Category Archives: Contract Management

Artificial Intelligence in Contract Management

Applying Artificial Intelligence to Contract Management

Contracts are difficult (or rather impossible) to sort. They are everywhere, distributed across many repositories, scattered across multiple locations. The inaccessibility of contracts makes the task of managing them cumbersome, leading to a risk of losing out important business opportunities that are buried in these resources.

The manual handling of these contracts become even more difficult when it comes to deal with the amendments, terminations and (the most important) renewals of the contracts. That’s how the need of digitizing contract management came into the picture with various contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions coming up.


From contract management to contract intelligence

The next step was unlocking secrets from contracts. Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with the contract management system has revolutionized business opportunities by redefining the real potential of these contracts that were buried within millions of files and folders from years.

Artificial Intelligence can convert unstructured contract documents into structured enterprise data. Applying AI in contract management can help the enterprise in identifying business risks and opportunities; AI understands the contract language and the meaning of clauses, it turns the contract management from a simple document management repository to a live, strategy-making machine.


Applications of AI in contract management

Machine Learning and AI help identification & analysis of clauses and other data. It can let companies review contracts more quickly, organize large scale of contract data more easily, can help in contract negotiations, and increase the volume of contracts it is able to negotiate and execute.

Let’s see some applications of artificial intelligence in contract management.

  • Contract classification: Sort each contract by type based on the content of the clause. E.g. MSA, SOW, lease, Independent contractor agreement etc.
  • Clause classification: Scan through the document and understand the significance of each paragraph. Based on the content, it classifies the clauses
  • Mark out important part of the clause: Highlight the important information covered in the clause
  • Learn about the new clauses: If the program uses enough documents with any new clauses, AI will learn all about it and secure it its clause library enhance clause classification with time
  • Supervised learning and retraining: Reviewer can change the wrongly classified clauses and the code learns to recognize in future, based on what the reviewer programmed it for
  • Similar Documents classification: Identify and classify similar types of documents

Also Read: 6 Things to Check Before Contract Management Software Implementation 

How does it work?

To understand the intricacies of artificial intelligence in contracts, let’s discuss a couple of scenarios in depth –


Automatically organize, classify, and extract important piece of information

Automated contract abstraction and migration is another technology-enabled service that automates the entire process of abstracting information from all your contracts. AI algorithms powered by natural language processing (NLP) based machine learning perform abstraction and migration with unprecedented speed and accuracy and creates an index of all the key terms, provisions, and obligations. Thus, you can automatically extract important information from a contract such as names, organization and vendor information, the contract signature date, renewal dates and more — the hundreds or thousands of contracts you have can be auto-tagged with the right companies, right data, right deadlines and automatic renewal alerts can be set. This will help you transform your business completely.


With pattern recognition algorithms, AI can identify areas for improvement

With hundreds and thousands of legal documents being uploaded to a contract management system, it is very tedious to tag each clause in the documents manually for further processing. However, machine learning algorithms can help to identify name of the clause on the basis of its contents. Now, with this trained model, we can upload document in a contract management software and it auto tags documents. It goes wrong at some points. Therefore, we do consider that. If that algorithm predicts clause name wrongly, all you can do is give it a correct label for given text and it should adjust itself after a few iterations of the clause and it does not repeat the same mistake again.

Also Read: Top 3 Things to See in Your Contract Management Implementation Partner


Conclusion:

Artificial intelligence is becoming very big deal in business. Impact of such artificially intelligent systems on enterprises is huge when it comes to staying a step ahead of peers and enriching the way they serve their customers. And the underlying platform for AI is data and the cloud!

As a trusted Microsoft Partner, CloudMoyo understands AI, data and the cloud, and how to build integrated intelligence into applications using the most advanced cloud technologies. Wherever you are in your AI journey, we can help you modernize the way you do business.

Get started with Artificial Intelligence with a custom workshop for your team today!

Contract management software for railroads-CloudMoyo

How Contract Management Software can help Rail Transportation?

Rail transportation authorities and professionals, on a daily basis, deal with innumerable types of challenges. In our earlier blog, we discussed the various complexities of railroad contracts and how contract management affects key rail business functions.

According to the need of each department, the authorities may face lack of crew members, price hike on fuel cost, repairing and maintenance of railcars, agreement and compliance with standard regulations. All these hindrances put them under mindboggling pressure to wipe off ineffectiveness that cost the railroad operator a lot of money.

To manage compliance with regulations and industry bodies (like ASLRRA, FRA, APTA, AAR, PTC, etc.), railroads are compelled to switch to a modern digital solution that will streamline and update the Contract Lifecycle Management process (which is inefficient when done manually) for the entire enterprise.

Contract Management Software for Railroads

It empowers the overloaded authorities in the four business areas – legal, procurement, finance/commercial and sales/corporate departments – to manage all the errands related with contract development, negotiation, execution and management including post-execution rights, obligations and reviews.

Let’s see how a modern contract management solution can help key departments of a railroad –

Legal – Legal teams in railroads have to ensure compliance to various regulations, labor unions as well as mandates from industry bodies such as ASLRRA, APTA, FRA etc. For legal heads, general counsels, advisors, a CLM helps to –

  • ensure standardization by leveraging a robust clause and template library;
  • approve, edit, execute and store all contracts and agreements, both buy-side and sell-side, covering all phases of the process, in one location;
  • easily create variations in the workflow, rules, clauses and templates based on regional needs;
  • effortlessly track commitments, milestones, expiries, deviations, deliverables and other contractual obligations across every business unit.

 

Procurement – Rail projects comprise of five major disciplines – civil engineering, signaling equipment, electricity, telecommunication & tracks. As a result, railway procurement teams have to take care of multiple suppliers, car hires, locomotive rentals, raw materials as well as man-power. Sourcing managers, purchasing officers & procurement heads can use a CLM to –

  • support supplier checks and related third-party data for key reference, interline settlement, other data;
  • monitor the speed and efficiency of the supplier contract process, with a simple dashboard that provides insights on cycle times, deviations, risks and procurement metrics, including expiry, renewal, and pending;
  • manage contracts across multiple geographies with comprehensive multilingual support and easily customized variations in workflow.

 

Finance / Commercial –  Railroad executives have to deal a lot with various properties, track ownerships, real-estate leases, complex invoices. A CLM can empower CFOs, finance executives and business managers to –

  • uncover opportunities to reduce costs and increase cash flow;
  • reduce labor costs by empowering employees to process contracts with greater speed, efficiency and accuracy;
  • access detailed risk reports to make informed decisions;
  • modify the contract process to adapt to new changing business conditions without incurring the high cost and delays of custom development.

 

Sales / Corporate – Rail transportation companies have to manage complex commercial arrangements such as rate price management, revenue sharing under Interline Settlement System (ISS) and complex freight invoices. A CLM can help sales and business operations staff to –

  • keep deals moving forward without delays by using configurable proposal creation rules and templates, self-service contract wizards and adaptable approval workflows;
  • track contract performance, manage risk and obligations with smart, contextual information about each contract using customizable alerts and notifications to help avoid penalties and take advantage of potential rebates or incentives;
  • gain efficiencies by using one system to manage any contract: buy-side, sell-side, corporate, NDA, MSA, SOW, employment, MoUs, etc.

 

How CloudMoyo can help rail transportation with Contract Management?

Using the Icertis Contract management (ICM) platform, we enable rail & transportation companies to lead the digital transformation across procurement, lease management, real estate, legal and sales. Our solutions help railroads transform their commercial foundation ensuring compliance, improving governance, mitigating risk and enhancing user productivity, thereby improving the bottom line. Powered by smart analytics & AI, our Contract Management Center of Excellence allows customers to increase contract velocity and agility, proactively manage entitlements and obligations as well as surface commercial insights and intelligence.

Helping a Class I rail with contract management

In 2017, CloudMoyo helped a class 1 railroad with a contract management solution to manage its real-estate leases by creating a comprehensive store of real-estate inventory by organizing new and legacy agreements in one system. This mega-project handled over 35000 legacy contracts, 120000 documents and 250 inventory listings. The key benefits from this contract management solution were-

  • catalog and proactively manage lease contracts,
  • automate financial processes (rental payments, price escalation and indexation, variable rent and concessions, settlement of service charges)
  • gain insight into costs, yield and occupancy

To know how you can modernize contract management for your railroad, get in touch with us!

Contract Management software for railroads-CloudMoyo

Why do railroads need a contract management software?

The North American railroad system is critical for freight transportation. For a complex industry such as freight transportation, a well-functioning supply chain is a key to efficient operations. Just like any other freight transporter, railroads have multiple contracts related to various commercial activities such as third parties, vendors, suppliers, labor, procurement, regulations, compliance, commercial agreements.

Railways and Contracts

Railways have a large number of contracts ranging from industrial track maintenance, rail crossing agreements, to haulage and real estates. These contracts cover major areas such as volume commitments, rate stability, accessorial applicability, and terms of contract duration, detention, demurrage and dispute resolution.

The complexity of contract terms & clauses is quite unnerving in the railroad industry. Amending multiple contracts and updating dynamic carrier accessorial manually is nearly impossible. Consequently, railroads frequently struggle to reconcile estimated versus actual shipping costs.

The additional challenges in railroad contracts include:

  • Locating rates across numerous contracts with disparate formats and calculating a total shipment cost based on the contract terms
  • Accounting for accessorial items that are not fixed in the contract, such as fuel adjustment factors that may change daily
  • Determining all available routes under contract and comparing costs
  • Maintaining current amendments and rate changes
  • Paying the right amount, based on contract and tariff rates
  • Timed payments to meet agreed-upon terms, which can vary by carrier
  • To have visibility into invoices received where no contract rate is on file
  • To have visibility into the use of non-contracted carriers

Also Read: 6 Things to check before Contract Management Software implementation

Railroad investment projects mainly revolve around 5 disciplines – civil engineering, signaling equipment, electricity, telecommunication & tracks. As such, these five types of work items are often performed by a different crew and may require different procurement strategies. This makes the procurement challenge even more complex. In addition, procurement strategies may be affected by domestic characteristics of the railroad sectors in different geographies, e.g., extent and timing of deregulation, supply market development and competition.

Contract Management software for railroads- implications for various Rail departments

In the typical organization, the existing contract management process often limits employee efficiency, especially when it comes to insights. The traditional tools often slow down the business outcomes they are meant to drive. Below are key contract management imperatives for various departments of a railway:

  • Procurement professionals need to negotiate better prices even with a high volume of global contracts. If they had access to key metrics, like expiry dates and aggregated spend, this would be possible.
  • Finance and compliance teams need the tools to reduce their labor costs while still ensuring compliance and minimizing risk. This is possible when they have visibility into the financial impact of all contracts, agreements etc. Railroads, being highly regulated, have various regulatory mandates from APTA, FRA, ASLRRA, AAR as well as the new safety diktat around Positive Train Control (PTC) which require reporting from time to time.
  • Legal teams need to decrease their exposure to risks while making sure they are compliant. This is done by ensuring people use the latest approved language in all contract documents. In addition, a variety of labor unions and their laws add to the complexity. The clauses and agreements need to be diligently monitored to avoid penalties and service terminations.
  • Finally, sales professionals need to accelerate their sales process without sacrificing quality. This is obtained by having a seamless connection with the contract team which reduces their overhead costs and enables self-service with approved language. Managing rate price management, revenue sharing under Interline Settlement System (ISS) and complex freight invoices come under such challenges.

The need for a modern Enterprise Contract Management Platform

Though almost everything has changed about how modern organizations execute and manage contracts, one thing remains the same – contracts are still the foundation of all commercial relationships and transactions. Hence, a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) system, which could evaluate all the needs of railroads and provide the capabilities to tackle all the challenges and issues play a vital role.

In our next blog, we will dive deeper into the benefits of a modern CLM on key departments.

 

Contract management Implementation partner

Top 3 things to see in your Contract Management implementation partner

Contracts are the foundation of commerce. To better handle contracts by standardizing and automating the contracting process, ensuring greater control, better supply chain agility and responsiveness and improved execution speed, today’s enterprises are hunting high and low for an easy yet advanced contract management solution.

Why do you need a Contract Management implementation partner?

While enterprises are spoilt for choice when it comes to Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software, the most disregarded part of a contract management process is the evaluation and assessment of its implementation partner. However, to attain success, it is very important to choose a well-experienced and right Contract Management implementation partner. You may want to find an experienced contract management implementation partner that comprehends the product as well as your industry, you have chosen.

Cloud Lifecycle Management (CLM) is not a standalone solution. It integrates with multiple other enterprise software such as ERP, CRM, financials, procurement etc. What would you do to ensure that your CLM implementation doesn’t affect other systems, and if it does, who can help you fix it?

As CLM is not just about the product, you need a partner who is your companion for the entire journey. Even for an experienced organization, implementing CLM software can be a challenge. A right understanding of the requirements, implementation planning, installation of the software, configuring and integrating it with the other systems, deploying to users, managing organizational changes, etc. are all you expect from an experienced implementation partner.

Chief features that you must see in your contract management implementation partner before giving it a thumbs-up:

  1. Digging out the old documents: You have a product but what about your old documents? Lack of existence of active legacy contracts in CLM drives down the rate of adoption and can lead to failure of the implementation. The problem of lack of visibility into the existing contracts cannot be resolved without migrating legacy contracts into the new CLM. Legacy contract migration is a tedious and error-prone process blocking time of strategic resources.

As a premier contract management implementation partner, CloudMoyo offers Legacy Contract Migration with a flexible pricing model, which is based on the volume of data, extracted from the legacy contracts.  Our team of qualified lawyers and data migration professionals, with a rich experience of successful multiple migration projects can complete your legacy contract migration needs at a fraction of the cost of handling the task in-house thereby freeing your resources for key tasks.

  1. Experience speaks: Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a complex domain. It affects multiple departments, such as Legal, Procurement, Admin, Sales & Finance. A lot of money is riding on the successful execution of agreements and organizations can incur heavy penalties for missing clauses and deadlines. Therefore, the implementation partner should have a deep techno-functional knowledge of the CLM software  and should have a domain expertise in contracts & legal. Count the experience of the implementation partner with the solid record of accomplishment of efficiently delivering high-quality CLM software cloud solution across enterprise with great customer satisfaction. The vendor should also have the capability to take end-to-end control and ownership of project management (that includes control over schedule, budget and risk issues)

Read how a top 5 global pharmaceutical MNC successfully leveraged CloudMoyo’s end-to-end contract management services to deploy a cloud based CLM across multiple countries

  1. Bring innovation: So, you have a CLM. What about taking it to next level by harnessing data from it. CloudMoyo has a deep domain and expertise in managing and handling contracts. It has the proficiency to extract data in bulk and hence provide a rich analytics platform for the entire portfolio of contracts. To extract contractual terms, clauses and provisions CloudMoyo use the combination of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning Technologies. With its capabilities of offering reporting and data visualization, it helps the customers to extract the data through drag and drop interface, creating intuitive dashboards, mashups, and visualizations across numerous data elements, for fast and well-informed decision making.

To conclude, selecting a CLM software is not sufficient. You also need a right partner who can be a part of your journey right until the end. These considerations on picking the correct contract management implementation partner will give you an insight of business viability of your implementation partner, its skills to venture and deliver the project and maintain the technology throughout.

Interested in implementing a modern contract management solution for your organization? We will help you right from implementation to support!

implementing-a-Contract-Management-Software - cloudmoyo

6 things to check before Contract Management software implementation

For every enterprise, managing contracts is a critical and challenging task. Even a simple question around contract expiry dates or the location of the latest version of a contract can slow down a critical transaction or process. To maximize workflow efficiency, many organizations have now started using digital documents or Document Management System (DMS). However, for better management, many enterprises have decided to migrate or upgrade from plain document management systems to advanced and sophisticated Contract Management (CLM) software.

What is the need for implementing Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)?  

A Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) software can give insight into contract data, ability to collaborate, time and cost savings and better decision making ability through low risks.

However, the path to reach these benefits could be less clear. A study says, “Ineffective control of Contract Lifecycle Management cost businesses $100 billion per year in missed savings opportunities”. Implementation of CLM solution enhances the management of every contract along with improving its tracking and negotiation. This helps reduce supply chain risk and ensures compliance at all stages of the supply relationship.

If the implementation of a CLM software is done inadequately, it will lead to challenge your ability to attain business goals, which may include a launch of a new product, global expansion, hiring surge and events that help drive business growth.

Also Read: Why do railroads need a contract management software?

Here are few key considerations for implementing contract management:

  • Avoid Confusion – Confusing Contracts with Contract Management

Often organizations begin the implementation process by tendering a pile of contracts over to their contract management provider, forgetting that someone has to process them before they’re useful. The utility of a contract management solution is a function of how business information from those contracts are extracted, analyzed, distributed and queried by the people who actually have to administer and monitor the signed contracts. Maximizing that utility means transforming contract language into concise, easy to understand information that decision makers can access.

The idea behind contract management is to take all that legalese, simplify and summarize it to make it useful for the rest of the business. It is important to have an experienced implementation partner playing a consultative role and guiding the extracted information for use in the CLM system.

With our expertise in Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) technology & legal domain, we at CloudMoyo offer an end to end Contract Process Optimization that entwines together best practices of consulting, legal services and technology. Click here to know more.

  • Analyze Your Current Contract Management Process

Knowing and analyzing the gaps and challenges of current contract management process beforehand allows you to set reasonable KPI’s for improvement. It lets you to avoid changes in the process mid implantation. An important thing to consider while analyzing contracts is to know where your contracts are stored.

Contract repositories provide centralized storage of documents with the ability to tag, report, categorize, and structure metadata that is associates with your contracts. Also, questions like how a contract is drafted, negotiated and retrieved should be considered before implementing a CLM software.

CloudMoyo helps enterprises to seamlessly embrace/adopt modern contract lifecycle management by providing ancillary services such as legacy contract migration, clause & template tagging, template management. Click here to know more.

  • Pilot vs Phased Approach

Pilot Approach is a traditional approach. It doesn’t save time, which unnecessarily increases the cost, and can delay the go live timelines. Employing a phased approach to implementation will enable faster rollouts eventually leading to increased user satisfaction. Also, establishing a timeline is also important. Setting a go live date with an implementation partner will save costs and give a time to test the contract management platform to the concerned teams.

  • Prepare Resource Types

Resources are templates for entering resource information. Predefined resource types let you manage many types of resources, but you might need to customize it to include additional fields or create new resource types. For this, it is important to identify the master template and to determine how to access it. Key part would be to understand what information would be needed to search and report on the documents as it’s important to establish what searches will be based on, such as name, date, contract number, status or type.

Also, to reduce the risk of lost contracts, ensure that every department store their contracts in the same location. The most updated version of every contract is immediately accessible to each department. Maintaining compliance throughout the company will reduce risk, streamline inter-departmental contracting processes, and result in a higher ROI than you would otherwise achieve.

At CloudMoyo, we provide our customers with a collection of support and maintenance offerings geared to ensure our customers to take full advantage of our Contract Management Software. To know more, read about our Contract Support Desk

  • Assign the responsibilities

A handful of personnel are needed to act as the authority on decision-making and post-rollout. They need visibility into the whole process to enforce their decisions. There should be at least two administrators with the solution in and out. They can answer day-to-day questions and train other employees on the solution. Support from senior management is crucial in your company. They will help encourage the transition, enforce new roles and make the decisions on expanding the accomplished solution. In this, building a team with subject matter experts from different departments plays a very vital role.

  • Training

Organizations must be confident that every employee understands the goal of CLM software implementation, how to use the software, and what the proper contracting protocol is about. The purpose of this awareness is to increase compliance with company contracting and procurement protocol. Also, identifying everyone who is, directly and indirectly, involved in each step of the contract process, would help identify the individuals who need access to the contract or the reporting data.

Proper training would guarantee that every team uses standard contract language, clauses, and procurement practices and hence, reduces the risk of exposure.

The aforementioned points are suggestible while implementing contract management software to get visibility into your legal contracts, improve supply chain agility by onboarding new suppliers in no time and speed up the revenue recognition.

Also Read: How Contract Management Software can help Rail Transportation?

contract-reporting-contract-analytics-insights

Contract reporting & contract analytics – insights from contracts

Many enterprises have contracts sitting in various repositories, file shares and servers with key terms and data buried in their text or in contract management software which act as one of the former. Statements of work, indemnifications, assignment terms, revenue recognition policies, auto-renewals, and unknown incentives are few examples of contract information that add risk & impact liabilities. Since contracting is at a critical point in the business process in which transaction data becomes the source of truth once the contract is signed, data about the transaction (e.g., price, discounts, clauses, rebates, chargebacks) can be delivered to a data warehouse for business intelligence and regression analysis.

While the time- and cost-saving benefits of contract management software are clear, there are many other benefits to the analytics aspect of these systems. This includes learning the specific terms, vendor, products and language used in contracts to maximize the accuracy of automated analysis. This includes finding and analyzing provisions and clauses that might be worded in different ways, but mean certain things, and the side-by-side analysis of standard and approved clauses against ones that are reworded. Contract analytics provides valuable performance insights into all areas of contracts. This enables insights on cycle times, deviations, risks, statistics (expiry, renewal, pending, etc.), procurement and sales business metrics. The analytics dashboards are configurable for users and can be enabled only for power users who need to have deeper business metrics reporting for decision-making. Multiple dashboards can be configured for a user to report on various metrics categories.

CloudMoyo has extensive domain & technical expertise in handling contracts. Using a combination of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technologies to extract contractual terms, clauses and provisions, we can extract large amounts of data to provide a rich analytics platform for the entire portfolio of contracts. On top of that, CloudMoyo offers reporting and data visualization capability powered by leading software such as Tableau, Qlik, Power BI, Kibana etc. so that our customers can now drill into that data through a drag and drop interface, creating intuitive dashboards, mashups, and visualizations across numerous data elements, for fast and well-informed decision making. CloudMoyo enables business users to perform ad-hoc reporting to further explore the information provided in standard reports. Discovery queries are built upon operational reporting views that are easy to understand.

With our Contract Analytics offering, customers can:

  • Create custom reports focused on just the information that is important
  • Drill-down from summary-level to transactional-level detail
  • Build charts and graphs to visualize the analysis

CloudMoyo also provides report templates that can be used out-of-the-box or modified as you wish.

Read more about our analytics offerings at Big Data Analytics or reach out to us at Contact for a detailed discussion on how we can partner you.

This article also appeared on Datafloq which is a one-stop-shop for Big Data. Read the published post here.