Is your 2020 business using 1990s document tech?
Your business, large or small, is defined by the documents in it. There’s the initial marketing collateral that your customers see and respond to, contracts and agreements throughout the sales process — the lifeblood of commerce — the manuals and instructions for the end-user to read, plus presentations, reports, internal memos, sales proposals; the list goes on.
But most companies are still using the same document creation and management tools that they started with back in the 1990s. Because despite what the marketing messages from Microsoft and Google might contain, Word and Google Sheets are basically the same products as they always were. Sure, these days they’re more likely to be based in the cloud than they were ten years ago, but not much else has changed, and certainly, the way 90 percent of people use documents hasn’t changed, either.
That trend flies in the face of the way that technology has permeated every other aspect of both working and private life. Because of what’s being called the consumerization of technology, customers now expect not just excellent service, but a personalized customer experience. Documents are expected to be accurate, personalized, connected, potentially collaborative, easy to access, and simple to edit. And most companies’ document systems can’t provide those features.
Businesses have yet to grasp the potential that’s offered by intelligent, automated, integrated, and managed document systems that create documents and then take them to the next level.
Old school ways
Most documents today are still created by taking a template, or an existing document, editing it, then using a facility like “Save As…” But that’s an error-prone process and one that relies on large amounts of manual customization and effort to produce professional results.
And even when every “Find and Replace,” every language localization, every slight variation has been manually updated, there’s still a process of approval, updates, and editing to undertake.
How many of us have used a filename like “Document FINAL VERSION v4 (3)” before? It sounds silly, but it just goes to show how document systems that appeared in the 1990s are not up to the demands of 2020 —and beyond.
The time for change
To address these issues, and to extend the way companies all over Asia use and interact with documents of all types, Conga has released a Digital Document Transformation Suite. Put simply, it opens up the next generation of documents: how they’re built, collaborated on, controlled, made more accurate, and consistently on-message. It’s also much safer too, and compliant with the latest data protection rules, like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
When we stop and consider it, it’s puzzling that document management has been left behind to the extent it has. For instance, many companies are now leveraging solutions like RPA (robotic process automation) in the course of their business systems.
Taking RPA’s example
By ensuring different systems (like the sales department’s CRM and the finance department’s accountancy package) interface with one another via APIs (application programming interfaces), information is moved around the organization quickly and efficiently, creating significantly smoother and leaner processes, and making the business more agile — ready for anything.
But without a proper digital document solution, most companies can’t connect and collaborate the way that they need to, to produce results that correspond with the ways that their customers expect.
If it’s documents and media that define a business, how can the marketing department’s advertising collateral interact with sales teams, the CRM and ERP systems, and the invoicing and purchase order management systems?
Companies not leveraging the Conga platform are running inefficient automated systems, or not using automation at all. Imagine this scenario, one that’s only possible with the Digital Document Transformation capabilities of the Conga solutions:
- An accurate, on-message sales quote is generated according to specifics demanded by the potential customer.
- Currencies are converted on the fly, and the correct language added to match the sales quote recipient’s region (including the content of complicated tables and images).
- Approval for the quote is requested, and passed to two separate areas of the business, the changes automatically updated in the quote, and approval given to the sales personnel to send the document.
- The CRM is updated, so all teams are kept up to date on the latest with the client.
- Once accepted by the customer and an order is placed, subsequent tasks are started automatically: the CRM is updated with the new status, and the correct documentation to support the quote is generated and supplied to the operational manager to prepare the production and supply chain.
- All along the way, choices and changes are logged.
- Supervisors and managers can track the progress of all documents along their lifecycle as business “moves through” the organization. At all times, the organization can be sure of a vibrant, collaborative document management platform that’s always up to date and producing returns and efficiencies for the company as a whole.
Real customers’ experiences
A theoretical model is all well and good, but what about some empirical evidence, some real-life examples of how next-generation document management systems have changed the way businesses across the APAC are doing business, today?
On the pages of Tech Wire Asia we’ll be focusing on two such cases in the coming weeks, so check back in to read more.
Alternatively, you can learn more about Conga and its Digital Document Transformation platform in the eBook: Business Success through Digital Document Transformation. Start thinking about the way you and your team create and manage your documents, digitally, and learn how you can leverage the data behind each document’s journey to draw insights that will help you transform the business.
*Some of the companies featured on this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia