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Breaking Down the Benefits of Automating Document Management

May 11, 2023

 

As businesses grow, so does the amount of paperwork they generate. Handling and organizing these documents, and the data elements embedded within them, can quickly turn into a nightmare if not managed properly. Even with the push towards digital transformation, businesses continue to struggle with an overwhelming amount of documents and forms, from contracts to invoices. The time and resources required to manually manage and process these documents can be costly for any organization. Fortunately, automation offers a solution. By streamlining the generation, editing, and distribution of documents in one centralized location, businesses of all sizes can save valuable time and resources while ensuring document security.

What is Document Management Automation?

Document management automation simplifies the creation and management of documents. With this technology, you can generate documents within a digital platform, such as a business process automation (BPA) platform, using either a template or starting from scratch. The document then travels to the required stakeholders through an automated workflow, complete with branching logic and pre-populated data. This process eliminates the need for manual data entry, repetitive email reminders, and printed paperwork, saving valuable time and resources.

The key difference between manual document processing and document automation is the application of workflow. Rather than manually routing paperwork and documents, workflow software manages everything in the same place, streamlining the entire process from start to finish. By automating your document processes, you can tackle the most significant challenges that come with managing documentation and scale your operations seamlessly. With pre-built templates and automated workflows, you can simplify the entire document management process, improving efficiency while ensuring that quality is never compromised. This allows you to shift your focus to other critical tasks while keeping the documentation process running smoothly. 

Who Benefits From Document Management Automation 

Document management automation has widespread applications which any business can benefit from. Some examples of industries that can quickly benefit from automating their document management include healthcare, financial services, and education.

For instance, in the healthcare industry, patient records are crucial and must be managed efficiently. Automating the document management process makes it easier for healthcare providers to generate and maintain medical records for their patients. Automation platforms provide healthcare professionals with a secure and centralized location to store and access medical records, prescription information, and treatment plans, enabling them to provide better patient care.

Automating document management in the financial services industry can help improve transparency, reduce the risk of fraud, and increase operational efficiency. For example, banks can streamline the account opening process by digitizing and centralizing documents. This makes it easier to verify customer information, expedite the approval process, and ensure compliance.

In the education industry, automating document management can improve administrative processes and enhance the student experience. Schools and universities can centralize all student records, including transcripts, registration forms, and financial aid documents, in one location, improving data access and ensuring overall data accuracy. It can also help educators improve the efficiency of processes such as grading, assignment submissions, and attendance tracking.

Reasons to Automate Document Management

Automating document management can be a game-changer for your business, offering numerous benefits that can streamline processes and increase overall efficiency.

1. Expedited Document Generation

Manual document creation is a time-consuming and tedious process. Generating a single document can take several hours, especially when it requires collaboration across a team. This often leads to delays and the production of outdated or incorrect documents. Document automation allows users to expedite document generation, eliminating the need for manual data entry and streamlining collaboration. With document automation, businesses can create invoices, contracts, and proposals in a matter of minutes, instead of days or weeks.

2. Reduced Errors

Manual document creation is prone to costly manual errors. Inaccurate data entry, incorrect information, or forgotten data can lead to delays, lost revenue, and even legal repercussions. However, document automation can reduce the likelihood of errors by automating data entry, flagging potential errors, and offering validation of data at the point of entry. For example, document automation can eliminate the risk of inaccurate information on invoices by automatically populating data from a sales order, confirming the completion of necessary fields, and ensuring calculations are correct.

3. Simplified Collaboration 

Collaborating on manual document creation can be frustrating, especially when multiple people are involved. Tracking changes and communicating with collaborators can be challenging, resulting in multiple errors and delays. Document automation offers a centralized platform for all stakeholders to work from, simplifying the process. By enabling collaborators to access the same document in real-time and provide digital signatures, automation reduces overall wait times and the need for lengthy email threads, phone calls, and dedicated meeting times. 

4. Improved Version Control and Consistency

Manual document creation can lead to confusion around which version of a document is the most recent. Document automation solves this problem by providing version control and consistency. Automation can track changes, identify the latest version of a document, and ensure all stakeholders are working from the same location. This also allows businesses to set up templates, establish standards, and ensure all documents are created in a consistent format, with the same layout, font, and branding.

5. Heightened Security 

Manual document creation can put your business at risk of data breaches and loss. Physical documents can be lost, stolen, or destroyed, while digital documents can be vulnerable to hacking or accidental deletion. Document automation provides a secure digital platform for document creation and storage, helping to keep your sensitive data safe. With features like access controls, data encryption, and audit trails, you can rest easy knowing your documents are protected from unauthorized access or alteration.

6. Increased Profitability

Document automation can provide significant financial benefits by reducing costs associated with manual document creation. These savings include a reduction in expenses related to paper-based processes such as printing, mailing, and physical storage space. Automation can also reduce the time and effort required to complete document-related tasks, allowing your staff to concentrate on more value-added activities. Document automation can also improve invoicing and payment processes by decreasing the chances of delays or errors, which ultimately ensures prompt and accurate payments.

Ready to Learn More?

Document automation offers numerous benefits that cannot be ignored. From increased productivity and throughput to improved data accuracy, automating the document management process is an investment worth making. By using an rules-based process automation platform like Decisions, companies can experience a seamless and centralized process for generating, editing, and signing key documents. With a simple and accessible interface, users can easily track and manage all documentation, eliminating the need for paper-based systems.

If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of document automation and how it can improve your organization’s operational performance, you can start by checking out our latest webinar, Draft to Delivery: Manage Documents in Decisions

Our experts can also guide you through the features and capabilities of Decisions to help you determine if it’s the right fit for your needs. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to streamline your document management processes and optimize your workflow.

Cecelia Troyan
Cecelia Troyan is a content strategist at Decisions. She shares the Decisions vision through the development and delivery of compelling and accessible content.

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