Efficient documentation is the cornerstone of an organization’s journey – revealing all its crucial aspects right from inception to growth and to maturity. Documents are telling of how the business is bound to the enterprise, the roadmap to achieve the organization’s goals, and the level of compliance with government regulations. Be it a business in the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), health, education or retail sector, documents are instrumental in creating value as investors, customers, regulators, and employees rely on them to measure an enterprise’s integrity and, thereby, its worth.
Despite the established importance of documents in an enterprise’s success, businesses employ traditional documentation practices. These conventional procedures cause the following challenges in document formation and maintenance:
Most of the documents in the BFSI, health, education and retail sector follow set templates. However, creating these documents manually leads to inadvertent delays; at most times executives struggle to keep up with the volume of work in this sphere. This causes a chain-reaction of interruptions in execution as the document experiences delays throughout each stage of signoff.
Inadvertent errors from data entry operators cause discrepancies in documents. Owing to the bulky nature of paper-based documents, these errors are often prone to oversight even if more than one person is involved in document creation and completion. Documents of businesses in the BFSI, health, education and retail sectors are especially crucial thanks to the critical information that they carry. Enterprises may suffer immensely on account of unforeseen damages in the form of regulatory penalties and vendor claims if documents are replete with errors.
As enterprises operate on a larger scale, their branch offices, departments, divisions, and vendors are distributed geographically. This leads to a dispersed set of documents with the Central office and these geographically separated stakeholders. As documents are subjected to revisions, all physical documents are not changed simultaneously – either due to omission or due to the inability to track every copy of the document. Conflicts in versions cause disruptions in regular operations as enterprises get tangled in lawsuits and litigations
Collaboration and retrieval hassles
Companies in the BFSI, health, education and retail space deal with crucial paperwork that consist of users’ personal information, payment data and financial records. Therefore, it is an adopted practice to have multiple authorizations to create, verify and sign off these documents. Collaborating among multiple persons for paper-based documents is often a challenge as people may not be present at the same location. This causes unavoidable delays in document execution and causes inefficiencies.
Retrieving paper-based documents is yet another challenge. Businesses often store documents in specially designated storage rooms and cabinets. However, the massive bulk of these documents makes retrieving a particular document so difficult that often such an exercise is left incomplete. In this scenario, revising a document becomes especially tedious and cost-inefficient.
Documents in paper-based formats are highly vulnerable. During transportation or even after they are filed, these documents are susceptible to theft or misplacement. This exposes the business to significant risk due to the sensitive information carried in crucial documents. Additionally, physical documents are also at the risk of being destroyed in case of disasters like fires and floods at the storage site.
Why document automation?
Document automation facilitates the creation and finalization of documents using software. It involves easy-to-use templates to create the documents by filling in the required information. It also reduces the friction in the authorization process by enabling a smooth workflow through electronic transmission. This system easily overcomes the drawbacks of manual documentation in the following ways:
Swift document generation
Document automation tools are equipped with convenient pre-created templates. They generate documents swiftly by auto-populating these templates, further offering a friendly user interface that allows for easy filling of the required information. These capabilities improve the productivity throughout the organization as executives can then focus on adding value through productive tasks instead of repeatedly creating documents.
Document automation overcomes the challenge of human errors in manually typing or copy-pasting information. For example, SignDesk’s Document Automation tool allows auto-population of critical information and leaves no room for errors. This improves the accuracy of documents and saves the organization from loss of reputation arising due to litigations and arbitrations.
The end product of a tool for automation is a digital document that is stored on a central cloud storage platform. Digital Automation makes sure that the final document available with all the stakeholders is free from discrepancies. This is done through an intelligent version control system. Any change in terms or conditions in the document is replicated in all the copies irrespective of where the document owner is located geographically.
Ease of collaboration, retrieval and analysis
As automation creates digital documents, multiple people can work on the same document simultaneously. While creators can pass on the documents to others simply at the click of a button, authorized personnel simply have to log in to the central document repository to retrieve them. This enhances the fluidity of the entire workflow.
Retrieving documents sees a compounded improvement thanks to SignDesk’s Document Automation tool. Users can search, sort and filter documents easily using keywords and variables. As this tool is also equipped with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Language capabilities, users can use data analytics to obtain insights on various parameters such as outstanding debt (for BFSI), health data (health), pending fees (education) and buyer spend (retail).
Be it a borrower’s credit record, a student’s personal data or a patient’s health history, in general, document automation ensures greater security for all the documents stored in its repository. For example, SignDesk’s Document Automation solution implements strict digital authorization that allows document access only on a need-to-know basis. Further, data encryption and strong password requirements make sure that the organization is safe from security threats.
In conclusion, Document Automation allows accurate generation of documents in a shortened duration. This improves the organization’s productivity and shortens the time to generate value. Smooth workflows, fast retrieval, smart insights and increased security make Document Automation a necessary tool for every enterprise. Essentially, businesses stand to gain a distinct competitive advantage by embracing an intelligent tool for automation.