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Document Automation and Retail Businesses

Document Automation and Retail Businesses

Document Automation and Retail Businesses

Invoices, purchase orders, bills of lading, receipts… The list goes on and on. Although you may not think it, the retail industry is one rife with paperwork. There are dozens of different documents that a business needs to generate, process, and store in to keep operations running smoothly. And it is no secret that the industry is a highly competitive one. Retail shops must find and take any advantage possible to stay ahead. The right automated document management solution can prove to be that very tool that gives the edge for success.

Going Paperless
One obvious benefit to using an automated document management system to generate, store, and organize documents is that you will deal with a lot less paper. It’s better for the environment, and saves space. Money not spent on storage space for the reams of documents created every day is money that can be reinvested into the business.

Documents like invoices and salary slips can be Automatically Generated and Assembled with dynamic information inputted for specific scenarios. The risk of human data entry error drops to zero, Furthermore, individuals who normally handle repetitive tasks like entry are free to perform more valuable tasks for the business.

Employee Forms
Registering and onboarding employees to a company, no matter the size, requires a lot of paperwork. Tax and salary documents like W-2s and 1099 forms are a prerequisite part of doing business. An automated document management solution can generate the necessary forms by automatically populating documents with information Automatically Imported from other sources, including Sheets. This saves time of course, allowing new employees to get to work much faster.

Privacy
Organizations are responsible for protecting the private data information of both their employees and customers. Failure to do so can result in huge fines that can devastate a growing business, and setback an established one. The ease with which automation tools allow retail shops to automatically assemble forms and documents does not need to sacrifice compliance. Anonymization Tools make it easier for companies to adhere to the law by giving organizations the ability to remove the risk quickly and easily, protecting customers and employees.

Database Organization
Both internally generated forms such as receipts, and externally received documents such as bills of lading, or vendor invoices can be stored as secure Document Records in a secure database. These records can have additional documents added to them along with relevant metadata, like customer information and due dates. This information can be used to power additional tools like automated Deadline Notifications, which can be scheduled to alert users and ensure that no payments are missed, whether they are to be paid out or received.

Automated document management tools do not only save paper. A strong document management solution will increase transparency and boost productivity. Employees will spend less time on dull repetitive tasks, and contribute more of their energy to helping your business grow.

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Retail

Retail

Complete transactions faster. Purchase and sell effectively.

Drive Success For Yourself And Your Organization

 

We know retail companies need to be agile and prepared to quickly finalize agreements deals with their suppliers, wholesale customers, and other partners. The right automation tool will expedite your drafting, approving, and finalization of documents. You will save time and money and help your business run smoothly.

Together, Let’s Get A Win Using Our Verified Digital Transformation Playbook

 

We have helped many retail companies and we can help you. We share our know-how and tips from automation experts and satisfied clients who have already implemented a document automation solution to help you on your way to do it correctly, starting from determining your use cases, selecting the correct tool, implementation, and building 100% adoption.

Leverage the Experience of Other Digital-forward Companies

Key Improvements Our Customers Achieved With Legito 

%

%

Drafting Time Saved

Higher Document Approval Efficiency

More Revenues

More Accurate Final Documents

Step 1: Identify Your Use Cases

Internal Research

First, identify individuals in departments or teams who will benefit from the change and increased efficiency (typically managers). Assure interviewees that may be resistant to change that there is nothing to fear from automation, and that their input is valued and will help the company by helping them to be even more successful at their jobs.

Determine the key stakeholders. Here is a list of departments which, in our experience, we have found benefit greatly from automation:

 

  • Sourcing/Procurement department
  • Legal department
  • Human Resources department
  • Purchase/Sales department
  • IT department (for integration and security purposes)

After you have determined the correct people to speak to, start your research. Try to avoid questions that elicit feelings or opinions. Here are some standard questions that could prove useful:

 

  • What is our current document drafting process?
  • What is our current document workflow and approval process, and the state of our lifecycle management?
  • What does our current contract signing process look like? Do we use electronic signatures?
  • What are the current challenges we are facing?
  • What contracts or other documents are used most frequently? Is it possible to estimate how much time, on average, it takes to draft each without automation?
  • What metrics are available?
  • What are our software usage and data security policies?

Calculate Your Automation’s Return On Investment (ROI)

Use our Document Automation Matrix to estimate how long it will take you to automate a document, and our ROI Calculator will help you see how well (and how soon!) Legito will work for you.

Investment = Time and Resources spent in the following areas:

 

  • Document Assembly: Time spent defining the Conditions and logical dependencies that power automation. How many different logically dependent / conditioned content and alternative wording options will be automated within the document.

 

  • Document Lifecycle Management: Time spent developing automated Workflows and defining the proper User permissions and User Groups.

 

  • Environment: Time spent preparing the Workspace (i.e., Branding, Footers, Categories, Document Groupings, etc.)

 

  • On-Premise (if applicable, i.e, not using a cloud based solution): Time spent installing the solution and preparing it for use (e.g., servers, integrations, etc.)

Return = Benefits reaped from invested time and resources

 

  • How much faster are documents drafted?

Best way to calculate these results is to research how much time it currently takes to draft different documents from various categories and multiply that number by the number of times it is drafted per year. Next, assume that 90% of that time could be saved through proper automation.

 

  • How much more efficient is your document lifecycle management?

Similar to calculating increased document drafting speed, determine the state of your current document lifecycle management processes, and also how much time is spent. Trial an automated document lifecycle management solution and capture how the time it takes to complete the same processes after automation. The difference is your time saved per process, which can then be expanded to include additional processes by multiplying that time by the frequency these lifecycle processes are activated.

 

  • How much time is saved using eSignature?

Like the above scenarios, it is possible to test the before and after state of your signing processes to determine time saved. Broadly, research has shown that a well deployed eSignature solution can decrease signing times by 95 percent.

 

Averaging these three criteria can help you confidently create an estimate of your automation ROI. Legito’s custom ROI Calculator and Automation Matrix may give you a good starting place to reasonably estimate your expected ROI.

Frequently Automated Documents For Retail Businesses

  • Contracts on providing services
  • Purchase Agreements
  • Master Service Agreements
  • Framework Purchase Agreements
  • Documents relating to submitting or receiving tenders
  • NDA/Confidentiality Agreements
  • Lease Agreements
  • Licensing Offers

Step 2: Choose the Right Solution

Important Features

Legito customers similarly placed in your industry have found that, in addition to Legito’s core features, the following features cater particularly well to Retail Businesses:

 

 

Legito strongly recommends initially testing a complex automation solution (e.g., multiple logical dependencies in an automated template) on a small use case.

 

This may provide an opportunity to investigate many different features. Not only can you determine if the product has everything that you need, but it’s a perfect opportunity to try a pilot project that can serve as a warm-up for an actual implementation. and roll out. Using a complex use case has the advantage of it being more likely that any product limitations will be discovered early. So rather than encountering difficulties later on in the implementation stage and having to start over, these important decisions may be made early.

 

Fortunately, Legito offers a 30-day free trial that gives you the opportunity to do just this.

Useful Resources

Commonly used criteria

  • End-users ease of use
  • Scope of use-cases to be covered by software
  • Fast software development with continual updates
  • Product road map for the upcoming year
  • Out-of-the-box integrations with other applications

 

Additional criteria will depend on the size of your business (Enterprise, Midsize, or Early Stage), and of course, company specific criteria will be determined based on your business’ unique use cases.

Step 3: Implementation

Once you have selected a tool, get to know it and have at least one person learn all the ins and outs. This person may become your first Power User.

Determine which would be more appropriate, an in-house or an outsourced implementation solution.

Have the individual most intimate with the workings of the new solution work with your Knowledge Experts and manage expectations of the solution’s capabilities (probably this initial Power User).

Select a narrow use case that, based on your research, will show users just how much it can help, and will present quick measurable results that can be communicated companywide. Let this first attempt provide tips and guidance on future implementations.

On average, it takes three iterations of reworking a newly implemented solution until it functions properly. Communicate with your implementation team in order to get it right. Once you’ve worked out the kinks, it will be easier to work on the next automation solution.

After you’re satisfied with the initial use case, build upon lessons learned, and select another. Don’t make a half-way effort, make sure you have perfected the automation use case. Then you can move with confidence to a new project with increased scope and complexity.

Timing – select an off-peak period in your business cycle to ensure a smooth roll-out and ensure the least disruption.

In-house Implementation

  • Designate 1-3 individuals to be Power Users. Experience has shown that entry level employees make good choices, as generally they tend to be more inclined to apply technology to increase efficiency, and are eager to get involved in these types of wide-encompassing projects which can help them become more acquainted with their new company. Give these Power Users the time to learn and eventually master the product.

 

  • Many products on the market today can take days or even weeks to learn, and months to master, Power Users can learn Legito’s automation in a day, and master it in a matter of weeks.

 

  • Have a look at Legito’s Power User Educational Training Courses. This should give you an idea of the level of expertise you may want a Power User to have.

 

Outsourced Implementation

  • Your implementation partners should be experts in document automation and, able to execute with precision. To aid them in this, be able to provide precise instructions on how the document automation solution should be realized. Give your implementation partners as much detail about the document’s logic so there are no false assumptions. Ensure that you and your partners have the same understanding.

 

  • It would be great if at least one member of your internal implementation team has completed all of the Educational courses, having time to really know your solution’s automation techniques. This individual should be tapped to liaise with the implementation team (specifically this person who has taken the courses). This will help ensure that you have the transparency you need to make sure your needs are being met to be kept apprised of any necessary deviations from the expected design.

 

Legito has a list of trusted partners.

Step 4: Adoption

End-user On-Boarding

Communication! Ensure that your messaging manages End User expectations for the product’s capabilities and the benefits.

 

  • Prepare training materials and use various media (documents, video, animation) to use for personal or online workshops.

 

  • Leverage existing knowledge repositories to store helpful information. Easily accessible resources speed up the onboarding process for new hires.

 

  • Set up training sessions headed up by your Power Users. It can be helpful to offer regular refresher courses long after implementation.

 

  • Accessibility: Consider using your Legito Workspace Footer to link to resources, which may include an internal point of contact who can help end-users.

Learn as You Go training. A product with an intuitive user interface, combined with a well-executed implementation will not require training. Ideally a user will be able to slide smoothly into using your solution with little need for external resources. The best way to do this is for users to learn as they use the product. Some ways to do this are:

 

  • Automated Guided Tours – When a user first opens the automation tool, have them walked through the key features.

 

  • In-app Instructions – Provide detailed instructions to users, either from the outset of a task or later in-process.

 

  • Document Help Text – Whenever possible, use help “balloons” unobtrusively integrated to help users learn more about features.
 

Feedback & Continuous Improvement

Curveballs – You may get lucky, but it’s highly unlikely that everything will go perfectly in the first instance. Usually there will be something that wasn’t anticipated. Some fringe case that wasn’t anticipated but actually may prove worth including. Be patient, listen to your team, and make the changes as you need.


Being 100% programming free, Legito makes it easy to adjust and update its automations. 

Communicate with your early adopters (probably the users from the initial use case) and make sure the solution meets most of their needs. Maintain this constant two-way feedback, and when these users are satisfied, they may very well become product ambassadors and will be less critical of the solution, helping to engage other users to fully adopt the new automation solution.

Measurements

Take the estimations determined from your original ROI calculations and compare inputs and results from your pre-automation state with metrics captured after the implementation of your chosen solution. Use this real data to calculate your real ROI and see how much you’ve saved through automation.

Legito’s Analytics features may be useful for additional quantitative measures to your assessment.

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