BCM FAQ/Tips

Visit our Tips and Tricks page for more information, and to help answer some additional questions about BCM.

Q: How do I find my fully executed agreement?
A: If you have your contract number, you can search for it using the search function. Be sure all criteria are set to “all.” Once on the contract record, navigate to the attachments page. There is a link in the gray box at the top of the page that contains the fully executed agreement.
If you do not know your contract number, you can find it on your request in the gray box on the left side of the request. You can click on the link to bring you to the contract record.

Q: Is there an abbreviated name for the Brown Contracts Management system?
A: Yes, you may see the abbreviation of BCM to refer to the contract management features of the system.

Q: How do I get access to BCM?
A: When there is a need to request, change or terminate access, the requests will be submitted through a CAP Help Ticket. Please refer to the Training Materials tab for more information.
For the initial roll out of the Brown Contract Management System, Cost Center Managers were asked to provide the names of individuals they identified as needing to have the ability to submit contract requests.  SPCI reviewed the names submitted and in some instances consulted with the unit’s financial administration area to finalize that initial list.   

Q: What is the process to get the suppliers into the system and ask for new ones?
A: Suppliers will be automatically sent from Workday to the Contracts system. Suppliers should continue to register through the Supplier Registration link. If you anticipate needing a new supplier (other than independent contractors) please contact SPCI for assistance in determining whether or not there is an existing supplier that can meet the requirements.   

Q: Can you create a contract before the supplier registration is complete?
A: No.  The supplier must be registered in order to be selected as the other party in the Contracts system.  Supplier records will be uploaded to the Contracts system several times a day.   If you are working with a foreign supplier, they also need to complete the FNIS process.

Q: Does clicking “next” save your progress like “previous”?
A: Yes, clicking Next will save your progress.

Q: Will we get notifications via email when new action needs to be taken?
A: Yes, notifications will come via email so you do not need to be logged into the system to see them.  You have the ability to adjust the notifications if you do not wish to receive emails, want to receive both emails and notifications within the system or only notifications within the system.

Q: Is the Universal Search a search for all contracts in the university or only for what your department has created?
A: In the initial roll out of the system, you will be able to search for and view details for any contracts for which you were the requester.  In addition, you will be able to view contracts for the department you are associated within the system. Anyone included as a “stakeholder” for a specific contract will also be able to see the details for that contract.

Q: Where are you capturing information about the account to be charged?
A:  This information is captured in the contract request process. However, Workday will continue to be the system of record for financial transactions.

Q: What types of contracts will be processed through this system?
A: The Brown Contract & Policy Management System will be used for contracts related to the purchase of goods and services and that are reviewed and approved through SPCI or CIS.  In addition, the University Compliance Office is using this system to manage University Policies.

Q: How does the tool decide which contract manager to send the request to?
A: The routing to either SPCI or CIS is triggered by the answers to the questions in the intake form. The contract managers also have the ability to initiate additional reviews from both internal and external parties as needed.

 Q: Will users be encouraged/required to use the system to communicate questions/answers (as opposed to picking up the phone) to provide an information trail?
A: While the system is not meant to eliminate the need to have discussions, it should decrease emails outside of the system. There is a benefit to being able document the development of the contract within the system as part of the contract record.    

Q: Would you use the review date to help manage when a contract is going to expire?
A: That is one option for it. The system has the ability to create notifications for when contracts are up for renewal as well as to flag other actions needed through the “obligations” feature.

Q: Which fields are required to be filled in?
A: All fields marked with an asterisk (*) on the form are required.   

Q: What if it is a renewal and the original contract is not in the system, is it a new contract or renewal?
A:  It would be a renewal. You would need to attach the original contract to the request in the attachments section. A contract record will be created by the Contract Manager for the contract and the renewal. 

Q: How is the contract review linked to the PO?
A: Once the status of a contract in BCM changes to “executed and in effect”, an integration will send the basic contract information to Workday.  When the purchase requisition is created, the financial coordinator will select the “supplier contract” from the drop down on the requisition page.   

Q: How is the contract review linked to a supplier invoice when there is no PO?
A: Once the status of a contract in BCM changes to “executed and in effect”, an integration will send the basic contract information to Workday.  When the supplier invoice is created, the financial coordinator will select the “supplier contract” from the drop down that appears in the supplier invoice process.  (Note: this would only apply in instances where there is a contract that was processed through BCM and no purchase order was required. Please refer to the Purchasing website for when that is appropriate).

Q: If you renew a contract, but the vendor has changed the text or terms of their EULA, would we enter that as a renewal or an amendment? I am talking about a software package.
 A: When IT contracts that have click through and standard EULAs governing their use come up for renewal, please complete a request for “Renewal of existing contract” and upload those documents with the request. This will allow us to compare versions and more quickly expedite the processing of the request. 

Q: Is there a way to save some of the repeat information in the system so we can select rather than retype? For example, Department Address, Internal contact signer, etc.
A:  Right now the system does not allow for information to auto populate. However, it is often the case that the browser you use will have saved information you frequently use.

Q: Is there a timeframe beyond which a contract cannot be renewed? For instance, a contract expires on 12/31 can we use this process to renew in January?
A:  A contract can not be renewed or amended if it has already expired. (e.g. it is past the expiration date of the contract).  

Q: With renewals AND new contracts: how long can we expect a review to take on average? (for example, with a renewal, you should submit a week before expiration, two weeks before expiration, etc.)
A: If you need to renew a contract you should be aware of any provisions in the agreement (notifications required) that dictate how much notice the University is required to provide in order to renew. That timing is essential to the renewal process. Because this is a new system and a new process for everyone, it is difficult to estimate what the turnaround time will be but achieving efficiency in our processes is an important goal for this project.

Q: Will ORI/OVPR be in the system for review routing?  Sometimes my software agreements are referred to them.
A:  No. ORI/OVPR does not plan to use this system for contracts managed by their areas.

Q: What if someone is out for 2 weeks during an extended contract review process? What is the process for when someone is out?
A: For a planned absence, it would be a best practice to request to have a backup person included as a stakeholder.  In the case of an unplanned absence/emergency, the system administrator in SPCI can assist.  

Q: How can I report a “bug” in the system?
A: Please report any problems within the system to contractmanagerpurchasing@brown.edu