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Document automation

I have chosen to write something specifically and explicitly about document automation. The reason is simple: the subject of document automation is not quite the most sexy topic out there. But it might be by far the most underrated subject. Especially in the boardroom. Document automation, it must be an IT thing right. If the CTO does not mention anything about it, it must be of less or even no importance then. Would the CFO or CEO think the same about the 900K we saved for one of our clients. And that is yearly and one year only. That’s a little more sexy right..?

The fundamentals of document automation and the right solution

Basically the phrase says it all right; document automation is the process of automating your document flow. We have documents going from A to B. Automating the sending, receiving and processing of these documents are the basis for document automation. That’s pretty straightforward and simple right. But the devil is in the details as they say. The way you automate your document flow and the details you put in the automation is the actual key to success. Does this mean that it is a dreadful task to get your document flow automated? That’s a big NO. 

Let’s take the example of customer relationship management which has a lot of similarities with document automation management. It has already been proven for a while now that (proper) customer relationship management contributes to a more profitable and successful business. Fortunately you don’t need to develop your own customer relationship management system. We have people doing that for us. With a decent amount and quality of players, smaller and bigger organizations are able to benefit from the fruits of customer relationship management. However, proper adoption, configuration and use of the CRM system are in the end the key decision factors for having more success as an organization or not. 

If we take these factors and principles into account, we are actually able to draft up the principles for a proper document automation solution as well. I have summarized the most important ones:

  • The solution must be accessible to either large or small organizations. That means:
    • that the investment / pricing must be 100% aligned with the created value of the solution.
    • an easy integration without dreadful and costful consultancy services and unnecessary custom work.
    • That the solution should provide branch specific characteristics / advantages to truly be of value for specific organizations.
  • The solution should provide an almost out-of-the-box solution which already gives a primary advantage with minimal configuration. An example is just focussing to automate the delivery and signing of documents without any interference on the document processing / handling. 
  • The solution must be an easy-to-use solution with a modest learning curve. No need for extensive tutorials to be able to leverage the advantages of a solution as such.

Document automation – What’s next

At this point, you might expect me to sell our CheckHub solution to you. But I am not. Definitely not. Yes of course, we designed CheckHub and we are improving CheckHub continuously with these fundamentals in mind. But that is not my point. My point is to take document automation seriously. You might not be as big to be able to leverage a cost saving solution of 900k a year, but this number does show that document automation is serious business and that there are opportunities out there. Opportunities probably not being monetized by your organization yet.

I encourage you to do some research on document automation. Look at your internal organization and see how you can make your first steps in implementing your automation process. Keeping the fundamentals in mind and picking a solution that fits these fundamentals, will guarantee you success. 

Stay safe and for any questions on these matters, please feel free to contact me.

richard [@]