There are many ways that you can use Templates, either “Classic” or Library, but one of the most common ways they are used within UCM, is as a Request Form.
Many organizations have some type of an internal Contract Request Form that is stored on a local share drive, and the process usually goes something like this:
Requester: Downloads, or even prints out, the Request Form from the shared drive. Saves it to their PC. Fills out all the data that is needed, usually in Word or Excel. Possibly misses an important section by accident. Saves the completed from to their PC. Then, emails it to the Contract Administrator who is in charge of Contract Requests.
Contract Administrator: Receives a Request Form, hopefully with all the data that is required. Needs to either get right to work on the Contract, or set a reminder for themselves to work on reviewing it when they have the time. Look through the whole document to make sure all the data is there that they need. If it is, open up UCM and create a new Contract Container. If not, begin a back-and-forth with the Requester to get all the information needed. Re-enter in all the data that the Requester already filled out on the form into the Fields of the Contract Container. Then upload the Request Document itself into the Attachments Tab.
If this sounds all too familiar, then Templates may make your life a whole lot easier!
Initiate the Request (Requester)
Regardless of which type of Template you decide to use for your Request Form, you will need to have a User account for your Requester. If you are on a Concurrent User Model with UCM, meaning you can have unlimited users who have access to your system, but a limit to how many can be logged in at a single time, you should be fine to create as many user accounts as needed. If you are on a Named User Model, meaning you can only have a set number of active users in your account, then please reach out to support for assistance.
When your Requester User logs into the system, they can select either the Template or Library icon from the homepage to access the Request form. Depending on which option you choose, the one that you do not want can be removed from the Homepage to avoid confusion.
The Requester can then select the Click to Fill Fields option next to the Request Form. You can hide any other forms that you are using as Templates from your Requester, so they ONLY see the one that they should use.
Your Requester may have to set up the Fill and Download column for the first time, which can be done by hovering over any column header, clicking the blue down arrow to the right, hovering over the Columns option, and checking the box next to Fill and Download. It will now be in their grid, and if they still don’t see it, they just need to look to the far right of the grid and drag it back to the left side. This is a ONE TIME SET-UP that will save for the next time.
At this point, they can select to Create a new Container, fill out the applicable data (Contract Type and Folder Name can be limited down to only display the one option that should be chosen to avoid any confusion), and if there are any mistakes made in the Contract Name, Owner, or Responsible parties, they can all be fixed by the Contract Admin later. Same goes for the Document Title, Category, and State; all can be edited later if mistakes are made. Note: At the time of this article, there are development plans to allow Administrators to pre-set all of this information for request form, so it will be even easier soon!
Then down below we get to the Fill Values section. Here, your Requester can fill in all the data that is required for the Request Form in an easy to view list. Admins also have the ability to make certain Fields required, so that the most important information is NEVER missed.
Finally, all your Requester has to do is create the document and then the Container. Depending on the type of Template you are using, this will be done one of two ways:
- Library Template
- (1) Select Preview and Save to pull up the Request From in the AceOffix Edit In Cloud plug in.
- (2) Choose Save and Close
- (3) Select the Create Container icon
- “Classic” Templates
- (1) Select the File Type you want the document to be, Word or PDF
- (2) Select the Create Container icon
The Requester will have a chance to upload any supporting documents along with the request form, like say an NDA. They can either hit Save then Continue if they are uploading supporting documents, or just Cancel if there are none.
Now a new Contract Container has been created, the Request Form document was uploaded to the Attachments Tab, the data that was filled out for the Request Form is automatically uploaded to the Summary Data of the Container. Best of all, there is no need for double entry on the part of the Contract Administrator!
Note: Depending on the Type of User your Requester is, they will either be sent right back to the Homepage, if they are a Template-Only User, or possibly enter into the newly created Container if they have the permission to based on Contract Type, Folder Location, etc.
Receiving & Managing the Request (Contract Administrator)
So now what? You took the time to create the Request Form, you trained your Requester's how to use it, but now that the Request has been Submitted, and a Container was created, what do you do?
There are many ways that Contract Requests can be handled, but our suggestion is to have your Contract Request Forms tied to a specific Request Contract Type, that has a specific Request Workflow. By using these tools in combination, you can very easily turn UCM into a Request triage, where one or more Contract Administrators can route the request to the correct path by changing the Contract Type and Workflow with just a few easy steps.
For assistance on setting up a Request Contract Type & Workflow with the correct assignee's, please contact UCMSupport@iContracts.com.
By utilizing a specific Request Workflow, you can have a User, or Users, assigned to be notified as soon as a request has been submitted. You can even set up reminders on a custom interval, so you’ll never have a Request go missing.
The email notification that goes out will have a link that takes you directly into the Container itself.
Now, all you have to do is identify what type of Contract the request is, and apply the correct Contract Type and Workflow to the Container. You can Change the Type of Contract the Container is by clicking Contract Type right under the name of the Container, and selecting the correct Type from the dropdown menu.
This will also automatically populate any Contract Type specific Field Groups in the Summary data below. If you have that information available now, you can fill that out, and if there are any new fields that match with the fields on the request form, they will be automatically filled out. Just be sure to SAVE all Field Groups or they, and their data, will disappear. If they do disappear, you can quickly get them back by following this short video HERE.
Now, you just need to switch the workflow over, by clicking the Workflow Override icon, and selecting the correct one. This will take this Container out of the Request Workflow, and begin alerting the appropriate parties for the type of Contract the Request is for.
So, while you can see that there is still work involved with using Templates as a Request Form, using these tools inside of UCM WILL cut down on double entry, save you time, and prevent losing requests in a sea of emails with Workflow reminders. The best part is, if you receive multiple requests a day, and there are multiple requests that all need to be reassigned to the same Contract Types and Workflows, you can do them in batches using the Modify Contract Action from your Views! More info HERE.