Contracts on autopilot

Contracts aren’t just data, but instructions.

A contract database therefore not only needs to capture that data, but simulate the instructions that surround it.

As a simple example, consider an auto-renewing contract. The data it contains will probably be:

  • Commencement Date (1 March 2023).
  • Initial Term (3 years).
  • Renewal Term (12 months).
  • Renewal Notice Period (90 days).

If what you actually care about is the Renewal Notice Deadline, this data alone is useless. It’s only useful when someone feeds it into the instructions that compute the Renewal Date and Renewal Notice Deadline, both of which are not in the text of the contract itself.

Furthermore, those instructions can’t just run once. You need to go back to them every year and update those renewal dates. And if an amendment comes in, you might need to update the instructions themselves.

This example is difficult enough to manage if you’ve got hundreds or more of these simple contracts to look after. It’s an entirely different story when you move up the complexity scale.

You’re inviting disaster if you expect human beings to do all of this on their own, even if they have access to reliable, organised contract data (which they almost never do).

A contract database should model data and instructions, putting your contracts on autopilot so that you can forget about them until they tell you to do something.