⚡️ Gatekeeper Expert - Parallel Workflow 2 ⚡️

Discover how to run concurrent workflows for multi-layered processes to save both time & administrative effort

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      Estimated Read Time: 8 Minutes

        Estimated Configuration Time: 15-30 Minutes



Sections in this Article

Introduction to "Parallel Workflows"

The Use Case: Vendor Onboarding ⓧ Automated NDA



Additional Configuration Options

The Use Case, Reversed: Touchless NDA -> Vendor Onboarding


Additional Reading



Introduction to Parallel Workflows


There are many processes which can be performed as part of VLM & CLM which take time...

Vendor Onboarding

NDA Signing

Risk Assessments & Due Diligence

Internal Approvals

Contract Negotiations

Running these sequentially can end up creating significant lead times - especially if they involve many stakeholders and varying actions & inputs

Utilising Gatekeeper's Workflow AutoActions & Automated Triggers, you can configure processes which connect seamlessly, allowing your users to leverage Gatekeeper's workflow engine for all of your processes without any delays from human interactions or stringent compliance processes




The Use Case

Vendor Onboarding ⓧ Automated NDA


If you are being thorough when onboarding your vendors, you'll get an NDA in place before beginning contractual discussions with them

The multiple benefits to getting an NDA set up during onboarding are clear:

  • Securing Intellectual Property in certain competitive industries (especially relevant if you work in Media / Pharma / Automotive)
  • Setting a positive precedent for when the 'real' negotiations come along - a very simple way to strike a clear tone in a sophistication & organised manner
  • Giving Legal teams early insight & awareness of who the business is engaging
  • Getting suppliers exposed to how your CLM functions so the more complex contract-negotiations will run more smoothly


However, if your goal is getting Vendors onboarded asap, getting an NDA in place may serve as a delay to your other onboarding tasks

As Michelle Vita, Senior Director of Procurement and Strategic Sourcing at Datadog -  puts it:


"There was always a school of thought that things have to run sequentially...

For instance, legal wouldn't want to review a contract unless the vendor is actually approved

...when in reality if you take a step back and look at the data, the vendors who get an "absolute no" are few and far between...

You should make the process around the rule and not the exceptions"


See Michelle's appearance in the Procurement Reimagined Podcast:

▶️ The Rise of Agile Procurement


As such, this guide will show you how to configure your Vendor Onboarding so you can get an NDA in place with new Vendors while completing the necessary Risk, Due Diligence & Onboarding Activities


Suboptimal Workflow Diagram 👎

Here, getting an NDA set up happens within the Vendor Onboarding workflow.

This means that the vendor onboarding would not progress until the NDA is Signed


New Workflow Diagram ✨

Here, the requirement for an NDA can be captured on the Vendor Onboarding workflow.

This will automatically trigger a separate workflow where the NDA will be set up & signed

This means that the Vendor Onboarding workflow can continue to progress without any delays from the NDA setup & signature process

The only "delay" in the below diagram is an optional "sense check" at the final phase of the workflow to verify that the NDA is signed and the Vendor can be considered "fully onboarded"








🛠 Configuration 🛠


One-Shot Configuration Walkthrough Video


Create the Custom Field in your Data Model

Step 1) Head to Settings > Configuration > Custom Data

Step 2) Create or Select a Vendor Custom Data Group where this field should be added

The pre-existing "Vendor Data" group is the simplest option for this

However if you plan on using this same configuration for other standalone Due Diligence processes, you could add a new "Due Diligence Status" group

Step 3) In the group you have chosen, hit Add > Add New Custom Field

Step 4) Configure the Field as below & hit ✅ Save

Label: NDA Status

Type: Dropdown

Options: N/A, NDA Expired 📆, NDA In Place ✅, NDA Required ⚠️


Configure this new field in your Vendor Onboarding Workflow


Part 1 - Add the Custom field to your Form

Step 1) Navigate to the start phase of the workflow & hit Edit this Phase

Step 2) Navigate to the Form tab

Step 3) Scroll to the bottom and hit ADD SECTION

Step 4) Give the section a Name

This can  be the same as you chose for the Custom Data group, but does not need to be!

Step 5) Select Predefined: Vendor, then for Custom Data Group choose the group you used for the new NDA Status field

Step 6) Hit ✅ Save

Step 7) Since this field will not be populated manually, you should set this field to "Hidden" on every phase of the workflow


The steps from Part 1 only need to be performed if the Custom Metadata Group did not already exist as a Form Section in your workflow

If it did already exist, you will see that Gatekeeper has automatically added the NDA Status field to the workflow form with no action needed


Part 2 - Configure a "qualifying" question/field

These steps are optional for the situation where you do not need to create an NDA for every new Vendor

Similarly, if you plan to qualify the vendors for NDAs using an existing form field (like Vendor Type), you can skip these steps

Step 1) Head to the first phase & hit Edit This Phase

Step 2) Navigate to the Form tab

Step 3) Hit ➕ ADD FIELD to add a new form field allowing discrete/fixed answer types:

Dropdown, Multipick dropdown, Yes/No, Category

For Example:

Label: Will this vendor have access to sensitive data (personal or otherwise)?

Type:  Yes/No

Step 4) Hit ✅ Save


Part 3 - Set up the AutoAction to populate your custom field

The default configuration here is to have 2 separate scenarios

1:  A Vendor request where an NDA is needed

2: A Vendor request where the NDA is not needed & this action is skipped

If you will be creating an NDA for every new vendor, you can skip to Step 4

Step 1) Add a new phase called "🛠 AutoCreate Vendor | NDA Needed 🛠"

Step 2) Reorder (& Minimise) to position this phase where you wish the NDA process to start

Next to your original AutoCreate Vendor phase makes sense, if you have one

Step 3) On the Actions tab, enable ⚙️ AutoAction Create Vendor

Step 4) Hit Edit AutoAction Values and configure the settings required for your new vendors

Step 5) For your NDA Status custom field, select the value of "NDA Required ⚠️"

Step 6) Set the Transition for this phase to move the card onto the next phase in your workflow once the AutoAction has fired



Part 4 - Conditionally transition cards to the new AutoAction

Step 1) Go to the phase before your standard Create Vendor phase

Step 2) Navigate to the Transitions tab

Step 3) Change the Transition type to 🔘 Conditional & hit ➕ ADD TRANSITION

Step 4) In this new transition, replicate the transition settings pointing to your standard create vendor phase, with the additional Condition of using field from ⬆️ Part 2 above ⬆️



Create the Triggered NDA Workflow

Step 1) Create your NDA Contract Template

For guidance, see 📖 Configuring Contract Templates

Step 2) Create the Automated NDA Workflow

Step 3) Create a trigger for this workflow using your custom field:

NDA Status is one of NDA Required ⚠️





Additional Options for the above workflow


AutoArchive your NDA Records

If you are concerned about your Contracts quota, NDA Contract Records created via this workflow could be kept "Live" on the workflow for 90 days (or as long as your onboarding & setup activities require) before being set to Archived in your repository & marked as "Done" on the workflow!

Afterwards, the Vendor: NDA Status field will still inform users whether one is in place or not and they can go looking for the archived NDA if they need to find it!

Part 1 - Add a new Executed - Holding phase to the workflow 

Part 2 - Update the previous "Done" phase AutoAction





Pre-Signed NDAs

If you are using the your own NDA template, you may want to take out the need for an internal user to sign. After all, they should be ok with the terms since they have been written by you!

To do this you must:

1 - Upload your Contract Template with the internal Signature already added

2 - Set the AutoAction to External Only:



Leveraging NDAs for Total Vendor Visibility

If NDAs are a staple initial step for you when engaging new vendors, you can leverage this automated parallel workflow in combination with RBAC groups to grant visibility to all your users of all your trusted vendor relationships

This could reduce the impact of silo'd departments & contract mangers,  preventing unnecessary sourcing activities & wasted expenditure


See our below knowledgebase article for an explanation of this scenario

⚡️RBAC For All


Additional Walkthroughs Coming Soon...

Adding eNegotiate

Learn how to configure draft redlining actions to allow revisions & negotiation to take place before eSigning

Different NDA Types

Learn how to enable different NDA Templates (e.g. Unilateral vs Mutual)

Conditional Pre-Signed NDA

If you add eNegotiate Steps to your NDA workflow and changes are made by Vendor, the option to skip an internal signature may now be valid. This use case will show how to change the signature type depending on whether draft revisions have taken place or not




The Use Case, Reversed

Touchless NDA → Automated Vendor Onboarding


The beginning of this article mentions how starting a Vendor Onboarding process, then waiting for an NDA to be signed before continuing can sometimes be seen as an undesirable delay

If you disagree and believe an NDA should be in place before anything else, we can still facilitate your operational procedures!





Part 1 - Create your Touchless NDA & Vendor Onboarding Workflows

See the hyperlinked articles in the Additional Reading section for guidance on using our best practice templates for these workflow processes

Part 2 - Connect the 2 Processes

Step 1) On the Done phase of your Touchless NDA Workflow, enable AutoAction: Update Vendor with some values "hardcoded" so they can be used to trigger the next workflow process

Suggested Hardcoded Values

"Vendor / Status" is "Live"

"Vendor / Approval" is "Awaiting Approval"

Step 2) Create a trigger for the Vendor Onboarding workflow using the hardcoded status values of the above AutoAction

Part 3 - Notification Considerations

If you still wish allow Vendor Onboarding Requests via an Employee Portal form, you can leave the Authenticated Form option enabled alongside the Workflow trigger

However, you should consider notifying the Vendor Owner on the Done Phase of the Touchless NDA workflow, not the Start Phase of the Vendor Onboarding workflow

You can simply include a hyperlink to your Vendor Onboarding Workflow (or the Submit Requests dashboard)



Example Email Content:

{{ recipient.full_name }}

A new vendor has just executed an NDA and is ready to begin onboarding

Gatekeeper has created a new onboarding form for this.


<strong>Vendor Name:</strong> {{ supplier.name }}


To get this process underway, please access the below form & complete some initial questions about the new relationship:


<h2><a href="YOUR WORKFLOW LINK">Open the Vendor Onboarding Workflow Here</a></h2>


<h2><a href="YOUR SUBMIT REQUESTS DASHBOARD LINK">Open the Submit Requests Dashboard Here</a></h2>






Q: We do not get NDAs in place with all our vendors, could we still apply this somehow?

A: Of course!

Some of our clients use this for other standardised agreements to be signed (like Terms of Service/Code of Conduct/DPAs) or even separate Risk Reviews like ESG Assessments

As seen in the configuration, you can also add in a question/identifying field to your forms which specifies the vendors which need to sign an NDA and those which don't


Q: Can cards in the Vendor Onboarding workflow be automatically approved when the NDA Workflow is completed?

A: Currently, no. The only way to update a workflow card is on the workflow itself. Outside data-updates & processes will not affect it

This is the reason for the check & approval at the final phase of the ⬆️ example workflow above ⬆️


Q: Can we allow the NDA terms to be reviewed before sending for eSignatures?

A: Yes, we will soon be adding a walkthrough of the config to show this




Additional Reading 📚


⚡️ Gatekeeper Expert - Parallel Workflow 1

Discover how to automate Onboarding forms for Contract Requests with new Vendors


🛠 Create Your Own - Vendor Onboarding Workflow

Discover how to add and configure our suggested Best Practice workflow for onboarding new Vendors


🛠 Create Your Own - Touchless NDA 

Discover how to add and configure our template workflow for a self-serve NDA Request workflow you can share with prospective Vendors