Now, that you’re here, we assume you already realize the importance of having the best document automation software. What would be the tell-tale signs and how to identify the best one that integrates well with your existing system to start creating documents automatically?
We’ll answer these questions and more here.
Documents are everywhere whether you’re in the legal, retail, finance, or pharma industry among others. You’ll be engaged in creating documents on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. They could be in the form of portfolios, invoices, contracts, compliance reports, and more. By engaging a good document creation software you can speed up this process and save at least four to seven times the time you would usually spend on doing the task manually.
Here are the top features you can look for while scrutinizing:
The first thing you need to look for in the document automation tool is if it has a user-friendly interface. You already have a lot of things to do on your plate and the last thing you want to deal with is a new interface that looks too technical and difficult to learn.
In fact, most users who look to create documents are non-programmers and would like to use a document creation tool that is quick to learn and simple to use. So, while looking to get the right document generation software for your company then opt for the one with a user-friendly interface that requires a low training curve as it makes your employees’ job easy. They can quickly learn and get familiar with the software to start creating documents in no time.
Better yet, you can opt for a document automation tool that integrates as an add-in right into your existing popular applications like MS Word or Excel. This way, it’ll be a familiar interface and makes it super-easy to use, which brings us to our second feature.
This list will be incomplete without mentioning the need for an efficient template designer where you would spend 90% of your time creating templates (that has 100% information) required for creating documents. If you can integrate the document template software right within your existing applications as discussed above, then creating and editing templates will become quite easy. In essence, the layout and formatting of templates in familiar environments will be a breeze. Moreover, if it has drag-and-drop options along with the ability to pass the required parameters within the templates in just a few clicks, then automating documents will be a lot easier.
Also, check if the software has pre-approved and pre-defined templates that you can customize and use quickly to create your documents. Ensure the whole process require no-coding, especially if you plan on engaging users who are non-programmers. And, find out if it will be easy to save the templates for future use and ensure you can import the templates effortlessly wherever and whenever needed to populate them with data, which brings us to our third feature.
The next big thing to look for in a document automation tool is whether it can connect with an extensive range of datasources (especially the ones that you already have). If you’re dealing with multiple datasources or different databases and want to create a single document out of two or three of them, then you need a document creation software that can quickly integrate with them to populate the templates with the relevant (common) data elements you need to create the documents.
Now, businesses and companies are moving out of monolithic to multiple database structures, it is vital you choose one that can connect with an extensive range of datasources seamlessly.
Once you’re done creating the template and populating it with data, it is time to output it in the required format to access it as a document. Ensure the software can create documents in a wide range of output formats like PDF, Word, Excel, among others. Also, ensure it can do automated batch processing so you can output hundreds and thousands of documents in just a few minutes and clicks. Check if it can easily integrate e-signing capabilities into the document for easier verification and approvals.
The cost of engaging the software needs to save you at least three to five times in terms of the time and money it would cost you if you were to do it manually on a yearly basis (as informed in the second para above). You can find online calculators that can help you assess if implementing automation for your current manual tasks like document creation among others can be beneficial monetary and resource-wise.
Also, you’re dealing with a high-tech product when it comes to document automation. You need to ensure the company that offers the software can provide timely technical support when needed. See if they offer easy-to-understand guides, training videos, and other knowledge guides to make your learning phase easy and quick.
You need to compare and read reviews thoroughly before you pick the right software for all your documentation and reporting needs. Opt for a free trial if available to test it firsthand and make sure it fits all your document generation and creation needs before you buy it.