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How Automated Document Generation Can Save Teams Time and Money

May 18, 2022

Automated document generation is the process of creating, formatting, storing, and delivering electronic documents on autopilot.

For many reasons we’re about to cover below, this is a great tool way to increase efficiency while decreasing costs.

If you've ever tried converting HTML to PDF, copying and pasting content from MS Word to a different document, or generating thousands of standardized documents with dynamic content - you might have realized how time-consuming the process is if done manually.

These are all routine tasks that require manual manipulation of your documents and work files. 

Fortunately, document automation can help you avoid these manual issues and routine tasks when manipulating your PDF documents and work files.

And by the end of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of how automated document generation works to save you time AND money.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What Is Document Rendering Automation: Overview and How It Works
  • Automated Document Generation: Build vs buy?
  • Top 5 Benefits of Automated Document Generation For All Industries
  • Why Automated Document Generation Is a Must-Have In These Industries

What Is Document Rendering Automation: Overview and How It Works

Manipulating documents at scale is a lot of work.

That’s putting it lightly.

It’s different for each industry and organization.

But generally speaking, the document management lifecycle consists of the following steps:

  1. Creating.
  2. Storing.
  3. Metadata tagging.
  4. Delivery or sharing (internally or externally).
  5. Reviewing and reporting.
  6. Archiving and/or destruction.
graphic that shows the lifecycle of document managing

Source: TheEcmConsultant

The names may vary with more or fewer steps, depending on the organization or work methodology. But the principle stays the same.

Then, based on your workflow, you might need to convert them into different formats, as well as perform other manual tasks. 

For example, the typical document creation process goes something like this:

  1. You have a contract that needs to be signed by an employee.
  2. You export that document from one system to another.
  3. You convert it into an Adobe PDF file or Word Docx file.
  4. Then, you sign it and send it back to the employee. 
  5. Finally, the process repeats if they have to sign it back or send it back to someone else.

It’s not easy to do this with just one person, which is why many companies hire additional employees just for this process.

While this may be one solution to simplifying the above process, there’s still one glaring issue:

Human error is responsible for anywhere between 70-100% of incidents in the workplace.

So, it’s extremely easy and far too common to see certain, repeating mistakes when it comes to document generation and management, if done manually. Such as:

  • Failing to create a centralized document management system.
  • Failing to create a retention schedule.
  • Lack of digitized files and/or poor organizing of said files.
  • Failing to store backups and archives off-site.
  • Lack of digital backup protection.
  • And more.

Fortunately, there’s another way: automated document generation

Automated document generation can help you automatically generate documents in any format you need in order for them to be signed and sent back without the help of anyone else. 

Let’s briefly go over the technical side of automated document generation, before covering the benefits and the industries.

All this begins with an API-based document generation software.

What is an API-based document generation software?

API-based document generation software is an easy way to create high-quality documents and templates in minutes. 

This type of document generation automation software provides a template for you, so you don’t have to mess with formatting or design. 

All you need to do is provide the content, and your document will be automatically created and ready to use.

You can make your templates as straightforward or complicated as you'd like.

With a document generation software, you can use your create requests to create versions of different documents with different, dynamic content.

Here’s an example of a letter template for an escrow management service:

“Dear {{firstName}} {{lastName}},

Thank you for selecting {{yourCompany}}’s Escrow Management Services, an application that simplifies the way you can administer your client funds. 

With this service, you will receive a monthly consolidated escrow account statement as well as the standard monthly checking account statement.”

{{firstName}} and {{lastName}} are the variables firstName and lastName. Sames goes for {{yourCompany}}.

Essentially, you’re creating a template first, and then generating a unique document from that template.

creating letter templates on render

If you'd like more technical steps on how to generate a document from a template with templates and dynamic content merging, see our full guide on generating a document from a template.

Now, let’s get back on track.

What document management processes are automated?

While automated document generation software helps many departments, certain industries and organizations benefit the most.

We’ll cover this more specifically below. But for the most part, tasks that can be automated include:

  • HTML data processing.
  • PDF rendering and formatting.
  • PDF copy storage.
  • PDF display or delivery.
  • And more.

See our full guide to automated PDF document generation for more info on this.

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The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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What are the most common document templates for automated PDF generation?

On a more practical level, some of the more popular document templates for automated PDF generation to automate include:

  • Financial documents - Cash receipts, financial statements, monthly reports, analysis templates, audits, and more.
  • Healthcare documents - Information about patients' treatment, test results, reports, other medical information.
  • Customer communications - Confirmation letters, request forms, terms and conditions documents, agreement templates, and more.
  • Insurance documents - Insurance claims, price quotes, order confirmations, POD templates, customer info, and more.

Automated Document Generation: Build vs buy?

This is another common topic that comes up when discussing document management systems - should I build it from scratch or buy an existing solution?

This is a whole different topic on its own, so, here’s a short version:

  • Free software - Common open-source and free PDF generator APIs don't offer the level of industry-standard necessary that’s very important.
  • Building from scratch - This approach requires an in-house engineering team or outsourcing the project entirely. Apart from designing the capabilities to generate PDF documents from HTML, you also need to ensure secure data storage and software maintenance, which requires additional human and financial resources.
  • Buying an existing solution - With existing HTML to PDF API integration software, you can expect to pay a subscription fee of anywhere from $100 per month to $2,500, depending on the volume of document conversion.

We may be biased, but buying an existing document generation software is the most convenient choice for most companies in need of converting documents at scale.

Though, another argument can be made for “build AND buy”, which might make sense if you have a lot of specific requirements and compliance issues.

See our full guide on building document generation from scratch vs buying an API in healthcare portals for a more detailed breakdown of this.

Now, that you know how automated document generation software works, let’s take a look at the main benefits.

Top 5 Benefits of Automated Document Generation For All Industries

Personalized documents with dynamic content

You can create personalized documents with automation. This can include crafting personalized letters, emails, and presentations. It can also include generating personalized contracts and other legal documents. 

The best part? 

Automated document generation is a great way to ensure that your documents are always up-to-date.

With dynamic content, you can update hundreds of customer documents with different information in seconds.

For example, if you have a bank statement that you need to fill in with customer information like their name, address, and spending activity, you can automate this process through automated PDF generation.

Saving time

Chances are, there are many repetitive tasks involved in manipulating your work files and documents, such as converting HTML to PDFs or Microsoft Word to Excel, for example. 

With automated document generation, you can save the manhours of this through the magic of automation.

According to the IDC, people are still “spending more time gathering instead of analyzing”. 

The report states that workers still spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information and are losing 50% of their time every week. 30% searching for, managing, and preparing data, and 20% duplicating work.

Automated document generation makes this, as well as human error, obsolete.

Reducing costs in the workplace

Automated document generation is a great way to reduce your workload and the costs associated with it. You don’t have to spend time and money on printing, filling out, or filing forms anymore. 

With automated document generation, you can create documents on-demand with just a few keystrokes. 

This software is user-friendly and easy to learn. It also offers templates for a variety of professional documents that you might need. For example, if you need a contact form, there are templates in the software that will give you a template to fill out with one click. 

These forms will also be tailored to your specific needs—like adding your logo or changing the font style for your company’s name.

Automating critical tasks

Filing paperwork is one of the most time-consuming, tedious parts of any job. 

You have to type up a document, print it out, sign it, and deliver it to someone in another department or to the CEO’s office. 

It can take hours just to get through one stack of documents. With automated document generation software, you can now generate your own professional-looking documents in seconds.

You won’t need to spend all day typing up a report anymore. 

With a modern automated document generation software program, you can select from multiple pre-made templates that are formatted for any occasion. 

Avoiding costly mistakes and errors

Another benefit of automated document generation is that it helps you avoid mistakes and errors. 

According to RayMorgan, 3% of paper documents are misfiled and 7.5% of all paper documents are lost.

With these inaccuracies, many businesses are stuck with a document that looks unprofessional or has false information on it. This can cause confusion, especially when there are multiple people working on the same project at the same time.

Automated document generation eliminates these problems by preventing human error. 

You don’t have to worry about missing a typo or forgetting to sign your name because the software will do it for you. 

Why Automated Document Generation Is a Must-Have In These Industries

Certain industries benefit from document automation more than others.

This includes, but is not only limited to: Financial services, utilities, retail, technology, healthcare, and more.

Let’s take a look at a few.

Automated document generation in the finance industry

Sending payment cards and communications to the incorrect customer address is expensive and time-consuming. And generating paper and paperless billing statements require different systems and manual processes.

Digitalization has been a game-changer for many industries, and the finance industry is no exception. 

Financial institutions are not only seeking to be tech-savvy, but they also want to streamline operations as much as possible. 

In doing so, companies can ensure better communication among their customers. 

This includes completely automating essential financial documents like invoices and bills, receipts, credit reports, and more. All of which can be automatically generated at scale using automated document creation software.

Other benefits for the financial industry include:

  • Sending confidential information to customers with confidence.
  • Automating billing, collections, and adverse action notices.
  • Keeping a secure track of paperless documents and account information.
  • Reducing regulatory risk while staying fully compliant.
  • And more.

Automated document generation in the healthcare industry

The healthcare industry is a perfect example of where automation can help save time and money. 

In it, many doctors, nurses, and other professionals are required to create documents on a daily basis. While staying HIPAA compliant and keeping sensitive information private and secure.

These records include test results, patient charts, prescriptions, invoices and bills, insurance statements, receipts, and more.

The healthcare industry has a lot of paperwork to manage. Doctors and nurses need to spend hours on the phone with insurance companies, trying to get approvals for treatments and medications.

This is a huge burden on the staff, and it can lead to mistakes or delayed treatments. 

But when both doctors and patients use your hospital’s DMS, you can have greater control over patient data and can ensure better safety. 

Digital document generation can help the healthcare industry by taking away hours of busy work from doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. Not only does this improve the quality of their work but it allows them more time to spend on patient care.

A digital document generation service can save you time and money in many ways.

  • Automated document generation saves time by cutting out paperwork time.
  • Clear communication improves efficiency by eliminating misinterpretation.
  • Automated document generation doesn’t require expensive software, so fewer costs are incurred when acquiring and teaching new software.
  • Eliminating the learning curve for new employees as documents are created within the same templates.
  • Document automation eliminates human error in data entry.

With these advantages over traditional methods, the healthcare industry can provide better care and attention to its clients and patients. While staying HIPAA compliant.

For more info on the healthcare industry specifically, check out our full guide to healthcare documentation types to render automatically.

Automated document generation in the insurance industry

In today’s competitive market, insurance companies are interested in automating as many of their processes as possible. 

By using repeating templates, automation can help reduce costs, decrease the time it takes to process claims, and improve customer service. 

One way that insurance companies can automate is through document generation

Using this technique, insurers can generate documents quickly and at scale. Documents like order confirmations or price quotes can be generated automatically rather than manually entering each one separately. 

The types of documents you can generate include:

Insurance Claims: A customer submits an insurance claim, and the system automatically creates a cover letter with all of the necessary details, including instructions on how to submit the claim.

Price Quotes: When a customer enters their information into a form online, the system will generate a quote for them based on their specific context or background. 

Order Confirmations: After receiving an order, the system sends a confirmation email about it. It includes all of the specifics about what was ordered and when it will be shipped out.

Companies in the insurance industry are increasingly turning to automated document generation solutions to improve their efficiency and reduce costs. 

Automated document generation allows for the generation, processing, and delivery of documents using a combination of existing systems and software, as well as a person’s decision-making process. 

Using Inkit Render for Automated PDF Document Generation

So, to recap, there’s a lot automated document generation can do to save time and money.

For some industries more than others.

But if you’re typically creating or filling out templatized documents, chances are, document generation might be just what you’re looking for.

If that’s the case, here’s what you’ll want to know:

Inkit Render is an automated document rendering API to generate PDFs from HTML. You can use it to integrate with existing software to automate document creation, retrieval, storage, deletion, and more. Additionally, you can also customize the content and formatting of every document you generate.

All while following and complying with your industry and organization standards.

If you’d like to learn more about how Inkit Render can help your unique documentation needs, be sure to check out the full Inkit Render page for more info on its functionality, pricing plans, and more!

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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