Comgás consolidates and expands the use of digital signature
Increased agility, reduced costs and better control.
SaaS Solution (Software as a Service) for Digital Signature and Workflow through the QualiSign Portal.
Expanded use of digital signature to other departments.
Companhia de Gás de São Paulo (Comgás) works to be the best energy alternative for people, companies and society, offering services and solutions that anticipate the future.
With uninterrupted supply and specialized assistance 24h, Comgás serves more than 1.6 million customers in its concession area in the state of São Paulo: the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo, the Administrative Region of Campinas, Baixada Santista and Vale do Paraíba.
The Company has approximately 14 thousand kilometers of distribution network in 85 municipalities, supplying natural gas to the industrial, commercial, residential and automotive segments, in addition to enabling cogeneration projects and supplying gas to thermo generation plants.
Three years ago, more precisely in the first half of 2013, Companhia de Gás de São Paulo (Comgás), through its purchasing management area, deployed the digital signature in contracts with suppliers. Despite the initial adapting difficulties, mainly from suppliers, the measure was successful and obtained market recognition. So much so that Comgás continues to be visited by several companies that wish to closely get to know the initiative.
The person in charge of implementing the project was Maurício Delfino, a senior supply analyst at Comgás, now a contracted management consultant. Enthusiastic about the paperless trend and innovation, Delfino recalls an episode that was a milestone in the process of adopting the Company's digital signature.
“An emblematic case, among our suppliers, is that of a small earthmoving company with only two partners, father and son, who drove their tractors and, in the middle of the mud, took out from their pockets their digital certificates to immediately sign the contract. From then on, we had the evidence that the digital certificate was already being used by small companies, which before that seemed a possible obstacle to widespread the implementation of the digital signature. This example further reinforced our belief that we were on the right path,” comments Delfino.
“Technology has its traits and it takes time to enchant one. But once it occurs, a virtuous circle that quickly spreads to people is started. This occurred at Comgás and, subsequently, other sectors at the company started using the services,” observes the Company's Contracted Entities Management consultant.
What about the result? More efficiency and agility. After adopting this technology, Comgás significantly shrinked the time of its internal processes, reduced costs and gained in productivity.
It is not by chance that the culture of digital signature is increasingly disseminated in the company, which has more than 1.6 million clients in its concession area. “It is increasingly common for us to discuss new processes or review existing processes, always considering the use of this technology, keeping an innovative mindset and the will to make things happen. Thus, we continue on the path of the relentless search for greater operational efficiency,” says Delfino.
In the contracts area, Comgás has consolidated the process and currently works with the “zero paper” concept. One of the recent findings was the productivity gain in the formalization process. “We had a 65% gain in the time it took to formalize the contract, which generated a 14% impact on resource productivity,” says Maurício Delfino.
Comgás has reduced the time it takes to send notifications to contractors that do not meet deadlines and also in cases of damage by third parties — for example, other service concessionaires that, when carrying out excavation works, reach the gas network.
Previously, these cases were notified by means of a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt (AR).
“You had to print the notification and prepare the envelope and information for the RAs. This took an average number of three days. By e-mail, the time is measured in minutes, in addition to the fact that the lower cost and the submission and verification process are much more practical”, explains Delfino.
Electronic Power of Attorney
Being required as it is in the process of delegating powers, the power of attorney is an essential tool for speeding up the company's processes and projects. At Comgás, the legal department, in charge of the contracts and corporate acts, innovated with the digital signature of electronic proxies. As a result, delegating powers became more agile, in addition to reducing costs.
“A paper power of attorney took one to two weeks to be formalized. in the electronic format, it diminished from one to three days,” emphasizes Marília Ventura, a lawyer for the company.
“In the beginning, some agencies had some difficulty in understanding what a digitally signed power of attorney was, but nowadays most of them are already accepted,” comments Marília.
Among those who normally accept electronic documents today are the SP Board of Trade, CREA-SP, Arsesp (Sanitation and Energy Regulatory Agency of the State of São Paulo), Sabesp and other concessionaires.
Control in the electronic world is also much easier. In renewals, for example, the legal department is notified beforehand concerning the expiration of powers of attorney and the renewal process is simplified, allowing the creation of a new power of attorney from a previously existing one. The location of proxies in the electronic world is also simpler, as it is always available at the Portal.
Digitally signed ‘As Built’
Another application of the digital signature is in the area of Technical Registration for gas distribution networks. Comgás annually adds up about 1,000 km to gas grids. The Technical Registration area is responsible for controlling, mapping and monitoring all this growth. After the execution of a grid construction work, service providers must submit the execution plan, so that the Technical Registration area can know exactly what work has been done — and where.
“Often suppliers come across obstacles in the field, which were not possible to be mapped at the design stage. That is why they must deliver the new plant to us after each service is performed. We refer to this plant as ‘As Built’," explains Sílvio Tomaz, an analyst in the Technical Registration Area at Comgás.
The plant is submitted, digitally signed by the service provider through the QualiSign Portal, and then signed by the Comgás engineer.
According to Sílvio, the process deployed one year ago made the department's daily routine much more agile. “It took an average number of seven days for a plan to be signed and now, in the digital environment, it only takes two business days. In technical terms, it could be signed in only five minutes! This is a great advantage, but we also had other benefits: greater security, because now the plant is not 'wandering around' the back of a courier, not to mention the reduced costs on the supplier side, as the plant was printed on parchment paper and physically sent to Comgás.”
In addition to saving service providers, Comgás achieved a cost reduction of 15 to 20 thousand reais per year, in addition to the amount to be spent on the storage and management of the growing stock of paper plants. Currently, 97% of the volume of “As Built” plants are already included in the digital signature process, with a monthly average number of 120 leaves.
Mobility and convenience are other advantages, according to the analyst at Comgás' Technical Registration Area. “The works are spread over several cities in the state, and with the distance, the formalization process took even longer. Before that, the engineer would have to return to the headquarters to sign the 'As Builts' templates. Today, they will access the Portal wherever they are and sign it, sorting out the problem."