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Document Assembly Step One - Understanding Your Documents

February 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 134

The first step in choosing a document assembly system is to understand the various types of documents that you need to automate. Once you understand your documents, you can match the system to your needs.Essentially there are 3 categories of documents.

1) Standard Form

Standard form documents, also known as batch documents, are high-volume documents that are easily automated. Examples of standard form documents include phone bills, mass-marketing letters and standard insurance policies.

Field values (i.e. name and address) may change, but the content remains largely standardized. Since no negotiation is required, the final output is usually print or PDF. Many low-end document assembly or mail merge solutions are able to create this type of document.

2) Semi-Standard

The real challenge in document assembly is when you are automating semi-standard documents. These documents tend to be B2B, complex and require negotiation. Document assembly systems which ask a fixed set of questions in an absolute order are inadequate for automating these documents. As a result, many companies rely on expensive, manual drafting by legal experts.

Although there is negotiation involved with these documents, there are inherent patterns, which can be deciphered with some study. By using a powerful document assembly solution with an "inferencing engine," you can have the machine do the tedious work of figuring out which questions to ask, in what order, and with what dependencies. The more complex the document and its rules, the more important this capability becomes. You still have control over the layout and look of the interview, but you don't waste hours testing and debugging every new template.

3) Bespoke

Bespoke or handcrafted documents are extremely complex and have no predictable negotiation patterns. No document assembly solution can fully automate these documents since their creation requires the skills of a legal expert. But an enterprise-grade document assembly system can produce an excellent first draft, providing a base for the legal department to begin fine-tuning. Once the lawyer has a good first draft, they can export the document to Word for further refining or to send to a counter-party for comment.

Automating Documents through RoundTripping¨

Round-tripping a document consists of converting a document from one format to another, and then back to the original format. In theory, Markup languages such as XML can hold any information and so the process of document conversion can be designed to avoid any information loss. Therefore, documents created can be exported to Word and changes can be made in the familiar Microsoft Office interface. Upon re-importing (re-conversion) users can dynamically accept or reject negotiation changes (made during the round trip) within the web preview.

Exari offers a Document Assembly Solution that empowers front office professionals to create compliant contracts ten times faster. When document assembly is coupled with Exari Contract Management, professionals across the enterprise reap the benefits of contract generation, contract (lifecycle) management, contract reporting and contract/customer analytics.

Exari can integrate with your existing systems (e.g. and SharePoint) or work as a stand-alone contract management solution. Contract and customer data can be mined and easily shared across other upstream and downstream systems ensuring business and legal professionals within General Counsel, Sales, Documentation, Risk Management, Marketing, and Finance get a 'single unified view' of customer information.

Source: EzineArticles
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