Over the course of the pandemic, the need for digital documents has never been more important. One company that has seen the need for workflow automation has been PandaDoc.
PandaDoc makes documents dynamic by automating workflow and providing real-time editing, collaboration, and insights to its users.
Herring explains: “As work environments undergo rapid transformation and distributed and hybrid workforces become the norm, the need for an efficient, smooth digital document creation and management process becomes paramount.
“Documents remain the essential glue of how business gets done, but many professionals are still stuck in manual legacy processes or facing challenges in their digital document creation.
“With this, companies are realizing that an automated digital document solution is essential to success in a remote world. We are seeing thousands of businesses across the globe adopt our simple, all-in-one document automation solution to facilitate their digital transformation.”
Herring notes that companies value automation, but are still finding it difficult to manage as they streamline their processes.
He states: “A survey we recently conducted revealed that while a strong majority (56%) of professionals prefer electronic contracts over paper versions, more than 90% of professionals struggle to create digital documents that drive business impact. An overwhelming majority of professionals – close to 93% – find business proposals difficult to create, while nearly 92% find it challenging to create HR documents.
“Nearly half (47.5% ) of respondents reveal that business contracts and proposals take longer to create than expected.
“More than a third (35.3%) cite concerns that digital documents are difficult to integrate with other technology and systems of record. Survey respondents are also frustrated with the difficulties encountered when integrating a simple eSignature (28.3%); collaborating (27%), and designing a professional looking document (26.3%).”
As a result, Herring and PandaDoc have looked to automation to help overcome these functionality issues and enable employees.
Benefits of automated workflow
“Automation is becoming more important to streamline the workflow and allow for fast responses, especially in remote environments. Pre-approved document workflows eliminate the need for multiple virtual meetings and allow you to review the documents at your convenience,” says Herring.
“Working remotely requires that you – and your employees – are more intentional in how you connect. Without quick, in-person interactions, this is especially important.”
It is hoped that, as employees continue to be dispersed, an automated workflow can reduce the time needed to work on documents. Additionally, standardized templates can help establish brand identity.
Herring tells UNLEASH: “Document automation and digital documents enable a more dynamic, more professional final product that represents your business at its best.”
“Templates speed up the design process. The traditional document, whether a PDF or a [Microsoft] Word file, is very much a static, siloed affair. There isn’t the opportunity to engage and interact with the document in real-time.
“The document digital workflow fosters collaboration and facilitates conversations between stakeholders, who can communicate directly with the document creator instead of having to go through various points of contact to get a response. This provides a better experience for everyone involved, as well as faster response times.”
To maximize these benefits, PandaDoc has focused on key areas with its new API platform, which is designed to empower developers. This includes simplifying document and eSignature integration so that documents can be created and signed with ease.
Additionally, PandaDoc has built templates to improve usability and the software also runs diagnostic tools to ensure that projects run smoothly.
The future of workflow
Looking forward, Herring gives insight into how workflow automation will continue to develop: “Businesses are moving away from legacy, static PDF or file-based document management solutions to dynamic documents that operate like apps.
“The future of workflow means that documents can be easily created, accessed, and interacted with anywhere, anytime.
“Templates can be set up to provide a running start to document creation. The entire workflow is automated, from start to finish. This includes the review and approval process prior to sending, as well as notifications, e-signatures, and document storage.”
After working with tech start-ups and media outlets like UNILAD Technology, The Hook and WhatCulture, Dan has become a journalist at UNLEASH. Dan is combining his first-hand experience alongside the latest news and opinions in the HR Technology space.