Artificial Intelligence is a divisive topic. It’s got everyone from Stephen Hawking to Mark Zuckerberg up in arms – with Elon Musk going as far to brand it as “the biggest risk we face as a civilization.”

Whether or not you think robots are on track to take over the world and leave humankind redundant, there’s no doubt that assembly automation and machine learning is transforming global industries; with breakthrough applications allowing us mere mortals to work faster and achieve more than ever before.

IBM’s Watson for example, has shown incredible results in the sector. Through its ability to ‘read’ millions of medical journals, its A.I. can understand ‘natural language’ to achieve more accurate diagnoses than even the most studious medical student. Similar use of A.I. in healthcare can also be seen in Ada, the chatbot doctor from Babylon Health, currently partnering with the NHS in the UK.

In the legal industry, an overall open attitude to technology and automated document production has also been credited for revolutionizing traditional structures and creating more productive firms. From codifying law to managing discovery exercises in litigation, firms across the world such as Cooley and Riverview, Allen & Overy and ThoughtRiver, have all invested in AI software to alleviate employees from time-consuming tasks so they can focus on more profitable practice trends.

Linklaters’ Verifi program is a perfect example of this, with its ability to sort through 14 UK and European regulatory registers to process thousands of client names overnight - a task that would usually take an average search time of 12 minutes per client name.

Digitization has also, of course, helped revolutionize the way we create documents. While Templafy can’t (yet) offer up a digital clone to autopilot your 9-5 jobs and leave you free to spend the day checking Facebook updates, there are some advanced document assembly software solutions that have similar transformational, time-saving and brand-boosting benefits to help you become a document cyborg.

We breakdown what document assembly is, why it matters and how you can apply it to your business to help digitize document creation to help brand managers become brand robocops and your colleagues become document cyborgs.

What is document assembly? And why is it important to your business?

Stripped back to basics, document assembly - also known as document automation, is when computer software creates document content that could have been produced manually by a human. This can apply to any form of text-based document from an invoice produced in MS Word to an email sent from Outlook.

Most companies would have encountered this with the likes of the mail merge or automated spreadsheet formulas but document assembly software like Templafy’s is much more sophisticated and empowering than its predecessors.

The main premise of document assembly is the power of the dynamic template. Modern document assembly software converts text-based documents into best practice templates complete with the most up-to-date company branding, visual elements and information. Unlike previous models and templates that required costly IT services and were prone to human error, dynamic templates aren’t static; meaning individuals have the power to control updates centrally 24/7 and can roll out changes enterprise-wide through cloud-based services.

This means documents are flexible and can change with the growing demands of your business - whether that’s a change of address on a company invoice, job title of a recent hire, new Twitter handle on an email signature or legal disclaimer at the bottom of a contract, the latest brand changes can be easily implemented and accessible across countries and languages.

Importantly, the system isn’t robotic. It’s designed to enable personalization and creativity while never compromising document compliance. Integrated tools such as integrated ‘Brand Compliance Checkers’ allow employees to build on best practice templates while highlighting any off-brand content and offering on-brand alternatives at the click of a button from pre-approved, remote-access asset libraries.

Why does document assembly matter? The stats...

Following a host of productivity studies, here’s a few numbers that highlight why getting document creation and maintenance right really matters:

  • Enhanced productivity

    In a recent survey, 66% of workers reported that at least two or three versions of a document were created before it received final sign off. In a separate study, one survey of US accounting, advisory and consultancy firms found that time spent hunting for documents could be costing these firms up to $4000 per employee every month. Any centrally controlled, easily accessible and editable solutions you can give professionals is a time and money saving asset to your brand.

  • Enabling a happier, more flexible workforce

    In the same US study, over half of those surveyed revealed that they couldn’t access corporate documents through a mobile device, while a further 68 percent added that they wasted time working on old versions of documents when working remotely.This is not the case with document automation or document assembly. Microsoft Word files, new business pitches, any text based document for that matter, can be pre-prepared in an aesthetically-pleasing, brand compliant template and built on with a cloud-based asset library. Increasing the productivity of a remote workforce could be paramount for your business. According a Chinese study working from home can add an extra full working day of increased productivity; whereas a 2016 US study found 91% of remote workers felt they were more productive at home than in an office environment.

  • Increased brand compliance

    When globally 269 billion emails are sent each day, over 500 billion Microsoft documents are created each year, and something as seemingly small as an email signature can undo a grand brand strategy, the need for on-brand and legally-sound content is paramount. We discussed the importance of brand consistency in a recent blog post about digital brand management but to highlight this issue, a recent survey of over 100 IT managers, claimed that 34% found that sensitive information had been compromised due to poor document management. The need to monitor and facilitate brand compliant document creation should clearly be an instrumental component in your marketing strategy.