As companies continue to rely on contingent workers, the need for an efficient system to manage these workers becomes paramount.
A vendor management system (VMS) is a software application that can help organizations manage their contingent workforce by providing a centralized platform to manage and monitor the performance of their vendors and record contingent worker information.
Yet, as we discussed in our previous blog, Why 2023 is the Year to Re-Evaluate Your VMS System, the vast majority of organizations are using vendor management software that is simply no longer effective for their contingent workforce program.
Over the past 20 or so years, innovation and new functionality has been driven by the users of VMS technology. This has resulted in the native functionality of traditional VMS technology becoming heavy and sluggish, with VMS users looking for ways around these challenges and hiring contingent workers on their own terms and without recording it - leading to rogue spend and inconsistent contingent worker hiring processes.
This is why we expect that many organizations will be transitioning to modern vendor management systems over the coming year, which are designed to be easy to use and customizable for each business.
So, what do you need to keep in mind when implementing a new vendor management system? In this blog, we describe five steps to help you successfully implement a VMS in your contingent workforce program.
1 - Identify Your Business Needs
To identify your business needs, it's important to conduct a thorough review of your current contingent workforce program. This review should include an assessment of the types of contingent workers you use, how they are sourced, the processes and procedures you currently use to manage them, and any pain points or challenges you have experienced with your current program.
It's also important to consider your long-term goals for your contingent workforce program. Do you want to improve workforce quality, reduce costs, improve efficiency, or increase compliance? Defining your goals will help you determine the features and functionality you require from a VMS.
2 - Evaluate Your VMS Options
When evaluating VMS options, it's important to look beyond the basic features and functionality of the software. You should also consider the vendor's track record, experience, and reputation in the industry.
Some other factors to consider when evaluating VMS options include:
- Scalability: Can the VMS grow with your organization as your contingent workforce program expands?
- Customization: Can the VMS be customized to meet your specific needs and requirements?
- APIs and integration: Will the vendor management system seamlessly integrate with your existing IT infrastructure and HR systems?
- User adoption: How easy is the VMS to use for your team? Do you have executive sponsorship?
- Reporting capabilities: Does the VMS provide robust reporting capabilities to help you monitor vendor and worker performance?
3 - Evaluate How the VMS Will Fit Into the IT Infrastructure of Your Existing Workforce Technology
Vendor management systems have traditionally been either standalone systems, or have required the time-consuming and costly help of system integrators to build native custom integrations that would allow them to talk to other systems. This is no longer a cost-effective and efficient way to implement vendor management systems in 2023.
Instead, it’s critical to evaluate how you want your new vendor management system to integrate with your existing IT infrastructure and HR systems. Once you have a plan for that, you can start looking for a VMS that has the APIs needed to integrate seamlessly into your existing processes and systems.
4 - Define Your Implementation Plan
When defining your implementation plan, it's important to take a comprehensive approach that considers all aspects of the VMS implementation. This plan should include:
- A detailed timeline that outlines the various stages of the implementation process, including data migration, testing, and training.
- A clear budget that includes all costs associated with the implementation, such as software licenses, hardware, personnel, and training.
- A list of the resources required to support the implementation, including personnel, training, and support.
- A plan for data migration that outlines how your existing data will be migrated to the new VMS.
- A detailed testing plan that includes both functional and user acceptance testing to ensure the VMS is functioning as expected.
5 - Train Your Team
Effective training is critical to the success of your VMS implementation. Your training plan should include training for your vendors, end-users, and administrators. You should also consider providing ongoing training and support to ensure your team can maximize the benefits of the VMS.
Your training plan should be comprehensive and include:
- Detailed training materials that cover all aspects of the VMS, including how to use it, how to submit invoices, and how to monitor vendor and worker performance.
- Hands-on training sessions that allow your team to practice using the VMS in a simulated environment.
- Ongoing support and training to help your team continue to use the VMS effectively.
Remember, the easier the VMS is to use in the first place, the less training will be required for your team.
Interested in learning more about how your business can get ready for VMS implementation, and how a modern, easy-to-use vendor management system can help you achieve improved contingent workforce ROI? Book a demo of Conexis VMS today.