We have improved UCM’s Contract Entry process to be more “wizard-like”, which helps Users see the Contract Container be built prior to submitting it through a Workflow, as well as combine the Direct Entry and Template Entry procedures into one process.
One of the other benefits you get when using this new entry method is that you can Resume your Contract Entry if you are not able to complete it in one session. Full details of this feature are at the bottom of the article.
Each User has the ability to still select which Entry Method they prefer though. Your System Admins can set a default to have Direct Entry automatically open in the new method, but you have ways to go back to the legacy versions as well.
Please note, that this new Entry Process is currently only an option for Full-Access Users. Read-Only Users will be given a modified version of this process in a few weeks.
A permanent switchover to the New & Improved entry process is currently planned to happen on Monday May 1st, 2023. More information and updates will be coming out soon for how to prepare your system.
How to Begin using the New Direct Entry Process
You can use the New Direct Entry method simply by clicking the existing Direct Entry icons (A), however, you’ll notice a few changes to the screen.
For starters, if your system has not been defaulted to use the New & Improved Entry method, you will see an icon right above the Contract Name field (B) that will direct you to the new input screen.
If you click on Direct Entry and see a page like the one below, that means your system is defaulted to the New & Improved method. You can switch back to the Legacy Entry style by using the link at the top (C).
How to Enter a Contract using the New Direct Entry Process
Before we get into the specifics of how you enter a Contract using this method, please note that your System Admins may rearrange the order of the Entry process, and also make certain items mandatory, which will affect which navigation icons you can choose from.
The screenshots that follow all use the default order of entry and have no requirements set. Your entry process and the exact data being asked for may look a little different but the system elements being added on each page, be it Data, Templates, or Documents, will always be the same regardless of order or requirements.
On Page 1 (Contract Attributes) of the Entry Process, you will enter the System Attributes that all Contract Containers need. These items are now clearly highlighted in red and if any of your Responsible Parties are required, the dropdown boxes will be outlined in red.
When you select a Workflow Template, whether it is defaulted based on the chosen Contract Type or manually chosen, you will now see a Preview Workflow (D) link that opens a pop-out table and displays not only the Stages the Workflow will go through but also who is Assigned to each Stage. This is a Read-Only pop-up for ALL Users.
We also updated the Related Contract area to be hidden by default to help avoid confusion over whether or not those items need to be completed and also changed the first question of “Include Archive” to be a checkbox like when doing a search or report. Selecting your Related Contract’s Contract Type and Contract from the dropdown are still the same.
Once you have all the required data entered, you can use the navigation icon (E) below to continue to Page 2 (Data Entry by default).
On the Data Entry Page of the process, you will be asked to enter the Field Data for the Contract.
This page may look very similar to a Contract Container’s Summary Tab, however the only items on this page for entry are the Terms Box and Default Field Groups. You do have the ability to edit the Contract Attributes you entered on the previous page if you find any of your original selections need to be updated (F).
When filling out the Terms or Field Group information, any items marked as Required, either Warning or Mandatory, will still apply. This means you will have to fill out a value for Mandatory, or approve the pop-up to leave the Field blank on a Warning before moving to the next page.
You do NOT need to save each Field Group individually on this page. When you select any of the navigation icons below, all data on this page will be saved.
NOTE: If you use the Vendor Database search bar in that Field Group, that information will be saved as soon as it is entered, but you can still choose the edit pencil to make any needed changes, and the global save on the icon click will apply.
If you need to add any additional Fields or Field Groups, you can do so by using the Add Fields (G) link and dropdown selector just like if you were in a Container.
Now that we have all our Term & Field Group information added, we can use one of the icons below to progress forward (H). NOTE: This is where the options you may see will depend on your Administrative Set-Up. All examples in this guide show the most options you could have.
- If you have any Templates (either Library or Classic), you can select Template Creation to move to a grid where you can select the Template you wish to create.
- If you do not have any Templates to add, but have Documents to upload from your computer, you can skip ahead to Document Upload.
- If all you needed to enter for this Contract was information, no Documents at all, you can skip right ahead to the Container, which will also send out the Initial Workflow Email.
On the Template Selection Page, you will see all of the Templates you have permission to use available for selection, both Library and Classic.
You will need to click on either the Click to Fill Fields (I), or the Name (J) of the Template, to go onto the next Page where you will create the actual document and fill in any additional Fields specific to the Template.
NOTE: One of the advantages of this entry method is you will be able to create multiple Templates for the same Contract prior to any Workflow Emails going out. On the next page, you’ll see a Save & Create Another option which would take you right back to this selection grid.
After you have selected your Template, you will be taken to the Template Creation Page. Here, you'll be able to give the Template Document a Name (required), Category, and State, along with any other details you can provide. Under the Document Details are your Terms and Template Fields that will be used to generate the document itself (K).
Since you have already filled out certain Terms & Fields from the previous Data Entry Page, any Fields for this Template that you had already filled out will be pre-filled here (L). If the Template you are using has Fields that are specific to just that Template, you will be able to fill them out as well, and the data will be added to the Contract Container.
Once you have entered all your information in, you’ll select the Enter Fields Into Template & Preview (M) icon. This will either bring up OnlyOffice or AceOffix if it’s a Library Template, or enter all your Field Values into the Classic Template Preview box below.
If you realize you’ve selected the wrong Template, you can use the Discard & Select Another Template (N) navigation icon to go back and select a different Template. All data that was pre-populated from the previous page’s entry will still be kept, but any Template Specific information entered will be discarded.
Once you have confirmed your Template is correct and all the data is entered, you can use one of the navigation icons (O) to either:
- Save & Create Another Template, which will save your current Template, then take you back to the Template Selection grid to select an Additional Template
- Save & Continue to Document Upload, which till take you to the final page of the Entry Process
- Save & Continue to Contract Container, which will bypass adding any additional Documents and take you into the Container, which will also send out the Initial Workflow Email
On the Document Upload Page, you will see any Templates you had previously created already there (P) , but also a box to the right side that allows you to add as many Documents as this Contract requires (Q) . You can Drag & Drop or Select from your Computer either a Single or Multiple Documents in a single upload.
If you are uploading Multiple Documents, you will have a pop-up box for each document where you can individually edit the File Name, as well as set the Document Name, State, Category, and Description (R).
If you have multiple Files that are all similar to each other, meaning the Category, State, and possibly even Name or Description will all be identical, you can upload those in their own batch, separate from any Documents that would need their own classifications, and use the Apply Attributes to all Remaining Documents checkbox (S). This will set whatever is on the current pop-up to all remaining Documents in the upload, making it much easier to upload multiples of the same document type.
On the Document Attributes pop-up, you can use the escape "X" (T) to cancel the entire upload and start again, or use the Cancel icon below (U) to just exclude a single document from the upload.
Once you have added all your Documents, if you need to edit or delete any of them, you use the checkbox in the top right corner of each Document details box (V), and then either Edit or Delete from the options that appear above (W).
Once all your Documents are set, you can use the Save & Continue to Container (X) icon to go into your fully completed Contract Container, which will also send out the Initial Workflow Email.
How to Resume Contract Entry
As mentioned at the top of the article, one of the other benefits you get when using this new entry method is that you can Resume your Contract Entry if you are not able to complete it in one session.
Maybe you are missing a document you realize you need before you submit, maybe you get a phone call that takes longer than you expected and you’re logged out when you come back, whatever the case may be, at any point during the Entry Process, until you have clicked on one of the “…Continue to Container” navigation icons, your Contract is in a “Draft” status.
While a Contract is in this “Draft” status, the only Users who will be able to see it are:
- The Owner of the Contract
- The Created By User
- This will be the Owner in almost all cases, however there are times contracts are put in on behalf of other Users.
You can clearly tell if a Contract is in a “Draft” status by a few indicators:
- (Y) The Contract Name will appear in Italics with an * (asterisks) at the end in the Recent Contract List and Notification Center area, in any Searches, or in any Views
- (Z) The Contract Container will have a large red Resume Contract Entry icon right under the Workflow and the Contract is locked down as Read-Only for all Users until the Entry Process is completed.
When you click the Resume Contract Entry icon from the Container, you will be brought right back to the Page you last left off on. If you were in the process of entering data on either the Data Entry Page or a Template, any unsaved data will need to be re-entered. You can now finish your Entry, and by selecting one of the “…Continue to Container” navigation icons you will submit the Contract, which will send the Initial Workflow Email and take it out of the “Draft” status.
Note: While you will see all previously entered information and documents in the Container when you go back to Resume Contract Entry, it is best practice to not edit or add any information from the Container itself, but rather Resume Contract Entry and complete the process before interacting with the Container.