The Difference Between Document Automation and Document Assembly

automated document assembly

Document automation or document assembly? The terms are interchangeable, right? Most people believe that, yes, the two mean the same thing. However, one cannot be substituted for the other. In fact, document automation and document assembly mean two completely different things.

To put it simply, document assembly is one of several steps that make up document automation. This applies to both on-premises automated document assembly and online document assembly.

Starting the Process with Templates

automated document assemblyIn order to understand where document assembly fits in to document automation, you need to know the steps involved.

The first step in document automation is creating a template. The template acts as the starting point for document generation, as it provides the necessary instructions for automation. Users design the documents they need, which is important when it comes to creating easy-to-read, engaging templates.

Generating the Documents

Document automation retrieves your customers’ information based on the criteria you create for each template.You can create rules to define which template(s) are used in specific scenarios, and then apply transactional data to those templates to render individual communications.

For example, if you needed to pull a customer’s information to send out an email, but you also wanted to attach a statement to that email, you would need two different templates. One of the benefits of having templates is you can set it and forget it. Once they’re created, document automation takes care of retrieving all the data and generating the required documents, freeing up your employees to work on other things.

Bringing it Together with Document Assembly

Once the templates pull customer data and generate the required documents, document assembly takes over. Document assembly takes all of the documents associated with a request and puts them together. Chances are, you’re not going to send out a one-page document to your customer, so this is an important step in document automation.

Whether it’s creating multiple statements from multiple months if a customer wants a yearly summary, or simply adding disclaimers or cover pages, automated document assembly brings everything together.

Document automation, thanks to document assembly, not only helps your company’s bottom line, but gives your customers what they want, when and how they want it. Creating a great customer experience is paramount to the success of your company.

Keeping Your Customers Happy

Online document assembly allows your company to develop on your customers’ expectations and provide the information they need in a seamless package. Built-in multichannel or omnichannel features mean that your customers can receive documents in the mail, their email, as a text message, or in some cases through social media.

It also keeps your IT department happy. By using online document assembly, you can reduce costs and get up to speed much faster than using a on-premise solution. IT can also control data quality and cleanliness by setting up a ‘review and approve’ process based upon role. While the business department takes control of the content and layout, the IT department can focus on data integrity and control.

Lastly, having document assembly as a step within document automation, your company can run high-volume batch jobs, such as monthly statements, invoices, annual reports and more. It becomes easy to accelerate the creation of one or more documents on-demand, such as individual statements, quotes, or certificates as a customer requests them.