Why digital documents are the new currency of productivity
Chandra Sinnathamby explains why the pandemic has made digital documents a business necessity. The ability to sign, share, review and store documents virtually means businesses can maintain continuity and work collaboratively. One positive which came from our previous turbulent year is the fact that many organisations across New Zealand accelerated their digital transformation efforts. While New Zealand […]
Chandra Sinnathamby explains why the pandemic has made digital documents a business necessity. The ability to sign, share, review and store documents virtually means businesses can maintain continuity and work collaboratively.
One positive which came from our previous turbulent year is the fact that many organisations across New Zealand accelerated their digital transformation efforts. While New Zealand managed to curb the spread of COVID-19 relative quickly compared to other nations, swift lockdowns forced many small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) to pivot operations and embrace digital technology.
A key technology that accelerated transformation was the adoption of digital documents. Before the pandemic, accessing and using digital documents was always seen as an option, but the pandemic pushed digital documents into being a business necessity. The ability to sign, share, review and store documents virtually meant businesses were able to maintain continuity and work collaboratively.
To better understand the use of digital document across the region, we launched a research survey and found that a majority (84%) of businesses across the Asia-Pacific plan to continue to e-sign documents after the pandemic is over. Interestingly, most people (73%) believe that companies who don’t offer e-signature options are ‘behind the times.’
Therefore, many SMBs are embracing digital documents to meet the rising expectations of consumers. According to , almost half (42%) of ANZ businesses are either planning to implement or expand on their digital document process solutions over the next 12 months, with spending on digital document processes expected to increase by an average of 49%.
This investment is crucial. By going paperless, SMBs are able to create efficiencies, cut costs, improve their environmental footprint, and enable business continuity in the long term. Digital documents will also drive productivity and collaboration, enabling SMBs to begin automating simple tasks and workflows.
Driving productivity in any business through automation
Everyday, thousands of SMBs across New Zealand perform the same tasks time and time again. Whether it’s creating contracts, collecting customer information, or ordering standard supplies, employees are spending quite a lot of time repeating manual, paper-based processes. These types of repetitive tasks consume valuable time and create inefficiency across the organisation.
By shifting to digital documents, technologies like Adobe Sign Advanced Workflows can be used to automate common tasks. It’s important for SMBs to build digital processes which assemble the right document and route them to the right person automatically.
For example, HR managers can create offer letters based on position, salary, benefits and job location. Through a simple web form, they can dynamically generate unique offer letters for each candidate, send them for signature, track their progress and store a signed digital copy. No more manual creation. No more printing, faxing or mailing.
When people talk about automation, it sounds complex and costly. But for SMBs, turning common paper-based tasks into online, self-service process is a simple four step process:
- Kick off a new process: Create HTML forms to prequalify new requests and select the right form or document package for the right situation.
- Trigger next steps: Use conditional logic to route each request correctly, so documents move automatically from one task to the next.
- Take action: Route tasks to the right people automatically. Assemble documents, review, approve, sign, deliver, and more.
- Use dashboards: Manage signed and received documents, generate reports, and get real-time visibility into document cycles.
By setting up such automations, employees and customers can access and complete these tasks at anytime, anywhere, which greatly increases productivity and enhances customer experience.
Starting your automation journey
As you plan out your digital transformation and automation journey, it can be difficult to know where to begin. To help identify the right processes to automate, start by mapping your paper use and identify a few processes that could benefit most from digitisation. Start from key use cases that are slowing down operations and delaying business value due to manual or paper-based steps.
It’s important to engage all stakeholders – employees, customers, suppliers and partners – on your transformation journey. Ensure all of them are on board with the changes and understand its potential benefits to the business as well as them as individuals. All stakeholders need to understand how the solution will improve the specific pain points that they face so that they are determined to be change-makers for your business.
Finally, be sure to think long-term. Chart out short and long-term digital maturity milestones and start working towards them. Look for solutions that can integrate well with existing technology investments and start phasing out old and inefficient processes.
Therefore, now more than ever, digital documents are the currency of business productivity. As SMBs focus on building modern and productive workplaces, they will look to leverage digital documents, automation, and AI. By focusing here now, you can jump start your transformation journey.
Chandra Sinnathamby is Head of Adobe Document Cloud, Asia-Pacific.