There is no doubt about the potential of document automation to cut down the amount of time spent drafting different documents. This process comes with a lot of benefits, but before you implement it, there are a few questions that would need to be answered. Here is a thinking-process that your organization can adopt.
Different companies have processes that are unique to their needs. Not every document needs to be automated, especially since you will have to spend time and money getting it done. Designing a template is going to take up time and labor, so consider if in the end you will actually be saving or taking up time in the automation process. If it is a one-time document or a document that is produced rarely you don’t need automation for it.
Some documents tend to be longer than others. For example, a memorandum could be as long as 10 pages. But at the same time you may only need it once in the entire year, while a financial institution like a bank may have a loan agreement of 8 pages but they are used almost every day. This would make it more important to automate the loan contract that will be used often rather than a memo that may only be used once.
You will need to scrutinize the document you intend to automate, find out what features of the document tend to be repeated. You could get as many as 20 copies of the same document and then begin your analysis. Highlight the sections that need to be automated and inserted into a template.
After asking these three questions, it is time to move to action. You have identified the document to be automated and you know what sections of the document you will automate.
The next part would be to illustrate the process.
A mind map helps you to visualize the automation process, there are going to be different variables for the same document and you may want to add certain brand-specific features to the document, so it is good to sketch it so that you do not forget a feature. Also, this can help if you choose to outsource the automation.
Now the automation process comes to life and a lot of work will be involved, you can take the time and design the template yourself, or you can pay to have it done for you according to the sketch that you made earlier. There will be a number of variables that need to be included for certain documents while others may be straightforward.
The template can be designed using your favorite text editor like Word which has a good template design platform that you can use and you can choose Windward to handle the automation process. Simply feed the template into the software and you should be good to go.
You can know more about how Windward integrates with your existing software to automate the document creation process here.