What is wrong with the existing Document Automation Solutions?
Posted By: Kim MayberryFebruary 20, 2020
Our main goal with Knackly is to solve the problems that we’ve repeatedly experienced using HotDocs and other document automation software.
These are the problems we’ve seen and how Knackly is addressing these problems.
The actual programming takes far too long. For example, if a bank asked us to automate a set of loan documents, that project could take anywhere from 100 hours to over 1000 hours to complete. With most consultants charging an average of $150 per hour, this loan project could cost between $15,000 and $150,000. Through Knackly, we believe that we can initially reduce the time to automate templates by 30% and plan toward a potential reduction of time by 60% to 70%. For my hypothetical loan document project, that would equate to cost savings in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
Training new programmers is cumbersome. In existing document automation platforms, it generally takes a new programmer six months of full-time work to reach an intermediate level of programming, and takes the same programmer over a year to become truly proficient. With Knackly’s architecture, we believe that we can reduce training time by 50%. This will reduce our costs and allow us to provide better value more quickly.
Online external interviews are difficult for clients to navigate and time-consuming to program. Increasingly our clients are asking us to create a workflow that allows their clients to enter part of the information for a set of documents online. Right now, the current solutions for this are unwieldy, limited, and quite user-unfriendly for both the programmer and the person inputting information into the final interview. With Knackly, we have created the ability to easily handle collecting information online and have that information cross-populate to automation documents and other systems.
Lack of good native API connection. As more and more of our clients use programs like TimeMatters, Clio, SalesForce, ProLaw, and other client-management or data-management systems, it has become clear that the current automation software doesn’t handle integration to these databases well – integration is possible, but costly and time-consuming. Central to Knackly is an open API and data formats that will allow greatly increased ease of access and connectivity to external databases. API connectivity is anticipated for the second quarter of 2020.
Existing automation programming has severe limits to cooperative development. Current document automation solutions don’t work well in a team environment; only one person may work on a programming component at a time, and errors and conflicts occur when several people are trying to work on one project. With Knackly, we made it possible for multiple programmers to be working with a set of documents concurrently.
Existing tools are difficult and costly to maintain. The existing automation tools encourage the creation of systems that are difficult to maintain; in order to get a high level of functionality and sophistication in the end product, the programmer is forced to use complex scripting tools that often result in complicated naming systems, extensive duplication of effort, and bloated time investment to maintain and update. Our new program will be focused on creating sophisticated results with simplified code, so that time spent updating and maintaining templates can be reduced by 50%.