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By Randy Bishop

Searching vs. Finding --Why OCR and the Right CMS Make a Difference

If you’ve ever searched your hard drive for something, you know just how long it can take to find what you actually need.  Searching and Finding are definitely not the same thing!  Searching can involve a serious chunk of time. First, you pull back results that may (or may not) have anything to do with your query. Then, you have to go through the results and open random documents to find what you need. Hopefully.

What if there were a better way?

How the Right Contract Management System Changes the Search Game

So, what’s the difference between searching and finding? It’s the same basic activity.  Just minus the frustration and wasted time.  How you store and organize things make all the difference.  If you have a system where everything needs to be perfectly labeled, renamed and placed 7 folders deep in nested folders…or you’ll never find’re in trouble.

Finding the contracts and information you need is much easier with the right Contract Management System (CMS).  The right CMS gives you the ability to quickly and easily tag your contracts with key information. When businesses take the time to develop and use specific tags, it makes finding information much faster. It’s also more accurate than just searching through hundreds or thousands of files.  A good CMS will also give you the ability to organize and search by custom drop down fields, check boxes or other fields.  Setting all this up in advance will make finding easier.  However, something called OCR makes finding easy without having to do the upfront work!

OCR (optical character recognition) takes finding to a whole new level. OCR enables your CMS to essentially read and index the documents that are placed within it…even if they are scans or images! It’s another means of allowing users to find what they need if it can’t use tags to locate it. If you know the business name or the name of at least one of the parties involved in the contract (or even just something referenced in the contract), you could search with OCR and find any contract uploaded that had that name in it. It’s like having Google for all of your contracts!

OCR could also be used to help you find a specific clause within a contract. Whether you just want to review that clause or you want to use it in a new contract, OCR gives you the ability to find it in less time. OCR provides more precision than searching on tags alone.

You could also search for all contracts that contain a specific phrase. As an example, if your new in-house lawyer decides certain language in a contract needs to be changed going forward…you could quickly pull up all the contracts that have that particular clause or language.

Using OCR, Tags and Custom Fields Together for Incredibly Fast Finding

Any one of these three features will make your life a lot easier.  Using them together turns you into a Super Finder.  You’ll be able to instantly put your hands on the right document, report or information.  Stop wasting time searching.  Go find things!  If you want to make it really easy to put all this into practice, you might want to give ContractSafe a try!

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