Document automation software: how to get started

Juro knowledge team, 17 June 2021

Automating key documents like routine contracts can transform your company's efficiency. Find out how to get started.

The business case for automation has never been stronger. According to WorkMarket’s “2020 In(Sight) Report: What AI and Automation Really Mean For Work,” 70 percent of today’s business leaders admit that they spend from 10 to 40 percent of their time performing mundane tasks like searching, modifying, and sending documents.

This is equivalent to spending anywhere from 45 minutes to three hours each day on duties that are not essential to their primary role. It’s no surprise that more than half of these stakeholders report being interested in automation to improve their document creation process.

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What is document automation? | What is document automation software? | Benefits of document automation | How does document automation work? | Who needs document automation? | Common use cases | Case studies | Get started

What is document automation?

Document automation is the process of using systems and software to quickly and efficiently generate electronic documents, without completing the manual tasks traditionally involved in document creation. 

Formerly known as document assembly, document automation involves automating the process for creating routine documents, like standard contracts.

 It works by taking data and text from various sources and incorporating it into new documents created from predefined document templates. A typical document automation software eliminates the need for manual document creation processes, like drafting, and replaces these with a simple questionnaire that formats responses into a final document with very minimal effort. 

Document automation is especially critical for growing businesses because it will:clm-automation-juro-min-png

  • Improve organization and control 
  • Reduce bureaucracy, paperwork and local storage
  • Decrease the time it takes to create, share, and store documents
  • Minimize the risk of inaccurate documents, or those containing old versions of legal terms, going out to counterparties

What is document automation software?

Document automation software is the technology that makes document automation possible. Although this software ranges in functionality and complexity, all platforms use templates to accelerate the overall process of building documents. These platforms make it possible to draft even the most complex documents in a fraction of the time required with other methods while minimizing or completely eliminating drafting errors.

Document automation uses smart fields – containers for metadata - to populate key fields in the document (like dates, addresses, counterparty names, and so on). This means the core of the document is based on the template, but the relevant details changed for the particular document and its intended purpose. In the case of Juro, users navigate a natural language Q&A to populate smart fields.

What are the benefits of document automation?

But why use a document automation tool to begin with? Well, the various benefits of document automation include that it:

1. Creates documents faster ⚡

Document automation eliminates the arduous and painful process of drafting routine documents from scratch. By automating standard contracts, legal teams can significantly reduce the time spent writing contracts.

2. Reduces errors and mistakes ❌

By automating the process, you can eliminate the errors and mistakes that typically occur when lawyers build contracts and other documents from scratch, or try to copy and paste them. Document automation will provide accurate and reliable templates and deliver more consistent results.

3. Makes documents more secure 🔒

Legal agreements have traditionally been stored in office cabinets, where they are vulnerable to damage and destruction. A document automation tool not only automates legal agreements, but it stores them securely too.

4. Enhances version control 📑

The manual contract process involves numerous different platforms, lots of emails and countless versions of the same document. With document automation software, everything is stored in a single workspace, with a clear audit trail of what was done and when.

5. Delivers a better end-user experience 👍

Contracts have traditionally been agreed using a very manual process, with physical paperwork and wet ink signatures. However, document automation leads to the creation of online contracts, which can be reviewed, negotiated, agreed and signed from anywhere in the world. This convenience, paired with the fact that legal documents are more personalized, will result in a better customer experience overall. 

6. Impresses prospective customers 🏆

For businesses, it pays to be forward thinking. Therefore, more and more businesses are looking to work and partner with tech savvy companies that champion innovation. By leveraging document automation software, you can deliver a memorable and intuitive experience for these potential customers.

7. Enables lawyers to return to high value work 💸

Document automation enables business teams to self-serve on the creation of contracts, which allows legal counsel to return to the high value work that requires the most attention.

How does document automation (document assembly) work?

Document automation works by using a defined template to allow business users to create new documents, which comply with the terms fixed by the legal team, at the point of requirement. This means they don't need to contact their legal team to generate a document from scratch each time.

As document automation grows in its complexity, more sophisticated elements, like conditional logic, formatting and approvals, can be added to the workflow. However, it's important to focus on an intuitive user experience and a frictionless workflow that doesn't require coding, nor legal knowledge. If document automation is actually going to relieve the burden on legal teams and save time, then it has to be simple enough that business users can generate documents quickly with little training.

The primary purpose of document automation is to eliminate the arduous manual task of filling in repetitive documents. Document automation systems build a Q&A flow to populate the template to create watertight legal documents at scale without discretion for self-service users. More advanced document automation systems like Juro enable users to develop their data and rules without programming requirements, with a no-code workflow builder and conditional logic. Get in touch to try it.

Who needs document automation (document assembly)?

Document automation is most critical for users who need to create routine documents at scale frequently. Regardless of their industry, document automation software would prove beneficial to any individual or team that feels burdened by the extensive administrative work that goes into creating and sharing documents. 

A major application of document automation is for legal teams at fast-growing companies, who use it to enable colleagues in the business to self-serve on routine legal documents. In fact, with our recent Tech GC Report revealing that 69% of in-house counsel feel buried under low value work, it would seem that in-house legal teams are particularly in need of such technology. 

By comparison, document automation software is less suitable for small businesses that only process the odd contract here and there, since very small contract volumes can typically be handled using a manual process instead - unlike contracts in scaling companies.

Which documents are suitable for document automation?

There are plenty of different use cases for document automation, with some businesses choosing to automate everything from invoices to receipts, quotes and reports. 

However, one of the most predominant use cases for document automation is for contracts. Businesses, and particularly legal teams, typically set up contract workflows using document automation software to cover use cases that include:

These standard contracts are a great fit for document automation because businesses usually process high volumes of them, but the workflow involves little or no negotiation. This means templated agreements can be created and pushed through to signature quickly, without too much back and forth or friction during the process.

Many teams can benefit from document automation, including sales (for proposals) and human resources (for offer letters), but legal departments can typically derive the most value. In our experience at Juro, a contract workflow with legal ownership and approval, but with self-serve automation and collaborative workflows between teams, is the best route to efficiency.

Document automation for legal teams

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The practice of law can be document-intensive and tedious at times, and the constant drafting of documents is often monotonous and labor-intensive. However, automation of the more mundane aspects of document creation will reduce this repetition and streamline the overall process.

Juro bases its contract automation platform on an editor custom-built for contracts with functionality for legal teams. If your contract volumes are growing faster than your legal department, document automation with Juro’s unique in-browser editor will allow your team to approve and mark up contracts in the browser, with seamless version control, plus the ability to take documents out, into Word, and back again. 

The Juro platform empowers legal to keep control of a contract system they define with a no-code workflow builder set up with drag-and-drop, giving secure access and editing rights to business teams. Unlike contract management platforms designed to handle offline files, Juro’s smart repository allows legal instant access to contract data, thanks to a flexible data layer that underpins pre- and post-signature workflow.

Document automation case studies

Learn more about how other businesses have used Juro to scale documents at lightning speed:

🍔 Juro delivers for Deliveroo

An online food delivery company founded in London in 2013, Deliveroo offers fast and reliable delivery direct to customers as quickly as possible. In 2018, the company needed a system that could communicate documents to employees instantly on a vast scale and track acceptances from recipients. Resisting the urge to fall back on spreadsheets, PDFs, and emails (the previous solution), Deliveroo instead reached out to Juro. Under a looming deadline of only a few weeks, Juro and Deliveroo were able to issue 1,400 legal documents to employees across 13 markets in two weeks. Read more.

🍕 Wolt does more, faster with Juro

Wolt connects over seven million registered users to over 15,000 restaurants and more than 25,000 couriers across 23 countries with its app-driven online food delivery service. When adding new partner restaurants at speed and scale became critical to accelerating Wolt’s growth, stakeholders wanted a contract management solution that could offer ease of use and scalability. Wolt replaced its legacy workflow with Juro in 2017. Beginning with two Juro users, Wolt expanded to 40 across 10 markets by the end of 2018, and as of 2021, has more than 350 users self-serving on automated documents. Read more.

💡 RVU + Juro = Scalable contract automation 

The company behind a series of comparison businesses, including Uswitch, Money.co.uk, and Bankrate, RVU combines the fast pace of a scaleup with the strength of trusted household names in the home and financial services industries. Because the company grew from several acquisitions, its team adopted many different business practices, relying on Word templates and manual processes for low-value, high-volume contracts. Frequent delays and lengthy negotiations added friction to an already painful workflow until RVU’s legal team implemented Juro to streamline the process. With Juro, RVU created a system of record for contracts, with expanding usage across multiple teams, allowing the company to serve a complex, high-growth business with a lean legal department while freeing up time for high-value work. Read more.

Implementing document automation in 2021

As organizations have more and more documents to process, they need solutions that reduce manual processing, lower costs and errors, increase compliance, and enhance employee satisfaction. With document automation technology, all these goals can be accomplished.

Although document assembly tools have been around for years, the Juro platform is:

  • Lightning-fast, reducing legal time spent on routine tasks by as much as 75 percent
  • Ultra-secure, built on AWS servers with the highest standards of data protection
  • Easy to use, designed to make document creation work for everyone – not just lawyers

With contract volumes growing month by month, document automation is critical, particularly for high-growth businesses that need to stay in control while meeting rising demand.

The good news: Juro makes this happen by using the latest technology and the most advanced product features allied to intuitive UI. And with an average implementation time of 21 days, we'll get you to value within weeks - not months

Take control of your documents with automation

If manually creating and managing documents is becoming a challenge for your organization, the Juro platform will streamline your process. To find out more about our document automation software, hit the big button below and get in touch.

Topics: Contract magic

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