What is document automation?
Document automation is as simple as it sounds: it automates the process of producing various documents on a large scale. Document automation is the design of systems and workflows that assist in creating electronic documents. Businesses can utilize document automation solutions to create complex documents to reduce the human effort, time, and costs involved.
By automating repetitive, paper-based processes, you can focus on servicing your customers faster and with improved accuracy. Document automation enables your organization to process documents more securely, efficiently, and frequently. It eliminates the disruption to office staff that takes them away from higher-value tasks, and ultimately increases employee engagement and satisfaction — not to mention time savings. All these benefits can be tracked across the organization.
Why your company needs document automation
Why are many businesses’ document processes still manual? The most common answer is typically because ‘we’ve always done it that way.’ Manual processes are the bottleneck for growth and change. While the current process may be functional, it may not be the most efficient — preventing your company from evolving with the times. From product development to customer service and everywhere in between, companies that embrace new technologies and automation will advance in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The world is moving faster, and most sectors are making moves to enhance their productivity and customer service times. Document automation and other automation processes ultimately save time and money, so if your competition uses these tools and you don’t, they have an advantage.
Document automation has a wide range of applications, as it can assist any business that requires transaction-based documents or paperwork. Document automation is used in a variety of sectors, including:
- Real estate
- Financial Services
- Human resources
- Government agencies
Any organization that depends on paperwork, such as contracts, hiring documents, legal documents, financial forms, and healthcare forms, can automate its paperwork and processes.
The benefits of document automation for your business
1. Enhance your customer experience
A strong customer experience is essential to maintaining business success. Today’s customers are all about easy access — requiring quick answers via familiar channels. Savvy businesses are using document automation systems to enhance the customer experience. You can add targeted, personalized messaging and deliver documents through the channels your customers prefer, which ultimately boosts customer satisfaction. In a recent , 41% of respondents reported increased customer satisfaction by at least 50% when implementing a document automation solution like Quadient Impress.
2. Reduce operational headaches
Today, most businesses rely on multiple operational locations — whether it be the homes of remote workers, an in-office space, or globally distributed vendors and customers. Digitalization is key here; you can’t manage and access your documents effectively and efficiently if you still use paper-based systems. Automating document workflows can reduce labor costs and eliminate the need for expensive printing and mailing services. This can result in significant cost savings for companies, especially those with high document volumes. By reducing or replacing paper-based communications, you also save on operational expenses like postal costs and mailing supplies.
3. Increase security and compliance
Security and compliance are top of mind for many executives. A quality document automation solution ensures document integrity and security when used with mailing equipment, such as a folder inserter. The solution would ideally have intelligent barcode technology that designates documents for specific individuals to ensure the right documents go into the right envelopes. Different documents intended for the same customer can also be automatically grouped into a single envelope to optimize postage costs.
By automating your document delivery, you reduce the risk of human error and ensure that the correct documents go to the correct customer. Secure, efficient document control and management is necessary to comply with necessary regulations and standards. Document automation software reduces the risk of non-compliance by making it simple to keep your documentation updated and safe. The system maintains a complete document activity history to facilitate and validate compliance with standards and laws.
4. Boost productivity
Document handling can be a repetitive, time-consuming job. You must fill dozens of fields, copy-paste company information, check for mistakes, and physically mail items out — among other things. Though it’s not immediately noticeable, the monotonous workflow document handling requires will eventually lower employee morale, satisfaction, and, in the end, productivity. By eliminating time-consuming tasks, your employees can focus on your core business. In a recent customer survey of Quadient Impress users, 88% of surveyed organizations realized the positive benefits of having high-value employees focus on higher-value tasks. With a document automation solution, you can significantly decrease the time it takes to prepare customer communications to allow your employees to focus on higher value, revenue-driving responsibilities.
5. Save time
According to a study from McKinsey, 60% of companies could save 30% of their time and productivity with automation. Document automation significantly reduces or eliminates time spent correcting the many small errors that creep in via manual data entry. Here are a few other examples of how document automation directly saves you time:
- Automatically inserts your company’s information where necessary.
- Automatically applies the current date to the appropriate fields.
- Looks for inconsistencies between different types of data (i.e. when calculating the total cost of products and services rendered in quotes or estimates).
Automation tools can save a company millions of dollars by saving employee time.
6. Reduce human error
Document automation performs specific tasks better, more quickly, and more accurately than even your most skilled employees. Automating and digitalizing document-related systems can significantly reduce the risk of data entry errors by removing the need for manual data entry.
Take a look at these examples of costly human errors that rise directly from document-related tasks:
- When an employee types in the wrong information in a document, it can lead to misunderstandings that the staff must clarify. As a result, it can lead to longer transaction times — reducing the number of transactions per day.
- When an employee sends the document to the wrong email address or physical address, it can result in data leaks or a breach of confidentiality. These can compromise the safety of your business.
- If an employee accidentally deletes the document, they must process it again. Rather than working on a new task, the employee will spend their working hours on the same task they could’ve finished long ago, reducing productivity.
A document automation system or workflow eliminates the need for human input, allowing you to drastically reduce or even eliminate the likelihood of human error.
Read the full blog from Quadient HERE.