Business relationships today are governed by the contracts we make with our clients, our partners, and our employees. The data within those agreements is critical to the management of many business operations, often far outside the originating business function. However, this contractual data is often buried on someone’s hard drive or stored in someone’s email. Even when stored in an Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) tool or Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) tool, the data within those contracts can become inaccessible, despite the significant business value it provides.
When a contractual question arises, someone needs to go find the contract, read it, and provide that information to the business. Finding that information can time consuming to find if the contract is not stored correctly, is in a difficult format (such as PDF or image), or if the contract is 3rd party paper. Legal gets inundated with these types of requests and even simple yes or no questions can take time away from business-critical tasks. Some examples include:
- Sales asking if we still have a valid NDA or MSA with a client
- Accounting asking for payment terms and dates
- Marketing wondering if we can use a client’s logo and under what circumstances
- The consequences for terminating a client relationship
- The validity of a non-compete clause for a former employee
There are multiple ways this can negatively affect the business. First, as this data is not easily accessible, there is a consistent delay in accessing this information. Second, legal and contractual departments are filled with highly skilled professionals. Menial tasks can add hidden costs to an organization and lower job satisfaction, contributing to the high turnover rate among legal teams.
This is where Clearlaw helps. Clearlaw’s Natural Language Processing engine extracts this data from contracts, irrespective of template or format and pushes data to business systems such as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to make this data accessible to the various teams that require it. This removes the delays that cause business friction and frees corporate legal teams to focus on high value areas instead of menial tasks. This is the essence of Digital Transformation: accelerating activities, removing friction, lowering costs, and providing data visibility to business leaders.