Are you struggling with your proposals or other business-critical documents?
The answer is ‘yes’ if...
… you spend more time manually compiling multiple pieces of content into one consistent document versus actually contributing to the content.
… you over and over again receive content at the very last minute and need to track people down to find out where their content is.
… you waste a day and a half getting the formatting, graphics and layout right after team members have been working in silos, generating several different document versions.
… you spend hour upon hour painstakingly going back and forth fixing issues before you can print.
… just hours before the deadline, you still struggle to find out which are the latest versions, and panic starts to creep in.
If your document creation process looks anything like this, then you have probably been looking for a better way for quite some time.
A smarter approach
All of the above challenges are real-world issues faced by companies before they adopted the right document collaboration and co-authoring solution. Their experiences were remarkably similar, across sectors: The old-school way of creating complex business documents, using file-based solutions and spreadsheets, made it very hard to stay in control all the way through. Completing complex documents was just too difficult, and they couldn’t go on wasting manhours and losing business.
A more automated and intelligent approach to document production was not merely needed but also imperative to maintaining a competitive edge in their respective markets.
For companies in any industry, best practices for managing the production of complex documents – like proposals and tenders, reports, studies, license applications – include the following:
Standardize and automate functionality within the document (e.g formatting, version control)
Automate all manuals tasks and workflows – such as reviews and approvals
Embed control functions into the process (e.g. notifications, access rights and security levels)
Make it easy to create, manage and repurpose content
Enable information to find people (and not force people to search for information)
Forward-leaning companies will ensure employees have both robust, easy-to-use technology and automated processes so they can build a culture of good information management.
For teams working on complex or time-sensitive projects, this helps them to not get stuck in a quagmire of manual tasks and process inefficiencies. Instead, they can focus on the value of the content and its impact on the business.
Embrace co-authoring and automation
If you and your document production team repeatedly find yourself lacking control, battling with formatting, and ending up with a large ‘Frankenstein’ document, you will struggle to meet your deadline, let alone create a document that reflects your level of business competency.
Stop consigning yourself to applying paper principles in a digital age.
It’s time to let go of legacy processes and embrace new digital ways of working.
It’s time to move to a co-authoring and automation solution.
Kris Sæther is Chief Commercial Officer of Xait. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Media Studies, and has worked in financial communication in London and Frankfurt prior to joining Xait. He has 20+ years experience from the information management industry. Kris is an avid runner and skier, and a passionate fan of the world’s coolest soccer team, Tottenham. If he is not working or running you will find him cheering for his two daughters on the handball court.
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