Five Common Mistakes Professionals Make When Choosing Document Automation Software

26 July 2020

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How to Recognize and Avoid Common Document Automation Pitfalls

Keyword(s): document automation software

Are you thinking about choosing document automation software for your company? There are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid. Don’t fall into the traps! In this article, we discuss the five most common mistakes that people make when they choose document automation software.

Mistake #1: Overestimating document automation software’s powers

We sell document automation software, but we are also realistic! Not everything can be automated out of the box, and some automated things require a custom approach.

A common mistake professionals make when searching for document automation software is to believe that there is an out-of-the-box solution that will fit all of your needs. For a few lucky professionals, that may be so. If you’re one of them, congratulations. In fact, some of our customers have told us that our solution fit 95% of their needs out of the box.

However, it is far more common for professionals to find that at least some parts of their document automation needs are unique. This happens because their business niche -- or even your group or department within a company -- requires functionality that other businesses don’t.

If you’ve ever received company-wide guidance for how your documents should look and thought to yourself, “That is a good idea for my company generally, but it’s not a perfect fit for my group”, then you know exactly what we mean.

Therefore, we strongly recommend choosing a document automation software package that is flexible. It should do most of what you want right out of the box, but allow for customization where your group’s needs are special and unique.

Mistake #2: Only trying one software package

While most business users watch multiple demos and read multiple reviews, it is unfortunately common for busy professionals to try only one document automation software package. We completely understand the temptation -- spending time learning a new software package can appear daunting -- but beware the danger: it becomes too easy to choose a sub-optimal document automation solution because that is the one you and your colleagues feel most invested in because that is the one you tried.

Did you know that researchers have found that physically holding a coffee cup in a store can create a sense of psychological ownership in your mind and increase the chances that you will purchase it? The way to correct for this is simple: pick up at least two coffee cups! See how each feels in your hand, imagine yourself drinking from each cup, then choose the one you like best.

That is why we strongly recommend that you try at least two document automation software solutions before making a final decision. This has a number of important advantages.

First, a trial of two solutions will often show you that there is a one clear winner. This will allow you to proceed with your chosen document automation software solution with a feeling of 100% commitment and confidence.

Second, when you try at least two document automation software solutions, it will allow you to ask the right questions of each vendor. “Does your solution allow us to update our template designs without affecting the content?” “Will I be able to use Microsoft Word and Excel with your solution?” Questions like these will make you appear informed and savvy, and will therefore guarantee that the software vendor works hard for your business. It may even result in the vendor offering you some unexpected discounts!

Mistake #3: Expecting too little from document automation

This might seem to contradict mistake #1 above, but it shouldn’t. We think that when you find the document automation solution that truly works for you and your team, you’ll say, “Wow”. It shouldn’t be ambiguous.

You should expect that your chosen document automation solution will help you leave the office earlier.

You should expect that your document automation software will impress your clients because you turn jobs around so quickly.

You should expect that your document automation solution will handle all the formatting, so you can focus on doing great analysis and writing great content.

You should expect that your document automation software will reduce or eliminate errors through automatic data updating.

And you should expect that your document automation software will allow you to grow as a professional and as a team. As the complexity of your needs increases, so too should the power of the document automation solution you are using.

Mistake #4: Choosing software based on a demo

One of the biggest mistakes people make when choosing document automation software is selecting a software package based on the demo.

Have you ever seen an advertisement for a new, luscious, and huge-looking hamburger, gone to a fast food outlet to buy it, and then been disappointed by the small, squished bun and thin meat patty?

The same thing can happen when you are choosing document automation software. You fall in love with the demo -- whether it is a live demo or videos -- and you make your selection based on that. Unsurprisingly, this can lead to disappointing results.

That’s why we recommend you actually install and try at least two document automation software solutions. You’ll quickly realize which solution is more suitable for you and your colleagues in your particular professional environment if you try the software. On the other hand, if you make your decision based purely on a demo, you may find out months too late that there was a better choice available, and you missed it.

Mistake #5: Choosing document automation software that locks you in

Lock-in doesn’t sound good. It isn’t good. Nobody wants to be locked in to anything, and it is no different when it comes to document automation software.

A mistake that some professionals make when choosing document automation software is they select a system that locks their data in, making it hard to change to another software provider at a later date.

This is most common in online systems to organise content, or systems that use a software interface that is not commonly used in the office environment. Quite simply, this means that the document automation solution does not use the world’s most common software: Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

A software solution that locks you in is great as long as you continue to use it. But as soon as your needs change and you need to move on, it’s usually tough luck. You will have difficulty extracting your writing and calculations to another, better system. That will slow your progress as a business. You could waste years using a sub-optimal system because it’s too hard to extract yourself from it. As a professional, you can probably think of such a system right now.

That is why we recommend that your chosen document automation system uses Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. That way, if you change your mind at some point and decide you want to use another automation system, it’s relatively easy to do so. All your writing and all of your calculations and charts are right there in the format that 99% of professionals already use. Don’t settle for anything less!

What is the best Document Automation Software?

You can implement Epsillion document automation software with confidence. We will help you and your team produce professional, automatically updating documents using Microsoft Word and Excel. Our automation software will allow you to take control of your data and documentation.

Contact us today and tell us how many licenses you need, or ask us for a Proof of Concept that uses your documents in your unique environment to do exactly what you need.