Contract Abstraction Made Easy
The company operates the fourth largest wireless network in the United States with over 44 million customers. With a market that large, the company needs to ensure that the business remains profitable and that the costs are tightly controlled. In line with this goal, the firm did an audit for the lease agreements of its 50,000 cell sites across the United States. They wanted to make sure that the lease payments that the company was paying were correct.
The effort required the company to scan all the lease agreements that were located in various document warehouses nationwide. The electronic copies of the lease agreements were sent to SVI to be processed for contract abstraction. What initially started out as a project by the accounting group for the audit of the lease payments ended up being an effort that included requirements from other groups such as cell site operations and other groups in the company that required data that was found in the lease agreements. Examples of data required by the cell site operations team were space clauses related to parking – whether there was parking available on the cell site or not, and access to the premises – so that they know how and who to get in touch with if they needed access to the cell site.
The contract abstraction effort required SVI to recruit a combination of 500 paralegals and lawyers. Training these highly skilled personnel to interpret a provision the same way so that the extracted data was always consistent posed a challenge. SVI had to come up with interpretation rules per data field to be extracted and had to ensure that all production personnel consisting of paralegals and lawyers interpreted the provisions the same way.
During the acceptance phase, SVI provided a Lease Contract Management System that allowed the QA of the extracted data to flow a lot smoother and faster. Since SVI had a Document Management System that could link the extracted data to the relevant highlighted portion of the document, the client’s QA personnel found it easier to confirm and validate if the extracted data by SVI was accurate. This process of linking the image to electronic data simplified the whole quality assurance process since the supporting documents were readily accessible.
The client required 100% accuracy on data relating to dates and dollar fields. Date fields include commencement, expiration, and notification dates. Dollar fields include cost items such as base rent and rent increase amounts per term, among others. SVI implemented a four-pass data abstraction process for the dates and dollar fields. This means that there are four different people who extract the same information and match their output against one another’s. Any inconsistencies among the output of the four personnel are corrected by a fifth person.
Business Results and Benefits
Through its multi-pass process and the SVI tools, SVI satisfied the 100% accuracy requirement of the client. The company expected a one-year turnaround time for the production to process 50,000 cell site lease agreements for abstraction, SVI completed the work in six months.