Most Document Management Systems are passive solutions and you lose control the moment a document is downloaded!

What you need is Active Document Management with Intelligent Documents that manage themselves and drive the process.

Active Document Management

The problem in today’s data-driven world where speed and accuracy are paramount in business, normal Document Management Systems just don’t go far enough. They are mostly passive systems where users have to check documents in and out, lock and unlock them and send them around for approvals/editing before they can be used. The minute someone downloads a document, you lose control over it. Anybody can change it and forward it without checking it back in.

When managing large complex projects or contracts that have been outsourced, not only do the company’s own staff require access to documents, but so do other stakeholders such as financiers, suppliers, contractors, consultants, architects, and so forth. Then the workflows, access rights, amendments, etc. become much more complex and can result in delays and errors if not managed properly.

This iSpec Master library is self-managing in the sense that it knows which documents are required for various types of projects and which information in the documents is fixed and which items need editing to meet project specific requirements.

The library also ensures currency of information through an automated regular review process and ownership of clauses assigned to subject matter experts. Multiple-language versions also automatically notify translators when the base-language version is changed in order for them to update their translations.

Intelligent Documents

Contract documents define ALL aspects of any contract with a supplier or third party and may include:

Contract terms and conditions (Agreement)
Technical specifications or requirements
Drawings/designs
Milestone schedules
Standards
Pricing information
Inspection, acceptance and commissioning protocols
Each document can include information that:

Defines what has to be delivered
When it is to be delivered
How it is to be delivered
What standards apply
How and when payment will be made
The contractual terms and conditions, etc.
Therefore it is these documents that define and drive the process as they contain all the information relating to the requirement and agreement for the project.

iSpec’s Intelligent Documents with active clauses that can actually trigger events such as upcoming delivery notifications, track and manage compliance of specifications, milestone schedule tracking and monitoring, pricing variations, etc.

As the document defines the project, it contains (or should contain) the most accurate and up-to-date information and therefor should drive the process. Any changes to the document (agreement between the parties – whether technical or contractual of nature) should immediately update the process as well.

As your documents (agreement, specifications, etc.) drive the process, this means that any changes need to be managed and agreed by all relevant stakeholders and – once agreed – any necessary changes to the process are then triggered. Therefore changes/adjustments are FIRST documented and agreed before they are implemented. This way disputes at a later date are avoided. Also, these changes are contained in the ORIGINAL and ONLY document (there are no other copies) and not in some appendix or email which can be lost.

The iNtelligent documents can, therefore, include, amongst others, the following automated functions:

Record and manage changes/approvals and notify all relevant stakeholders
Notify internal and external stakeholders of upcoming milestones and deliverables
Track and manage project progress (compliance, deliverables, and milestones)
Calculate and track financial penalties for late delivery (if applicable)
Trigger the necessary approvals
Validate supplier responses (during tendering)
Automated comparison of vendor responses (during tendering)
Track non-c0mpliance of any specification or item
Trigger automated notifications for reviews, reporting and other project functions
Track acceptance, inspection, and commissioning results and the associated punch-lists
This way the documents (agreements) manage the process and not the other way around. Therefore any discrepancy is in the delivery rather than in the agreement – which is how it should be – and as all stakeholders (including the supplier/contractor) have transparent access to all relevant documents at all times, collaboration is more efficient and administration is minimal.