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5 Features to Look for in a Document Generation Tool

October 17, 2018
Min Read

Never before has business moved as fast as it does today. Our devices allow us to connect quicker than ever, integrations save us time, and cloud-based tools give us easy access to what we need, when we need it. So when it comes to quickly sharing documents with your clients, doing it all manually is not only inconvenient—it’s detrimental to your business growth.

But not all document generation tools are created equal. What features should you be looking for to maximize productivity? The answer is those that will not only make your life easier, but get you back to your core business faster.

Regardless of what types of documents you typically create—legal agreements, training certificates, use policies, leases, or medical forms—your needs for efficient document generation are the same. The best document generation tools will include features like these:

1. Multiple File Format Options

Some industries prefer different file types. And varying situations call for tailored solutions. Whether you’re sending a document that’s meant to be modified (Word, Google Docs, Pages) or one that must remain intact (PDF, templates), you can’t be held back by converting or reformatting every time you want to share it with a client. Look for a document generator that has multiple customizable options for easy uploading, form filling, and resharing.

2. Integrations for Easy Data Routing

When things feel familiar, you move faster and have the reassurance of knowing it’s being done right. Document generators that allow you to merge data or integrate with the tools you use most make data routing easy and pain-free. With data from an app, CSV, or API integration locked and loaded, you can create multiple documents from a single feed based on predefined values. Plus, connecting your data allows you to tailor each document and interaction based on the recipient’s answers.

3. Flexible, Conditional Delivery Options

Customers today demand personalized interactions in everything they do, meaning companies that are still sending blanket communications and documents will be left behind. Flexible delivery options with the smartest logic give you the freedom to select individual recipients for each document using predefined conditions. Choose your preferred delivery method or vendor to prompt recipients to view, sign, or store long-term.

4. Security and Compliance

Digital transformation provides tremendous benefits, but operating in the cloud can be daunting when it seems there’s a new story about a data breach every week. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to choose a document generation platform that prioritizes the data security of both you and your customers. Look for a system that only transfers data over secure connections with SSL and firewalls and doesn’t save any of the information you send for merging. The best systems even allow security levels to be set on a per-document basis, requiring documents to be downloaded directly from a secure site (instead of an email) or requiring password protection for PDFs. For the health industry in particular, the safest and most reliable document generators will also acquire and maintain HIPAA compliance.

5. Data Capture and Dynamic Content

You need to be able to capture the right data—and then use it. A basic data capture tool can be used to collect information, then merge it with a document or online form. With the latest data in tow, dynamically customizing documents will allow you to create the most personalized experiences for your clients. And if your document generation solution has a dynamic content feature, you can create a single document, then use conditions to determine the individual sections to be used in the merged document.

Stay in Control

Sure, manually assembling each of the important documents your organization generates on a daily basis allows you to stay in the driver’s seat—but it also means spending hours of extra time completing menial tasks instead of innovating or growing your core business function. A number of tools exist today that make it easier to set up professional-looking documents. But not all of them are equipped with the right features to personalize with customer data, streamline the dFormsocument generation process, or keep your information secure.  

From contracts and proposals to applications and forms, Formstack Documents helps you streamline the document creation process, merge data easily, and deliver to the right recipient without hassle.

No business model can afford for its employees to waste time on manual processes, which is why Formstack Documents has native features that help you create customized documents faster, streamline your workflow, and get you back to business. Start a free trial today.


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Formstack is a SaaS company with a mission to help organizations digitize what matters, automate workflows, and fix processes—all without code. A variety of team members come together to compile posts under Formstack's authorship.
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