What you need to know about AI-based contracting solutions

image represents legal contracting solutions by showing computer

Most businesses are aware of the general benefits of implementing AI-based assistance. For example, identifying common mistakes, reviewing if contracts are consistent and compliant, and correcting formatting issues. But what many fail to realize is that there are so many other opportunities to be gained. Without researching and asking questions, companies can miss out on the best contract management software to take their business to the next level.

To begin with, the benefits of introducing automated contract software to your company will greatly increase productivity. You also ease many burdens of day-to-day contracting. At the same time, Legal and other departments save a good amount of time and money. But in today’s crowded landscape of platforms, choosing the right one can be quite the challenge. On top of this, many are introducing artificial intelligence, making the procurement process even more challenging. How can you decide, in detail, what the AI does and how sophisticated it is? 

image shows person working with ai-based solution on ipad

The important thing is that businesses are informed about the different AI solutions available for contracts. Many are aware of AI-driven or AI-assisted contract review. In practice, this means that an artificial intelligence scans documents and recognizes clauses, terms or other data based on the content. This allows for various types of analysis. For example, AI-based extraction of key metadata make finding and organizing sets of documents a breeze.

Many AI-based possibilities

To give you a better sense of how broad the possibilities of AI are, a few examples of different types of contract review include: 

  • Redlining or contract markup that can be set according to your company’s requirements. 
  • Clause checking for similar language that has already been used.
  • Rating the risk of proposed deadlines that could cause a deviation from your intended position.
  • Alerting issues that do not compare against the standard checklist for the type of contract.
  • Data analysis for insights
image shows group of people collaborating on contracts

With this in mind, it becomes pretty clear that there’s no one-fits-all answer when it comes to contract AI. Seeing beyond the buzzwords and shiny promises of different solutions can be hard.

However, approaching procurement of a solution that includes AI should be the same as when purchasing any other software. Be thorough and base it on your specific needs. Unless you’re specifically looking for an AI solution, it’s often a nice bonus on top of other core features.

With that covered, let’s go through some of the other things you should look for when researching a contract or document management solution that fits your needs. 

Automated contract creation​

While many document automation services offer contract creation, many take too general of an approach. They provide only the basics and still require extra input with every new contract created. The best AI-based document creators offer a more detailed system. For instance, smart, questionnaire-based templates that allow anyone to create contracts, even without legal knowledge.

Working from a template in a made-for-purpose contract platform is much faster than regular text editors, such as Word. It also helps to speed up negotiations. When contracts are approved in a short amount of time, this decreases the risk for a drawn-out process. Not to mention this could result in a loss of cash flow. Of course, the other party will have concerns that will need to be addressed. But being in a good starting position will establish an orderly approach for all. 

Insights and Integration

Make sure the document management software you choose includes an Application Program Interface, or API. The purpose of this is to allow other applications to access data. This can then be analyzed for insights, tracking line items, overviews of contract stages and more. Furthermore, it makes it possible to integrate different systems and databases together. With this type of AI-based tool separating data and contracts among departments, the time saved greatly improves the customer experience. It also keeps departments working more efficiently.

The data an API gathers makes it easier to process information in your central database. The purpose is to have insights that are easily shared with other employees. Also, the data is based on statistics, giving your organization an accurate overview of customer trends. This increases the functionality of the contracting process and lets your business put its focus on other matters.

image shows office saving time with contract management

It’s important to ensure your company is avoiding double-entry and not missing any goals. Therefore, integrating software for document management automatically retrieves details based on a number of data points. This gives you up-to-date information and the opportunity to follow changes. Integration with applications you are already using and familiar with gives you a flexible and scalable solution. Meanwhile, this becomes an internal part of your day-to-day workflow.

Make sure to research​

In conclusion, always remember that not all document management solutions are the same. An automated contracting software using AI could mean a plethora of things. It’s best to make sure to do the preparatory work before settling for a solution. Most crucial is that the system covers the basics. Once you’re sure of that, AI could be a time-saving bonus, if it does what’s promised. 

Don’t miss out on a system that reduces time-wasting paperwork or extracts the information you need for quick access and insights. It’s even better if it’s adaptable for everyone in your company. Smart contracting requires smart research on all possibilities available. Look for a solution that frees up your time to work on business issues that move your company forward. 

Heather Jonasson

Copywriter, communications and social media specialist with a background in communication/media studies.