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Configuring eNegotiate

This article will list out the necessary configuration steps for leveraging Gatekeeper's contract drafting & eSign actions within workflows

  1. Starting the process; Creating a Contract & Draft
  2. Redlining/Negotiations/Review
  3. Draft Finalisations
  4. Signing the Contract


Part 1 - Creating the Record & "Draft Version 1"

In order to begin negotiations for a contract draft, a Contract metadata record must exist as part of the workflow card. Only then can you create/associate our initial draft agreement.

There are 2 standard methods to achieve this:

Method 1: Manual

Enabling one or both of the below actions will allow users to simultaneously create the Contract metadata record and choose the first version of the draft agreement:

    • Create Contract with eNegotiate Draft: This action allows users to select a prebuilt contract template, pulling in Contract metadata to use in the document
    • Create Contract and associate a Contract Master Draft: This action allows users to use a .docx file which has been previously attached the form or that wish to upload themselves as the first version of the draft agreement

      💡 Pro tip: to save time when using manual Create Contract actions, you could configure some form fields to be pre-filled (See: How to Lock Fields) 💡

These actions can both be enabled at the same time so users can choose between prebuilt templates/form attachments/their own uploads depending on the contract being reviewed.

There are also separated actions for these if they should be performed at different stages/by different users:

    • Create Contract to create the metadata record
    • Generate Draft from Contract to create a draft from a prebuilt template
    • Associate a Contract Master Draft to use a form attachment or upload a file

Method 2: AutoActions

To remove administrative burden/delays, you can automate these actions on 2 sequential phases:

    • AutoAction | Create Contract followed by AutoAction | Generate Draft from Contract
    • AutoAction | Create Contract followed by Associate a Contract Master Draft
      • Currently, you cannot automate the association of a draft document. That is, if you do not wish to use an eNegotiate Template document, a user will have to manually choose which attached file to use via the 'Associate Draft' workflow action.

💡Pro tip:  to avoid clutter on a kanban board, any phases which don't require manual action such as AutoAction phases can be minimised by default (See Minimise Workflow Phases)💡

NB. Once you have generated a document using an eNegotiate template, editing the fields in the repository will not affect the document handlebars. You only get one shot to push metadata into a document!


Part 2 - Enabling Draft Submission/Approvals/Redlines

For External "Supplier" Users

It is possible to automatically send draft versions to external parties via the workflow notification with action links embedded in the email. These action links allow the supplier to submit their own version or accept/reject the current terms.

💡 FYI: This does not require the Supplier Portal module since these emails will never lead to external contacts actually logging in to Gatekeeper 💡

To configure an external eNegotiate phase, follow the below steps:

1.   Set the Form Access for the phase to be "Supplier eNegotiate"

2.   Set an individual phase owner (Contract Owner or First Supplier User are simplest)

💡 NB. This must be an individual user because the Gatekeeper email they will receive contains dedicated submit/approve/reject action links. Sending these links to multiple people could lead to confusion if they are all working on/submitting their own document revisions 💡

3.   Enable the notification to the card owner (and double check the button type within the email template states "eNegotiate")

4.   Enable Approval (technically this can be omitted if you need the Supplier to upload a revised version and don't want them to be able to proceed without providing an updated contract version)

5.   Enable the Submit Contract Draft Action

💡 NB. It is possible here to remove the ability for Supplier Users to "Reject" a draft (meaning they will only be able to "Submit" a new version or "Accept" the latest version) 💡

6.   Configure the transitions from the phase based on the draft actions taken

Suggestion for Submit : Send to your internal eNegotiate phase

Suggestion for Approve : Send to Draft finalisation/eSign phase

Suggestion for Reject (if allowed): send to your internal eNegotiate phase

For Internal Users

To allow internal users continue the draft negotiation cycle by submitting new versions, follow the below config steps (very similar to the Supplier Users configuration):

  1. Set the necessary internal Form Access & notifications for the individual/team who should be managing contract negotiations
  2. Enable Approval
  3. Enable the Submit Contract Draft Action
  4. Configure the transitions from the phase based on the draft actions taken
    1. Suggestion for Submit : Send to a Supplier eNegotiate phase
    2. Suggestion for Approve : Send to a Draft finalisation/eSign phase
    3. Suggestion for Reject : Send Draft to a "Rejected [Done]" Phase

For Internal users, you have 3 configuration for their draft review steps to be performed

1) Via email (with the eNegotiate email buttons - same as the supplier)

2) Via the workflow card

3) Via Microsoft "Office for the Web" on the workflow card

If you wish to use the same email-based eNegotiate as Supplier users, ensure you choose an individual user for 'Step 1' and select "eNegotiate" as the button-type within the Form Access "Card Owner" Email Notification.


Part 3 - Draft Finalisations

Once a draft document has reached the stage where all terms therein have been agreed by all parties, the document will need to be converted to a 'finalised' executable state.

If using Gatekeeper eSign, this finalised state means that it must be converted to PDF

Method 1: Manual

To facilitate this conversion to PDF, you may want a user/team to manually review the word document for any necessary 'tidying up' (checking for any comments/redlines/typos/etc) and use the below actions:

Publish Contract Draft & Convert MS Word to PDF - This action converts the current contract version from Word to PDF for you

Publish Contract Draft & Upload PDF - This action allows the user to provide their own tidied/review PDF version, ready for signatures

These actions can both be enabled at the same time so users can choose between uploading their own version of the contract in PDF or allowing Gatekeeper to create the PDF for them

Method 2: AutoAction

For simpler agreements, it is possible to configure Gatekeeper to perform the Word->PDF conversion automatically:

AutoAction | Publish Contract Draft & Convert MS Word to PDF

NB. If your contract negotiation cycle is likely to include many comments/redlines/alterations, it is recommended to use the manual publish actions so the final PDF version you sign does not have comments/edits left in before signing.


If you are using an alternative (non-Gatekeeper) Signature method, you do not need to perform this step


Part 4 - Signing

Gatekeeper eSign

The final step of the contract negotiation process is to gather signatures from all authorising parties - this can be done as part of the workflow using Gatekeeper's native eSign solution.

As with many of these steps, there are 2 methods for configuring Gatekeeper eSign actions on a workflow phase:

Method 1: Manual

Enable eSign allows users to initiate Gatekeeper, sending a contract document to any number of internal/external signatories

"Allow inline eSign only" will implement a requirement that signature boxes are placed on the document itself before the signature request can be sent!

Method 2: AutoAction

AutoAction | Send for eSign will automatically send the master PDF document for eSignature to the Internal Contract Owner and Supplier Contract Owner.

If the associated contract metadata record does not have both of these owners populated, the action will fail

"External Signatory Only" can be checked to  remove the Internal Contract Owner signature request. This could be useful for pre-signed boilerplate contracts like NDAs/Terms of Service

For prerequisites, see Configuring eSign

For a user walkthrough, see Initiating eSign from a Workflow

For more info, watch our Gatekeeper eSign Introduction Webinar

External Signatures

If you wish to facilitate the use of an external signature method (like Docusign, physical document signatures, etc.), you can enable the below action:

Upload Signed Document

This - similar to Publish Contract Draft & Upload PDF - will allow a user to provide a PDF which has been signed outside Gatekeeper.



These are the 4 key stages required leverage Gatekeeper's full contract negotiation suite.

One thing to bear in mind is that these do not have to exist in isolation. Your workflow can include as many additional onboarding/approvals/collaboration steps as necessary.

The only requirement for you to integrate eNegotiate into your existing business process is that these 4 steps exist in this chronological order!


See also: