How Contract Analytics Tools Help Identify Risk

Contract management software streamlines the contract process, automating manual tasks like document generation, orchestrating complex workflows and approval, and eliminating unnecessary risk. Contracts are inherently valuable. They contain private information, financial terms, obligations and more—all things most organizations want to keep secure and analyze to better understand their business.

Adding contract analytics to a contract management tool allows you to search large collections of agreements and compare contract clauses and terms side-by-side to help businesses quickly identify areas of risk and opportunity.

In a recent study by Forrester Consulting, businesses ranked the inability to effectively search all agreements’ full text as the number one challenge they face in managing contracts. So it’s not surprising that 24% of respondents are beginning to adopt contract analytics software. 

Which of the following process and systems issues do you encounter with paper-based processes when managing agreements?

Bar chart showing common process and systems issues related to agreements
Caption: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of DocuSign, January 2020

Contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions help digitize, connect and automate relevant contract processes across the organization, to make it easy for employees to do things right and for agreements to automatically and securely go to the right places. DocuSign CLM streamlines the entire contract lifecycle, including document generation, configurable workflows and a central, searchable contract repository.  And DocuSign has partnered with Seal Software to incorporate AI-powered contract analytics for a more comprehensive contract solution.

Do you need contract analytics software?

As companies mature, the number of stakeholders involved and the complexity of the contract process can increase significantly. DocuSign and Spaulding Ridge have helped customers automate and connect complex contract workflows. Based on our experience, here are three examples that highlight the need for contract analytics in conjunction with CLM.

1. Historical Document Ingestion

One of the questions we always ask during CLM implementations is, “do you intend to bring over your historical contracts?” When a client says “yes” to this question, they rarely have a solid plan for gathering all of these historical contracts in one place, and it’s even less common that they have attributes  (e.g. payment terms, contract expiration date, governing law, etc.) associated with the documents. Seal Software can help extract information about historical contracts and dramatically simplify the process of loading them into the DocuSign CLM repository. This ultimately gives organizations the ability to easily search and report on their contracts in the CLM repository.

2. Ongoing Contract Generation

Nobody likes to create attributes about contracts manually, but those attributes are tremendously valuable. With the range of integrated technologies in the DocuSign Agreement Cloud, organizations can leverage DocuSign CLM for the generation and routing of a document, e-Signature for the execution of the document, and DocuSign Intelligent Insights (by Seal Software) for the attribute extraction associated with the document. By automating this process end-to-end, organizations can gain valuable insights into the contracts they’re signing.

3. In-Flight Contract Review

Understanding the risk of contracts you’ve already signed is one thing, but wouldn’t it be great if you knew the trouble you were getting into before you started? Seal Software’s new Seal Now product (currently in beta) automatically analyzes in-flight contracts, preparing an interactive table of clauses and a detailed risk scorecard to inform negotiation and editing. Using Seal Now in conjunction with other Agreement Cloud technologies such as DocuSign CLM allows users to make quick decisions about the relative riskiness of a contract currently being reviewed and move it forward to a cost-effective resolution. 

Spaulding Ridge is blazing trails as the first implementation partner to work with both DocuSign and Seal Software. As a DocuSign Platinum Partner, Spaulding Ridge consultants are helping organizations connect and automate some of the most complex contract processes. 

Questions on how the DocuSign Agreement Cloud can make your business safer and more efficient? Learn more about DocuSign CLM or reach out to Spaulding Ridge at info@spauldingridge.com for more details.

Contributed by John Beringer, partner at Spaulding Ridge, a DocuSign Platinum Partner. 

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