Contract generation is a common application of document generation software (document assembly software). Document generation is a subset of the Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market and is often aligned with the business process automation movement (BPM), given that document generation tools are used to automate the process of generating complex contracts (really, any kind of structured, rule-based document). In short, document generation software allows you to transform text-based documents and PDF forms (graphical forms having fields, checkboxes, etc.) into process apps.
In use, a contract generation process app presents a wizard-like sequence of interactive, answer-gathering forms, commonly referred to as an interview. Well built contract apps will guide users through the process of entering data, providing range validation of date and numeric answers and field-specific help resources. Having completed the interview, a user can instantaneously generate a transaction-ready contract, as well as all collateral documents (both word processor documents and PDF forms), which can then be profiled into a document management system or ECM. Or finished documents could be routed through a business process workflow for stage approval.
By transforming documents and forms into process applications, you are able to dramatically reduce the time it takes to generate new iterations of a contract and collateral closing documents for new cases or transactions. By reducing the time it takes to generate contracts and collateral, you also reduce the expense of closing deals. Perhaps most importantly, by automating the contract generation process, you reduce—and in many cases eliminate—human error and, thus, dramatically improve the quality of your documents.
Contract generation process apps can be deployed standalone or can be integrated into any other business application, such as BPM workflows or case management systems.