Proposal Automation Software

Templates to Digital Forms to Documents

Why Digital Forms

When we talk of digital forms people immediately think of online data collection. Business information collected from these forms is a critical resource, plays a crucial role in an organization's success. Documents are the easiest way to present this information in a readable form. Thus, the software for creating documents from form data helps the organization’s in routing the data.

Documents to forms creation are also equally compelling. Manually find and replace data in a large template is time-consuming and prone to errors. Creating a form from the template and use it for document creation improves productivity by 80-90%.

Document to form and form to document functionalities together address a lot of use cases including remote onboarding, contract/SOW creation, etc. Integrating such software to enterprise systems provides a solid ground for an organization’s digital transformation. Let’s delve into the digital form creator software options.

Digital Forms Demo

Available Options

The systems shall at minimum support the following criteria.

  1. It has to be business user friendly. Business users should be able to create digital Forms and modify them without IT support.
  2. The forms should support drop-down menus, tables and provide the ability to upload PDF, MS Word, and images. The uploaded files get attached to the generated document.
  3. Digital forms should auto-populate fields with prior data available in other applications and databases.
  4. They should validate the entered field-level data.

With this set of criteria, let’s look at options.

Option1: Online Form builders. While forms created with form builders are great for capturing data, they’re lacking in the creation of documents from form inputs. The majority of them offer the generation of documents through the integration with third-party document automation tools. The problem with this approach is that since these form builders are not created with document output in mind, they produce poor results. For example, Google forms and Microsoft forms don't even support tables in their forms. Thus, creating a document with tables from the form inputs is very tedious. Even adobe forms lack many basic features and are difficult to integrate with the back-end systems.

There are only a very few systems that generate documents from form inputs without a third-party integration. However, the generation of documents is just an add-on for them. You can’t even create an invoice with multiple line items from form fields.

Option2: Custom Development: For your organization’s digital forms and use cases, custom development is an option. It's time-consuming and costly. Business users have to depend on developers for creating and updating forms.

Option3: EDocGen: If you’re looking for a DIY solution for “document to form” and “form to document”, EDocGen is the best. Since it’s an enterprise solution, it addresses most of the use cases related to forms creation process. It’s an API first product that integrates with your other enterprise applications and databases. The following sections describe how to use the system for your requirements.

PDF form creator

How to make a digital form in word

Business users can create the forms themselves. They only need to upload the existing DOCX template. The tool auto-creates form for filling dynamic data.

You can create help text for each field and customize the form for your audience.

  1. You can configure a field as mandatory/optional. A user can't generate a document until all mandatory fields are filled.
  2. You can set the field properties-Text/Number/Date/Email etc.
  3. The system supports various field types including drop-down menus, checkboxes, file uploads, etc.
  4. You can choose the document output type – PDF/Word/HTML/Image

PDF form

The tool provides an option to share the secure link to the form with your partners/customers. If your CRM/supplier systems have data for these forms, you can prepopulate some of the form fields and ask the users to fill the rest. Let’s say the form has 10 fields and your CRM has data for 7 fields. You can pre-populate these 7 fields and request the customer to fill the rest of the three fields.

Apart from creating documents from forms, you can also download the data entered into the forms in an Excel file for tracking and analysis.

Please refer to word to form for a detailed walk-through on how to go about form generation from DOCX templates.

How to make a digital form in PDF

The generation of forms from editable and non-editable forms is very similar to Word. Upload your PDF templates and the system autogenerates forms for you. You can customize the forms for your audience.

Please refer to pdf to form for a detailed walk-through on how to go about form generation from PDF templates.

Use Cases

The following examples show how the system addresses some of the common use cases.

Customer and Vendor on-boarding

  1. Digital-savvy customers and partners expect efficient on-boarding. Digital on-boarding using forms reduces touch points and provides a better experience. Efficient data/document collection coupled with electronic signatures increases the speed of on-boarding.
  2. Using the system, you can create a single form from multiple onboarding templates, overlapping the common fields. Thus, the completed form creates a document package containing multiple documents in one go.
  3. You can pre-populate forms with CRM or XML/JSON/Excel data. This reduces the data entry effort for the users.
  4. You can send a link to the forms (empty/prepopulated) via email. Your customers can complete their forms right from their phone, computer, or tablet. Successful completion creates a document in the system. This allows your organization to provide a smooth, secure, and fully-validated experience.
  5. Easily track form requests and send reminders to customers/vendors, missed to complete them.
  6. The system allows you to download the form data in Excel for analytics.

SOW and Contract Creation

Generation of SOW and contracts require filling of data from multiple sources including CRM, spreadsheets, emails, sales notes, etc. The users can easily lose track of data, and there is always the risk of human error.

If you can pre-populate this existing data into the template and ask the sales teams to fill the rest of the data as-and-when it is available, it improves their productivity.

  1. The system automatically creates a form from your SOW and contract templates
  2. You can prepopulate forms with whatever data you've in CRM, spreadsheets, etc. and the sales team fills only the data that's missing. As the data resides in multiple places, you can populate one after the other sequentially.
  3. You can send a link to their forms via email, and sales can complete their forms right from their phone, computer, or tablet. They can continue to save the partially filled form as drafts with new information as and when available. Once all the data is filled, on form submission, the contract document gets generated.
  4. Easily track form requests and send reminders to sales guys who forget to complete them.
  5. You can update a published document anytime and create revisions.
  6. Download the form responses in Excel or sync that data into the CRM.

Customer Support Guides and Product Guides

These are large documents running into tens of pages to hundreds. Manually creating or updating them is time-consuming and is prone to errors. Using digital forms would make this job much easier.

  1. Since the number of fields is large, a single form with all these fields creates a bad user experience. The system allows you to segregate related into a single group, thus into a page. You can create a page for each product/solution type in the multi-page form.
  2. Filling all the fields in one-go is very stressful. The system allows the users to save the progress as a draft. The draft could be updated as many times as the user wishes, before submitting it. The submission of the form creates the filled-in document.
  3. You can update a published document anytime and create revisions.
  4. These documents can be synced to document management systems such as SharePoint.

Book a demo to see how EDocGen addresses your specific business cases using online forms.

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