Update to “Why Embrace Document Automation?” December 20, 2017

It seems hard to believe that we wrote this original blog post nearly three years ago. Time flies. Yet even something done three weeks ago seems like three years ago, maybe more. Time really flies right now.

It’s easy to feel like things are out of your control, especially when so many things truly are currently. Believe it or not, document automation can actually help you take back some of that control. It can help you control how you work, so when you go “back” to work, you’ll also have moved forward. And that’s a start towards creating a brighter and more optimistic future.

Completing paperwork is often one of the major bottlenecks in any business. Paperwork intensive business units – like Legal, Accounting or HR – benefit significantly from using simple, effective document automation solutions to create documents faster, with more consistency, resulting in fewer errors.

There have long been tools that solve this problem but historically, they’ve been expensive and complicated to implement, requiring heavy assistance from IT or outside consultants. Newer, cloud-based solutions have changed all that.

Here are 3 ways using document automation can transform the way you work:

Duplicate work

Automation ensures version control and reduces the chance of errors

If you have to make copies of an old form or develop a new version of an invoice every time you need one, you’re duplicating work and making it harder for your team to standardize their documents.

With document automation, frequently used documents are turned into templates which are made easily accessible by all members of your team. When you need to change a document, it’s automatically updated for everyone who has access to it, ensuring the integrity of that document.

Additionally, utilizing features such as a clause library allows you to standardize frequently used language and contract clauses so you can rest assured that anyone who needs to create a new document will only be using language that’s already been approved. Anytime a clause is updated, all the documents referencing that clause are automatically updated, too.

This makes it much easier to maintain your team’s quality of work and eliminates the tedium of proofreading, while drastically reducing the chance for errors.  

Multiple forms of a document

Having multiple variants of a document is inefficient and a waste of time

Do you have multiple versions of the same document for different use cases? Do you have a version for every possible scenario? This is common with documents like offer letters, vendor contracts, and customer forms, and it can make keeping track of all the versions chaotic and time-consuming.

Not only does re-creating these documents again and again waste time, but if an update to the core document is needed, then every variant of that document also needs to be updated.

With document automation, you can use features such as conditional logic (if/then statements) to embed all of the options into one document. Thus, one document can now represent many documents, keeping things nice and tidy.

Cloud storage and back-ups

You control the work, rather than letting the work control you

When you find yourself and your team all working remotely, it can be difficult to coordinate the work, make sure everyone has access to the documents they need, and feel confident that the documents being produced are correct and consistent.

With functionality like the Woodpecker shareable document collection, document automation keeps your team on the same page. This basic document management feature allows sharing of frequently used templates, so documents can be easily accessed across different locations and teams.

Sharing templates like this further enhances the security of the document by reducing the risk of errors or manipulation of terms or language, as the original author is the only one with permission to edit or delete the templates they’ve created.

Lack of an efficient document automation and management system shouldn’t waste time and money in your organization. With cloud-based solutions, it’s not only possible, but is also very simple to share and standardize documents with a basic Microsoft Word add-in.

Now’s the time to start taking back some control over things you can control, like changing how you work. Take the first step by learning more about the user-friendly and affordable document automation options available today.

If you’re not sure where to begin, our Document Automation Toolkit, which compares the features of the most popular solutions, is a great place to start.

read the document automation toolkit