Before they automated document generation, LinkedIn’s sales teams felt like they were at breaking point every day.
Staff were at capacity, managing a huge number of prospects and manually recreating quotes and contracts for every single customer. It was a laborious, error-prone and time-consuming activity. Because while LinkedIn is a ‘digitally native’ business, many of their processes were in fact quite traditional.
For them, ‘digital transformation’ really begun by looking at the potential for automatic document generation.
In the great scope of your organization’s digital transformation strategy and your goals for disrupting how the business operates, automated document generation may not figure at the top of your priority list. However, document generation is, in fact, essential to how companies transform themselves: documents are in many ways the lifeblood of your business. Just think where your business would be without contracts, quotes and order forms, just to name a few.
Digital transformation means different things for different businesses and could encompass anything from building IoT sensors into your products to deploying autonomous vehicles or investing in robotics.
Yet without improved document generation, you will still encounter the same information flow bottlenecks between departments, customers, and suppliers that are typical of ‘analogue’ industries.
Automating your document generation, as well as other organizational workflows, should therefore play a central part in your digital transformation mix. For LinkedIn, document generation freed up their employees to spend more time building relationships with customers and cut a lengthy, error-prone process down to the single click of a button.
Let’s first look at why digital transformation is often misunderstood and then explore what real digital transformation might look like.
Avoiding the Digital Transformation Hype
According to IDC, worldwide spending on digital transformation will exceed $2 trillion in 2021.
Technology firms are unsurprisingly the most digitally advanced businesses according to McKinsey, but media, finance, and professional services firms are right behind them. Research from the World Economic Forum has shown that those businesses who adopt digital methods perform significantly better than their analog peers.
Put simply: planning how you digitally transform is a must, and needs to be implemented sooner rather than later.
However, even if you’re sold on the basic premise of digital transformation, envisioning what it would look like in your organization can be a huge undertaking—especially for larger, more established organizations. Deciding which hardware, technologies, devices, and tools are important to invest in (and which innovations are nothing more than a ‘flash in the pan’) is a real challenge. Nonetheless, looking at the bigger picture and thinking long-term will pay dividends.
Rather than rushing into digital transformation investments, it’s better to begin asking some key questions:
- What do your customers really want and what might delight them?
- How do your employees spend their working days and are there digital tools that could radically change that?
- What activities and processes in your business are currently manual and how can they be digitized?
Digital transformation has often been hyped up with talk of artificial intelligence, drones, and self-driving cars.
Yet, really, what digital transformation promises is a much faster way of carrying out day-to-day tasks, putting more time and control back into the hands of your employees and reducing friction in your interactions within the business, as well as with customers and external partners.
As Jim Sinur, Vice President and Research Fellow at Aragon Research puts it:
“The primary driver for the rise in Digital Business Platform is the need to make business processes faster while dealing with frequent change and increasing demands for customer-driven approaches”.
By following a more pragmatic approach to what digital transformation really means—with its focus on making business faster and more adaptable—you’re better able to focus your energies on where to invest to make digital transformation happen in your organization.
Document Generation is Essential to Digital Transformation
Documents are key to the success of almost any business. From expense sheets to invoices, contracts to proposals, R&D reports, and employee performance reviews, documents underpin almost everything a business does. Maintaining a secure and reliable paper trail is not only valuable for finding information later, it is also essential for transparency and compliance.
Yet, despite the importance of documents, document generation for so many businesses remains manual.
As the LinkedIn example shows, even ‘digitally native’ firms can soon be held back by manual processes, meaning that all the high-tech innovations in the world will have little impact if you’re held back by outdated document generation processes.
And this is why Nintex DocGen® for Salesforce can play a major part in how your organization digitally transforms.
Nintex DocGen® for Salesforce automates the process of document generation, meaning all your content—from expense forms to business proposals—are completed consistently, quickly and at the click of a button. The immediate impact of automatic document generation can be huge, saving your employees hours every day and freeing up people, time and budget for more skilled and relationship-based work.
In Aragon Research’s Tech Spectrum™ for Digital Business Platforms, 2017, Nintex was recognized as a leader for helping businesses digitally transform, thanks to its:
“…ability to leverage quick and easy development of workflow and process by incrementally delivering digital results that leverages point solutions to a growing digital journey. This allows organizations to turn tactical results into strategic efforts. Nintex focuses on the human processes and workflows to move organizations towards aggregate operational productivity and excellence.”
Ultimately, digital transformation should be seen for what it is: a means of using digital technology in such a way that it speeds up processes, reduces friction and frees up resources. Automating document generation with tools like Nintex DocGen® can play a major role in helping your organization begin seeing the benefits of digital transformation.
Do you want to learn more about how you can kick-start digital transformation in your business with automated document generation? Join our webinar, ‘‘Nintex DocGen® for Salesforce | An Introduction’ or get in contact with our team and get a personalized demo today