I always prefer starting my posts with something punchy, fun, or quotable, but this week’s post is on a topic which is objectively tedious: paperwork. No one likes it, but it’s critical for every business. Whether it’s tax documents, service contracts, work orders, or any number of items, managing your paperwork efficiently and effectively is a critical part of serving your clients and staying in compliance.
In the COVID-19 world, many businesses are running into issues with their tried and true paperwork processes. Some forms have always been completed by hand, meaning you need access to the hard copies and all the data needed to fill them out. Other forms may be automatically generated through a legacy system like an auto print function from AS400, which isn’t quite as effective when no one is in the office to grab the forms off the printers.
Still others may be available in a digital format, but require a lot of manual effort to fill them out, opening the door to user error. And with people out on furlough and usual processes interrupted, your tried and true QA process to ensure all documents have been prepared properly is probably not operating at full capacity. If paperwork is giving your team extra headaches right now, there’s a solution that is fast, efficient, and much more reliable than manual entry: automated document management.
There are a number of tools available in the Salesforce ecosystem that allow for automated document management, but my two favorites are Conga and Drawloop. Both tools offer easy management of standardized templates, putting all of your forms in one place, simple syntax to automatically fill forms with data from your system, and compatibility with a wide range of document types. Implementing either makes filling out a form as easy as clicking a button -- you’ll be presented with a list of documents to prepare, click confirm, and it downloads to your desktop or gets added as a file on the record.
But where you get to real power is when you combine one of these with other automation capabilities, add-ons, and complementary tools. If you’re looking to really amp up your capabilities, I'd recommend Conga. Conga offers a full suite of document automation capabilities letting you build templates to automatically get generated when certain milestones have been hit on records, or even automatically generate documents in bulk on a schedule (goodbye hours of prepping weekly status reports). Conga integrates seamlessly with a number of e-signature solutions like DocuSign, making generating forms and requesting signatures as easy as a couple button clicks (if you’re not using e-signatures, you should definitely consider it). And Conga Contracts is a specialized tool specifically designed to manage contracts from generation, through redlining and signature. Generate your contract, hit send, capture and review redlines and changes to contract language inside of Salesforce, and over time, analyze what clauses are most frequently modified to make improvements and build better contracts over time.
Paperwork is boring and a lot harder when you’re working remotely, but it doesn't have to stay that way. By implementing a document management system, you’ll give your team access to the templates they need wherever they are, reduce user error, streamline document production by reducing the process to a couple clicks, and much more. Now is the best time to implement a document management system, it will serve you well during the pandemic, and you’ll keep finding uses long after you’re back in the office.