Chapter 8

Use cases for document automation

It is not easy to understand or appreciate the full potential of a document automation solution until the organization starts using it, and starts using it intensively.

No expert can estimate the extent of the opportunity for automation in an organization, if the expert does not maintain intimate knowledge of the organization's environment. The organization's processes, systems, data, and content form the framework in which the automation solution is deployed. This framework defines the opportunity for automation. Typically, there is plenty.

The path to document automation for most organizations is:

  1. They have a very specific document creation/automation/compliance issue.
  2. They start looking for an automation solution.
  3. They either find a point solution (maybe a custom Word mail-merge/VBA template, or a simple document automation solution) and their journey ends, or...
  4. They find an enterprise-scale solution and deploy it to fix the document issue at hand.
  5. They roll out the proven existing document automation solution into other parts of the business.

There is nothing wrong with a point solution if there is no chance that an enterprise-scale automation solution would produce an acceptable return on investment in the project at hand. However, often a few teams from different parts of the organization put together two or more projects to create a proper return on investment for the organization. Later, this foresight is a boon for other business users, because they can deploy the automation solution to other areas of the business at little or no extra cost.

To return to the use cases, these are some of the bigger customers which ActiveDocs has worked with:


Shell logo in a yellow circle.


Shell (the world's largest company) generates thousands of HR documents for global transfers of its employees (some seventy thousand of them) with a hybrid automation system. This means that if the data is in Shell's repositories, all documents are created without human intervention; if it isn't, an HR officer is prompted to fill in the missing details.

See case study.


Cigna logo in a yellow circle.


Cigna (one of world’s largest insurers) generates client communications, insurance policies, and related documents with the help of document automation.

See case study.


ABB logo in a yellow circle.


ABB (one of the world's largest engineering companies) generates complex technical proposals and product description documents in user-driven and automated modes. ABB has two different systems for different use scenarios.

See case study.


Finnish Centre for Pensions logo in a yellow circle.

Finnish Centre for Pensions

Finnish Centre for Pensions (Eläketurvakeskus) produces large volumes of accurate and compliant pension documentation. This means that most people in Finland receive communication produced by ActiveDocs.

See case study.


Bayer logo in a yellow circle.


Bayer (one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies) generates complex contractual documents globally, integrating with SharePoint and Nintex workflows.

See case study.


Money bag icon in a yellow circle.

Australian Retail Bank

All tellers of a major Australian retail bank use ActiveDocs to produce documentation for their clients. These may be credit card contracts, mortgage documentation, and other banking documents.

See case study.


Shaw logo in a yellow circle.

Shaw Communications

Shaw Communications, a Canadian cable TV and network provider generates client contracts and ad-hoc communication from its service centers.

See case study.


ActiveDocs works with smaller organizations as well:

  • A boutique legal firm serves thousands of customers with its documents-as-a-service solution. Customers create their legal documents online and pay for them with a credit card.
  • An emergency response planning firm that serves many large companies from the Fortune 500 automated creation of response plans. For implementation in user-driven mode, it connected its templates to fifteen data sources and automated its documents - which are of significant size and complexity - in two weeks.
  • A health and safety business automated the creation of health and safety procedures, so that it can serve more customers and produce documents more efficiently and accurately.

If there are any communications that an organization finds time-consuming to create and/or sensitive to inaccuracies, there is a good chance that document automation will be able to help.

As an example of a higher-end use-case, document automation can enable a user to take photos on their smartphone and write a description, then retrieve the images and descriptions from a cloud repository, insert them into a report, use the GPS coordinates of the location where the photos were taken to insert location maps into the report, generate QR codes that can be scanned, ask a few complementary questions, allow for the attachment of additional PDF files, retrieve data from several sources, generate the custom report document, send it for approval, and, after approval, insert signatures, then dispatch the document via email or print. Finally, it can be sent for storage in a document management system.

You can learn more about document automation use cases across industries in the case study section of our website.

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