TL; DR: SaaS provider Formstack helps organizations create and automate workflows without programming or software skills. Its core platform includes three hosted solutions — Forms, Documents, and Sign — which allow users to collect data through online forms, generate digital documents, and gather e-signatures. The company also integrates Formstack products into Salesforce environments and aligns its value proposition with digital transformation, paperless workflows, and no-code software development.
Modern businesses experience change across many operational fronts. Digital technology accelerates the transformation of business processes and procedures, and demands innovative actions for each part of the workflow, often at the risk of additional disruption.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also sped up digital transformation by spurring change across business verticals in just a few months. According to a McKinsey survey, companies have advanced the progress of developing digital or digitally enabled products by seven years.
One byproduct of that increased velocity has been workforce enablement — providing employees with tools to create digital elements typically reserved for specialists. The hurdle for DIY application builders is that they need software skills to get new features up and running.
Formstack understands that most organizations don’t need sophisticated build software to meet their digital development needs. And when it comes to collecting field-based data through digital documents and baseline forms or capturing e-signatures, less is more.
Formstack specializes in hosted application software that helps organizations create and automate workflows without coding skills. Formstack users can collect data through online forms, generate digital documents, and gather e-signatures with a focused set of intuitive build tools.
However, Formstack’s capabilities extend to integrations with more than 100 partner web applications, including CRM apps, email marketing, and payment processing. Other product offerings include conversion rate optimization tools for marketers and automation solutions for Salesforce, and HIPAA-compliant documents.
“Our workplace productivity platform empowers anyone to build forms, quickly and easily create documents, collect electronic signatures, and automate workflows — and it all gets done without code,” said Lauren Wade, Formstack Senior Product Marketing Manager. “We made these things easy because we didn’t think they should be hard to do. And we proved they don’t have to be.”
Empowering Employees to Become Productivity Software Developers
Formstack launched in 2006 as an online form builder. The company now serves a diverse range of customers — from startups to Fortune 500 corporations — and its hosted products solve simple and complex requirements across organizations.
“Formstack was founded on the belief that there has to be a better way to achieve many standard business tasks,” said Lauren. “There have to be better ways to capture data and automate tedious and repetitive workloads — what we call ‘busy work.’ Ultimately, it is about empowering people with tools and focusing on the real work.”
Formstack brings workplace productivity tools together in one, seamless platform. It aims to help users quickly build robust forms and surveys, populate the data they collect into custom documents and collect e-signatures.
With Formstack Forms, anyone can build custom online forms, collect data, and automate processes.
Formstack Documents simplifies document preparation so users can focus their efforts elsewhere. They can automatically populate data into professionally designed contracts, proposals, and more to quickly create the forms they need to get jobs done.
Users can create secure document generation processes from scratch with Formstack’s hosted tools. And all have SSL, data encryption, safe downloads, firewall technology, and HIPAA compliance. Documents also include several features to help prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing sensitive documents and data.
No-Code Ideal Brings New Value Propositions to Customers
Formstack’s commitment to the no-code ideal is partially informed by a fundamental shift in the way people work. The effects of this transformation are evident in productivity tools — and how workers learn to use them.
Formstack’s “The Rise of the No-Code Economy” report revealed that 83% of people believe their use of no-code tools will increase in the next year. This report also offers Formstack’s take on the past, present, and future of no-code and the emergent no-code economy.
“Over the last 18 months, many businesses have realized they can no longer function on the systems, processes, and tools they previously relied on,” said Lauren. “Working through a worldwide pandemic has shown us how quickly technology can help us reimagine how work gets done.”
The no-code, hosted software development approach allows anyone in an organization to create digital applications without coding skills. In addition, Formstack software includes an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface to help those workers develop unique solutions to problems.
“No-code is creating somewhat of a revolution in tech because it’s about giving the power of software development to the workforce,” said Lauren. “It’s no longer only the small percentage of the world that can code who can develop their ideas. Now anyone with an internet connection can build software.”
Creating a Showcase for Customers to Share Product Innovation
Formstack goes further in its advocacy of the no-code ideal by leveraging its community to provide multiple proofs-of-concept of its product efficacy. The company’s Practically Genius web page showcases a dozen — and counting — video tutorials, each of which highlights a Formstack user who developed an innovation that “reimagines their world of work.”
The company also expanded that concept into a two-day inaugural customer and partner virtual conference in October 2021. The event featured keynotes from a diverse set of leaders and Formstack experts. Attendees could attend more than 15 sessions across two tracks to create their own agendas.
During the conference, Formstack also announced the winners of the first Practically Genius Awards, recognizing the innovative organizations using digitization and workflow automation to improve employee and customer experiences. Beginning October 25, readers can access all of the content and recordings from the event for no charge on practicallygenius.com.
“Our Practically Genius event was packed with stories, lessons, and insights from a range of Formstack customers and business leaders on how they have solved their toughest workplace challenges,” Lauren said. “Attendees came away from the event with real-life strategies and ideas that will help them simplify processes, unleash their teams, and be ‘practically genius’ in their everyday work.”
The Paperless Workspace Delivers Cost and Resource Savings
Broader workplace trends and shifts will continue to shape Formstack, Lauren said. The company has campaigned ardently in favor of the paperless office. It also argues that the disruptions to traditional workplace models imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have done much to speed up organizational journeys and reduce reliance on paper documents.
Its viewpoint aligns with a general shift away from paper in the workplace. According to IDC, total worldwide page volumes printed from office and home devices dropped nearly 14% year over year in 2020, after years of steady decline. The research showed that the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic shift from offices to work-from-home models are behind the sharp decline.
“Pages printed at home will not offset declines in offices as organizations and governments continue to pursue paperless initiatives and digital transformation agendas,” IDC concluded.
“Whether it’s part of a sustainability initiative or a push to tighten office supplies budgets, there are now pain-free ways to go paperless,” said Lauren.
Paperless models also bring other benefits. According to Lauren, businesses can save 17 work hours per week by using Formstack’s paperless solutions.
“From surveys and questionnaires to consent and data collection, using an online form builder will allow Formstack users to automate workflows and data entry,” Lauren said. “This, in turn, leads to some big benefits of a paperless office where employees are freed from tedious tasks and can focus on the more strategic work that drives a business forward.”