AI for Contract Management: Understanding Its Potential and Limits

 

If you follow tech and innovation news, there’s a good chance you’ve heard a lot about AI. AI, or artificial intelligence, is the use of machines to perform functions that typically require human intelligence.

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Solving the Problem of Poorly Performing Contract Management

According to a recent review by McKinsey, contracts with suppliers and vendors represent the vast majority of companies’ revenues. In fact, within some industries – including utilities, aerospace and food manufacturing – revenues associated with contracts can make up as much as 90 percent of total annual earnings.

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Robots Never Sleep: What AI and Automation Mean for Lawyers

In 2016, a report released by Deloitte Insight struck fear in the hearts of many legal professionals when it predicted that nearly 40% of jobs in the legal sector could be automated (and therefore, eliminated) within the next decade. In raw numbers, Deloitte essentially put over 100,000 lawyers, paralegals, and legal assistants on the chopping block, citing the “profound reforms” within the profession over the next ten years.

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Are You Maximizing ROI from Your Current Electronic Contract Strategy?

An effective contract management strategy is designed to help your organization reap the greatest benefits – and reduce risks such as penalties or lost sales – along the way. But if you’ve ever questioned whether your current strategy, and the contract management software you’re using to support it, are delivering the full benefits you're hoping for, you wouldn’t be alone: according to the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), just one third of sales people believe their organization’s contract management process is effective at maximizing value and minimizing risks.

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3 Benefits of Automating the Contract Tracking Process

It’s not uncommon for contract management to be approached as a top-heavy proposition. This means that organizations invest a great deal up front in preparing to enter contract negotiations, planning optimal positioning, authoring and negotiating contract details and, finally, getting the document signed. But once the ink has dried – whether literally or, given the increasing availability of e-signature tools, figuratively – it’s not uncommon for contracts to be stored away in filing cabinets or on shared drives, and not referred to again until it’s either time to renew or problems arise.

If your organization’s approach to contract management is sign it and forget it, there’s a good chance you aren’t reaping the full benefit of those agreements you’ve invested so much time and effort to negotiate. Research from the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM) found that as many as 40 percent of contracts don’t deliver the financial benefits that were intended. If you’re among those who believe their contracts have underperformed, financially or otherwise, it may be that taking this top-heavy approach is the reason why.

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6 Problems Contract Automation Can Solve

A lot of previously tedious business processes have improved thanks to technology and the ability to automate. Although plenty of companies no doubt continue to rely on manual processes to manage certain aspects of their business operations, automation is increasingly becoming a necessity and the norm. The need for automation is particularly important for contract management given that it is a document and detail heavy area with which companies must contend. Here are some of the key problems that contract automation can solve:

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What Features Matter Most in Contract Management Software?

Contract management software is a must have for companies with a busy contract portfolio. These days, there are practical and affordable solutions that likely meet the needs of virtually any type of company that is actively engaged in contracting. Depending on your company’s size or sector, there are probably going to be certain features that are more important to have than others. However, there are some specific features that will be useful for just about everyone. Here are the most important features that your company’s contract management software simply must provide:

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Contract Interpretation and the Importance of Unambiguous Terms: Part 1 of 3

Most folks in the contracting world would agree that contract drafting is an art form. The negotiations involve a lot of push and pull in an attempt to find balance and stable ground, but it is the language of the contract itself that must clearly explain the precise bargain that was struck. As a result, the individuals who turn the negotiated terms into the actual words that make up the contract, usually attorneys, must carefully analyze every single word, sentence, paragraph, and piece of punctuation.

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Tips to Effectively Structure a Non-Disclosure Agreement

Simply put, a non-disclosure agreement is intended to protect sensitive information and is usually a contract formed between two parties with an understanding that information will not be relayed to other parties. Usually outlined in the early stages of a business relationship, an NDA reinforces keeping vital information confidential for a certain length of time. Without an NDA, any exchange of information could result in giving away ideas that are integral to your company’s IP, and therefore are a must when communicating valuable data.

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Contract Management Best Practices Tip #2: Take Advantage of Templates

This is the second blog post in a series highlighting contract management best practices. Part one can be read here.

There are obviously distinct phases of the contracting process and each individual phase will inevitably impact the other aspects in some way. The final phase, actually managing contracts once they are executed, constitutes a related yet separate and ongoing facet of the entire contracting process.

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