Winning in 2023: Cost Efficiency through Automation in Document Management

Here are some automation strategies to reduce your costs while storing, processing, and distributing documents

What is Automation?

At its core, automation is the use of machines or software to execute tasks that traditionally have been performed by humans; this doesn’t mean replacing your knowledge workers, but giving them more time to focus on the important tasks that they need to handle. When it comes to document management, automation helps streamline tasks such as document indexing, data extraction, and the creation of metadata, and also provides simpler workflow management, allowing an organization to grow more efficiently, or, in times like now, to enable that organization to reduce costs when revenue is more uncertain.

Automation Doesn't Mean Replacing Workers

Benefits of Automation

  • Increased Efficiency: automated systems can process large amounts of data quickly, more quickly than with human effort, allowing businesses to complete tasks faster and with less manual involvement
  • Improved Accuracy: automated systems are designed to eliminate mistakes caused by human error, reducing the risk of errors that cause delays, reputational damage, or even safety issues; this creates a consistently in quality that can create a strong competitive advantage
  • Reduced Costs: automating certain tasks can significantly reduce overhead costs associated with repetitive manual work; team members will be more productive and happier when their work is more meaningful, and some work that may have been outsourced may no longer need to be sent out, reducing security risks
Benefits of Automation

Challenges of Automation

  • Implementation Challenges: in general, automation has a higher upfront cost, as time and resources would need to be spent in replacing an existing manual task with a workable automated solution
  • Automation Errors: while human error is unpredictable and unavoidable, a poorly-automated system may create its own errors or even cause a breakdown across the entire process
  • Lower Tolerance for Outliers: some processes rely on manual review to catch situations that expect special attention and handling; an automation design that does not include a mechanism for determining when human intervention is required may lower outcomes for a subset of processes
Challenges of Automation

One way to reduce the risks associated with these challenges is to engage an expert on automation. This can be done through consultants, or through a software product. For organizations who already use a document management system, their current solution may provide automation functionality already, or may have an entry point for their customers to add customization.

For other organizations, document management is handled through a shared folder, file server, or online file storage like Google Drive or Dropbox. In those cases, there are options, including finding software that can work with an existing file storage, or migrating document management to a more robust system. But as with automation itself, migration is a solution that should be studied in detail before implemented, as there are significant costs associated with the endeavor.


Automated strategies for document management can provide benefits beyond cost savings alone, such as improved accuracy and enhanced security, and are a great way to win in 2023 and beyond.