A million and one people have cited the Terminator movies about AI and business—really, we do it too!—but, enough already. We get it. Robot overlords. End of the world. Humans overcoming obstacles. Actually, that last part sounds good, so let’s upend this metaphor.
We’d like to propose a different movie for AI’s role: “Batteries Not Included.” Heard of it? It’s a lesser known Spielberg-produced movie from the 1980s. If you have, we should be friends. If you haven’t, here’s the basic premise.
Struggling apartment building. An evil corporation is threatening to tear it down for development. The tenants are one step away from being thrown out when they discover something unusual on their roof, palm-sized robots from a different planet.
(Stick with us. We’re getting there.)
So robots learn how to help the humans with little details they keep missing, and the tenants do what humans do best: build relationships that make the apartment atmosphere stronger. The tenants triumphed because they got a boost from machines who could handle those little, often forgotten details that could bring down an apartment building.
Your contract management process is like that apartment building. The agreements are the structure that houses your business and its success. You can get people on board, but whether you know it or not, maintaining all the details for each contract takes more manpower than you can afford.
You need an AI-powered contract repository, not just to store or organize your contracts, but to bring your human capital back to where it needs to be, building relationships and innovating. A system that learns so you can use data, not just see it.
You Need A Smarter Repository (Humans Are Problem Solvers, Not Data Collectors)
We said it. It’s not enough to streamline the process of your contract lifecycle without implementing steps to learn from the data you collect. There’s too much you could miss.
Consider the recent GDPR compliance fiasco. Changes in European email regulations had everyone scrambling for the better part of a few months. Many companies with blogs and newsletters spent hours trying to figure out 1.) what the laws said and 2.) how to get compliant.
Hours and hours spent teasing out the details of the regulations with some companies throwing up their hands and resending permission requests to every single email subscriber. And that’s just companies who were aware of the new rules in the first place.
It cost companies about $9 billion worldwide to get compliant. The Los Angeles Times shut down website access for the European market completely. And all this over a simple email agreement.
You Need A Platform That Evolves (Human Efficiency Is A Myth)
Searchable contract repositories handled by AI could have saved a lot of people. When regulations change, when you go public, when you expand to international markets, there’s a learning curve, but you don’t have time to travel it.
Your team is a lot of things, but pushing them for efficiency during your contract lifecycle goes against your best interest. You’re wasting as much 40% of the contract’s value to stay on top of those agreements, and still losing valuable data.
Old repository searches depended on human efficiency. They helped you see information but couldn’t help you use it. The parameters were too tricky to get right. They required correct tagging, routine check-ins, and manual labor that never let up. A list won’t work if it’s just a list. It’s no better than paper.
An AI-powered repository isn’t an elaborate system of lists and reminders. It learns as it goes, building a contract system that gets smarter each time an agreement is completed. Machine learning keeps the details in check and shaves time off contract completions. The best part? The human element comes back to the forefront.
For example, say your impending IPO has you scrambling with your international board of advisors. You thought a robust international market presence would help improve your valuation, but now you’re stuck with the nightmare of global compliance. Your team can use IntelAgree to draft compliant agreements (based on your previous history and legacy contracts) more quickly than ever before, and search through your database to find out what’s compliant and what requires updating. This frees them up to focus on innovation, the company culture, and the relationship between investors.
The best part? Your contracts stay consistent while ML improves each subsequent agreement by suggesting errors and risk as it learns.
You Need Machine Learning (Not Just Compliance, Growth)
Consider the movie. The robots rebuilt the apartment, but the tenants made it home again. That’s the key. Rebuild your repository and understand how to use the data, not just see it.
One key ingredient to more successful contract ops is customization. The current market has plenty of database-style software, but customizing your agreement process directly for a business is critical to growth. An AI-driven contract management platform like IntelAgree has massive potential across many fields. Here are just a few:
● Finance: Finance departments spend way too much time extracting critical financial terms and not enough time on high-value items. ML handles complicated compliance issues (just one example) including international IPO, expansion and scaling, and mergers or acquisitions so your finance teams can concentrate on where you’re headed.
● Sales: Your sales team needs the signatures but after that? They’re out building relationships, not dealing with the contract lifecycle. What happens when they miss a critical renewal? Imagine you’re a little too late delivering a notice of fees expansion and the customer contests. You’ll lose money or the customer without an intelligent system in place.
● Legal: Legal teams are under enormous pressure to standardize agreements for better company outcomes and protection. It’s a tedious, time-consuming job. AI can comb through dense legal jargon quickly and recommend your most-used clauses to alleviate inconsistencies. Legal teams can go back to shaping company strategies.
AI-Powered Systems Streamline Without Cutting Corners
Humans are good at outcomes. We handle the nuance of company culture and company relationships. We’re the tenants in the movie who overcome. An AI-powered repository helps your team make connections with millions of data points for information you didn’t even know you needed. It helps you use the data without losing manpower.
When you take back that up to 40% value you lose trying (and failing) to keep up with ever-changing and ever-evolving contract details, what do you get? Departments all on the same page. Insight into customer behavior that prevents signage. No unnecessary hiccups in your contract lifecycle no matter how small (GDPR, we’re looking at you). It’s time to work smarter.
Be honest. What’s your biggest contract headache right now? The one keeping you up at night? Let’s talk about how we can change that.
“Batteries Not Included” (you know you’re curious)
Required Reading: Humans And AI
“Artificial Intelligence For The Real World” Harvard Business Review, Jan/Feb 2018 issue
“Why Financial Intelligence Is So Emotional” Psychology Today, Jan. 31, 2018
“Humans Helping AI To Help Humans” Accenture, April 15, 2018
How To Win Friends And Influence People – Dale Carnegie (a classic take on the importance of human emotional intelligence)