The contract management company Knowable is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with the release of two new products designed to help companies understand their crisis-related contractual obligations and entitlements, one of which it is offering free through year-end.

One of these new products, Portfolio Visibility, is a streamlined version of Knowable’s contract management platform, intended to enable a company to consolidate its contracts and make them easily searchable. The other, Critical Insights, is a full version of Knowable’s platform specifically configured to help companies navigate the multitude of contractual issues presented by the COVID-19 crisis.

Mark Harris, Knowable’s CEO, believes that the coming months will be a critical time for companies, putting extreme pressure on virtually all of their commercial relationships, he told me earlier this week. Insofar as those relationships are codified in contracts, that makes it particularly important for companies to know what their contracts say.

But many companies do not have their contracts centrally organized or easily accessible, Harris said. Even when they do, they do not have transparency into what those contracts contain or the ability to get a portfolio-level view.

Portfolio Visibility

The new Portfolio Visibility product is designed to help companies achieve what Harris described as basic contracts hygiene. It is a streamlined version of Knowable’s contract management platform, which, as I wrote here in February, turns contracts into actionable data.

By consolidating a company’s contracts and making them searchable, the company can more easily identify key information across its entire portfolio of contracts and more quickly respond to business requests, Harris said.

This streamlined version includes an automated feature that uses natural language processing to identify and extract force majeure clauses. It also provides an overview of a company’s 10 top customer and supplier relationships by structuring data so that contract families are mapped and linked.

Companies can be up and running on Portfolio Visibility in a matter of days, digitizing all their contracts so they are fully searchable and all in one place. The free offer includes self-service upload with complementary support from Knowable.

Harris said his company is offering this product free because he believes the situation companies face with regard to their contracts “is effectively an emergency.”

Critical Insights

The second product, Critical Insights, is a full version of Knowable’s contracts management product that has been specially configured to help companies navigate the multitude of contractual issues presented by the COVID-19 crisis.

Knowable says that companies can use the product to identify operational risks as well as opportunities to protect and enhance their revenue. It can help companies gain insights into customer relationships, areas of revenue risk, performance obligations, and supply chain risks.

For this product, Knowable says it will donate a portion of the sales proceeds to the CDC Foundation’s Emergency Response Fund.

The product is based on work Knowable has been doing to build a library of the kinds of questions companies need answered out of their contracts. It has developed some 90 of these questions, all built around the framework, “If I knew X, I could do Y, and it would have Z impact.”

For Critical Insights, Knowable has versioned a set of about 40 of those that are likely to come up frequently as companies respond to and move forward from the current crisis, focused primarily on supplier and customer obligations.

Harris said that Critical Insights will allow companies to structure that data and create dashboard and portfolio views.

“Over the next few months, everyone will need to understand their rights and options in their commercial relationships – as well as those of their counterparties – especially to understand degrees of maneuverability on topics like minimum purchase obligations, supplier exclusivity, service-level commitments and force majeure,” Harris said. “The best prepared companies are getting ready now for the coming storm.”

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.