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The charting of UCC search data is an essential part of the deal process. But the traditional methods of assembling information into documents or spreadsheets have been less than optimal.
Charting data is time-consuming—a major pain point considering the time-sensitive nature of many deals. Also, the manual keying of data can lead to increased inaccuracies—which can have serious consequences when it comes to deal decision-making.
In this week's podcast, Shawn Kastle, Principal Product Manager at CT, discusses how new automation technology is improving the way UCC search charting is being done. This would allow legal professionals to spend less time on data entry so that they could focus on high-value tasks.
Greg Corombos: Our guest this week on Expert Insights is Shawn Kastle. He's the Principal Product Manager at CT Corporation. Today we'll be discussing the value of charts, and how they can be a huge boost to the efficiency of your law firm or business. And we're particularly talking about the new technology available for charting. And Shawn, thanks so much for being with us.
Shawn Kastle: Thank you great pleasure to join.
Greg Corombos: Well, just to make sure everyone is starting on the same page here, explain what charting is and has been to this point.
Shawn Kastle: Our law firm customers that we work with generally take the search results that we provide them and their deal research. And up to date, they've been manually rekeying information from the document into a Word or Excel chart. So that's a lot of manual keying of information. And they do this to try to distill the information down for their attorneys and say, other people, other stakeholders in the deal that they're working.
Greg Corombos: So what does it look like nowadays, how much time can really be saved through automated charting?
Shawn Kastle: Sure, so what we learned from our clients is that they were spending on a small deal, maybe two to five hours. On a large deal, they were spending well over 50 hours, just keying information into the chart. We've worked out a solution called IntelliChart, that automatically uploads the information into a chart on behalf of our client. We didn't adopt the rekeying. What we did is we took the data straight from the source and uploaded it into the chart so that we can generate it much more quickly, and reduce some of the pain that might be involved with, say, a fat finger mistake in keying that information. And we send that on to our clients. What our clients have told us is that it reduces their time charting by as much as 60%. So imagine taking a 50-plus hour deal, and just cutting it in half.
Greg Corombos: Why does it save so much time, you mentioned that the data pretty much goes right into it rather than them having to key it in. I guess that really does make a difference.
Shawn Kastle: It really does. And we do other things as well in the chart to provide streamlined workflow tools for our clients. So for instance, if they do need to review the documents, rather than flipping through hard copies of the documents like they had to do in the past, we actually provide links within the IntelliChart that allows them to click the link, open up the document, and view it right on their monitor.
Greg Corombos: Let's talk about each of these different things that IntelliChart is giving our clients an advantage for. First of all, automated content and format, elaborate on that a little bit.
Shawn Kastle: So we did a lot of research with our clients to get to the underlying formats, the key data points that they were looking for in their charting solution. And we put together a formatted solution that provides all of those data points in an easily consumable format. And we just basically, we pull it right from the data. So as we're doing a search, we don't have to rekey the information in it. It comes right off of either the UCC document or the data that the state that provides us as part of the search. We're able to upload that right into the chart. And as I mentioned, what that does is, it removes the pain of entry. So it's just so much faster to get it into a chart. And you reduce some of that fumbling with your fingers in the keying effort.
Greg Corombos: Is this technology that's unique to IntelliChart? Are you proprietary on this? How advanced and cutting edge is this?
Shawn Kastle: It actually is unique to IntelliChart. So other solutions, that chart for the law firm. In this process, they're all either very basic and that it's just a yes, no. You have results or you don't for a particular search. And then you still have to go to the document and key information yourself. Or if the other provider does try it for you, it's all manual rekeying. And whereas as I mentioned, we've automated that process to provide full content,
Greg Corombos: Highlighting and organizing liens. How is that much more efficient now?
Shawn Kastle: So as you're reviewing a large deal, you may have any number of UCCs. And this is primarily for UCCs and other types of lien due diligence that the law firm is doing. There may be specific liens that are of high importance to you. Right, maybe they are liens that you've worked on in the past yourself. Or perhaps you know that these are liens that you'll have to then amend or terminate or assign as part of your deal. The highlighting features allow the paralegal to work right through IntelliChart and just click the liens that are of heightened interest. And then we automatically export those on a specialized schedule that can be shared with the attorney separately. So it just draws your attention right to the most important liens.
Greg Corombos: Talk a little more about the reaction from your clients and what they're telling you. Is this something that will bring you more customers, in and of itself and other law firms and law firm managers that might be listening to this could be a customer attracter as well?
Shawn Kastle: Certainly we hope so. And we have gotten great feedback from our clients on this. One of my favorites actually was just from earlier this year, where a legal professional was telling one of our sales reps that IntelliChart changed her life. I reduced so many hours in her workflow that literally she just said, this has changed my life. I love IntelliChart. We've gotten a lot of responses like that across all the various features of IntelliChart, just how fast we can get the chart to our customers, the ability to link to documents. In some cases, we can even provide the collateral information from the lien onto the chart. And then additionally, we've created a feature where you can automatically pre-fill amendment documents or terminations off of the search results. So I mentioned earlier that you may want to highlight key liens that you might have to amend or terminate. You can select those liens and click a UCC-3 button right on the chart and we'll automatically create the documents for you. So again, that much less re-keying and review.
Greg Corombos: Do you plan on selling this individual of your own clients? So what's the economic plan here?
Shawn Kastle: So we do charge for the IntelliChart. And for large deals, we talked to our firms and if it's a value to them, and it makes sense for them and for us, sometimes we just offer it complimentary with our services. To your point, do we hope to gain more clients? Absolutely. That's what this is all about.
Greg Corombos: Well, let's talk about whether there's going to be a major shift here because one of the things we've learned in our interviews about law firms is that a lot of law firms love doing things the way they've quote-unquote, always been done. So are most firms embracing this once they see it, or are others still pretty resistant to change?
Shawn Kastle: You're right. Well, law firms do tend to be conservative with the adoption of change. But what we've learned is that law firms are facing change anyway, particularly since the financial crisis. And we've seen a lot of paralegal staffing changes, where paralegals these are just like everybody--being asked to do more and more with less and less. And the IntelliChart is designed to help the paralegal in that new dynamic, right? Where a paralegal is not struggling to get billable hours anymore, they're struggling to share their value to the end client. And that's really important for these types of deals because the end client has been pushing back on the law firms on fees that they're willing to pay. Our job I don't see is to replace the paralegal. It's simply to provide the paralegal the tools that they can add the most value in their job. Or maybe better stated, we take those non-value tasks off of the lap of the paralegal to help them get the work done. We're under tight timing for closings, right? We have deadlines that are right on top of us to make sure we can make these closings. The last thing you need to do is work until midnight, one o'clock, two o'clock in the morning, just keying information into a chart so you can make a closing.
Greg Corombos: Freeing time up to spend on what really matters. Last question, is there any plan for a 2.0? Do you already have new ideas that you hope to incorporate into IntelliChart?
Shawn Kastle: Oh, we have a lot of ideas, and our clients have been great at sharing feedback. So absolutely we have big plans for IntelliChart coming in the next couple of years. One thing is we've rolled out a new product called UCC Filing Hub, where we take the same type of thinking--learning the customers' workflow and figuring out how we can best design tools that they can say seamlessly adopt. That's the UCC filing part of it. So our job I think next is to put together a complete end-to-end workflow for the customer and connect the IntelliChart to the UCC Filing Hub that we've created and provide just a big automation workflow tool.
Greg Corombos: Shawn, where can folks learn more about IntelliChart?
Shawn Kastle: Sure if you'd like to learn more about IntelliChart or any of our other services I recommend checking this out at ct.wolterskluwer.com.
Greg Corombos: CT.WoltersKluwer.com. CT dot W O L T E R S K L U W E R dot com. Shawn, great to have you with us today. Thanks so much for your time.
Shawn Kastle: Great. Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to talk with you today.
Greg Corombos: Shawn Kastle, Principal Product Manager at CT Corporation. I'm Greg Corombos reporting for Expert Insights.
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