Let‘s face it – paperwork is the bane of modern business. Contracts, forms, reports, invoices – important documents constantly flow through organizations forming the lifeblood of operations. But companies worldwide still rely on antiquated, manual methods to handle these documents. Employees waste countless hours passing paperwork through email and shuffle through folders just to find the right version. It‘s slow, inefficient, and frustrating.
My friend, the solution is workflow automation software. As a technology geek and enterprise automation expert, I‘ve helped dozens of companies modernize their document processes. The results are stunning – more productivity, fewer errors, increased visibility, and lower costs.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll explain:
- What document workflow automation is
- The benefits it delivers
- How airSlate makes automation accessible
- Real world examples and use cases
- Implementation best practices
- And more
I‘ll also dispel common misconceptions about workflow automation. My goal is to convince you that now is the time to stop wasting hours on manual paperwork and finally see what intelligent automation can do for your organization. Let‘s dive in!
The Shocking Cost of Manual Document Work
First, let‘s quantify the sheer amount of time and money wasted on manual document workflows every year:
Employees spend on average 3.1 hours per day handling documents – that‘s over a third of their workday! (AIIM)
Professionals waste 6.6 weeks per year searching for the right paper documents and information. (McKinsey)
Organizations lose $120 on average processing each paper document. (Forrester)
For companies with over 1,000 employees, the total cost is $2.5M-$3.5M annually. (Forrester)
Quite staggering isn‘t it? And those are pre-pandemic statistics. With remote work further dispersing documents and teams, these costs have only skyrocketed.
Saving your employees hours of wasted document work has an incredible ROI. And reducing reliance on paper documents improves accuracy, compliance, and agility – all critical for modern business.
What Is Document Workflow Automation?
Document workflow automation software manages the digital routing of documents between people and systems based on rules you define. For example:
- When a new sales contract is created, automatically route it to Legal for review
- If the amount is above $50K, have it routed to the CFO after legal approval
- Then route to Sales VP for e-signature
- Finally, log in CRM and notify Sales Rep
Workflow automation engines handle these rules-based interactions behind the scenes so you don‘t have to manage it manually across departments and siloed systems.
Benefits of Automating Workflows
Intelligently automating document workflows provides a whole host of benefits:
Increased efficiency – Automating repetitive administrative tasks enables employees to focus on higher priority initiatives. Studies show workflow automation reduces document processing time by over 70%. Imagine how much time your team could get back!
Improved accuracy – With less human handling of documents, there are fewer errors like misfiling paperwork, missed approvals, incorrect data entry in systems, etc. Automated data validation also prevents mistakes.
Enhanced compliance – Digital workflows ensure proper protocols are enforced every time for auditing and compliance. Centralizing documents also reduces security risks.
Real-time visibility – Dashboards that track a document’s status through each step provide complete transparency into bottlenecks and performance.
Easy scalability – Workflows easily adjust to large spikes or drops in document volume so you can scale without disruptions or proportional cost increases.
Cost reduction – The efficiencies of automation add up to significant cost savings. Research shows automated workflows reduce costs by $16 per document on average.
Business agility – With faster automated processes, your business can move quicker to seize new opportunities and adapt to market changes.
Improved customer experience – Customers appreciate faster response times and resolution instead of waiting on manual document processes.
Better analytics – End-to-end insights uncover inefficiencies so you can continuously optimize and improve workflows.
Clearly, moving from manual unstructured workflows to automated digital processes delivers game-changing benefits. But many companies believe workflow automation is too complex or expensive. Let‘s debunk those myths!
Workflow Automation Myth Busting
If concerns about workflow automation adoption have held your organization back, know the following:
Myth: Automation requires extensive IT resources and custom development
Reality: Modern low-code automation platforms like airSlate require no coding or IT resources to build workflows. The drag-and-drop workflow designer is so user-friendly anyone can map out document flows with just a few clicks.
Myth: We can’t afford workflow automation technology
Reality: airSlate‘s pricing starts at just $15 per user/month – a fraction of the six or seven figure platform prices seen a decade ago. The ROI is achieved incredibly fast given the hours saved.
Myth: Automation will replace our jobs
Reality: Automating repetitive tasks empowers employees to focus on meaningful work only humans can do – strategy, critical thinking, analysis, customer service. Studies show workflow automation increases job satisfaction.
Myth: Our processes are too complex to automate
Reality: airSlate has automated intricate workflows for global enterprises with thousands of steps and rules. Its enterprise-grade functionality can handle even the most complex document processes.
Myth: We‘ll have to rip and replace our existing systems
Reality: With its library of connectors and APIs, airSlate integrates seamlessly with your current tools like DMS, ERPs, e-signature platforms, etc. No need to displace your IT investments.
Introducing airSlate – The Complete Document Automation Platform
Now that I‘ve made the case for intelligent document workflow automation, let me introduce airSlate – the leading solution purpose-built to automate and optimize any paper-laden business process.
airSlate provides everything you need to digitize document workflows in one intuitive platform:
✅ Visually design any workflow with an easy drag-and-drop builder
✅ Apply advanced logic like conditions, loops, schedules, and scripts
✅ User-friendly forms, document generation, and built-in e-signatures
✅ 100+ pre-built workflow templates for common processes
✅ Seamless integrations with your current apps and systems
✅ Real-time process visibility through analytics and dashboards
✅ Speedy implementation measured in days, not months
The key advantage of airSlate is the ability to create flexible workflows without coding. This means any employee can map out document flows specific to your needs and make updates on-the-fly.
Let‘s walk through how airSlate transforms two common document-driven headaches – contract approvals and employee onboarding.
Real World airSlate Use Cases
One of the most painful paper processes organizations suffer through is contract review and approval. Without workflow automation, it often looks like:
- Contracts stored on local drives or in an unsearchable DMS
- Lawyers emailing marked up Word docs back and forth
- Printing contracts for executives to sign with a pen
- No visibility into status or pending approvals
- Contracts getting lost in the shuffle
- Days or weeks to finalize a contract
Now imagine automating this contract approval workflow with airSlate:
- Auto-populate contracts from CRM with key commercial data
- Route to General Counsel for initial review
- Conditional logic sends contract to correct exec for e-signature based on size/type/geo
- Real-time tracking provides overview of all contracts in process
- E-signature built directly into airSlate platform
- Email alerts on pending approvals and finalization
- Automatic filing of signed contracts into your DMS
This streamlined, transparent workflow reduces cycle times from weeks to days while improving compliance. The legal team can self-serve reports on contract velocity and bottlenecks. And sales teams close deals faster.
airSlate delivers similar transformative results for new hire onboarding. Typically, HR suffers through mountains of paperwork, faxing, copying, emailing, and pure manual chaos to finalize new employees.
Onboarding powered by airSlate allows you to:
- Trigger automated workflows from your HRIS when a new hire is entered
- Generate pre-populated offer letters for e-signature
- Collect digital forms, tax docs, direct deposit info via web forms
- Route equipment checklists, office policies, handbooks based on role
- Integrate background verification, payroll system, and e-signature
- Auto-file all paperwork into the employee‘s digital profile
- Email the manager tasks to complete for the new team member
With airSlate, onboarding paperwork that once dragged on for a month now takes only a week. HR spends less time chasing paper and new hires start off on the right foot.
And remember – these are just examples of what airSlate can do. The platform allows you to automate practically any document workflow your business requires.
How airSlate Compares to Alternatives
As an experienced technology advisor, clients often ask me how airSlate stacks up against competitors in the workflow automation space. Here is an objective comparison of key criteria:
|Platform||Ease of Use||Speed to Deploy||Total Cost||Flexibility||Mobile Access||Strength|
|airSlate||Simple drag-and-drop builder. Prebuilt templates accelerate automation.||Weeks to days||$$$||Easily handle complex workflows and logic||iOS and Android apps||Contract, document and form workflows|
|Nintex||Technical expertise required. Significant training needed.||Months||$$$$||Challenging to build sophisticated workflows||None||Advanced enterprise-grade workflows and integrations|
|K2||IT resources required. Steep learning curve.||Months||$$$$||Very flexible but requires dev skills||None||Process automation across systems|
|DocuSign||Simple web UI. Specialized for eSignatures.||Days||$$||Limited to signing workflows||Full mobile support||Industry leader for digital transaction management|
As you can see, airSlate strikes the ideal balance of power, ease-of-use, speed, and cost. It excels at automating end-to-end document workflows from creation to signatures unlike DocuSign which focuses solely on eSignatures. airSlate doesn‘t require extensive IT resources or developer skills like Nintex and K2.
And at $15/user/month, airSlate provides excellent ROI – over 50% cost reduction compared to manual processes. When evaluating workflow automation, keep these key criteria in mind.
Seamless airSlate Implementation
As an automation expert, clients also often ask me: "How hard will it be to implement airSlate?"
The beauty of airSlate lies in its speed and simplicity of deployment. Here‘s an overview of the quick 3 step process:
1. Connect your systems
Thanks to airSlate‘s library of 100+ pre-built integrations, connecting existing tools like your DMS, CRM, HRIS takes just minutes with a few clicks.
2. Build workflows
Using the drag-and-drop Workflow Builder canvas, easily design workflows or start from pre-made templates. Changes can be made on the fly.
3. Automate workflows
Activate your workflows and instantly automate! Monitor performance through analytics and dashboards.
Due to its intuitive interface and wealth of templates, airSlate delivers value in days or weeks, not the months required for convoluted platforms. And airSlate‘s passionate community provides tips and tricks to ensure your success.
Security and Compliance airSlate Guarantees
I never recommend workflow automation tools without vetting their security and compliance capabilities first. Handling sensitive documents requires enterprise-grade security, access controls, and auditing.
airSlate delivers on all fronts:
- SOC 2 Type 2 certified – Confirms security, availability, and confidentiality controls
- ISO 27001 compliant – Gold standard for information security management
- 256 bit AES encryption – Secures documents end-to-end
- GDPR ready – Enables data protection and privacy requirements
- User management – Sophisticated user, group, and permission controls
- Single sign-on (SSO) – Interoperates with your corporate SSO
- Auditing – Logs all user activity for audits
airSlate safeguards your most sensitive data in transit and storage while giving you tools to lock down access and maintain compliance.
Is airSlate Right For You?
With its speed to deploy, affordable pricing, and flexibility to handle complex document workflows, airSlate is a fit for:
- Growing companies looking to modernize processes beyond spreadsheets and shared drives
- Teams overwhelmed with manual paperwork bottlenecks
- Distributed teams struggling to collaborate across silos and locations
- Regulated industries needing security, controls, and audit trails
- Organizations starved for visibility into broken statuses and productivity
If your business deals with high document volume and inefficient workflows, airSlate is ready to drive tangible benefits from day one.
Start Automating With a Free Trial
Hopefully I‘ve convinced you of the urgent need to modernize manual business workflows. Document process automation is mission critical, and airSlate makes it accessible.
Get started with a free 14-day trial of airSlate to experience the platform firsthand. Select a common frustrating workflow and see the transformation.
Implementing airSlate delivers one of the fastest ROIs of any technology platform. Just think of the hours teams will get back from needless paperwork. Production will skyrocket and employees will have higher job satisfaction.
Now is the time to stop tolerating inefficient manual workflows that waste time and introduce errors. Join the modern digital age with intelligent document automation. See for yourself the power airSlate provides!