Discovery and Exploration

How AI is helping Autodesk transform their procurement processes

Share this post:

Autodesk, the makers of 3D design software used in industries ranging from architecture to entertainment, has always been on the front-lines of innovation. The software company saw first-hand how advances in AI technology can change the way a business operates when they partnered with IBM Watson to develop their first AI powered chatbot. AVA, a customer-side chatbot that can resolve customer’s queries as fast as they can ask them, now handles over 150,000 customer contacts each month. With this in mind, Autodesk has embarked on their next AI adventure, applying IBM Watson to transform their procurement processes.

Making sure contracts are reviewed properly is serious business for procurement professionals. In many leading institutions, there might exist as many as 300 high-risk relationships, regardless of the total number of third parties with which they contract1, and inefficient contracting can cause a business to lose up to 40% of the value of a given deal2. Contract managers can spend up to 50% of their time combing through documents so they can make recommendations3.

Looking for a way to gain better insights and streamline contract review, Autodesk is developing Autodesk Contract Explorer (ACE), using Watson Compare & Comply. Compare & Comply is trained on contract structure and language–and it contextually understands PDFs, the documents of business. Autodesk is seeing the potential of what Watson Compare & Comply can do to improve the way the team works on contract review and management.

ACE is being trained to understand the context of a contract, scan every sentence, and give reviewers a preliminary look at the quality of the document. ACE can also annotate passages for further review, identify parts of the contract that are acceptable, and locate sections that need further evaluation. By using ACE, a contract reviewer will be able to make a determination on a contract much more quickly, which allows them to spend more time focusing on what needs their attention the most. Autodesk’s sourcing and contract managers will soon be able to review and evaluate more contracts in less time, further reducing risks that would normally have been hidden.

Foundational to ACE is Watson’s Compare and Comply AI solution. With its natural ability to break down dense contract language, it turns volumes of contractual material into actionable insights, and can be expanded and updated to suit a variety of unique business needs.

With AVA, and soon with ACE, augmenting the capabilities of their agents and procurement professionals, Autodesk has been able to not only free key personnel, but to streamline a variety of workflows as well. IBM and Autodesk will continue to evolve their partnership to create solutions that mitigate risk, scale value-add, and give businesses a competitive edge.

Sources:
1. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our-insights/managing-when-vendor-and-supplier-risk-becomes-your-own
2. https://hbr.org/2018/02/how-ai-is-changing-contracts?autocomplete=truehow-ai-is-changing-contracts?autocomplete=true
3. https://www.cebglobal.com/compliance-legal/smb-legal/contract-management-midsized.html

Watch how you can cut time spent reviewing contracts — while increasing accuracy.

Diamond Team Lead, Watson Discovery

More Discovery and Exploration stories
July 16, 2018

Building trust in the age of AI – How businesses can build fairness into their machine learning models

Every organization that develops or uses AI, or hosts or processes data, must do so in ways that allow them to rationalize the decisions or recommendations in a way that is easily consumable. Let's examine Forrester's recommendations how organizations can leverage AI for the good of humankind, while avoiding the ethical pitfalls associated with perceived discrimination.

Continue reading

July 13, 2018

Improving the accuracy & speed of translations with Neural Machine Translation

Neural Machine Translation technology comes standard in the IBM Watson Language Translator service. NMT is an advanced machine translation method based on deep learning, the development of which has led to remarkable improvements in translation fluency and the achievement of higher human evaluations.

Continue reading

July 12, 2018

Improving productivity: IBM ranked leader in AI-based text analytics platforms by Forrester Wave

IBM has been named a leader in AI-Based Text Analytics Platforms by The Forrester Wave ™, Forrester's rigorous evaluation of vendors in a software, hardware, or services market. Watson Discovery, Watson Explorer, and Watson Natural Language Understanding’s strengths and weaknesses were assessed alongside seven other providers.

Continue reading