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How to Save Time by Outsourcing Document Formatting and Automation Dec 9, 2018

How much time do you spend formatting your documents? Is this a question you could honestly answer? When considering utilising outsourcing in your business, some of the major tasks in your day might jump out at you, whether it be bookkeeping, legal or admin work. But what about the time consuming, yet essential task of spending all those hours polishing that gigantic, all important report or document that must be standardised and conform to your firm’s style guide?

Imagine this scenario – A senior manager has spent the last few weeks creating a proposal for a potential client. Multiple colleagues across departments have consulted on the content & scope of this report, the writing has been completed in an articulate & professional manner – but then comes the formatting. Would you say it is an efficient use of resources to have senior staff complete this formatting? Even if they are proficient MS word users, there are most likely an endless list of tasks their time could be better spent on.

When we think of formatting our mind jumps to creating bullet points, inserting headings & page numbers. What about manipulating headers & footers? Auto-numbering? Self-updating contents? Page & section breaks? If much of this is jargon to you, you may be missing benefits two-fold:

• You are spending extra labour hours editing a document when your expertise should be focussed on further contributing to content.


• Someone more adept at MS word may be able to produce a document of equal or higher quality in a shorter time-frame.

One of the key benefits of utilising outsourcing is to help eliminate resource constraints, so it is important that we look honestly at how the opportunity cost of completing formatting may affect our schedule. Next time you are putting together an important work project or document, make a note of how many hours are spent solely on editing the content & formatting of the document, the result might surprise you.

According to one firm, 30-50% of their document labour time was dedicated to completing simple formatting! This is an area in which business can free up an enormous amount of time by simply outsourcing these tasks.

The opportunity cost of time-spend increasingly becomes dire during peak periods. By having a BPO partner who has experience in completing these types of formatting and document automation tasks will help your practice or business to scale up to meet these challenges. An added benefit of having an expert complete this formatting is to ensure that consistency is achieved in the look and feel of documents produced for clients across the organisation.

There are multiple areas in which SBA can assist your business or firm in document formatting and automation:

• SBA can help your business create a library of templates, ready to be utilised when needed.

• Should your company or practice have existing templates, SBA can work to format your documents to match these templates, helping maintain consistency.

SBA can also assist with automating documents in a report writing and document coding tool like Soft Docs, Ideal Docs or similar.

The time & cost benefits of outsourcing or automating this work should not be overlooked, having subject matter experts spending hours on formatting is an unnecessary hassle for operations of any size. An auxiliary benefit also arises from a client standpoint, as your customers will receive documents which help enhance the branding & image of your business through consistency & high-quality production across different documents.

While SBA can offer assistance to you when formatting reports, we are also experts in PowerPoint & Excel. So next time you are staring at the screen, losing the battle with formatting your documents, why not think of SBA for a little help?

Strategic Business Alliance


Outsourcing for Small Business


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