Scaling to great heights with M-Files Ment

M-Files Ment is a dynamic no-code document automation platform that allows users to automate documents in minutes – without requiring technical resource. One of its unique qualities is that it allows users—for example, lawyers—to produce templates easily through its 100% no-code visual interface with minimal training. You can pick it up easily and run with it, allowing users to scale their team’s automated documents quickly and at reduced cost.

A laptop is open to a page that says welcome emma johnson

Here are some key benefits in relation to M-Files Ment’s scalability:

• Reduced cost as technical resources are not required to automate
• Very little training required so barriers to use are reduced at rollout
• Lawyers are empowered to automate and maintain their own templates
• Time-saving benefits of automating templates can be realized more quickly
• Lawyers don’t need to relay the operation of contracts to non-legal technical resources, reducing miscommunication and reducing time needed for testing

Empowering Lawyers

Around five years ago, I was a document automation manager of an international law firm tasked with rolling it out across the firm. Before I took on the role, I was involved with two trials—the first had lawyers themselves doing the automation and creating their own templates, and the second was where there was one person devoted to the technical side with lawyers feeding instructions to automate their templates.

At the time, the findings were the first trial (where lawyers were empowered to automate their own templates) didn’t work so well, and the second was more suitable. The key reason was that lawyers at the firm didn’t want to learn something so technical at the expense of billable time. In this instance, there would have needed to be at least a day of formal training followed by weeks, or even months, after to master the tool. When the job dictated 6-plus billable hours, along with business development and CPD, learning how to automate ultimately fell down (and off) the list.

Rise of No-Code

Why do I mention this? Well one of the important benefits of M-Files Ment, and no-code more broadly, is that it can be picked up quickly with limited training—users can automate with M-Files Ment in as little as 15 minutes. There’s no need to undertake formal training for days at great cost to your team’s budget and time. M-Files Ment is designed to be intuitive and easy to use, meaning templates can take as little as minutes to create or hours for more complex ones—not days or weeks.

From an organizational perspective, deploying a tool in which you can realize the benefits so quickly is a competitive advantage. Usually, technical people need to be employed, or consultancy services acquired, to deliver return on investment—for example, getting the template automated and into use— and the maintenance thereafter. This adds time and cost and risks some loss in translation between the legal and non-legal personnel. M-Files Ment avoids this by giving lawyers themselves the capability to automate and maintain their own templates.


Document Management Integrates Text and Email with Ease

The workplace landscape has changed. Working smarter is essential to work-life balance. Efficient processes and procedures must meet the needs of knowledge workers since they prefer to use their time on revenue-generating strategies. With this goal in mind, implementing automated workflows and document management systems is integral. Document management not only pertains to maintaining a centralized database of core documents pertinent to business operations, but also to supporting email and text integration.

The days of pen-to-paper, face-to-face meetings are an artifact of the past. Email and text-message communications, as well as virtual meetings, are the norm today. Such emerging technologies provide perfect examples of document control needs. Companies looking to save and archive emails and attachments, track text-message communication, or automatically transcribe meeting notes, rely on document management solutions. Thankfully, document management software is a comprehensive digital document filing system that integrates text and email with ease.

What Is Document Management?

Remember the “old-school” file room that could only be accessed by employees with a key, often in the basement or an unused office. Filled with alphabetized cabinets and storage boxes that were alphabetized, these file rooms generally contained internal documents. For decades this antiquated system worked fine for companies but proved redundant and inefficient in a modern workplace relying more on technology, especially the Windows document management platform.

To accommodate these tech-facing paradigm shifts, large organizations and small businesses now use document management systems, including file management techniques to keep an electronic centralized document repository where they track and store documents. Such a digital filing system reduces long-term costs and assists with work automation. In the event of future litigation, managing all digital communication with document control and management helps reduce business risk.

Simply put, document management systems (DMS) are an electronic roadmap for all documents, including text and email communication. At any given time, employees can retrieve internal documents, email, or text correspondence and synchronize them to workflows where other employees can share or edit attached documents—an efficient records management approach.

Benefits of a next-level document management system

Document management systems mitigate the unproductive task of sifting through past email correspondence in search of documents or information relevant to an ongoing project—electronic file storage automatically indexes information. Employees can easily locate emails in the electronic data system and share them with team members with access privileges.

Why is document archiving useful? Document management solutions provide an intuitive, integrative approach that ensures a seamless collaborative workflow. Larger projects require different teams to simultaneously work together to build individual parts needed to meet a desired goal.

It’s easy for client deliverables to get lost in a series of emails. Along with redundant administrative tasks, the first few hours of work spent drafting and responding to emails should consist of solidifying details needed to complete tasks rather than tracking down project documents in communication threads. Knowledge workers favor cloud document management software for superior knowledge management.

Integrating document management software for non-traditional content such as email communication for cross-team collaborations prevents project lags when onboarding new employees or making internal adjustments. Further, a document management strategy ensures electronic file management best practices, improving adherence to company email and text message communication policies for compliance and security. Having a document control policy also minimizes the potential for data loss.

On-demand document management software is the future of work

Companies are also using the same document management method for text messaging. Business is now conducted in the palm of your hand. Giving clients on-demand, a la carte access to account managers means that text messages will also contain vital details and documents that need to be stored in information repositories. Documenting text-message communication should not be overlooked.

More than ever, companies need to use cloud-based document management. An electronic document system audits trails for non-traditional collaboration that entails communication with remote team members or international offices. File management strategies, coupled with a document management system with review options enable workers to access documents sent by text message to edit and view them while maintaining compliance measures.

A detailed view of the original document containing each revision is documented—employees don’t need to look for an old text message since their device is synced to the document management solution.

Ensure document management best practices

Document management systems enhance the capabilities of today’s smartphones that are equipped with the same applications found on desktop computers. Since travel is a core component of maintaining connectivity for international offices or clients, knowledge workers use cloud document management applications on their mobile devices for efficiency, leveraging a digital filing system for businesses that supports the complexities encountered by multi-taking, on-the-go knowledge workers.

Easy access to a digital document management platform on mobile devices provides freedom to travel without cumbersome devices—like a laptop—that prove to be a nuisance during airport customs checks. An employee traveling from New York office to Boston not only has document control access to shared documents on their mobile device, but also with other locations where their company is located.

Knowledge Management: Scale business with document control systems

Supplying a temporary laptop or access to a desktop computer connected to a document management program is a step forward in the modern workforce. Knowledge workers believe this software is the best document repository. Document management is a future-forward productivity innovation that allows companies to scale business while cultivating a workplace that gives knowledge workers the work-life balance they desire.


What’s a controlled document?

A controlled document is a file stored on a centralized database—a document shared within an organization that goes through a series of audits, reviews, and changes. A controlled document can only be changed according to a set process by authorized people and is commonly used to capture and distribute guidelines, rules, regulations, policies, and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

How do document management systems work?

Document management software is a digital document filing system that stores all company documents in a centralized database. It’s software that audits, tracks, stores, and manages electronic documents.


5 non-tech tips to get the most of out of document automation

As global disruptions continue to make headlines, it’s never a bad idea to learn how to maximize effectiveness across all your business processes, including document automation. What follows are a few tips on how to prepare for and make the most of document automation, and by extension the efficiencies that can be absorbed from it.

Make sure your templates are up to date

When people think of document automation, they probably think of the instant generated document that appears as a result of a few keystrokes and clicks through a questionnaire. What they probably don’t think about is how it gets to that point. There are unfortunately some less exciting things that must be done in preparation for it including the updating of templates.

This is likely to include wording changes based on market standards, regulatory changes, or legislative changes that have happened since the last update. It’s also likely to include proofreading, formatting changes, and creating consistency across your templates. Automation works on the principle “garbage in, garbage out.” So, whatever template is used needs to be correct as you’ll be reproducing from the same template many times. That rogue glaring typo is going to be reproduced many times over if automated.

Consolidate where possible

It’s likely over the course of time you have created a number of variations of a particular agreement template—one for all occasions. It’ll have very similar wording but will have that more focused wording for a particular type of client, sector or client type. When you review your templates you may want to consider whether any of those variations are no longer required, and whether you can consolidate any of the templates in preparation for automation. These refined templates will then be used later as the basis for your automated templates.

Consider who should draft post-implementation

In a legal firm, for example, the answer is probably an attorney. We’d say that this isn’t always the case. There are two ways that document automation can assist a particular business legal function or law firm. The first is that senior lawyers can pass down to junior lawyers the ability to create first draft agreements, freeing them from drafting and also reducing the amount of time required for approval.
The second way is more relevant to businesses than law firms. In-house counsel can provide access to templates so business users can create documents for themselves. How much a legal department trusts their business users may depend on whether they get the document at the end of it or whether it needs to pass through Legal for approval.

The consideration here surrounds the process of drafting legal documents and whether efficiencies can be made or achieved here by allowing others to draft with the assistance of technology. From the management perspective it may allow greater capacity within the team.

Consider how people will need to change

Implementing document automation is a project that will require some change within your business or law firm. If you didn’t have it before then the change will be for employees to move from manual drafting to automated drafting. For those who already use document automation, the change is getting people to learn their way around a new application.

In any organization, there are different types of users—from those chomping at the bit to start using a new piece of software to those who are completely averse to change. It’s best to have a plan in place for how you will persuade people to move to a new document automation tool. How will you get those resistant to change to adopt the new tool? How will you make sure people adopt and use the tool?

Document automation platforms like M-Files Ment offer superior, client-facing functionality that allows easier data capture and the ability to offer templates on subscriptions. This type of functionality requires a shift in the established process or way of doing things, and therefore another example of a situation where a change plan is required to fully maximize the potential.

Consider your requirements

Now that you’ve ensured your templates are as ready as they can be for automation—and that you’ve considered some of the people and process aspects of implementation—the next step is to determine your requirements for document automation. How can document automation ultimately optimize the efficiencies you’ve made with people and processes?

You may also want to consider integration requirements. If during your review of processes, you saw that employees were taking information from one application and retyping it in another, then you may want to avoid that in the future with integrations. Examples include integrations with CRM, document management systems, SSO, and e-signing applications.

What’s next?

Once you’ve completed the preparatory work, you’ll be ready to go out into the market and see how document automation companies stand up against your requirements. Have these in mind when you’re going through demos. Make sure you compare each one against your requirements and by cost. Also, consider who will need to implement it and who will need to maintain it – and assess the costs for that too.