Understanding your contract landscape

February 24, 2011

Understanding your contract landscape should be the first key stage of an enterprise contract management strategy.

Contracts are central to the way that business is conducted. As business-to-business transactions become more international and complex, so too have the contracts that support those transactions. Contracts contain a myriad of milestones, commitments and obligations that need to be identified and tracked in order to manage contracts effectively.

Lost or hard to find contracts
Unfortunately for many companies, much effort is put in to the negotiation of terms and conditions and less attention to what happens to the contract once it has been signed. Contracts that should be proactively tracked and managed end up lost or hard to find in file shares, computer desktops and other repositories.

Three key questions to ask yourself
Here are three questions that should be asked as a litmus test to assess the level of visibility and control over contracted commitments:

  • Do you know exactly how many active contracts your company has?
  • Do you and other key stakeholders in your company have visibility of all contract milestones, commitments and obligations?
  • Can you demonstrate to your senior management team that all contract related commitments and obligations have been complied with?

For most General Counsels, there are two options to address the issue of legacy contract visibility:

  1. do nothing
  2. conduct a time consuming, complex and expensive audit using specialist external consultants.

Dolphin AutoCapture – the legacy contract discovery engine
Dolphin AutoCapture is the first legacy contract discovery engine that uses search and artificial intelligence-based technologies to:

  • Rapidly locate lost or hard to find legacy contracts in Windows File Shares and computer desktops
  • Automatically extract key contract milestone data from contract documents
  • Present key contract related data to senior managers in a simple management dashboard.

Dolphin AutoCapture automated contract audits are significantly faster and cheaper than conducting manual audits with external specialist consultants.

Understanding your existing contract landscape should be the first stage in your contract management strategy.

Free webinar
Join Dolphin Software for a free-to-attend web seminar to find out more.  Visit http://dolphin-software.com/lp_contract_landscape.htm for further information and to register.


Are contracts the icebergs of your company?

January 23, 2011

Are contracts the icebergs of your business?An estimated 80% of business-to-business transactions are underpinned by legally binding contracts and agreements. Though many of these contracts contain clauses, terms, conditions, commitments and milestones that need to be tracked and managed over the contract’s life to maximize business benefits and minimize associated costs or risks, most organizations never actively manage their contracts during the agreement period. Contracts are archived away in departmental filing cabinets never to be reviewed again until a problem arises or the contract has already expired.

Research firm, Faulkener Information Services estimates that as many as 10% of contract documents are lost each year.

Some of the world’s most respected companies have contract management practices that leave much to be desired.  Many companies do not simply have control over contracted commitments, milestones or obligations because key business stakeholders are not able to readily access relevant or timely information about what is contained within contracts because the contract documents are either lost or hard to find.

It is common for General Counsels and other contracting professionals to express frustration that they do not know how many contracts their organisation has or what commercial terms and commitments are contained within them.  Contract Management software systems play a significant role in gaining control over the contracting process, but they largely ignore the issue of capturing existing or legacy contract contracts and data.

Dolphin AutoCapture is a unique Contract Discovery solution that makes use of advanced search and artificial intelligence-based technologies to conduct an instant and automated audit of your contract landscape.

Starting at as little as $15,000, Dolphin AutoCapture will automatically locate lost or hard to find contracts in Windows File Shares and computer desktops, identify duplicate documents and tell you exactly how many contract documents (and by type) you have throughout your organisation.  Dolphin AutoCapture also extracts key contract milestone data from recovered contracts (like start/termination/renewal dates, contract parties, locations, values, currencies, right to assign, etc) and presents this data instantly for Legal, Finance and other contracting professionals to analyse and interrogate.

To find out more about Dolphin AutoCapture, visit http://www.dolphin-software.com/autocapture.htm and navigate around your contract icebergs.