What is visual document automation?


During the past couple of years, document automation and legal tech has become the talk of the town. In Contract Mill, we have taken a step up from the old ways of doing document automation, and we like to use the term fully visual no-code document automation for our solution. What does this mean in practice?

Let’s take a step back and go through the other possibilities of creating automated documents. You can use for example;

  • Tagging: You create a tag representing a question and a different tag for the answer, and put them to the right place on the document. 
  • Coding: You could code the whole document as an individual piece of work. Sounds like a lot? It is. Basically, for most companies this would mean that they need to hire internal or external experts in getting the work done.
  • Pre-produced decision trees: This is quite popular still on the market. First, you determine the questions and answers, and then the decision tree needs to be combined to the document. This will eventually get you to the same result than Contract Mill, but the process itself contains more steps (i.e. testing) and therefore requires more time.
  • Square bracketing: you must first prepare your document fully with square brackets and superscripts. Time consuming exercise. To automate several documents at the same time – only it-experts and long term trained people have a chance to make it happen.

Most of the above-mentioned methods include different phases of getting the ready document out: You need to build the logic of the document on a different phase and test it on a second phase, both phases including a lot of clicking and checking the outcome of your work. Almost always specialist help either inhouse or external experts are necessary to get the automations done, and we all know that brings the costs up.

In visual automation, everything happens on the document in real time, reflecting each modification or automation you create. You can add, drag and drop and remove automated questions as well as answers to them, all in the same view on your browser. As most likely you are familiar with the document you are automating, you can start working on the automations right away without having to execute another phase of the automation building before that. You simply upload the document to Contract Mill and start going through the document, adding needed automations on the correct place, and seeing the outcome on the same view, all in real time. 

How about revising your work after the automations are done? With one click on Contract Mill, you can see the preview of the document, and test it as they end-users would. On other words, the document can be reviewed at all times, and it reflects changes and answers to the automated questions accordingly.

In a nutshell, this is what visual document automation is all about. Ease of use, speed and power. 

If you wish to see more of our 100% visual interface and want to learn how the automations feel free to book a demo with us here.