Document Automation Plus
As we’ve mentioned in this blog before, document generation is only a single part of a document’s lifecycle, and can an insignificant component as documents with substantial negotiation are essentially redrafted through redlines and concessions. In that regard, a document automation platform that can only produce first round documents fails to grasp the depth of purpose that documents embody.
Rather, an automation tool should have the flexibility to reach beyond first draft automation and provide support to the document at each stage of its life. With the background set, let’s begin our series on the components that can transform a document generation engine into a complete document automation platform.
Everyone has a clause library. You just may not realize it yet. No matter what your walk of life, or how you’ve ended up reading this blog, you employ a clause library almost daily to support your interactions with your colleagues, business partners, and families. Whether it’s a list of your favorite jokes, or pre-canned excuses for the performance of your fantasy football team, we all have language that we’ve prepared to use in a given situation.
Now you’re probably thinking, what does this have to do with automation? Well, this is where the plus comes in. Some systems operate more effectively when combined with human decision making. A clause library does the heavy lifting of storing, classifying, and organizing your language, you provide the judgment on when and where this language should be applied.
Document generation is only one piece of automation. Documents are purpose driven tools. While crafting the screw driver is nice, there’s not much value if it isn’t used. The automation of workflow processes takes automation from building the tool, to building a complete system.
Let’s look at a common scenario with an NDA. These are fairly standard forms, so generation was a breeze. The only requirement was filling out the notice information for the other party. Now what?
Without workflow automation, you’ll start by downloading the completed document. Then you use the contact information to find the email address or actual address of the other party. In either event, you put in the mail (or send it through a tool like docusign) and wait for a response. The signed document comes back and you log it in the system, store the document according to your records retention policy, and give the go-ahead to the department that made the request.
With workflow automation, the system will extract the contract information from the agreement. The signature blocks will automatically be identified so that when the system sends the document out for eSignature, there’s no need to locate the right place to sign. The signed document is automatically routed to the proper location for records retention and an email notice is auto-generated for the users who requested the document. Because this process happens automatically, it happens faster, with less overhead, and free up time for processes which do require a human touch.
Document automation isn’t the only system at use in your organization. Often you’ll have a document management system, a CRM system (like Salesforce), and many more other tools designed to make your life a little easier. And, if the goal is really to make your life easier, there’s no reason why all these tools shouldn’t work together at that task.
Document automation plus means a system that connects to and integrates with your DM system to ensure the integrity of your documents and compliance with your records retention policy and other standards. It means a system that will automatically use information from a CRM system to pre-populate documents for faster and cleaner generation. Most importantly, it means that your system works in a smooth, connected way which allows you to leverage your tools without repeating your efforts on the same or similar tasks.
When we say: “Document Automation Plus” we mean Leaflet has considered the entire life-cycle of a document. Generation is the only the beginning of a document’s purpose, and is only a small component of what you can do with a robust automation platform. With an easy to use, easy to integrate system, Leaflet is designed to take you from document generation to document automation… plus.