Documents are the lifeblood of modern business. From contracts to invoices and financial agreements, the creation, sharing, and storing of documents is vital for the way millions of organizations function.
But is the way we work with documents as efficient as it could be? Research from the IDC shows that the average information worker spends nine hours per week creating documents – almost a quarter of their time!
And this is what document workflow automation technology aims to help.
A growing number of companies are using document workflow software to save time and money. But what exactly is document workflow automation and how can it help you?
What is document workflow automation?
Document workflow software is a kind of technology that automatically generates all manner of documents (Word, Excel, or PDF files, etc.) that your employees use every day. Rather than manually creating a document each time they need it, they can simply select a template, add in any additional information and produce a complete document that meets your required standards in a fraction of the time it would take to create it manually.
Document workflow automation can be used in practically any industry and department – although it is especially useful in the following scenarios:
- The creation of any kind of legal contract
- Generation of accounts paperwork (invoices, PO’s etc.)
- All kinds of human resources documentation
- Financial services contracts
- Logistics forms and packing lists
- Reports of practically any kind
Recommended: Why you need automated document generation
Example of an automated document management workflow
Picture a boutique financial advisory firm. Each time the company’s advisors work with a new customer, they need to generate several documents, including contracts, information sheets, and personalized quotes containing the customer’s information and financial details.
In the past, the financial advisor would have to create many of these documents from scratch – or copy and paste information from previously created files, before adding details. However, by using document workflow software, the process becomes much smoother.
The advisor can open up relevant templates, add or remove pre-approved paragraphs, insert specific customer details then generate the document. It is then funneled through the company’s document management workflow and sent digitally to the client for signature and internal storage.
On-demand webinar: Fix the fundamentals with document generation
5 ways document workflow automation can help you
Document workflow software is designed to save knowledge-intensive organizations time and money. Here are just some of the ways it can help:
- Avoids repetitive and manual work
Knowledge workers frequently spend hours drawing up documents, adding in data, checking them for mistakes and printing them out. But with document workflow software, this process becomes much faster. Employees simply open up a template, add or remove pre-approved paragraphs, add in extra information and then create the document at the click of the button. Instead of writing up documents each time anew, they can instead use a ready to go template and make changes as needed. Documents are now generated in minutes rather than hours.
- Minimize mistakes
It is not uncommon for legal or contractual documents to run to tens or even hundreds of pages. If staff must recreate these documents by copying and pasting content from earlier files, there is always a risk of mistakes and incorrect information entering a document. This could lead to serious problems down the line, not to mention reputational damage. But, if you use document workflow automation, employees can be confident that all the data held in a template is approved and ready to go.
- Retains organizational knowledge
In a knowledge-intensive business, a huge amount of information about how things are done is held in the heads of experienced employees. But what if those staff retire or leave the organization? The good news is that by using document workflow software you are able to retain huge amounts of that knowledge in ready-to-use templates that new staff can access at the click of a button.
- Ensures compliance
Most business documentation today must comply with at least some form of regulation – be it compliance with legal standards or personal data collection rules. However, if staff are manually creating documents, then there is always a risk that the files they create may not be stored correctly or collect information in the wrong way – which could lead to serious repercussions. Once again, using document workflow software means you can be confident that all your templates will be compliant with rules and regulations.
- Frees employees up to do more high-value work
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of document workflow automation is that it saves your employees hours of work each day manually creating documents. And that means they can dedicate time to more high value activities, processing more customer information and ultimately growing your business.
Get started with document workflow automation
Nintex DocGen® is our market leading tool that helps businesses rapidly generate critical documents such as contracts, work orders, invoices and much more, and ensures they include all the correct information. Once created, files enter your document management workflow – for approval, digital signatures and secure storage.
Designed to make document workflow automation a breeze, try Nintex DocGen® today and see how it can save your organization time and money.