“Template management” and “document creation software” is cropping up everywhere in the business lexicon, with innovative managers recognizing that streamlining their office templates helps boost productivity, save time and restore order and compliance to avoid a state of document anarchy.

Here are the key features of any effective template management system:

Business documents have come a long way since the dawn of the 20th century. Advances in word processing software – most famously Microsoft Office and its various applications such as PowerPoint and Word – mean that piles of physical paperwork have made way for digital files stored on desktops, devices and in the cloud. Rather than starting a business document from scratch every time, organizations can now access business document templates with pre-filled details, content and features. This transition has been invaluable to organizational productivity and saves countless office hours.

But that doesn’t mean corporate workflows have escaped productivity roadblocks or are operating optimally just because they now have digital systems in place. Think about it – business culture has had eons to develop analogue filing systems for our physical documents. But many organizations are still finding their bearing when it comes to storing, organizing, updating and managing template content and keeping it in line with current brand identity and logos.

Smart managers recognize these document anarchy problems

From presentation decks to sales pitches or contracts, poor template management practices can be detrimental to your workflow and overall brand compliance. It takes a smart cookie to recognize that this variety of problems can be solved with one system.

As we previously blogged about at Templafy, studies show that hunting down business documents or manually monitoring template content for compliance racks up hours in wasted employee time. Similarly, when teams don’t manage their templates properly, the huge resources invested in a rebrand could end up completely undermined when old documents crop up bearing an old brand identity, confusing stakeholders and hurting an organization’s image.

That’s why “template management system” and “content management” seem to be cropping up in the business lexicon. Increasingly, forward-thinking managers are focusing on office templates and how to harness them effectively in order to overcome productivity roadblocks and save time and hassle for staff. With advances in software to automate businesses processes, that means investing in a template management system.

Fundamentally, smart template management is about investing in the right tools to automate the most laborious aspects of managing and updating your office templates, thus streamlining the creation of on-brand, professional documents. So what key features should you be looking out for when rethinking your processes?

Dynamic updates are the future of your template management and document creation

Your template management system should ensure that your office templates are dynamic rather than static to use and update.

So what does that mean? Office templates are mostly static documents that require users to manually enter their specific content in generic fields and for template and document administrators to manually update each of these fields, which usually involves the IT team too… This takes time, drains and costs time and also doesn’t necessarily deliver the optimal document consistency. Communication bottlenecks between departments can also cause confusion, with different company locations working to different templates.

In contrast, template management software makes your office templates dynamic – meaning that content elements such as personal or company data, company branding or specific information appear automatically when a new file is created, no matter the size of your organization.

Of course, template elements and content rarely stay constant in a fast-paced business world, especially after a company invests in a rebrand. That’s where tools such as Templafy can help – our cloud-based template management software rolls out updates to the whole company instantly, using a smart and accessible interface to alert users when a business document they’ve opened is out of sync with current best-practices.

Automating this process saves time and hassle, as well as keeping documents compliant without effort. It also saves on costs, too – rather than relying on the help of IT experts, your team members can save time and carry out brand identity updates across business documents with just a few simple clicks.

Total accessibility to work from anywhere and any device

To maximize efficiency, it’s critical that your up-to-date office templates, business documents and brand assets can be accessed anywhere, anytime and across multiple applications.

That means investing in a template management system that can integrate across the types of office suites used by companies daily – whether that is Microsoft Office, Apple iWork or Google Drive. With Templafy, office templates, brand assets and diverse content are available directly inside any office application, ensuring that your team can create business documents and content fast, all without leaving their preferred office application.

It’s also critical that team members can access company content, branding and compliant office templates wherever they go. As a cloud-based solution, Templafy’s software ensures that content assets are accessible to your team members both locally or through the cloud. Meanwhile, the hallmark of a highly-effective content management system is one that gives your team members true flexibility.

Templafy is available on all platforms and integrates across multiple devices, meaning your team members can create compliant, on-brand business documents even when working on the go from their tablet or smartphone.

Take care of email signatures and template emails libraries too

It’s not only business documents that need effective template management. Keep an eye out for software providers which also look out for your other templates. At Templafy, we’ve blogged about the benefits of relying on tools to optimize your email signature management.

While a huge organization may balk at the idea of monitoring the email signature of every single employee, looking out for software which automates the process of email signature management will allow your company to harness that little block of text at the bottom of team member’s emails to achieve all kinds of promotional and outreach gains.

For example, email signature management software can update multiple signatures to promote new content and special promotions, reflect new brand identity updates and ensure that customers receive the most up-to-date contact information - even in a huge company.

Ultimately, investing in a dynamic template management system will save time while vastly improving your work flows and compliance – just make sure that it’s packed with all the right features.