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Contract Management Software Features

Document Creation/Authoring

The contract and document creation module allows authorized users to generate new contracts, NDAs, CDAs, BAAs, etc. from standard clause and template libraries while simultaneously applying appropriate business rules. It manages and monitors contract negotiation, revisions, roles and responsibilities.

As an enterprise application for the management of contract partners and contract data, the Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform can handle the entire contract life cycle for all partners and all contract types, and significantly help to optimize all contractual relationships.

The contract template is highly configurable with capabilities including:

  • Multiple contract origins – contract templates, clause libraries, base contracts and one of a kind contracts – all with an unlimited amount of data capture per contract
  • Partner data – contact information, proposal generation and evaluation, key performance indicators (KPI’s), and associated data such as annual reports, price lists, financial results etc.
  • Objects related to contracts such as property and equipment, third parties (e.g. legal counsel), cadastre, plans, governing bodies, wills, mandates and critical clauses for compliance and performance monitoring
  • Contract information – configurable registers containing all relevant contract dates/ durations, conditions, notices, products, etc.
  • Original documents – in different formats such as pdf, doc, xml, msg, html, xls, pptx, tiff, jpg, docx, xlsx … (over 40 file formats supported)

Document Activation

Contract data and documents may be stored manually, semi-automatically, or entirely automatically in the repository:

  • Manual capture of contractual data and documents via the Internet browser interface
  • Data capture from SAP orother ERP with periodic updates by an automatic Web Service in case of any modifications external to the solution
  • Inclusion of digitized documents from a scanner either individually or as a high volume batch operation from any text-based document including Excel.
  • Data capture via an eForm such as Microsoft InfoPath withautomatic upload
  • Capture all contract data via Microsoft Word Intelligent Documents (from Office 2003/2007/2010) with automatic/simultaneous storage
  • Interview driven creation of a contract with automatic upload
  • Automated creation of a contract with and automatic storage of the document’s metadata (contract details)

Compliance

Compliance requirements now represent a significant challenge for all enterprises. The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform addresses compliance demands in a clear, rapid and concise manner; authorized users have an immediate and global visibility into critical contractual information.

  • Central repository for contracts
  • Control and follow-up of contracts, obligations, vendor certifications or any compliance area
  • Compliance verification and proactive partner andvendor management
  • Coordination across different operations and divisions of an organization
  • Transparency of risks, obligations and conditions
  • Support for vendor management

Optimization

Compliance copy requirements now represent a significant challenge for all enterprises. The Symfact Enterprise Compliance copy Platform addresses compliance demands in a clear, rapid and concise manner; authorized users have an immediate and global visibility into critical contractual information.

  • Central repository for contracts
  • Control and follow-up of contracts, obligations, vendor certifications or any compliance area
  • Compliance copy verification and proactive partner andvendor management
  • Coordination across different operations and divisions of an organization
  • Transparency of risks, obligations and conditions
  • Support for vendor management

Analytics

The visualization of defined evaluation criteria specific to a user’s requirements allows the follow-up and evaluation of all partner relations and contractual details. Vendors may, if permitted, update their own current commercial offerings via an external web portal, through self-declaration and modification.

  • Performance evaluation of contracting partners (suppliers, customers, banks, insurances, company divisions, etc.)
  • Evaluation of all types of contracts, clauses, related documents and annexes
  • Evaluation of entities related to contracts or contractors such as projects, proposals, consultants, geographical regions or business divisions
  • Assessment of partners with respect to quality, business trends, business results, and conformity to anticipated standards
  • Partner Analysis , Management and Audit
  • Self-declaration by suppliers and customers via web portal
  • Control the effectiveness of contracted engagements and results review across all relevant domains
  • Service management, offers – discounts, qualification, conditions, status, evaluation, values
  • Risk analysis – financial, legal, operational, strategic, human resource, regulatory, policy

Archival

All archived contractual documents are made available to any authorized user from a central and secure repository with full search and data drilldown capabilities.

  • Management of all documents, contracts, metadata et annexes
  • The integrated archiving functionality may be ultimately configured to precise customer requirements
  • Original documents, text, image, audio, video….in different formats such as pdf, doc, xml, msg, html, xls, pot, tiff, jpg … (over 30 file formats supported)
  • Archived data may be searched (including full text, wild card and approximate)
  • Hyperlink or XML data links to other archive systems
  • Archiving structure may be based on documents or activities
  • Linking to document scanners ( optional module)
  • Batch load digitized documents with automatic linking to the repository owner
  • Control and track versions, authors, business criteria, partners etc
  • Unlimited number and type of archive attributes
  • Re-activation controlled by security roles
  • Plain text search in metadata and archived documents
  • Application Integration

    The use of standard interfaces based on XML, Web Services and standard protocols such as SOAP, SSL (https) and TCP/IP ensures a ready integration with external systems. The platform provides a “contract portal” to ALL contract types across the organization taking advantage of data in related systems but avoiding the unnecessary complexity of presenting irrelevant data or of a complex and costly ERP reconfiguration.

    • Import and export of files in the formats xlsx, docx, rtf, pdf and xml
    • Import user data, suppliers, invoices and performance indicators
    • Establishment of evaluations in the formats xlsx, docx, rtf, pdf and xml
    • Interface capability to ERPs such as SAP, Oracle, etc.
    • Interface capability with LDAP or Active Directory – to provide an enterprise wide “Single Sign On”
    • Interface capability with Microsoft Outlook
    • Interface capability with eForms such as InfoPath and WORD from Microsoft (known as Intelligent Documents)
    • Load large quantities of legacy data from existing systems
    • On-line or off-line capture of data concerning partners or contract specifics
    • Adaptors to Access, text files or ERP data
    • Integration with contract authoring module (contract creation and workflow)
    • Fully SOA compliant with web service support

    Alerts and Notifications

    The contract responsible user defines the dates and events which will automatically set off any future alert. The resulting access to the related contract is made either within the system or via a single-click hyperlink within the email.

    • Alerts and notifications sent automatically both by email and via the system
    • Automatic event-driven alerts driven by, for example :
      • A change of contract status
      • Total contract activities pass a certain threshold value e.g. $20,000
      • Evaluation of a supplier falls below a stated minimum performance level
      • No response from an appointed contract manager after a stated number of reminder alerts, i.e. alert escalation
    • Verification of email alerts either repeated (no response) or completed
    • Access directly to the related contract from the email alert within Outlook
    • Support for various email addresses: users, managers and external parties
    • Email escalation after multiple resends and no response
    • Free formatting of email notifications
    • Optional definition of any delay preferred within Outlook calendar
    • Compliance verification rules freely definable and alerted against
    • Automatic reports as attachments to emails

    Repository Reporting

    Any defined data item, including attached documents, may be searched and reported against. This includes a full text search capability within attached documents. All reports may in addition be generated in xml or xlsx for further data mining or analysis.

    • Report generation in real time to show “in effect” contract view
    • Both standard and ad hoc reports may be configured exactly as required
    • Direct forwarding of any report as an attachment to an email
    • Listing of all associated contract documents within a report
    • 15 standard default reports available such as: overviews, summaries, financials, risks, contracts terminating in the next quarter, contracts to renegotiate, supplier performance (quality, on time, business results, KPI, etc.), special conditions in the current contract, generation of standard contracts from metadata inputs, etc.
    • All reports may be generated in xlsx, rtf, pdf and xml formats
    • Selection of multiple modes for review of the financial year (e.g. cash flow analysis periods)
    • Choice of the currency used for reporting
    • Automatic representation of any search criteria used to pre-select contracts for reporting
    • Other types of reports: annual budget, monthly cash flow, payment corrections, list of outstanding notifications for the contract responsible etc.
    • Personalized Dashboards for immediate and relevant overviews
    • Flexible sorting within any single report

    Repository Searching

    The search engines is extremely intuitive for Users All defined data in the repository is registered and available to the search engine. This enables unlimited definition of complex, ad hoc search algorithms with the ability to name, save and share any defined search criteria for repeated use.

    • Rapid contract selection via multi parameter searching from the “Start Page”
    • All defined data elements are automatically made available to the search engine
    • Unrestricted, flexible search definitions according to a users exact requirements
    • Capability to save all required personal search configurations
    • Full text searches in partners, contracts, entities email alerts and even linked documents
    • Wild card searches and unlimited binary definition combinations utilizing “and/or”
    • Searches across formats PDF, Excel, RTF or XML
    • On screen display of results with further capabilities to incrementally drill down into results
    • Scalable solution enabling the searching of extremely large amounts of data
    • Direct sending of search results via email
    • Define complex Boolean expressions (e.g. show me all lease agreements, for Business Units X and Y, that expire before a certain date, that exceed $5,000) for searches and reporting on a regular or ad hoc basis.

    User Access and Security

    Each user of the system may be allocated his/her own precise access rights. This guarantee of high security also allows tracking of all historic events during the lifetime of a contract (e.g. who changed what and when). This capability is all the more important when several users have access to the same contract. The access rights of users may be managed by the system administrator.

    • Authentication and access authorization via LDAP/AD for Single Sign On
    • Fine granularity security profiling for users or user roles/groups
    • 5 types of security access enabling virtually unlimited security profile definitions
    • Possibility to assign multiple roles to any single user. Personalized access definable to include “read only”, “read-write”, “and no access”
    • Assign several functions (e.g. create a contract, modify a partner or delete an entity) to a user – personalized configuration to include “read only”, “read-write”, “no access”
    • Assign several templates to a user – personalized configuration to include “read only”, “read-write”, “no access”
    • Assign several registers (e.g. financial data, prices, risks, etc.) to a user – personalized configuration to include “read only”, “read-write”, “no access”
    • Assign several reports to a user – personalized configuration to include “read only”, “read-write”, “no access”

    Track and Trace Audit Trail

    In the case where several users are empowered as a function of their security roles to modify a contract or when an audit trail is required, this module records all system activities by all users.

    • Store all system activities
    • Record the date and time of every activity by any user
    • More than 50 different type of activities are tracked and recorded – for example :
      • Modification of a contract partner
      • Login
      • Creation of a new contract entry
      • Change of password
      • Removal of a user etc.
    • Any tracked changes may always be stored to display the old value and the new value of each contract data element
    • Tracked data may then be searched and sorted by activity, user, date or time period
    • Selected activities per user may then be reported against in any required form
    • Recorded activities may be noted by contract (generally made available to the contract responsible) or globally (generally only made visible for the system administrator)
    • Attribution of roles for all activities
    • Configuration possible for the degree of detail required for tracking (definition of the required data by individual activity)

    Store and Search Documents

    Most Contract and Compliance Management requirements start from information written on documents. Document-centric computing demands that all relevant information relating to corporate obligations and commitments be readily stored and easily accessible to the appropriate staff at the time they need it. The Symfact native XML-architected solution enables all relevant documents and emails be stored in meaningful user views. The platform provides the ability to query documents anywhere in the repository for key words or character strings and provides data synching between the repository and metadata found in stored files.

    • Store over 40 different file types (doc, xls, pdf, jpeg, etc) in their native format
    • Store audio and video files
    • Store documents under meaningful data tabs within a managed compliance domain
    • Search for key words or data strings of any text-based document (including OCR’d pdfs)
    • Query across all managed entities or within a specific area or contract
    • Drag and Drop emails (along with their attachments) to any related area to maintain a correspondence history
    • Define and store meaningful metadata about any type of stored file or document
    • Scan and OCR documents using bar coding and scanning module

    Define Data and Relationships

    Each business has unique interrelated information that must be tracked and managed. For contracts the key relationship is typically between the contract itself and its relevant partners. However, most organizations also have a need to relate other key information like RFPs, business entities, corporate projects, business units, products, etc., to the vital information they manage. The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform has an unlimited ability to define additional data groups and relationships among the data, so that information is related in the same way the business is managed.

    • Define unlimited number of data entities (Partners, contracts, Events, Projects, etc)
    • Establish relevant relationship between entities
    • Use data defined in Entities to establish security and access rights
    • Search and Report based on the meaningful relationships of the data you define
    • Add and modify data entities independent of software releases
    • Add and modify data entities and their relationships as your business evolves
    • Establish solutions for new Compliance domains by simply adding new Entities and their relationships to other system data.
    • Leverage all the capabilities with any defined data entity
    • Tabular structure of defined data objects provides granular control of data for read, write and delete functions within a particular data object.

    Define and Manage Workflows

    Every business has unique processes, standards and organization structures requiring work flow and approval guidelines that reflect the company’s management approach and philosophy. The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform provides the tools to structure the work flow and approval processes that support each company; whether the structure is flexible and enabling, or rigid and hierarchical. Ad hoc workflows can also be defined based on the responsibilities of authorized users. The Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform is the first Contract and Compliance Management solution to make use of the Open standard XML Process Definition Language (XPDL) for defining workflows.

    • Definition of all Workflows and Approval Processes using XPDL
    • Business Rule driven Workflows
    • Ability to define Ad hoc review processes based on User Authority
    • Automatic Alerts within the system and through email for required Reviewer action
    • Ability to define temporary reviewer substitutes
    • Automatic escalation
    • Active Reporting of workflow status
    • Ability to define multiple reviewers per workflow step

    Multi-Party/Language/Currency

    Since the founding of Symfact, the Symfact Enterprise Compliance Platform architecture has supported all aspects of global organizations. Multi-party agreements are supported on buy and sell side, with the ability to have a single partner defined as both a buyer and seller. Multi-language solutions are supported in countries around the world including Greece, Israel, Mali and Benin. Multi-currency features can be deployed at the level of granularity and frequency that correlates to how the business operates.

    • User-defined default language
    • Double-byte capability to support all languages
    • Language specific mouse-over help
    • Mouse-over currency conversions
    • Currency tables defined to your level of update
    • Multi-party agreements, with support for Master Agreements and Subcontracts