What are digital documents?

We're all familiar with paperwork like documents, forms, and contracts. They typically start on a computer, get printed out, delivered to the recipient, filled in, returned back to the source, and then filed or entered back into the computer.

Digital documents make paperwork more efficient, by eliminating many of the steps above. This technology includes things like online forms to collect customer information, generation tools that create documents from templates, and electronic signing for agreements.

Why should you use them?

  • Reduce the time it takes to create professional documents such as proposals or reports, and prefill them with customer or job information
  • Simplify the process of collecting and sharing information, and automatically enter data from forms directly into the system you need it in
  • Maintain a reliable record of information that's easy to search, and less likely to be lost or damaged

Common business use cases

  • Project proposals
  • Professional reports
  • Contracts/agreements
  • Job information forms
  • Quotes/invoices
  • Registration forms
  • Customer iPad forms
  • Electronic signatures
  • Online forms

Problems that digital documents solve

  • Business problem

  • With digital documents

  • Wasting labour on data entry and scanning of paper forms

  • Digital documents: Eliminate data entry, information can go directly into relevant systems

  • Manually creating/editing documents for customers is time-consuming

  • Digital documents: Generate new documents fast, prefilled with customer or job details

  • Documents are unprofessional and lack consistency in branding or styling

  • Digital documents: Templates ensure your documents are consistent and professional

  • Customers can't easily sign and return agreements

  • Digital documents: Electronic signing is quick, easy, and legally binding

  • Information has to be manually gathered from customers

  • Digital documents: Collecting information is simple and streamlined

  • Unnecessary costs and waste from paper, ink, and printers

  • Digital documents: Reduced costs and environmental impact

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Examples of digital documents

Online forms

How it works
  • Customers can visit a website to easily provide you with any information you require
  • Forms can be put on your website, or emailed with a direct link so they aren't public facing
  • After being filled out, responses are emailed or sent directly into other business systems
Business benefits
  • Makes it easy for customers to provide you with information, reducing back-and-forth
  • Ensures information is in the correct format you need
  • Eliminates data entry and reduces the chance of human error

Project proposals

How it works
  • Create templates for proposals, with all of the standard text and terms
  • Add any unique job and customer information, then generate the finished document
  • After emailing it to the customer, you can be notified when they view it, and for how long
  • Customers can select from multiple pricing options, and sign the proposal electronically
Business benefits
  • Deliver professional proposals every time, without spending hours creating them
  • Speed up the process to get your proposal signed and approved
  • Track whether they have looked at it, so you know when to follow up

Automatic document generation

How it works
  • Set up templates with standard text, and choose where things like names or products will appear
  • Create a trigger (e.g. customer requests finance agreement from your website)
  • When the trigger occurs, prefilled documents are generated and sent to the customer
Business benefits
  • Ensure consistency across customers with a standard template
  • Improve the efficiency of your processes and reduce delays for the customer
  • Reduce costs because there's no need for a staff member to create, edit, or send the documents

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