SmartCon frequently asked questions

Information and purchase

1. How to buy SmartCon

To start using SmartCon you must first sign-up with your company details (if your company is not known to us).
Once we have confirmed your sign-up with a welcome email, you will then be able to purchase the SmartCon package that suits your company. This can be done from My Account under SmartCon.
If your company is not registered yet, you can sign-up here: https://www.bimco.org/SmartConSignup

2. How does the pricing work for SmartCon

There is a one-time start-up fee when the company first purchase the account. Afterwards there is 2 options available:

  • Pay-as-you-go; gives you temporally access that depends on the contract(s) purchased with 1 final included (between 45 and 365 days)
  • Subscription; gives you access to all documents for 1 year
    • Finals will be charged once you reach the amount setup for your company (the default is 100 EUR), this is for subscriptions only. If you don’t reach this amount within 6 months, the system will create an invoice for the amount you have used.

3. What is the cost for SmartCon

The cost for different pricing options can be found here:
https://www.bimco.org/contracts-and-clauses/create-a-contract/smartcon/smartcon-information-and-available-contracts 
Note: that there is a price for members and non-members

4. Can we setup group emails as our login

Depending on how your own setup is it may work, however group emails is not recommended nor supported, and for some it doesn’t work with Azure.
Note: We only support setting one user up per login.

5. What are the minimum requirements for SmartCon

The minimum requirements can be viewed at this link:
https://www.bimco.org/contracts-and-clauses/create-a-contract/smartcon/smartcon-access-requirements

Basic use

6. How to create a contract

First login to www.bimco.org and go to My Account and then SmartCon. From here you have 2 options.

  1. Download the Add-in and start you contract directly from Word. More on this under Add-in.
  2. Or download your contract from the website, under "SmartCon basic management" select "NEW CONTRACT".

Once you create a new contract you will download it and you need to save it locally on your computer.
Note: Don't save the contract as anything else besides DOCX file. If saved as a DOC or anything else that will corrupt the contract and you will need to start a new contract.

7. I can't open contracts

Here is some points to go through 1-by-1 to be able to open a contract (both saved and new):

1. Make sure that the file is stored locally on your computer and not in the cloud.
2. When you get the permission message, try to press Add Account/Change user and press to add a new (don't press your login that will be shown). Now login with your email and password setup (you may need to try a few times).
3. If the above doesn’t work, then try to install Azure information protection; Azure Information Protection Client
4. Check if you can login here: https://login.microsoftonline.com (if you can’t that may be because you need to change/update your password).
5. If everything else fails, close all Microsoft programs (including Skype etc.). Open a blank Word document and sign out of Word. Then go to “File” and “Account” and “Sign out” (keep signing out until it ask you to sign-in). Now try to open your SmartCon contract before opening anything else.

8. Why are my permissions restricted

By design the contracts are secured and restricted using Microsoft Azure Information Protection.

If you check under “View Permissions…” you will see that you can’t “Print”, “Copy” and “Export” directly from the contract. For printing and exporting, please check further down under “Send as PDF”. In short you will need to change your Word file to a PDF through SmartCon.

The copy option has been limited to protect our copyright of these documents.

You will also not be able to use Font and Paragraph etc. and we have locked track changes, so you won’t be able to accept and reject changes in the document.

9. How to convert an IDEA contract to a SmartCon contract

The documents you have in IDEA can’t be transferred directly unfortunately, as the documents are setup differently. However we have made a new feature in IDEA to enable easier conversion to SmartCon.

  • From the “Print and email as PDF” in IDEA you will have a new thick box called “Get docx with user added text”. 
  • If this box is selected and you print a Working copy in IDEA, you will get a non-protected Word file with all your user added text from the clauses part (all the red text).
  • This way you should be able to go through your “Working copy” from IDEA and insert all your user text parts into a SmartCon document. 
  • You can then create a new proforma in SmartCon, that you start to amend for different negotiations using "Save as" function in Word.

10. How to get line numbers in a contract

We have switched off line numbers, so it wouldn’t confuse anyone. However should you wish to line numbers in your contract, you can use Words own feature to get them in.
Go to “Layout” select “Line Numbers” and then “continuous”. You should now have line numbers in your contract.
Note: These are dynamic line numbers.

11. How to insert clauses in a contract

You can add your own paragraphs and clause anywhere you want in a contract. The easiest way to do it, is to either use enter or return to make a hard return. Or to use SHIFT+ENTER to only drop to a new line. Then after one of the above paste in your copied text using CTRL + V.

12. Can I insert pictures or tables

In SmartCon you can both insert pictures and tables. Both is a normal Word feature that can be found under “Insert”. You can also use the newer "Draw" feature in Word (also known as Ink). But it is presented as a Picture, and needs to follow our rules for pictures.

Note: Pictures can only be inline with text, and not overlapping or be in front of text. And the total email with your file when getting the PDF can’t be over 4 MB. So don’t use too large or too many Pictures/images.

13. Header and Footer

The header and footer can't be amended. If a change is made to the header or footer, SmartCon will always reject the change and insert the standard header and footer. 

14. How can I strikeout or delete text

You can strikeout text by selecting the text and press backspace or delete. You can’t delete text that includes a content controls (those boxes with green text), you would instead have delete the in front and behind the content control.
If your text seems to be deleted instead of strikeout, it is because you have set your tracking to “Simple Markup”. To change this go to “Review” and then change to “All Markup” under tracking to see your contract with full track changes.

15. How to reverse deleted text

If you have deleted parts of the original text or another user have added some text, you can reverse it back to original text if you have the SmartCon Add-in installed. Mark the text you want to reverse and right click it to choose whether to "Reverse all revisions", "Reverse insert revisions" or "Reverse deleted revisions" in your selected text.
You will find that it will add a marker in the list revisions/changes, and you can now go to the next part you want to reverse.
Clicking on one of your markers will show you what will be changed when you do reverse the changes. Double clicking a marker will remove it from the list and it will no longer be reversed with the rest of your changes.

Once ready to reverse, click the 3 dots next to "Output file", give it a name and location and press "Reverse selected changes".
You will now get a new version with all your changes in one go.

Note: That it will take a whole revision at a time. So if you have deleted a whole clause in one go, you will also reverse that whole clause (even if you only selected part of the clause).

16. How to share a SmartCon contract

With SmartCon we have made it very easy to share a contract with another SmartCon user from another company.

You need to be the Poweruser in a contract security group (more on that later).

Login to bimco.org and go to My Account and SmartCon. Under “SmartCon CSG membership management” select the security group and select “ADD GUEST”.

If you enter an email from another user and set an end date (we don’t recommend more than a month, but you can set it to what you want), the system will tell you whether it is SmartCon login email you have entered. Once added the guest can open and edit the documents of that security group, however the guest will only see the documents you send them.

17. How to exchange a contract with another SmartCon company

If your company are the owner of a contract (the one that created it from the website or add-in). You can transfer the ownership of a contract to another SmartCon company by using our "Exchange" feature. Under the Basic Management select "EXCHANGE", type in the login email of a user from the other company, and upload the contract file.

Once done this user (and only this user), will be able to approve the transfer from the "EXCHANGE" option, by adding the contract to a security group from their company. This copy and any saved as versions in the future will no belong under the new company. Where any previous version before the upload will still belong under the original owner of the contract.

18. How to print a copy of your contract

In the Word format the function to print has been disabled, however to get a contract printed. You can send a contract as a PDF, and the PDF copies can be printed out on paper via your own printer. See how to send a contract as a PDF.

Send as PDF

19. How to send a contract as a PDF

When you are ready to send a contract for someone to view outside of the CSG (see under Contract Security Group). You can send a PDF copy. This can be done in places.

  1. Through the add-in for Word which can be download from My Account under SmartCon.
  2. Through the website, can be done same place as mentioned above.

You can use one of the two following options:

  • Working Copy - the free of charge copy to be used for everything else besides the signature copy.
  • Final - when you have done the deal and you are ready for the signature. This is the copy without the watermark and the one you will be charged for later.

20. Finals

For the Finals we have 2 more options available.

  • First you have the option produce your Final with black text only. Please note that the inserted text will be underlined, and deleted text will have a line through. But you won’t have the red and blue colours.
  • External reference is where you can add a ship/vessel name or client name or number, so you know what the final relates to when you get your invoices.

Note: The invoice breakdown for usage invoices can be found from My Account under Invoices and then click the invoice number.

21. I can’t produce any Finals

If you can’t produce any Finals it is likely because there is an overdue invoice, or you are still on the trial version.

Check under My Account and Invoices to make sure everything related to SmartCon has been paid.

Settling your invoices with a VISA or MasterCard, in the invoices section, will enable you to produce more Finals automatically within five minutes.

22. What is clause reduction

Clause reduction is an option to reduce some of the most standard BIMCO clauses to only include the header of the clause in the PDF. The clauses ticked will only show with the header.

SmartCon Add-in

23. How to get the Add-in

The add-in can be downloaded at www.bimco.org  from My Account, under SmartCon.
After installation, open Word and go to “Add-ins” and select “Reload SmartCon add-in to open and use of the features of the add-in.

24. How to update the Add-in

Since the add-in is one of the core features from SmartCon, you will also need to update the add-in occasionally. Just like when you downloaded it, you will also be able to update it to get the latest features. The add-in should have the “Update” available in the top if there is a new version.

25. Do I need the Add-in

Apart from the reverse document changes feature, you don’t need the Add-in to use SmartCon, however the Add-in is what makes SmartCon fast and easy to use, as you can almost do everything directly from within Word.

26. Features of the Add-in

The following features are available from any Word document:

  • Create new contract; from this option choose your security group and select the contract to start a completely new contract.
    Note: Needs to be stored locally on your computer and saved as a DOCX file. If saved as anything else the file will be corrupted and you will need to start a new contract.
  • Genuine document check; Allows you to check whether a contract is an authentic SmartCon contract.
  • FAQ; Links directly to this page, where you find answers to most of the questions for SmartCon.
  • Diagnostics; Gives you a log file, that you can send to us if you have an issue with the Add-in.

The remaining features are only available from a SmartCon contract.

  • Send contract as PDF; is the option to get a PDF file of you contract send to your email. These PDF files can be viewed by everyone and can be printed out as a paper copy.

Finals; is the done contract you will charged for.
Working copies; are for review and feedback and are always free of charge.

  • Knowledge base; is help understanding some of the clauses in the BIMCO contracts.
  • Upcoming course; lets you know of our different face-to-face courses we have available.
  • Contact us; is an easy way of sending an email, as you don’t need to look it up on our website. We will get back to you as soon as possible within our working hours.
  • Add a clause; is your BIMCO clause library available within Word. You can also add your own clauses. This is done under your SmartCon basic management option at bimco.org.
  • Embed rider clauses; Allows you to add your own rider clauses if they are in a Word file. These will be added with black text as an additional part to the contract and will be with track changes if you change something.
  • Reverse document changes; If you have deleted parts of the original text or another user have added some text, you can reverse it back to original text if you have the SmartCon Add-in installed. Mark the text you want to reverse and right click it to choose whether to "Reverse all revisions", "Reverse insert revisions" or "Reverse deleted revisions" in your selected text. You will find that it will add a marker in the list revisions/changes, and you can now go to the next part you want to reverse.
    Clicking on one of your markers will show you what will be changed when you do reverse the changes. Double clicking a marker will remove it from the list and it will no longer be reversed with the rest of your changes.
    Once ready to reverse, click the 3 dots next to "Output file", give it a name and location and press "Reverse selected changes".
    You will now get a new version with all your changes in one go.
    It will take a whole revision at a time. So if you have deleted a whole clause in one go, you will also reverse that whole clause (even if you only selected part of the clause).
  • Mini database on/off; allows you to enable the mini database and use the vessel and company information type in under your SmartCon account at bimco.org.

Administrator

27. What do the different “Roles” mean to a user

  • Administrator is a user that can change and control other users and Contract Security Groups.
  • Normal is what it says, a normal user that can work within SmartCon, but can’t change or control anything besides the contracts.
  • Limited is a user that can’t use SmartCon at bimco.org nor use the SmartCon add-in. This user can only amend a contract received, and it is how Guest users are setup.

28. What is Contract Security Group (CSG)

A Contract Security Group or CSG is the security layer that prevents others not in the specific CSG from opening a contract from that CSG.

29. What is the difference between a Poweruser, a User and a Guest in a CSG

  • Poweruser is a user that can add other users to the CSG, but can’t change the CSG itself.
  • Users can’t do anything administrative within a CSG, only work and use the contracts within that group.
  • Guest is an invited user from another company, they can only receive and either files. They can use bimco.org and the Add-in on your behalf. 

30. How to setup more users from my company (SmartCon administrator)

First you need to create a website login, this is done from My Account under “Staff details”.

  • Then go to “SmartCon” and select “Admin management”.
  • Under Administration select the company profile (most likely only a Default one).
  • Select one of the users created in Staff details, and assign a Role to the user (see roles above).
  • The last thing to do is to assign the new user(s) to one or more Contract Security Groups and select their role in the group (see Poweruser and Users above).
    Note: The user will automatically be put in the Default security group once the user has been through the "Get Started" email from Microsoft.

31. How to use the Guest user package

If you have purchased the Guest user package, you will have a set of Guest users and they are connected to 1 specific CSG each. The users themselves work like a Limited user (see under “Roles”).

The administrator can now set and change the password for each of the Guest user logins, before you send it together with a contract from that CSG, to a new partner for a new negotiation of a contract.

To make use of the Guest users, go to My Account and SmartCon, and select "Admin management" (only SmartCon admin). From here select "USERS" and select the specific Guest user to set a password. This is also where you will change the password, when you need to work with a new customer.

 

Casper Broustbo
in Copenhagen, DK

ELSEWHERE ON BIMCO

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