This year has been shall we say, interesting. Every aspect of our lives feels like it’s been impacted and changed in ways we’re only just starting to realise.
Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, evolution has shown that change is normally a catalyst for good. Frequently painful, yes, but undeniably for the better in the long run. The trick being to still be alive and kicking when the dust settles!
As a business, we’re acutely aware of the level of change that’s going on and we spend much of our time looking to see how we can help our Clients alleviate their own challenges. These are typically the same fundamental hurdles – do more with less and be more agile than they have ever been before.
It won’t come as a surprise when I say that Document Automation can, if used wisely, genuinely help businesses of all sizes with addressing these challenges. You can make significant improvements with productivity – easily more than an 80% time saving – and the use cases for Document Automation are endless.
So, if Document Automation really can allow you to do more with less and support a shifting business focus, why isn’t everyone using it to its fullest potential?
It’s the chicken and egg situation. The same challenges can mean it’s difficult to free up the budget to adopt or further leverage Document Automation. However, it’s a situation that DocGovern and our Partners are trying to “crack” (apologies for the terrible Dad joke.)
Several of our Partners are offering discounts towards software costs. Some are even providing deferred invoicing so you can legitimately see the benefit and return on investment before you pay for the software itself.
We’ve also spent time thinking about how we can complement these commercial considerations. After speaking with several of our Clients, we created our Concierge Service.
The Concierge Service was designed to be as flexible and helpful as possible. It provides access to all our services at a low monthly cost, allowing our Clients to get access to what they need when it’s right for them – no protracted or restrictive contracts and engagements.
While we initially focused on our traditional services such as Template Development, Training, Deployments etc, we soon realised that there were several other “softer” ways we could leverage our knowledge and relationships to help our Clients. Under the new service, we’ve helped resolve support escalations, negotiated software renewals, and helped promote the use of Document Automation with some internal marketing.
We’re continuing to look at ways in which we can help meet these challenges, such as our SMB offerings or Template Subscription Services.
The best way we can help is by listening to our Clients. If you have any other challenges with Document Automation or think any of our existing services could assist your business, get in touch. We’re here to help.
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.
“If I do a job in 30 minutes it’s because I spent 10 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes.”
Source: Thrive Global
The same principle could be said for Document Automation. A manual process that has taken months or years to put together and takes hours to complete, could be automated in a matter of minutes.
Embracing Document Automation can drive greater business efficiency and innovation, reduce costs and risk, but, more importantly, save you a significant amount of time and money. Does that sound too good to be true? Take a look at our blog post, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Document Automation *but Were Too Afraid To Ask”, if you need further information towards if and how a Document Automation solution could be right for you.
The issue is, even knowing that in principal, a software solution can save money, organisations rightfully need clarity towards exactly how much money and when those savings will be realised.
Many vendors say they provide a ‘generous return on investment’, but perhaps conveniently, maximise the immediate savings, while ignoring the true cost of adopting their software. This is in part why many organisations feel their investment was never fully realised. You can read more towards the other reasons here.
The DocGovern team go through a detailed and extensive return on investment exercise for our Clients. We do all we can to ensure they have absolute clarity towards the initial capital investment, ongoing running costs and the true effort to implement and adopt the solution. This is all mapped out against their current “pre-automation” costs, providing a realistic date when they will recoup their investment.
Let’s be honest, we’re all a little apprehensive about “finding out more” when initially considering a new software solution. We have all been on the receiving end of the lightning fast phone call from the hungry Salesperson, desperately trying to complete their BANT questionnaire! That’s why we want to offer you our quick, basic ROI calculator, to see if you could benefit from a Document Automation tool. If you do want to find out more, we’d be happy to chat!