Deriving intelligence from Contracts
Last quarter, we announced a partnership between Cenza and Kira Systems, a leading provider of machine learning (ML) software that accelerates contract review and analysis. Thanks to the partnership, we have automated several aspects of our contract review process. Now, our teams of lawyers and commercial experts can focus their work on aspects that need skilled human intervention.
Globally, over the last couple years, there has been much buzz on the potential advantages of bringing in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to the contract review process. However, the role of humans cannot be discounted. At Cenza, we penned a blog on this subject titled “The last mile of contracts: why human teams are still essential” to emphasize our view that for a robust contract review, proven human expertise remains essential. And, our clients, including the world’s leading banks and financial services institutions, agree with our approach.
Human involvement in the contract review process remains critical to accomplish the following key goals:
1. Mitigate corporate risk using a data-driven approach
2. Comply with all applicable rules and regulations
3. Manage the rights and obligations in contracts systematically
4. Analyze data and intelligence from contracts (buy or sell side) for strategic planning
5. Ensure all stakeholders - legal, procurement, compliance and business managers - know when to take action on contracts
6. Act on contract data to reduce costs and achieve better financial forecasting/planning
In sum, the purpose of a contract review is to make sure key business parameters are captured, cataloged, and managed to enable better decision making. While ML accelerates contract review, human subject matter experts oversee the clause extraction and interpretation process and then make decisions based on the findings.
Many businesses need to review hundreds if not thousands of contracts. Historically, the cost of this review meant a focus on only a small subset of the highest dollar value, strategically significant, or high-risk contracts. The combination of ML and an offshore team like Cenza’s creates the opportunity, if not the imperative, to include more contracts in the review by reducing the cost per contract analyzed.
To achieve the goals enumerated above, provisions from hundreds of contracts or more must be quality checked and collated into a structured form. At Cenza, our process ensures that these data sets are available in an easy-to-use form. Specifically, we help clients make sense of and manage large contract collections in the following ways:
1. Populate a contract lifecycle management system or other system that manages contracts
2. Create custom reports with only relevant information for a particular purpose
3. Create summaries, with supporting reports in case the client wants to drill down further
4. Help a client visualize data and spot trends
5. Ensure accurate capture of all key provisions
At Cenza, we’ve been part of the Contract Management services space for years. Until about 5 years ago, most of our process was driven by people. Today, ML tools help us work with smaller teams and deliver reports and other value from contracts with greater speed and efficiency. Reach out to us here, if you’d like to explore an engagement with us. One of our contract management experts will get in touch.