Multinational or multi-jurisdictional organizations commonly have semi-autonomous relationships with their divisions. Sometimes these are in different legal jurisdictions, such as State or Country, other times these are internal jurisdictions such as Line of Business (LoB) or Branch Office. What all of these organizations have in common is joint ownership, but depending on the level of joint management it may make sense for the organization(s) to leverage the Parent/Child Relationship functionality of Agreement Express.
In cases where cost-accounting requirements require inter-company segregation, or where security organization of users is completely different between jointly owned entities, Parent/Child Relationships are recommended. In this instance each semi-autonomous unit (Country, Branch, LoB) are setup as individual companies in Agreement Express, and then logically associated with one another. This article sets out the impact of this type of company configuration.
If you are unsure if your organization requires a multi-company setup, please speak Recombo Support. Most organizations DO NOT require this type of configuration and can manage document access rights and inter-company reporting with simply security preference configuration.
What is a Parent & Child Relationship?
A parent/child relationship is a hierarchical structure in which companies are organized in a 1-to-many relationship. The “1” in the model is referred to as the “parent” and each of the “many” are referred to as “children”. Each child entity may only have 1 parent and each child could itself also be a parent.
Template level Parent & Child relationships
The most basic type of Parent/Child relationship in Agreement Express is used for managing templates. In this scenario there is an Originating Template that acts as the Parent Template. This Parent template may be automatically copied to other companies where it will appear as a Child template in each company.
To create a Child Template:
- Within Agreement Manager, go to the Template Manager and select the Parent company
- Select the template and select “Create Child Templates” from the list of available options at the bottom of the screen. The above dialog will appear.
- Drag all the companies you would like to create the child template under to the right side and click on "Create".
Within the Parent company an icon appears next to the Parent company template to show the existence of the Parent/Child relationship.
In this case we have associated the Parent Template with 3 child companies, creating 3 child templates.
The power of the relationship of Parent & Child templates
One of the main benefits of Parent/Child relationship templates is that you can quickly distribute common templates across all of your associated companies. You also get other benefits though too. You also get the ability to:
- distribute one template to many companies
- change one template and update many across companies
- create common process monitors that report on data from all of the companies using the common template
When you want to update all of the Child templates, all a user needs to do is click on the template icon with the child indicator and a list will appear of all of the child templates.
To update all of the child templates at once:
- From Template Manager click on the child template icon next to the correct template. A tab similar to above will appear.
- Click the checkbox at the top to select all the child templates in the list and click on the Update Child Templates icon at the bottom.
- Click yes on the confirmation pop-up.
Just because you have created a Parent/Child relationship at the template level does not mean that you MUST update every child template in each case. Pressing the update button will update only the selected templates and will maintain any of the process monitors put in place for that template, even though the underlying templates have changed.
You can associate a child template to another company from the child (creating a “grandchild template” or cascading template) however the sub-parent must also press the select which of their children they wish to update and press the update button. This will not happen automatically.
Limits and Controls
To break the Parent/Child relationship click the Delete Child Templates button and the Parent Template will now act independently of the child templates. Updating the Parent will not impact any of the child templates, however all combined Process Monitors will be lost.
Breaking the Parent/Child relationship does NOT delete the templates from the child companies. This must be done manually by going to each company and deleting the template.
Although Process Monitors will show the parent all of the data and activity of a child template, it will not show the data from child templates of the child (grandchild templates). If this type of reporting is required the built in reporting engine should be used.
Configuring the Process Monitor in a Parent & Child template
Creating a Process Monitor on the parent will also monitor the child templates' activities.
In the above case, we have 4 Process Monitors created: the parent, and 3 children. The parent monitors all 3 of the below ones, and any associated to it.
This will result in showing all of the agreements spanning that use the Parent template across all of the child companies. Clicking on one of the children monitors will result in a sub-set of agreements being shown for the parent. This allows the parent company to monitor individual company performance in addition to combined.
What the parent gives to their children
Any child templates will receive the following items from their parent:
Generic Fields They will use the same indexing as the parent company does for generic fields.
Fax Template When adding a fax, it will use the template setup in the parent company.
What about volume reporting?
It is not necessary to create a parent/child company relationship to report on volume across companies. Using Advanced Search can give you the information which you can then export to Excel to massage the data, or can be reported real-time from a customized report.