What Is Federal Contract Management Software?
An essential part of every business transaction is the creation, negotiation, and management of the contract, otherwise known as the contract lifecycle management (CLM). These steps are true for any size company wishing to procure business. But these contract processes are tedious, time-consuming, and prone to errors when done manually. This causes inefficiency and diminishes revenue. If few contracts are won, less money is made.
What is needed is a better, faster, more accurate data content management process. This is available with contract management software tools that are empowered with Artificial Intelligence (AI) such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML).
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an advanced level of digital automation where software mimics human intelligence and judgment. Computers are trained to process human-like traits such as learning, problem-solving, and decision making. Ordinary IT automation digitally performs perfunctory, thoughtless operations, but AI does automated decision-making and thoughtful tasks.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It performs analyzing, understanding, and then generating human-like language for interfacing. The software-generated language can be produced in both written and spoken contexts. NLP enables computers to comprehend human language and to respond with human language.
Machine Learning (ML) is a part of artificial intelligence (AI). ML is the ability of computers to learn by using algorithms, which are like digital flowcharts using rules. ML gathers insights from raw data or detects patterns without the computers being specifically pre-programmed towards those goals. ML can be either unsupervised without human intervention or supervised with human intervention. ML is a fast-growing technology being driven by advancements in computing technologies.
With AI-enhanced tools, you can easily find:
· key words
· requirement statements
· legal phrases
· vendor employee qualifications
· other legal texts.
Adequately addressing these data contents are critical for full contractual compliance. The items addressed by the proposal team can be ranked for readability and cross-referenced with the RFP, ensuring compliance.
The Content Analytics Platform (CAP), developed by Scion Analytics, is a suite of applications that can vastly improve any vendor’s contract lifecycle management (CLM):
· Compliance Matrix Quickly generates a starter compliance matrix using Shipley Associates’ Excel spreadsheet template. Shred a federal government RFP using the Legal parser and keyword group “Required” to help identify requirements.
· Compliance Matrix/ Analysis Results Go to the Analysis Results panel to collaborate with your team. Split, combine, annotate notes, and edit individual sections. Export multiple reports, and quickly search the RFP for specific keywords.
· Compliance Matrix/ Sentence Level Granularly shred an RFP into individual sentences.
· Compliance Matrix/ Select Keywords Generate a compliance matrix and select the keyword group that matters most to you.
· Compliance Matrix/ X-Ref Go to cross-reference matrices in the Matrix Builder.
· Bid/ No Bid Assessment the Bid/No Bid Assessment (BNBA) provides a matrix for decisive assessment of the individual requirements for bidding on a contract.
Federal Contract Management Software Applications
When it comes to responding efficiently to contract RFPs, using AI-empowered software is critical for saving resources and time. The ContentAnalytics Platform (CAP), developed by Scion Analytics, is valuable for enhancing RFP responses and ensuring proposal compliance. There are several key applications in the CAP to help with these:
The gold standard for contract requirements compliance matrices are those developed by Shipley Associates. The Compliance Matrix Dynamic Application can quickly generate a starter compliance matrix using a Shipley Associate’s’ Excel spreadsheet template. The RFP can be parsed into a structured output using the Legal parser selection and the keyword group “Required” to help identify requirements. The Compliance Matrix generates the government RFP document fully restructured for easy sequential addressing. Each header section is listed with page numbers. Requirement statements are displayed in separate paragraphs. Keywords are highlighted in red for easy accountability by the proposal team members.
Compliance Matrix/Analysis Results
The Analysis Results feature of the Compliance Matrix Dynamic Application generates a panel where you can collaborate with the team members. You can split, combine, annotate notes, and edit individual sections. You can export multiple reports, and quickly search the RFP for specific keywords.
Compliance Matrix/ Sentence Level
The Sentence Level feature of the Compliance Matrix Dynamic Application can parse the RFP down to individual sentences in a structured manner.
Compliance Matrix/ Select Keywords
The Select Keywords feature of the Compliance Matrix Dynamic Application can generate a requirement compliance matrix with a selected keyword group to highlight what matters the most to you. No critical term will be overlooked. There are provided keyword groups, or you can build your own keyword group.
Compliance Matrix/ X-Ref
The X-Ref feature of the Compliance Matrix Dynamic Application has a separate Matrix Builder window. This application can allow you to generate two structured matrices to cross-reference the RFP and proposal to ensure full compliance.
Bid/ No Bid Assessment
The Bid/No Bid Assessment (BNBA) feature provides a structured matrix template allowing you to do decisive assessments of the individual requirements for bidding on a contract.Each important department, such as Legal, IT, QA, Security, etc., is color coded and the keywords are highlighted in red for easy accountability.
Federal Contract Management Software Capabilities
The Cap offers many tools for advanced contract data management that can be leveraged for quick and intelligent contract lifecycle management (CLM). Some of these capabilities are:
· Any size RFP document can be quickly analyzed and parsed into a structured format that is more accessible and transparent for all proposal team members. The result is represented within an Excel template matrix.
· Quickly analyze the RFP document and comprehend the significance of each paragraph in a structured format. AI can classify the clauses based on their contents.
· Mark out significant clauses by highlighting the importance of the information they contain.
· Identify requirements by highlighting key words and requirement statements.
· Check the readability ranking of the language of the document.
· Assess the language by pre-determining the weight of important terms.
· Compare RFPs with proposals using the cross-reference feature.
· Quickly generate a Bid/No Bid Assessment matrix facilitating each highlighted item’s bid or no bid evaluation.
· Quickly generate a RACI matrix or select your own responsibility assignment matrix (RAM).
· Quickly generate a risk assessment matrix using the Risk keyword library.
· Quickly generate a Color Team Review template.
· Quickly find Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) in RFPs.
Federal Contract Management Software Benefits
The US Government is Tech-Savvy
A major benefit for employing AI-enhanced contract automation software is preparedness for the federal government’s tech-savvy requirements. The US government agencies always keep up with the latest technological advances. They are aware of software improvements and adopt those advantages in their operations. Because the government agencies are tech-savvy, they will have more regard for those contractors who also improve their business operations with the latest technologies. Contracts with government agencies require a high level of accounting accuracy and fiscal management. And with the level of today’s technology, government agencies prefer to award contracts to enterprises that have automated contract management to ensure this accuracy and facilitate more-efficient management. With a vendor employing automation, a government agency can rely on better timeliness, accuracy, fiscal responsibility, and transparency. It is almost a necessity to use contract automation software to be competitive when doing business with the federal government.
The federal, state, and local government agencies require complex and rigorous contract obligations for their project needs. A high level of accountability and fiscal management is demanded from vendors. The government agency will prefer the contractor who uses software automation when preparing and presenting their contract proposals. This is because the agency knows the vendor that uses contract automation software will already prove careful to meet the rigorous requirements stipulated in the RFP. They will be careful to present the most compliant and most cost-effective proposal to meet the need of the government agency. Because of the advantages of contract automation, the vendor can confidently submit bids with a high probability of win (Pwin). Software technologies such as the CAP can quickly analyze an RFP and present the data content in a structured matrix. The structured data template output will enable a high level of requirement compliance.
The converse benefit of better compliance through contract management software is risk reduction. When the data content of an RFP is automatically and thoroughly restructured into a clear, manageable template, errors and non-compliances are reduced. By using AI tools, possible risks can be pinpointed by intelligently analyzing the text of contracts and rating the language. The overall performance of the proposal team can be significantly improved.
The significant technological advantages of the digital age have transformed how federal government contracting is done. Software technologies enhanced with AI now automate the rigorous process of RFP analysis with amazing speed and ease. Data content management is now simplified and streamlined. An AI-enhanced software platform such as the CAP can systematically analyze complex federal government contracts. It can extract, organize, and classify important pieces of information, presenting the data in clear, accessible chunks for effective contract management. The enhanced oversight afforded by contract automation is crucial for a competitive edge in today’s technologically advanced federal government