A few years ago whilst on holiday overseas, my wife and I were driving to a new destination in our little rental car. My phone’s international-roaming plan offered a token skerrick of data, which was barely sufficient to check an email – let alone use maps. So instead, we opted for a plug-in GPS unit to go with the car.

As we drove along, admiring the utter lack of concern that the other drivers had for the forces of physics/ the ire of any local constabulary/their lives, I noted that the GPS was directing us off the freeway, despite having several hundred kilometres to go. I was slightly confused, but I wasn’t about to argue with an inanimate machine (not yet, anyway). As we came off the road, we began what can only be described as a Clark Griswald-esque “short-cut”, that took us over a mountain, across a paddock and down a number of dirt roads. After an hour we managed to find our way back onto the same freeway that we had been on initially, cursing the GPS voice-over lady and promising never to discuss the shortcut again.

The issue had come about thanks to an appallingly simple error – the unit’s maps hadn’t been updated to incorporate a recent town bypass on the freeway, and as a result, it tried to take us a way that no longer existed. Thankfully, being on holiday, this became an “adventure” and we laugh about it now. But I can’t recall ever being so jovial about being given incorrect instructions when dealing with important contracts at work.

Being led in the wrong direction in your contracts can be anything from supremely frustrating to catastrophic. Miss a notice period. Build to an incorrect spec. Prepare for the wrong date. Trust me, you will find yourself speaking to your contract with even more colourful language than I did when I was telling the Garmin lady what I thought of her “take the third exit at the next sheep” commentary…

Version control ought to be very straightforward, and yet it is one of the most common concerns for our clients, prior to getting their documents converted into smart contracts. When you read a document in Intelligent Document Format (IDF), you are always looking at the fully-conformed, up-to-date version of the contract. IDF incorporates amendments and changes directly in to the contract, so that you don’t need to piece together the current version from the contract and its amending deeds. Better still, you can have faith that the rest of your team are also looking at the correct version… Get on the fastest road to successful contract management with Affinitext.

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