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Understanding document management workflow and automation for the legal industry

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Understanding document management workflow and automation for the legal industry

Understanding document management workflow and automation for the legal industry

An organization that deals with all forms of paperwork needs a system that can successfully and effectively manage it. For each document that flows through a channel, there is a lifecycle and an approval process. But in modern times and with the availability of modern technology, a digital solution is definitely required. In fact, it is the need of the hour. One way to achieve this would be by identifying Document Workflow Solutions, which means document automation software for lawyers.

Document Management Workflow

Document workflow can be a challenge in every industry, right from the health care sector to the manufacturing and retail sector. Document management workflow can be used in a variety of fields, from the approval of travel expenses to annual reports and many other business activities. The best document management systems can manage, track and store important documents in real-time while drastically reducing the usage of paper.

Document management can be effective and is usually performed with an intelligent software system that can act as a document repository. Most people are capable of creating multiple iterations of the same document that is modified by users. The systems can commonly provide a workflow process for tasks like security, storage, versioning, indexing, metadata and retrieval.

Document automation workflow software overlaps other concepts such as content management systems. The additional systems include workflow systems, document imaging, enterprise content management, enterprise document management and records management systems. The software works with the help of a technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It has a built-in scanner that can read a document easily and convert it into an editable format. The most common reason to make use of a document management solution can be to streamline the workflow. This can make the paperwork into digital documents that can be easily searchable in a virtual space.

Elements of a Document Management Workflow

Understanding the workflow of document management is the first step towards business process automation. The exact function would depend on the industry, type of document and regulations that might apply. Generally, a document management workflow contains few steps such as:

  •         Creating, modifying and archiving of a new document
  •         Collaboration and sharing of documents
  •         Versioning the documents
  •         Incorporating search capability
  •         Creating reports

If you make use of the right program, it can help in continually optimising the workflow and in streamlining operations.

 How Document Control Benefits a Business

There are various ways by which a document approval workflow can be adapted:

  • Finance and Administration: The right paperwork and smart forecasting is necessary to keep the budget accurate
  • Supply and Logistics: By ensuring the inventory management can be right with material received in the right quantities at the right time. Besides, it can also guarantee the requests that are approved promptly.
  • Compliance and Policy: It can help an organization comply with government and industrial regulations. A business can prepare for an audit in a better way with the help of document automation.
  • Employee Management: Document workflow can help in tracking the employee promotion expectations and guidelines. It can make sure that everyone gets equal consideration.
  • Company Culture: It can be used for morale-boosting work functions that might keep the employees engaged.
  • Marketing and Sales: It allows the marketing and sales departments to access important paperwork to run and automate the right campaigns.
  • Human Resources: A document management system, instead of storing the employee data in an Excel file, enables the HR department to keep it in a digital repository.

Integrated document management comprises the technology, tools and methods that can handle documents across an enterprise. This includes actions such as capture, preserve, store, manage, deliver and delete. The documents act more as files that contain a mix of data such as images. Office documents, contracts, graphics and drawings. They might also contain electronic objects like web pages, email, instant messages and videos. Document management software can be integrated with multiple technologies. This can be the most successful solution for enterprise businesses. It allows you to optimize and centralise the efforts in every department.

 Types of Document Management Systems

There are four main types of document management systems namely:

  • Server-based: Server-based includes platforms such as locally installed library cataloguing systems.
  • Database: Programs such as My SQL can store and manage a variety of file types
  • Cloud-based: Information in the system is uploaded and stored remotely.
  • Web-based: The data is generated and stored with the help of a web browser.

Steps to Automate Documents for Lawyers

  • Repetitive Text: Most attorneys spend plenty of time on dealing with drafting documents. This process can be automated with the help of the automated software and save a lot of time! For example, if a potential client sends an email, an automated possible response can be kept ready in the form of draft so that it becomes easier to respond back fast. The template can be saved so that every time there is a need to reply or mail back someone else, the same template can be used. There are also various tools that can help in saving time while writing or drafting documents.
  • Form Creation and Assembly: Other than the basic drafting, document generation can help build a document database for the legal practice by making sure that the documents used repeatedly are handy. It might include letters to opposing counsel, intake forms, official documents and much more. To automate the document generation, the documents should be turned into forms.  It can be more efficient and can also help in preserving client’s confidentiality. The document can be easily reused.
  • Filing: Getting the electronic documents organised can be a time-consuming process. Automation of documents might make things easier. Many tools can help in ensuring proper document naming conventions with the help of a shortcut. Some other tools can allow configuration of rules that can automate the document management.

Document workflow solutions can indeed make the documentation part easier in all streams including business, legal sector and so on. With the help of Document Automation Software For Lawyers, drafting documents can be made easier with lesser chances of having an error in the documents created. There are various secure software’s that can be easily found online for automating the work process.

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