According to a study by Xerox, 46% of respondents say their time is wasted by paper-intensive workflows. Despite that fact, almost 50% of businesses have only just begun or are still considering implementing digitization.
The fact is, paper just can’t move as fast as digital files. The same goes for humans. Although we are fast approaching a truly digitized age, many industries, such as law and government, still struggle with paper dependency as a result of legacy business processes.
Luckily, digital document transformation via AI and machine learning can help streamline business-critical processes via automation and the marvel of modern computing. Companies that don’t ride this wave may well get left behind.
How does it make business more efficient?
Automatic and consistent drafting of documents
A lot of time goes wasted by using staff hours to draft new versions of existing documents. Every time a new employee joins, it means going through a process of training on how to use the house style. All of this can be (and already is) sped up by document automation via AI and machine learning.
Or let’s say you sign a new client and log them into the system. A standard agreement can be automatically drafted that uses the client’s name and details within seconds. You can rest assured that there will be no human errors and that the styling will be consistent.
This will allow your employees to focus on their job and not the mundane and repeatable task of drafting documents.
Classification and processing
The amazing ability of AI and machine learning algorithms to extract data has another use. These machines have become remarkably good at reading the context of content. Documents can easily be sorted into document clusters or arranged by date, topic, field of business, etc. Some document management software does this by using optical character recognition (OCR) to read text content.
Not only does this cut down on time to do this manually, but it also has a host of other benefits. Documents are easier to find once they are digitally filed, and this further reduces your dependence on physical copies.
Data extraction and analytics
Being able to automatically “read” information has another important use. AI algorithms can pick up data points or important pieces of information and collate them across documents. Businesses are then able to pull specific data sets from their documents.
This doesn’t just go for what’s in the documents but also the documents themselves. You can get info on how many documents you have according to type, client, etc. It will allow you to track your own document usage and statistics and stay on top of shifting patterns and trends. It can also lead to future integration with automatic invoicing, for one example.
Streamlined digital admin and document management
Document management software suites usually come with an easy-to-use interface that you can access from the computer. Instead of handling physical documents or having to make changes to templates or existing documents one by one, this interface streamlines the process.
For example, a law firm has many different types of documents. However, it might use a consistent header or logo at the same place on each page. Through the software, you can update these graphics, and the algorithm will make the necessary changes across your company document templates.
Business processes can even be built into the AI’s logic. Documents can be automatically sent to the right individual or department according to workflows based on simple rules. In this way, there is no reliance on a middleman to send documents from one party to the next. Signatures can be automatically collected and the document then forwarded to the next relevant party, for example.
Start to embrace a paperless future today
The benefits of AI and automation in document digitization actually boils down to one thing: Allowing your management and employees to focus on their job expertise. This will streamline business across the board by maximizing working hours and cutting down on admin.
The field of AI document transformation is still very new, but progress is being made with lightning speed. Integration with blockchain technology is already happening and will take the verification, security, and redundancy of document management to a new level. Start on a digitization campaign today to stay at the forefront of streamlining your document-related business functions.
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