Every organization can benefit from processing contracts faster. The problem is that traditionally, with speed comes inaccuracy, but that is no longer the case. Contract redlining can now be moved to a more streamlined process that can remove human error and allow more efficient and effective use of human capital, thus saving organizations money in the process. These automated processes allow for more transparency and stricter compliance as well.
Below, we will discuss the challenges of traditional contract redlining and the potential benefits of using contract software.
Contract Redlining Defined
Contract redlining gives contracting parties the opportunity to highlight or strike items in or sections of a contract in somewhat real time while allowing the opportunity to negotiate with the other party.
What is the History of “Contract Redlining”?
Negotiating contracts used to be done in person or via fax, where lawyers and other industry professionals would use an actual red pen for their edits. The parties would “redline” their copy and then return it to the other party to do the same throughout the contract negotiation process. Even though we no longer rely on old methods of handling this contract negotiation, “redlining” has stuck in our common vocabulary.
What Does Contract Redlining Software Do?
Since contract negotiation has migrated to the digital space, it has been streamlined considerably. Gone are the days of having to email files back and forth between parties, and we find ourselves in the age of contract software. These modern software interfaces allow parties to make and view changes, keep track of the history of the changes, and even choose whether to accept or reject those changes right in the program during collaboration efforts between stakeholders. Overall, stakeholders can spend up to 50% less time in contract negotiation processes by utilizing digital redline software.
To take this a step further, BlackBoiler integrates AI technology that is capable of automatically reviewing the contracts and suggesting edits that align with your company’s existing playbook, company expectations, and business standards. This can even further speed up the overall process of contract negotiation and save an organization a significant amount of money, as large organizations can spend over $200,000 per day during contract review processes as the time spent on contract negotiations cannot be utilized elsewhere within the company.
In fact, making the effort to streamline the contract management process within an organization can have a profound impact throughout the organization as the contract process can make up almost 20% of sales cycle activities.
This is not to say that even the best contract review processes aren’t without their challenges. Microsoft Word and Google Docs have their shortcomings in their own right, but having individual documents scattered across physical and digital networks, especially across multiple organizations, can be a nightmare to deal with when an issue arises. Utilizing contract management software can clean up this overall process and keep everything together in one tidy and easily accessible space.
Some of these challenges are described below.
Department and Party Coordination
Contract redlining can take place across several departments within each organization involved, and communication between parties is not always reliable or effective.
Further, the consideration of human error is paramount. People may overlook or even misinterpret pieces of a contract that may seem insignificant but hold a great deal of meaning.
With multiple parties at each organization making edits and sending them back and forth via email, folders can get cluttered, and files can get lost. Additionally, as people save different versions of the document, it is easy to lose track of which version is the newest, especially when opened next to an older version for comparison during the next redlining session.
There are so many intricate details within a contract that it is of utmost importance to be able to efficiently track these changes and refer back to older versions without losing or misplacing the newer changes, but without a centralized space to do so, it makes successfully completing a contract negotiation using everyone’s contributions nearly impossible.
Security is always an important consideration for digital documents. Many common word processing, text editing, or PDF viewing software suites allow for users to copy and paste the secured read-only content into new documents that can then be edited and shared as they desire.
It is hard enough to track changes when only one party is editing a document, but when multiple parties across multiple organizations add their thoughts to a document, it becomes almost impossible to track and minor, but significant, changes can get overlooked when creating a final document.
Benefits of Contract Redlining Software
By utilizing reline software, an organization can remedy many of the core issues with contract negotiations.
BlackBoiler fosters team collaboration and overall communication and utilizing the integrated AI to complete resource-heavy tasks so human capital within the organization can focus on more critical tasks will allow for the most efficient results possible.
Control of a document is exceedingly critical. Having all parties working on a single live copy of a document helps coordinate all efforts without confusion for effective collaboration.
During the typical contract negotiation, multiple players will need to give input and approve various pieces of a contract. For example, the Head of Sales may need to approve the final numbers to ensure they meet the organization’s profit or expense recovery needs. When utilizing redline software, these individuals can simply log in to the same document and sign off on the given section in real time without the delay caused by tracking someone down to sign off.
Tracking of Changes
Using redline software, there is significant flexibility in how changes are tracked and viewed, and it can be made to align with the look and feel of the tracking tool in Microsoft Word.
Whether the industry appreciates it or not, Microsoft Word is the most common and widely used interface for reviewing contracts, so it is paramount that any other platform being used is compatible and ensures that the documents produced within that platform will work properly as a DocX file, especially for the final product.
Integration with Existing Technology
Another important feature to look for in redlining software is the ability to integrate it with other currently used tools in the pertinent industry, such as Salesforce. This allows those who need to contribute to the contract the ability to receive notifications throughout their regular work that there are tracked changes they need to review and do so without logging in to a separate application.
Along with cross-app integration, being able to collaborate in real-time is a huge time-saver. The ability to leave comments on the document for others whose input is needed is paramount, and BlackBoiler’s interface makes that simple!
Cloud storage is incredibly important in modern business, but especially when it comes to contract negotiations. Cloud storage allows stakeholders to access documents no matter where they happen to be working, whether they are in the office or not, and from any device that can connect to the internet.
Gone are the days of sending completed contracts back and forth between parties via courier or scheduling a sit-down meeting in a cold conference room in order to sign the final contract. You can now do so directly from the software you use to negotiate that same contract! This can even be done through email integration using eSignatures.
Using Auto-Redlining to Make Changes Quickly
Contract automation is an incredible tool for modern businesses! The AI in BlackBoiler can be trained utilizing an organization’s existing standards and practices; and it can be given the authority to approve or deny changes based on certain parameters, thus shortening the overall contract approval time by up to 82%, according to an Aberdeen study. Those given authority over the document can further make changes and accept or deny previously tracked changes in a document without having to send the document back and forth.
Eliminate Human Errors
No matter how knowledgable the included parties may be, there will always be a risk of human error. Errors can be exceedingly costly, especially if the contract is to remain in effect for a long period of time. Utilizing the automated workflow in a redline application such as BlackBoiler will help to improve accuracy.
BlackBoiler: The Most Powerful Contract Software
BlackBoiler is one of the best software solutions for contract redlining on the market. By utilizing powerful and proprietary AI and machine learning techniques, BlackBoiler is capable of instantly reviewing and marking up new contracts based on the customized needs of your organization. Once set up, no humans are ever involved in the process unless you want them to be.
Competitors’ software focuses on deletion, replacement, wholesale revisions, and comparison to industry standards; but BlackBoiler’s AI can work autonomously just as a human can do.
BlackBoiler can be implemented swiftly using its playbook builder feature, and then the AI can alter documents to align with your company’s actual playbook and standards from the get-go.
While it is effective right out of the gate, the AI technology only gets better with every use as it learns from any corrections that may be made or edits that are accepted. This technology allows legal departments to achieve an overall higher level of accuracy and efficiency throughout the generation, negotiation, and execution of a contract while reducing review time by approximately 70%.
If you are interested in our technology, we encourage you to reach out to us for a product demonstration or to ask us any questions you may have!