Category: Document Assembly Software
Are you still drafting thousands of contracts manually? In Word? Or storing multiple versions of paper contracts in a filing cabinet? Well, you’re not alone.
Exari recently surveyed 92 Corporate Counsel and compliance professionals about their habits and challenges for contract creation, storage and legal technology. More than 75% reported that they were still creating contracts in Microsoft Word, using some form of “copy and paste” template, while only 1 out of 10 currently use a document generation software to streamline the process. Half of the participants (47%) said they were still using paper filing systems to house corporate contracts. Their top pain points included:
- Slow contract approval processes (59%)
- Little or non-existent insight into risk (39%)
- Missing key milestones (27%)
- Difficulty with internal collaboration (25%)
- Risk of error (23%)
With outdated practices for generating and storing contracts, you’ll lack complete visibility into all of your agreements, increasing your risks such as liability, being underpaid or overcharged and missing key milestones. By implementing an efficient contracting process, you won’t miss a step. Not to mention you’ll be able to pull information during a crisis in minutes, rather than taking hours to dig up and sift through multiple paper copies. Avoid missing renewal rates, reduce the length of sales cycles, streamline negotiations and increase internal collaboration.
Doesn’t that sound better than the ol’ “copy and paste”?
Today we announced DocGen 7.0, a major release in the history of this market-leading product. For those of you who are new to Exari, we were the first XML-based document assembly product on the market nearly 15 years ago. Today, our DocGen engine powers thousands of documents and contracts for hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.
What makes this release so great? It’s simple. It’s easy to use, and it is designed to be responsive, which means that no matter what device you use it on, be it phone, tablet, laptop or desktop, the application automatically resizes itself so it is as usable on a phone as it is on a 27” monitor. That’s cool.
We’ve also dramatically improved its authoring capabilities and greatly increased the ease with which you can integrate DocGen with other enterprise applications. That’s important because more and more, contracts are becoming living, breathing things. If you have consistency in your contracts, you protect yourself from risks like uncapped liabilities, bad termination language and potentially costly exposures.
For some customers, the risks are real. One prospect told us that a Word template had been modified and the limitations of liability clause removed and that template was then used hundreds of times. The risk is real.
Come check out DocGen 7.0. It’s the next great thing in contract management.
Bill Hewitt is Exari’s CEO. Reach out in the comments or @billhewittCEO.
We’ve listened. We’ve taken your feedback – and the changing landscape – into account. This fall, we’ll release a new responsive interface in our 7.0 release of Exari DocGen™.
Many of you reading this will be on a smartphone or tablet, or have one within reach. In fact, nearly 20% of visitors to our (responsive design) website come to us on a mobile device.
What’s responsive web design and why should I care, you ask? More and more business users are accessing web sites and web applications via small-screen devices. According to a recent study, mobile devices account for over half of all internet usage, as opposed to 42% on a desktop or laptop computer.
A responsive web application means that the interface you interact with changes dynamically based on the device you are using in order to provide a better user experience. We have redesigned the Exari interview with a “mobile first” approach. The result? Dramatically improved interface and usability for users on smart touchscreen devices.
As a responsive design application, Exari DocGen 7.0 allows you to be more responsive to your clients. It means you can fill in data directly in client meetings or on the road and send through a completed contract before you get to the office.
Drafting, completing and managing contracts with ease, insight and certainty. That’s what we’re all about.
Peter Wilson is Exari’s UI/UX Developer. Peter has been developing websites for almost two decades; he has provided coding and web management services for some of Australia’s largest companies. Peter regularly speaks at meetups and conferences. You can reach Peter @pwcc, email@example.com, in the comments below or on his personal website.
Noted document assembly expert, Seth Rowland, has written a beginner’s guide to Document Assembly that does a good job of explaining how document assembly software works.
Document Assembly goes by many different names, depending on the related job function and industry. It can be called document automation, document generation, contract automation, policy configuration, loan documentation, document creation and many more. For simplicity, we’ll stick with document assembly here.
Recently, Seth reviewed Exari Document Assembly Software in the TechnoFeature Newsletter. Below are some excerpts:
- In evaluating a document assembly system, one must look at what the user sees when he or she launches the document assembly interview. If the user’s experience is “pleasant”; if the user can easily navigate the questions; if the user is guided to make the correct choices; and if the user can easily review and change his or her answers, then you can say that the system succeeds. The Exari interview shines in each of these areas.
- At the end of the interview, Exari presents you with several optional outputs including Word and PDF. The most interesting option is a document preview. You can see the document with variables and optional text indicated…Exari adds a further output option that is unique in the document assembly industry. Called the Exari RoundTrip, it produces a Word document that can be negotiated and edited.
- Exari has just about every feature you could imagine for a document assembly system. Variables and various other components, just like documents, are stored as XML objects. Exari has variables, conditions, repeats, calculations, conditional expressions, multiple choice questions, and user text questions. To the standard list, Exari adds smart phrases, blocks of text that are reusable in the template and may or may not contain conditions, variables, and logic.
- Exari includes several other components that round it out as a robust and powerful programming language.
- Clearly, you’ll need to conduct a return on investment analysis. Look at the number of users who will use the system, the number of documents they will assemble, the location of the users, and the level of expertise among the users regarding the documents. In the proper setting, Exari will pay for itself in under three months after full production.
You can read the complete review here. And please, let us know what you call Document Assembly below in the comments.
It’s one thing for us to say that we can help you improve your business. It’s entirely different for you to hear it from someone who has already succeeded in making their own business more profitable.
Les Doel, a manager at London-based Lloyd’s broker, Croton Stokes Wilson Ltd., recently spoke with KM World Magazine about his experience with document automation.