Application Contracts governs the area of processing contracts that enter the organization in original paper form, or created in electronic form within the organization itself.
Contract processing includes entry of the contract into documentation system (with prior preparation and scanning if the original contract is in paper form), distribution of contract and approval. The emphasis of application is on distribution and approval of the contract.

The problem is challenging because it includes automating the reception and processing of paper contracts and agreements in electronic form. The final number of participants is large, which means that the system must be user friendly, operate correctly without any errors. Conditions for successful implementation of such solutions is the joint work of the entire information system of the company.
Main advantages

Contract management includes procedure of admission/input, review, processing and approval of the contract. Usually these proceedings involve several participants from different organizational areas. Due to the different structure of the users and ease of operation, application must be set up in a way which would enable users easier usage.

Client adaptability

System must reflect a realistic picture of organization of the company - client (organization and processes in company, infrastructure, location distribution, ...)
Client organization includes:
  • organizational units - different offices, departments, regions and other forms of organizational units, either on one or several locations;
  • user roles in the processes - regarding the organizational structure, such as a worker, foreman, boss, manager, and the role of users in particular procedure, which may or may not be associated with the position in the company;
  • processes when working with individual documents;
  • rights - regarding the organization, roles, users, document types, document status and other properties;
  • simple administration - allows quick and simple tracking of changes in the organization of the client and the change of the roles and rights of individual users

The entire system of admission/input, distribution and processing of contract includes several steps, which are necessary for efficient operation. Some steps are performed by the system for transforming paper form documents into electronic form (electronic archive), certain steps are performed in the existing client applications (eg, classification of documents, ...) certain actions are performed directly in the application Contracts.

Processing received contracts is performed in the following steps:
  • scanning of paper form document/contract (in the case of a contract in paper form)
  • document input in electronic form into documentation system
  • contract data entry into database and linking contract image with contract data
  • contract distribution
  • contract processing
  • archiving contract with the appropriate data

Scanning paper documents

Scanning paper documents is the basis for managing incoming paper form documents in electronic form. Scanning presents an easy way to transform paper document into electronic picture, which we later use in application Contracts together with entered data.
Employee scans the document by using a predefined scanning process. From the scanning process we obtain the basic data: The reference number or barcode, scan date, scanning author and of course the image of the document.

E-document entry into documentation system

Entering e-documents into the system is performed via the Wizard. In the first step we find the document that we want to enter in the system. Then we specify its type (eg, type: Contract). Then we chose the document type. Considering the chosen document type, we chose the appropriate template. Depending on the used profile (document type and its usage), document will manually or automatically be inserted in the folder structure. next step is document classification.

Entering contract data into database and linking contract picture and contract data
In the classification process we enter data, which we know on contract arrival (eg, contract data, input document number, number of items, date of receipt, etc.). We recommend to, in the classification stage, enter as many information as possible.

Classification is done via a custom user interface. E-document classification is done by Wizard when entering/creating a document. Wizard allows to specify document attributes and with that, it's classification. Classification allows the use of automatic document naming and its numbering (it is possible to chose different ways to label document versions).

Detailed classification method is agreed with the customer, in particular the type of data and the way data changes.

Contract distribution

Distribution of received contracts is performed in a manner that reflects the organization and work methods of the user. Before the implementation, work methods, desires and client needs are defined in details.
Based on the agreement with the client, or by defining the procedures used in the company, and the desired way of execution, distribution can be achieved in two ways:

Automatic distribution by using predefined procedures. Procedures usually includes:
  • user list,
  • organizational structure (department, sector, ...)
  • user roles (signer, pre-signer, director of the sector, ...)
  • pathways of certain document types
  • conditions for transferring document from one participant to another
  • data, which needs to be monitored - by type and time
  • changes and identifiers of those changes
Manual distribution, where user chooses whom to send the document.

We use manual distribution when we can not or it is not necessary to define automatic liquidation proceedings, or when there are so many exceptional situation that it is difficult or impossible to predict. Manual distribution is used only when each signer knows who is the next signer.
To implement manual distribution we need:
  • organizational structure (department, sector, ...)
  • user roles (signer, pre-signer, material liquidator, director of sector, ...)
  • pathways of certain document types
  • control - for example, number two signer can not sign/approve the contract if the contract has not been previously approved by the signatory number one
  • data, which needs to be monitored - by type and time
  • changes and identifiers of those changes

Manual distribution can be the first implementation phase and enable the upgrade towards the automatic distribution, after the users examine the system and see its capabilities.

User groups

In the documentation system, user groups are implemented the same way as every other element of the system, like an object. It signifies that every user group, like a document, has certain rights that we use in business process implemented in the application.

Using user groups has the following purposes:
  • Implementation of security policy
  • Associating users into groups within which all users have equal roles

We use the following user groups:
  • "Filing users" - Filing users prepare paper form documents (reception, preparation, scanning). It is possible to classify the document too, but, it is common for the classification to be performed in other departments by using transactional system, or financial applications.
  • Distributor - Distributor is a person which knows to whom and where, to send the document within the department.
  • Administrator - Administrator is a person which oversees the progress and work of the application.

Security policy

Security policy is an important element of the business process implementation. It is necessary to specify the security policy according to:
  • document type,
  • user role,
  • organizational structure,
  • stage of the document life cycle.
Security policy is adapted towards the client needs.

Document tracking

For the purposes of document tracking, data is being written about the document receipt, completed tasks, participants and time. For each document, client can track:
  • who executed an action against a particular document,
  • what was the purpose of the action,
  • when was the action performed.

Data is recorded with the document details and can be seen at any time.

Document versions

The application enables tracking document versions, based on the creation time.

Linking documents

For linking contracts and related documents (annexes, invoices, etc.) we have two available options:
  • linking (relation): we define document association
  • virtual document: we define document association and their mutual hierarchy

Contract processing

Individual contract processing is connected with the executed actions in the distribution of received contracts. Actions that will be performed over the individual contract, are negotiated with the client. Usually, they are confirmations/rejections, descriptions or definition of significance of individual contract.

Application features and advantages

Basic application features are:
  • Electronic reception, storage and review of the contracts and related documentation
  • Forwarding contracts and related documentation toward relevant users/user groups within organization for review and approval
  • Imposition of the organizational standards in the processing of all contracts, showing the current status throughout the entire contract approval process
  • Adhoc forwarding support in case of exceptional cases of contracts
  • Automatic acceptance of approval by electronic signature over the web
  • Automatic generation of contract number
  • Automatically populating contract
  • Quick search and contract retrieval over the attributes or content
  • Reminder for specified users about certain actions related with individual contracts

Basic advantages are:
  • Allows secure online contract access
  • Improves efficiency and maximizes utilization of "approved" contracts
  • Reduced the processing costs and risks
  • Improves internal control and the maintenance level
  • Reduces redundant time necessary for managing comprehensive life cycle contract approval