As we all know, document management has come a long way from the first wooden filing cabinets to modern cloud-based platforms.
The day we had personal computers connected to a local network, automation of key document workflows became one of the primary drivers behind the evolution of the entire computer software industry.
Think about it — instead of having to deal with racks of file cabinets and spend countless hours to find, edit, copy, approve, and sign documents that would then be returned to the storage room, you could now do the same electronically via a convenient user interface, and even collaborate with other people in your network.
All of that with an added benefit of never-before-seen speed and efficiency.
Today, document automation plays a crucial role in nearly every industry where documents are created en masse on a regular basis and are, in fact, work deliverables or integral parts therein.
Good examples of such companies would be law firms, real estate agencies, healthcare institutions, scientific centers, logistics businesses, and a multitude of others.
So what are the key benefits of document automation and what efficiencies do they bring to the table?
Turns out there are quite a few of them!
1. Format unification
Many of us can relate to situations where they had to draft up a new SOW and found themselves staring at dozens of previous ones, each with its own set of modifications and coming in different formats.
Finding the right “starting point” and modifying it to meet the current requirements may be tedious, but it really doesn’t have to be.
With modern document management software, you always have a set of templates to use, which ensures format consistency across the board and makes all of your documents look the same, with all the right fields in the right places, all the important sections intact, and the original wording preserved to the letter.
In addition, since you will no longer be dealing with paper documents, but with their digital copies, you’ll be able to update a single master template and have those changes automatically added to all of the derivative documents!
2. Faster document generation
When you use modern document automation software (for example, for contract management), it effectively takes care of time-consuming data entry tasks by pre-filling standard fields from various data sources, pulling from your company’s CRM.
- Legal addresses of the parties
- Names and titles of signers
- Contract number
- Contract date
- Up-to-date rate sheets
- Standard provisions for a particular document type
- And many others
If your document automation workflow is configured correctly, creating a clean, purpose-specific document draft becomes a matter of a couple of clicks, saving you an immense amount of time and effort.
3. Configurable custom workflows
Different types of documents go through different approval scenarios involving specific groups of reviewers, approvers, and stakeholders.
Modern workflow automation software provides the flexibility you need to build workflows of any complexity with end-to-end audit trails, easy tracking, and conditional routing.
Moving your document exchange practices to the cloud lets you digitize your key docs, do away with sluggish and error-prone manual processes, and dramatically accelerate typical document signing cycles, which is a very important prerequisite for achieving higher revenue and profitability.
4. Information security and compliance
Regardless of the nature of your business, your documents may be (and most probably are) a source of important confidential information that is not to be disclosed to third parties, which is especially crucial for companies providing financial services or working with legal documents.
All major document automation systems offer the benefit of storing your documents in a secure cloud with strict permission-based access.
The signing process is fully electronic, does not require paper copies or file copies on users’ systems, and ensures that all documents remain in a highly protected, well-organized storage.
On the compliance side, using standardized templates for digital documents that are updated on a regular basis and stored in a centralized way may help address the issue of staying consistently aligned with standards and rules that are often updated and amended by regulatory institutions and service providers.
5. Reduced risk of human error
What happens if you start working on a new document by putting it together from bits and pieces pulled from its older versions or similar documents?
Right — you may end up using inaccurate wording, missing important provisions, messing up important dates or numbers, and creating all other sorts of errors that we all tend to make in long and complex documents.
Any sufficiently well-built document management system takes care of formatting, the most up-to-date and approved wording, version numbers, and other small but very important elements that any reviewer can easily overlook, especially when the time to send the document is running out.
6. Improved collaboration
Modern document automation platforms go far beyond quick document assembly, convenient exchange of electronic documents, and e-signing.
One of the most important pieces of their functionality is a set of collaboration tools that let your team work on documents from any location simultaneously and get things done much faster.
The less time you spend producing your contract or specification, the better the customer experience and the higher your chance of closing the deal.
Don’t forget that faster document creation and document processing translate into more significant cost savings, as your cost per deal goes down.
7. Easier employee onboarding
Document automation saves tons of time when it comes to onboarding new employees or clients.
With a document automation solution in place, you can effectively streamline every stage of the automation process by submitting the right document at the right time, building email sequences, capturing users’ feedback, and updating your information systems.
Using PandaDoc for better automation across the board
The benefits of automated document management we covered above are just the tip of the iceberg.
Switching to Pandadoc and taking full advantage of our powerful tools and vast collection of document templates will most definitely help you optimize your business processes and start spending just a fraction of the time on tasks that used to take hours or even days.
Schedule a demo to get a better understanding of our range of document automation solutions for different teams and areas of application!