13 May 2024

How Much Does a Vendor Management System (VMS) Cost?

Wayne Burgess
Wayne Burgess

When choosing a Vendor Management System (VMS) solution, one of the biggest factors in your decision will be pricing. In this blog, we’ve listed everything you need to know about VMS solution pricing models and the potential hidden costs when selecting a VMS solution. 

In today's world the contingent workforce continues to grow and will continue to do so for many years to come. Organizations are realizing that managing their extended workforce with spreadsheets and homegrown solutions is not the answer. 

So, what’s the solution? To better manage your staffing agencies and non-employee workforce it’s crucial to consolidate your contingent workforce in one place using a Vendor Management System (VMS)A VMS will centralize your staffing agencies and contingent workers and automate the entire procure to pay process. A VMS also gives you critical data and reporting allowing you to measure your vendors’ performance, identify gaps and then close those gaps allowing for continuous improvement. 

When choosing a VMS solution, one of the biggest factors in your decision will be pricing.  Here's what you need to know about VMS solution pricing models: 

The Traditional VMS Pricing Model

Once implemented, VMS providers typically charge a percentage of every dollar that is processed through the Vendor Management System. Depending on spend levels the cost of a VMS could be as low as 35 basis points and go up as high as a full percentage point assessed on spend processed through the system.

Recently, some VMS providers have begun to offer a more traditional monthly license fee which is tied more to the data processing costs (which when you think about it aligns more with the VMS’ cost structure). These license fees start as low as a few hundred dollars and can go into the millions per year depending on the scale and complexity of the processing required.

In addition to the ongoing processing costs, many VMS providers charge for setup and implementation. Many of today's vendor management systems can be incredibly expensive to implement and take many months. Traditional VMS providers are built on old tech stacks so when they do a client implementation the setup is labor intensive - this means implementations can cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, and go on for months.

VMS Pricing: The Hidden Costs 

Processing and implementation aside - there are many hidden costs that you might not be aware of. Here's a rundown of some potential hidden costs:

  1. Integration Complexity: VMS solutions must integrate with existing systems such as HRIS, ERP, and procurement software. If the integration is complex, it can lead to significant costs in time and resources. Be sure to ask the VMS if they have an open or closed API. An open API will be more cost-effective and give you control over the integration.
  2. Change Management: Employee resistance to new systems can be costly. Effective change management requires training and possibly even shifts in company culture, which can be resource intensive. Find out from the VMS how they handle and support your change curve.
  3. Customization Expenses: Off-the-shelf VMS solutions may not fit your company’s unique processes. Customizations can be expensive and time-consuming and may require ongoing maintenance. Find out from the VMS how they handle and charge for customization.
  4. Data Migration: Transferring data from old systems to a new VMS can be a hidden cost, particularly if the data needs to be cleaned up or converted to a new format. Find out from the VMS if there are any costs for this. 
  5. Compliance and Security: Ensuring the VMS complies with labor laws, data privacy regulations, and industry-specific compliance standards can incur costs, particularly if you operate in multiple jurisdictions. Find out from the VMS what data privacy legislation they follow. GDPR is the gold standard.
  6. User Training: Staff will need training on the new system. This training can be costly, especially if the VMS is complex or if there is high turnover in the staff using it. Find out from the VMS if they charge for training, if its included or if they can train the trainer so you can conduct your own training.
  7. Ongoing Support and Maintenance: Monthly or annual subscriptions, support contracts, and updates for the VMS can add up over time. Find out from your VMS if they charge for updates or any other items as part of your subscription.
  8. Vendor Lock-in: If the VMS is not interoperable with other systems or data formats, it may lead to vendor lock-in, which can be costly if you decide to switch providers in the future. Your VMS should provide an open API ensuring easy migrations.
  9. Scalability: If your contingent workforce grows, the VMS must scale accordingly. Some VMS providers charge more as you scale up, which can be a hidden cost. Find out from your VMS what their back-end architecture is. The most advanced today is a micro server architecture which scales instantly providing a fast user experience regardless of the load being put on the system.
  10. Reporting and Analytics: Most VMS' have a set of standard reports and a way for you to generate your own reporting. However, some VMS' charge a cost to set up metrics and analytics to measure the performance of your contingent workforce through the VMS. Find out if there are any extra costs for the specific reporting and analytics that your business needs. 

In summary, by carefully planning for these hidden costs and addressing them early in the VMS tender process, companies can ensure they are getting the most out of their investment and truly enhancing their management of contingent labor.  

The Top 10 Questions to Ask a VMS About Pricing

Download a copy of our free VMS Buyers Guide - it includes a checklist of all the questions you should ask a VMS provider; including the Top 10 Pricing questions.

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The Conexis Difference: A new model of VMS pricing 

While the complex functionality of traditional VMS systems is fine for some organizations, it doesn't mean your business has to struggle through it.  Conexis VMS has changed this. 

Conexis VMS is a new, modern VMS, built on the latest tech stack, which enables organizations to realize the benefits of a vendor management system without the expensive costs of legacy VMS solutions.  Our highly efficient tech stack means we have less overhead, and we turn that into much lower pricing than the traditional VMS providers. In fact, for as little as $499 per month, Conexis Pricing Model means you can get started with no set-up fees.

Not only that, but we’ve built Conexis VMS to be an easy-to-use platform. This means that from a user experience, it is easy to use (which results in high adoption rates) and less time is needed figuring out how your VMS works. This results in more time focusing on the core competencies that drive true business growth. 

Interested in learning more about Vendor Management Solutions?

Whether you are looking for a new VMS Solution, or just getting started, we are here to help.  See how easy Conexis is to use by taking a quick 2 minute Self-Guided Tour.  Contact Us for a Free No-Obligation Consultation to discuss your workforce challenges (and get immediate actionable insights) or Book a Personal Demo Today! 

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Wayne Burgess

Wayne Burgess

Wayne Burgess is the President of Conexis, a technology company focused on helping organizations get control of their Contingent workforce.

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