iSpec has a master template library for storing templates for re-use.
The strength of the master library and template information is due to its “granularity”. In other words, each template or master “document” is managed at a “clause” level. Consequently, each clause, statement or requirement is a template in itself (from the section library).
For example, the contractual terms and conditions is not one single template. Rather the contract is a compilation of individual “template” terms; some of which may be modified to suit each specific contract's requirements (for example, the term, scope etc.). The others are “locked down” or “secured” in order to uphold the organisation’s governance and risk management policies (for example indemnity, IPR and insurance) and are not able to be modified by the tender team.
Templates can also contain selectable items (options) which need to be selected during tender/contract preparation. This means these options are locked-down but the user can select which option(s) they require. During tender/contract preparation the user is forced to select the required options before the document can be published.
All master templates are made up of sections from the section library and many of these sections are shared by multiple documents.
For example the organisation might have various NDAs used for different purposes, but with most of the sections being identical and only a few sections differing. Documents or templates can be built by dragging and dropping these sections from the section library into a document.
Each section can be assigned to an owner/department to ensure that only the responsible person can update or approve changes to a section. Editable sections can be edited by anyone, but have to be approved by the section owners. Also if a section is changed, it will automatically be updated in all templates using it, thereby avoiding having to update multiple documents.
iSpec's role-based permission system can be configured to allow various groups or individuals special editing, approval and other rights within the system.
Each section can be assigned to an owner(s) and if any other person is allowed to edit it, the owner/negotiator/approver has to approve it before it can be signed or finalized. This applies to both templates and contracts.
This allows for either very tight control or a certain amount of flexibility depending on the organisations requirements.
Variables can be inserted into templates which can then be used to quickly enter data into various sections of the document without having to edit it.
This also allows locked down sections to be completed without editing the rest of the text.
Notes can be added to sections in a template for various instructional or informative purposes.
These notes are only visible to selected internal users. For example in a sales contract, one note could be assigned to sales people allowing them to negotiate a 5% discount, whereas a second note (only visible to sales managers) can instruct them to allow 10% discount under certain circumstances.
Both internal and external users can add comments to sections in a document.
These can be marked as completed, but will be kept as part of the audit trail for easy retrieval at a later date.
iSpec allows users to create internal document references (between sections) that will automatically update if move around.
For example if you have a reference to Section 3.4.1 and you move that section to become Section 7.8, then the original reference text will automatically update to show Section 7.8. This ensures that there are no broken or incorrect references in your documents.
Corporate styles for documents, tables, tables of contents, etc. can be setup and/or enforced.
This can even be applied to legacy documents or imported documents where iSpec will strip all old styles and replace them with the new corporate styles.
Templates can be created in multiple languages and if the base language version changes, the owners/translators of the other language versions are sent an email to update their translations as required.
Until such time as the translations have been updated and approved, the templates using the changed sections cannot be used to generate new contracts.
Word and Excel documents can be imported and become live iSpec templates or documents with all the features and functions of iSpec.
At any time they can be exported to back to Word or Excel or PDF.
PDF documents and images can be imported for storage and references purposes only, but cannot be edited in iSpec at this time
Multiple users can edit/collaborate on a document at the same time. All edits will be kept in the audit trail and also all approvals.
These versions can be compared at any time or rolled back. It is therefor possible for one person to edit a document and another to follow closely section by section and approve them as the editor moves through the document. This saves time and the approver does not have to wait for the editor to complete the entire document before proofreading it or approving it.
At any time a user can save the current version of the document with a name and description.
This will save both an editable/recoverable version as well as a PDF version of the document. At any later date this version can be recovered and rolled back or compared to the current version.
Each time a section in a template or document is edited or approved, a copy is kept with the date and time and user recorded.
These section versions can then be compared or rolled back at any time.
The prompt feature allows users to create multiple reminders/prompts for themselves or other users to follow up or perform some action on a document.
When adding a prompt, this will ensure that the document (and prompt) will appear in the prompted users dashboard and can also be accompanied by an email if urgent.
It is often necessary to view two sections in a document at the same time while drafting a contract.
iSpec allows you to "freeze" one section in the right hand panel and then navigate to another part of the document and see both.
Documents such as policies and others, can be routed internally for approval purposes.
Multiple routings and approval requirements can be setup and default users assigned so that any specific document type can easily be routed to the appropriate departments or people for approval. This function can be used separately or in conjunction with electronic signatures.
Contracts and other documents can be prepared internally and then external parties (customers and suppliers, etc.) can be given access for negotiation/collaboration purposes.
Any changes by one party have to be accepted by the other. Once final agreement has been reached, the parties can sign the document electronically and a PDF copy will be generated and stored for reference.
External users have to login to the system to be able to negotiate or collaborate on a document for security purposes. Users can however be added easily from within a document and the system will automatically email them their login credentials.
Placeholders can be inserted into documents for signatures and when editing/negotiation is complete, the document can be routed for electronic signing, both internally and externally.
Unlike many other document signing applications, users have to login to the system to be able to sign the document. Thus security is guaranteed. Their login details are automatically created and sent to them in a separate email for added security.
iSpec has a comprehensive audit trail. All edits for example are stored in the audit trail for retrieval and comparison at a later date.
Every user's access to a document or section or other functions in the system are recorded and can be retrieved in the user log. This allows for accountability and auditing of all actions.