Automated Contract intake and triage

Automating your contract intake and triage might be the most valuable legal operations change you make in the next year. Here's why:

November 3, 2023
Automating your contract intake and triage might be the most valuable legal operations change you make in the next year.  Here's why:

1. What is 'Traditional Contract Triage'?

Triage is the process whereby contracts are assessed for value and risk, prioritised and assigned to the appropriate reviewer.  Scarce and valuable legal and specialist contract resource is managed.  Higher value and risk contracts are prioritised and assigned to senior legal and contract specialists.  Medium ones to junior specialists.  Lower value and risk contracts are assigned to business managers in sales or procurement teams.  Its like a signalling system on a railway - sending trains down the right tracks.

Traditionally the process of triage required some human review of the contract to assess value and risk.  So there is a bottleneck embedded in a process intended to accelerate contracting. 

2. What is 'Automated Contract Intake and Triage'? 

This is illustrated in the attached video.  The whole process is automated - both the contract intake and initial review for value and risk. 

The contract is uploaded into a contract intake platform and business information around the contract is provided by the business manager or pulled from the CRM system.  The contract is sent via API to an automated contract review software such as our own Tiro system.  The software reviews the contract against a specified number of key risks - we call them potential 'big rocks'.  

Using some simple business logic, the system assesses the contract for both value and risk.

In the example in the video, contracts which are above a specified contract value or risk hitting the 'big rocks' are sent for legal review (along with a full risk report on the contract).  Other contracts are sent back to the business teams - cleared for signature.  Even contracts which require simple fixes to avoid the 'big rocks' can be cleared for signature but conditional on these fixes being agreed.  For example, the software generates a simple limit of liability clause and requests its inclusion. 

The process can be fully automated or a contract specialist can check some of the results.  Human intervention can be released once the system demonstrates high level of accuracy.

3. It speeds up contracting

Business teams get a response in seconds.  Potentially, low value / low risk contracts can be signed the same day.  Higher risk ones are also addressed more quickly. 

4. Decluttering the legal inbox   

This is a massive efficiency gain.  Lawyers can be freed-up to high value and rewarding tasks.

The fundamental step change is that the technology doesn't speed up a lawyer or contract specialist, it changes the way the business handles routine contracts.

5. Empowering business teams 

We call it 'empowerment within guard rails'.  This empowerment brings faster business but a more responsible and risk aware approach to business.    

6. Visibility

Legal and risk managers can have complete visibility over all the contracts in the enterprise, not just those that are reviewed by the legal team.

7. Flexibility

You can set-up this automation using your existing contract intake / legal front door or contract management system.  The added part is an API into the automated contract review software.

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