The million-dollar question…in fact…before I answer it…what exactly is a Document Automation consultant?
I promise this blog post will not be a sales pitch for DocGovern by the way, as, we are (surprise surprise), Document Automation consultants!
Let me start off by clarifying exactly what I mean by this…We provide consultancy services to a wide range of clients across a variety of industry sectors. The services we deliver are focused around Document Automation and of the clients we work with, some are already using Document Automation technology, whilst others are considering it.
For those clients using a Document Automation solution, the type of consultancy service we provide ranges from our on-demand service for general needs, a migration service, as some of our clients are moving from their current Document Automation vendor to another, or our template development service, which provides exactly what it says on the tin. Those clients who don’t use Document Automation technology tend to start with our solution selection service before moving on to any number of the aforementioned.
Okay, slight sales pitch in above, fair enough, although I didn’t go into the benefits of all these services…😉
So now you know the type of services a Document Automation consultant can provide, getting back to the title of the blog post, why do you need one?
Company ‘A’ already has a Document Automation solution. They feel they’re not getting the most out of it and it’s no longer meeting their needs, but they don’t really know what to do. They know there are many Document Automation vendors in the marketplace, but if they move, they’re worried that all the data and templates they have in their system will be lost, or it will be too difficult to ‘re-learn’ another platform.
Company ‘B’ is also using a platform which doesn’t meet their needs. They want to maintain their existing licenses for the solution, including their template database and data files, but they don’t know what their options are.
Company ‘C’ has heard of Document Automation and they’ve looked at a few solutions already, but are baffled by the huge array of vendors out there and really need advice about what solution(s) they should consider for their specific business needs, in order to justify the ROI from the technology.
Company ‘D’ needs templates created quickly but doesn’t have the time to do it in-house and equally, can’t and doesn’t, want to spend a lot of money outsourcing the work.
All these scenarios are ones we have encountered, because a Document Automation consultancy company can help with all of this and more.
When it comes to looking at the Document Automation solution marketplace and assessing it extensively, a consultancy company has the benefit, (luxury?) of being objective in its approach. With over 250 Document Automation solutions in the marketplace, companies don’t have the time to review the features and benefits of each one, let alone negotiate a good deal on pricing, so why not let a Document Automation consultancy company do the hard work – here’s our process.
A good Document Automation consultancy company works with the client to understand their business and specific use case. If the client decides they want to implement Document Automation technology, the consultancy company can build and agree on bespoke pricing and licensing structures, which are unavailable via other channels.
Document Automation consultants are experts in their field, (FYI, our Founders have over 100 years’ experience in the Document Automation sector), so dependent on your requirements, you can be sure you are in good hands when it comes to solution selection, migration projects or a support service.
Developing templates cost effectively, quickly, and efficiently is also something a Document Automation consultancy company can help you with. Having an experienced template development team to do this is crucial, be it on an ad-hoc or more cost-effective subscription basis.
If you’ve read this far, I’m hoping I’ve helped you consider the value of a Document Automation consultancy company, but you might still be thinking…
But isn’t Document Automation just for law firms….
Absolutely not, and I realise I may be going slightly ‘off piste’ here, but thought it was an important point to include.
Many non-legal businesses think Document Automation isn’t applicable to them.
A company of any size, (be it an SMB to global organisations) in any industry that utilise data and documentation and who have to meet regulatory and compliance responsibilities, can benefit from an effective Document Automation solution.
The benefits of implementing Document Automation across a company is something which I won’t go into here, however, feel free to browse our Resources for more info on this.
Hopefully this blog post has answered the question, ‘Why do I need a Document Automation consultant?’ and apologies for not adding in a disclaimer earlier to let you know a ‘few’ hyperlinks to certain webpages would be included within the content. After all, there’s no way I could write a blog post on this subject without a ‘tiny’ sales pitch about us 😉
Get in touch with DocGovern today. We can make Document Automation work for you.
Last week, our Chief Technology Officer George Steven, presented a webinar on how the Real Estate sector could save time and money creating high quality content for property brochures or valuation reports without the need for expensive publishing tools. It was a great success and the feedback from attendees was extremely positive.
As we were putting together the webinar presentation, (I say ‘we’, but it was mostly George!), it occurred to us that the functionality in the software we were demonstrating on the webinar, would be applicable, and also beneficial, not only for the real estate sector.
The webinar’s focus was around creating property brochures or valuation reports more cost effectively and efficiently. George demonstrated a Document Automation platform that supports images and charts, allowing users to easily import these into a Word document. The result is professional looking content, at a fraction of the cost of expensive publishing tools.
Real estate law firms, as well as legal organisations who have an in-house real estate or commercial property team or person, could certainly benefit from this type of software platform to help them create a more streamlined approach to producing high quality content, at significantly less cost.
As part of the webinar, there was a live Q&A session at the end, and attendees asked a number of interesting questions. I’ve outlined a couple of these questions below and their answers.
Q. How much would a solution such as this cost?
A. Pricing is very much dependent upon the needs and use case. The key variables to think about are – how many users you have, how many templates you need to author, and who will be doing that, and how many pages or times each template will be assembled. Assuming you have the database and don’t need any help with that, then pricing should be a pleasant surprise given the Return on Investment (ROI) you will see.
Q. How long will it take me to get onboarded, up to speed and self-sufficient in using it?
A. No more than a couple of hours. So, let me caveat that; you might not be an expert in a couple of hours, but you will be heading in the right direction. The template shown on the webinar did not take long, 2 hours approximately, from starting the template, to having all the variables set. The ROI is enormous at that point. If you can spend a couple of hours creating a template that will reuse content from a database you already have, then you don’t need to do any adjustments, edits or photography work each time you need to produce a document. Once you have built the template, and each time you use it, you should hear the ‘Cha-ching’ of a cash register in your head, and that’s how Document Automation should be.
Q. Can I do this myself?
A. Yes! The key benefits you should look for in Document Automation relate to you being as self-sufficient as possible. You don’t need to be a software developer to author templates for a Document Automation project. If you are comfortable with Microsoft Word and Excel, then this shouldn’t challenge you too much.
There are a couple of key things to remember; when looking at solutions, you shouldn’t just look at the product, you should also look at the company and how they deliver the service; training, pre-delivered templates, help guides, error handling, documentation, ‘wizards’ to help you through common tasks – DocGovern can help you evaluate all these key elements. It’s clear some Document Automation Products are ‘technical’, and some are solutions – most people want solutions to their problems to help with their Return on Investment (ROI).
Q. Are there other solutions that support Images and Charts in this way?
A. Yes, there are a few. In our experience as a Document Automation consultancy company, we run a series of processes (our ‘Continuous Assessment Map’), to appraise ourselves of the marketplace. We are vendor agnostic, and act as an aggregator of Document Automation solutions to ensure we service our Clients’ needs both today and in the future.
There are many solutions in the Document Automation marketplace, many with overlapping functionality – some will have unique benefits that will make them a clear choice for your business. It is all about your individual use case, to ensure you get the best possible solution, or solutions, for your needs.
View the on-demand recording of the webinar in full, and get in touch with DocGovern today to find out more about how to save time and money creating high quality property brochures and content using a Document Automation solution such as this.
It’s not me… It’s you…
Sometimes the relationship is great, but the product or service no longer meets your needs. Maybe another vendor is just better. Or maybe the vendor wasn’t meeting expectations.
There are many reasons why a company wants to leave a vendor and often the fear of change and ‘sticking with what you know’, are reasons enough for a company to stay.
In this current climate, many businesses are happy to do this, but what happens 6 months or a year from now when their current situation hasn’t changed, or if anything, got worse? If fear stops change, then what can help a company overcome that fear and make a change?
Top 5 Reasons for Leaving
- Failing to Meet Expectations – If the technology you purchased doesn’t deliver what you need it to, or requires a lot of customisation, people are more likely to leave. With over 250 Document Automation solutions on the market, companies have an extensive choice. If your current vendor isn’t delivering the features and functionality you need due to outdated technology, is unnecessarily complex due to the level of customisation required and moreover, is unlikely to change, you may inevitably look elsewhere.
- Platform Enhancements Made Difficult – Your Document Automation platform should work seamlessly with your supporting business systems and processes. Some vendors make it almost impossible to easily upgrade their technology, often requiring a rewrite of your integrations. What was once the latest, hot technology could now be dated and inefficient.
- Customer Service/Support Inefficient – If you don’t give customers an outstanding customer experience, they’re going to become disillusioned with your business. It isn’t enough to give “good” customer or client service; you need to create great experiences. If your vendor makes it hard to get support, or takes a long time to resolve problems, you’re going to end up with frustrated customers.
- Inflexible License Agreements/Cost Structure – Having purchasing options and realistic pricing surely isn’t too much to ask, however, some companies have inflexible license agreements in place which don’t give companies any option but to choose a particular path, potentially locking them into a license agreement for years.
- Culture or Fit – The software is only part of the relationship. If a company starts to disrespect its Clients, treating them as nothing more than cash generation machines, do you really want to give them your business? Perhaps you only hear from them when they want to increase prices or push a renewal. What would happen if you treated your own Clients like that? Would they stay with you? Choice is everywhere and as their Client you should feel like the vendor is putting you first, not last.
If you’ve made the decision you want to leave your current vendor, the documentation in your service level agreement (SLA) is your ‘go to’ guide for what you need to do and termination is a critical element of every vendor contract, so you should always read the small print!
At the end of the day, it’s all about trusting the technology to deliver exactly what you purchased it for and the vendor providing an effective solution that empowers users. If you’re unhappy with a vendor and you don’t think they will improve, then it’s time to move on, or be stuck with a costly, limited platform. Surely, the risk of doing nothing is far greater…
DocGovern are a vendor neutral Document Automation specialist who work with the leading platforms. We help our Clients make the right choices, based on their needs and to help them get the most out of their technology investment.
If you are thinking about moving from your Document Automation vendor, talk to us today.