signature of both the buyer and seller within a specified time period. A separate, numerical file must often be maintained for the licensing authority to periodically review. Selling transactions must be documented on the grain dealer’s copy on the contract and in some cases on the licensing authority’s copy of the contract as well.
Electronic contracts can provide numerous benefits to the following individuals:
- Licensed grain dealers
- Producers and farm managers
- Licensing authorities
KEY BENEFITS FOR GRAIN DEALERS
The eGrainsm System creates electronic contracts as well as provides long-term storage, filing and safeguarding that can be used as a stand-alone system or as an added back up to the grain dealer’s paper filing system. In addition, the eGrainsm System improves many business processes and efficiencies by enabling grain dealers to provide valuable time and cost savings to their producers who appreciate the convenience of doing business electronically.
Grain dealers will no longer have unused paper contracts to dispose of when contract language is changed and they will no longer need to be concerned about running low on their supply of unused contracts at their facilities. The eGrainsm System eliminates the need to maintain a separate supply of pre-printed, paper contracts at each facility, since electronic contracts are instantly available and can be used across the entire company.
Multiple facility companies can centralize the issuance and management of contracts to one location if they prefer, and can authorize certain employees to different roles, including issuing contracts or view only access. In addition, the eGrainsm System can greatly improve the efficiency of management control by allowing the ability to easily monitor and manage contract activity throughout the entire operation.
The eGrainsm System makes the process of tracking and collecting producer signatures much easier and more convenient. Producers that utilize the eGrainsm System are automatically notified by email when contracts are issued and/or changes are made to the basis, terms, and settlements. The email instructs the producers to login to the eGrainsm System to review, print, sign and return the contract. Grain dealers record the date contracts are signed and can instantly sort their open contracts to show those yet to be signed by the producer. In addition, some states allow both parties to electronically sign these contracts, making this process even more efficient and eliminating the need to mail contracts back and forth.
Grain dealers can also utilize the eGrainsm System to print paper contracts and have both parties physically sign them. The eGrainsm System can still be used with these paper contracts to store contract information and manage changes to basis, terms, and settlements.
Accounting Software Integration
Grain dealer operations that do not currently utilize grain accounting software can use the web-based eGrainsm System to issue contracts, realizing cost and time efficiencies for themselves and their producers. For those operations that use a grain accounting software, eGrain’s staff can work with software vendors to enable electronic data interaction with the eGrainsm System to ensure a smooth flow of data between the two systems.
The electronic contracts created by the eGrainsm System meet individual state licensing authority regulations for format and content. The use of the eGrainsm System can lead to shorter on-site examinations by easily creating customized reports to provide to state and federal examiners. Furthermore, the eGrainsm System enables contract information to be electronically transferred to regulatory field staff through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
In conclusion, the eGrainsm System and its electronic contracts offer many benefits and efficiencies for the grain dealer, including the ability to:
- Manage and sort contracts by those that have been signed and by the number of bushels remaining to be settled
- Eliminate the costs of having to print, mail or hand-deliver contracts to collect signatures
- Centralize the purchasing, issuing and managing of contracts for multiple facility companies
- Eliminate the need to physically store large quantities of unused paper contracts and the possibility of loss or damage
KEY BENEFITS FOR PRODUCERS AND FARM MANAGERS
The eGrainsm System can reduce or eliminate the need for producers/landlords to make power of attorney arrangements for someone else to enter into contracts for them while they are away from home. eGrain allows producers to utilize the eGrainsm System free of charge and this can be an added service offered by the grain dealer.
In addition, producers and farm managers can utilize the eGrainsm System as a supplemental record keeping system for tracking their grain transactions. The eGrainsm System notifies producers when a new contract is created and when changes have been made to the terms, basis, and/or settlement. In addition, some states allow both parties to electronically sign these contracts, thus eliminating the need to send contracts through the mail.
Producers and farm managers have access to their contracts and settlement history and have the ability to create customized reports, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Electronic contracts allow producers who work off-farm jobs to electronically access their contracts at their convenience, to review, print and sign contracts at any time of the day or night from any location with Internet access.