David Clarkson

November 29, 2016

Last week I had an interesting conversation with one of our clients about managing international and local document content requirements with HotDocs. We discussed how a global organisation with offices in a number of countries can use knowledge transfer between global document authors and local document managers to ensure documentation is customised for local markets.  This conversation got me thinking about how HotDocs enables organisations to create global document automation strategies.

A “think global, act local” approach is often used to describe the way an organisation adapts its product design or business strategy to accommodate a local market while maintaining control over multiple locations. With localised compliance legislation, local laws, multiple languages, date and number formats, the think global, act local approach also applies to a global organisation’s documentation.  

Contracts, loan agreements, legal documents and other business-critical paperwork must be consistent with an organisation’s best practice, while containing all the information relevant to the intended geographic area. This task becomes progressively more difficult as the volume and complexity of documents increases, forcing organisations to rely on a number of staff members across multiple locations to customise documents for local markets.

With so many different elements, ensuring consistency across a document portfolio can be extremely challenging. With HotDocs, accurate global documents that meet local requirements are possible through providing document authors with control and local teams with the flexibility to feedback on local criteria for optional inclusion, guaranteeing locally compliant documents and ensuring consistency.

Global Documents

These are the key steps required to produce global documentation efficiently:

  1. Identify Content Authors
  2. Identify Local Document Managers
  3. Identify International Elements
  4. Identify Local Elements

 

1. Identify Content Authors 

Content authors are the individuals who possess the greatest understanding of specific documents used within an organisation. Content authors are responsible for creating document templates and collaborating with local managers to produce accurate documentation. These individuals may be:

  • In-house legal team
  • Risk officers
  • Product owners
  • Knowledge managers
  • Policy owners
  • Compliance managers

 

2. Identify Local Document Managers

Local document managers are individuals who operate in and understand the local markets.  They are responsible for giving feedback about how documentation must be enhanced or altered to meet the requirements of a local market.

 

3. Identify International Elements

International elements are the sections of an organisation’s documentation that must be consistent, regardless of geographic location. These elements ensure that all documents possess the same design and formatting to give the customer peace of mind that they are dealing with a global entity. These elements include items like corporate messaging, formatting, global legislation or branding.

 

4. Identify Local Elements

Local elements refer to adaption to ensure a document conforms to the requirements of the local market. Local elements ensure documents contain the relevant information to a geographic area and the necessary adjustments are made to content such as; language, date formats, legal clauses, country specific laws or currency.

 

Global Document Knowledge Exchange

Using the above steps, a knowledge exchange model can be established. The model below shows examples of local and international elements and how the local document managers feed information to the content authors and in turn, the content authors ensure the international elements are included in all documentation.

 

Documentation Globalisation with HotDocs document automation software

Would you like to find out more?

This model demonstrates the exchange of information between local managers and document authors. Implementing this model will result in knowledge transfer between local managers and document authors, mitigating any risk of inaccuracy or noncompliance when deploying documents in foreign markets or any environment where document requirements vary.

Numerous HotDocs clients, both large and small, use our technology as the basis of a documentation strategy.  The HotDocs interview (the questionnaire used to gather the data to create the tailored document) is powerful and flexible, with conditional questions and sophisticated business logic capability that allows global documents to be customised to a local audience, regardless of document complexity.  To find out more about how HotDocs can assist you with your global documentation, please get in touch or schedule a 30 minute demo.