Difference between Document Management and Document Automation

According to the latest research from Forrester, 56 percent of companies are pursuing digital transformation for their business processes, data and documents. But as organizations increasingly look to revolutionize how they store and process documents, it has become more and more common to experience some confusion between the terms document management and document automation.

These terms are far from being the same thing. They actually represent two distinctive phases of digital transformation: one transforms the way companies store documents; the other transforms the way companies create them.

If your company is in the process of moving from legacy systems and storage processes to digitally transformed ones, here are three important differences between the two processes and how they impact your business.

  1. Document automation saves time. While bringing your document management processes into the cloud can certainly save your company time, document automation has an immediate and dramatic impact on productivity and time. Document management simply makes documents easier to find and access. Document automation, on the other hand, makes the creative process of building documents exponentially faster and more efficient.For example, one HotDocs government client used document automation to transform the way it created cooperative agreements. A process that once took several weeks and a significant amount of manual collaboration with partner agencies suddenly took days, saving 204,000 hours per year. Another in-house legal company used document automation to streamline the contract writing process and enable its team to process more than 300 contracts a month.
  2. Document automation reduces error. Document management, or document storage, allows your company to organize and access documents quickly. But, it doesn’t necessarily have an impact on the accuracy of those documents. The documents are still created manually, which means they can fall prey to human error.Document automation can actively reduce risk for your company because it’s a process that takes a static, business critical document and turns it into a dynamic template that is easy to update, review and process. In fact, one banking client used automated documents to reduce its draft and review process from two hours to twenty minutes, all while reaching a 100 percent reduction of errors – saving millions of dollars annually.
  3. Document automation enhances the customer experience. When assisting customers, your associates need to be able to quickly access important documents, and that’s where online document management can help. But when it comes to reinventing the way your company serves its customers, document automation is the process that will have a big impact on customer experience.For example, one content management provider was able to use document automation to reduce the amount of time it takes to draft client agreements and get them to potential clients. Another company used document automation to quickly generate clear and concise documentation that makes it easier for clients to understand their agreements.

If your firm wants to make the most out of its digital transformation efforts, don’t confuse document management for document automation. You actually need both: document management to make your files more accessible and document automation to make them more powerful. Getting your data into the cloud is only the first step in accessing benefits that come with advanced technology. The final step is working with a trusted partner to automate your document creation process and tap into the time, accuracy, and customer service benefits that combine management and automation to deliver true digital transformation.

See what the latest in document automation technology can: Get a demo of HotDocs Advance today!