What is an MSP in Staffing?

Regardless of what type of business you’re running, one of the key elements for success is, and will always be, your workforce.

Managing a workforce effectively is paramount – especially as a business continues to grow and evolve over time. Keep in mind that human resources and administration take time and effort. With that evolution, your human resource administration must also evolve with the right attention and effort applied. Without the increased effort, it can be difficult to scale efficiently and cost-effectively.

Thankfully, MSPs are one option to help handle a business’ administration of staffing concerns. But what is an MSP in staffing? What do they have to offer, and why are they worth considering? The answers to these questions are straightforward, but you have to keep a few key things in mind to determine whether this is the right move for you.

What is an MSP?

Also commonly referred to as a managed services provider, an MSP is a third-party organization utilized to more effectively manage a business process. Specific to contingent workforce programs, an MSP will increase your company’s day-to-day operations, allowing the entire process to flow effortlessly. An MSP can immediately enhance technologies associated with your contingent workforce program, support vendor management, increase reporting capabilities, and increase compliance. Contingent workforce is more critical than ever as organizations continue to evolve, and the implementation of an MSP can help ensure a company is successful in its growth.

The Advantages of an MSP in the Staffing Industry

A managed service provider in the staffing industry manages an outsourced contingent labor program for a business. An MSP brings with it an array of different benefits that cannot be ignored. Chief among these is the level of market expertise they bring with them.

For Example, if a business is entering into a new territory, they may not be familiar with the specifics they need to succeed. This is particularly common when a business enters a new country for the first time. There are unique labor laws, tax considerations, and compliance and licensing issues that a business needs to be aware of. It can be unrealistic to maintain this knowledge in-house, but with an MSP you can get instant access to people who already do.

Another major benefit that MSPs have to offer involves increased process efficiencies. Managing a contingent workforce can quickly become a full-time job when it comes to elements like human resources and administration. This can cause issues down the line, since organizational leadership already has a lot on their plate to focus on. An MSP can step in to streamline and centralize existing processes – providing full visibility of, and data around, these processes. This allows leaders the flexibility to focus on their business needs.

But for many organizations, the biggest advantage of an MSP has to do with the program scalability that they offer. With the right MSP and contingent workforce, businesses can ramp up and ramp down contingent labor resources as-needed. They become more agile than ever before, allowing them to enter new markets quickly and leave just as fast should the need arise.

Additional benefits of an MSP include but are not limited to:

  • Technological expertise. An MSP will be well-versed in all the latest contingent workforce related IT tools and VMS technologies. An MSP brings expertise in the integration and implementation of these systems.
  • An MSP can make sure that an organization’s handling of their workforce and other activities remains compliant, avoiding potential fines and other penalties down the road.
  • Visibility into spending. Organizations will have more visibility into their spending in a way that uncovers their true return on investment in all areas. This in turn allows them to better understand where cost management opportunities lie.

How to Determine if Your Business Should Use an MSP

While many of the benefits of an MSP partner are hard to ignore, that doesn’t mean this is the right move to make for all types of businesses. Every organization is unique unto itself. After all – what works for one isn’t necessarily the best fit for another, and MSPs are absolutely a part of that idea.

Generally speaking, if you’re feeling like your own internal contingent workforce program isn’t effectively managing costs and doing what it can to eliminate risk, bringing in an MSP is likely the way to go. The same is true if you don’t already have a rigorous process in place for vetting and reviewing the people who are applying for available positions.

Without a type of vendor management system (VMS) that gives you a bird’s eye view of the enterprise, managing a contingent workforce can become overwhelming. If your business is struggling to handle compliance, spend policies, risk mitigation, or immigration tracking – an MSP can help you address all of these concerns and more. If your business resources are being impacted by the volume of your contingent workforce, turning to an MSP may be right for you.

What is the Cost and How is the MSP Fee Paid For?

The cost of a fully managed MSP can vary depending on the level of service, geography, and contingent workforce types the MSP is helping to manage for you. The cost and payment method will be negotiated prior to work starting.

In some scenarios, the Client will pay the full MSP fee for all services that are rendered (Client Funded). In other scenarios a portion of the MSP fee will be paid by the Client and a portion will be paid by the Vendor (Hybrid Funding). In a final scenario, Clients can choose to have an MSP fully funded by vendors (Vendor Funded) with a small % withheld on each vendor invoice.

Ultimately, it depends on which model works best for you and your program.

The Monument Consulting Approach

All told, an MSP in the world of staffing can act as an essential part to any organization. Not only are you tapping into a team of trusted professionals who can assist with everything from procurement to human resources and everything in between, but they also bring with them consistent and efficient processes that will stand the test of time.

At Monument Consulting, we tailor our approach to the unique needs of each client. Rather than insisting on some type of “one size fits all” process that doesn’t really exist, we take the time to learn about your business and its needs – all so that we can do whatever it takes to help you accomplish them in the most efficient way possible.

If you’d like to find out more information about what an MSP is within the context of staffing, or if you’re just eager to begin your own journey right away, please don’t delay – contact Monument Consulting today.

Contingent Workforce Management 

Now, more than ever, people prefer more flexible forms of employment as opposed to the traditional workforce model. The concept of the contingent workforce is one that has become increasingly popular – especially over the last decade. A contingent workforce is one that is made up of freelancers, independent contractors, and consultants who are hired for either a specific amount of time or on a project-by-project basis. There are no illusions that these workers will stay with a company on a permanent basis – instead, the opposite is true. They are temporary positions that can pay well and are important, creating a mutually beneficial situation for all parties involved.

What is Contingent Workforce Management?

A contingent workforce is one that can certainly bring advantages to any organization – but the management of the contingent workforce is equally important. With the right approach and long-term strategy, companies will be able to enjoy all the benefits of this process with as few potential downsides as possible.

There are many elements that make up the contingent workforce management process. Simply put, contingent workforce management is the hiring and managing of temporary employees. Organizations will typically pair a managed service provider (MSP) with a vendor management system (VMS) to manage their contingent workforce process. The MSP works with each of the client’s vendors to ensure all open positions are properly recruited for, and the MSP works with the client to ensure management of the contingent workforce is done compliantly.

Why is Contingent Workforce Management Important to a Business?

More often than not, contingent workers are brought into a business via MSP recruitment with the help of a third-party agency or supplier. In this situation, the supplier would be the worker’s employer of record. The employee does not technically work for the business in question – they work for the agency and have simply been assigned to a specific job for a specific period of time.

All of this also helps to underline the idea, and the importance, of contingent workforce management. These types of workers play an invaluable role in the narrative of any business, but they still require a steady hand in terms of management to ensure that everything flows as smoothly as possible. Contingent workforce management helps to keep permanent employees separate from temporary employees, thus allowing workers to fill the exact position that is required of them at precisely the right time.

When it comes to the effective management of a contingent workforce, there are a number of important things to keep in mind. Foremost, a contingent workforce can quickly assist a business scale as it continues to grow and evolve – or better position the business to account for seasonal fluctuations that are inherent in certain industries. With a permanent workforce, it’s harder to respond to market fluctuations quickly. If you don’t have a certain degree of foresight, you’ll end up at a disadvantage more often than not.

Of course, none of this is to say that effective contingent workforce management isn’t without its fair share of challenges. Yes, employers are able to effectively scale their workforce up or down as an ever-changing situation dictates it. But at the same time, human resources teams aren’t just managing the employees themselves – they’re also managing a relationship with the company who supplied those employees as well. Therefore, things become challenging in that the client doesn’t necessarily have the same level of oversight that it normally would.

Contingent workforce management can be made easier with the following a few key best practices. Finding the right partner for contingent workforce procurement can mitigate challenges that arise when managing your contingent workforce. The right partner will understand what the client is trying to accomplish, and is every bit as invested in its own success as they are.

From a technology perspective, a vendor management system is highly – one that allows organizational leadership to effectively manage the various sources that these contingent employees are coming from. With a strong vendor management system, the client can easily manage and locate their contingent workforce.

Lastly, the help of a managed services provider (MSP) will also be recommended to bring these contingent workers together with the more permanent workforce, allowing them both to become something stronger as a collective than they ultimately would have been able to achieve on their own. That will in turn help not only the employees, but the business itself.

Benefits of Contingent Workforce Management

In order to understand the finer points of a contingent workforce, we must first come to a better understanding of what it is acting as a viable alternative to. In the vast majority of situations, a business will hire all of its employees as part of an in-house workforce. Those employees officially work for the business itself. They are paid some type of yearly salary or, in the case of some positions, an hourly wage. This results in a mutual understanding between both the employee and the employer that the worker will hold the position for a significant amount of time. In addition to the terms of employment, workers who fall under this category also receive the option for additional benefits such as healthcare, paid time off, and retirement benefits.

A contingent workforce comes with numerous advantages for the employee and the employer. These benefits include increased flexibility, fewer costs, and access to high-quality, in-demand talent. Organizations can fluctuate their contract labor numbers depending on their business demands, resulting in fewer layoffs, lower costs, and worker flexibility.

  • Increased flexibility

a. A contingent workforce can provide organizations with the flexibility it needs to rapidly scale up or down depending on business needs without delays associated with full-time employees.

  • Cost-effective

a. Although contract workers often have higher salaries than full-time employees, organizations do not have to pay the contingent workforce medical benefits, vacation time, or sick pay.

  • Training

a. Organizations save time and money with a contingent workforce. Contract workers are highly specialized – they do not require a significant amount of training.

Challenges of Contingent Workforce Management

Although a contingent workforce provides an organization with an abundance of advantages, contingent workforce management also comes with its fair share of disadvantages. Some of these challenges may include difficulty with compliance, job security, training restrictions, and communication barriers.

  • Non-compliance

a. Contingent workforces often include a network of vendors – this makes compliance more difficult with a contingent workforce.

  • Job security

a. Contingent workers have limited job security due to being hired based on business demands. This may result in contingent workers being less committed to the organization.

  • Training restrictions

a. Contingent workers may not have access to corporate training resources that are available to full-time employees.

  • Lack of understanding the arrangement

a. The end date of the contingent worker’s contract is not always set in stone. Because of this, contractors may feel led on once their contract has come to an end.

Monument Consulting Can Help

Founded in 2003, Monument Consulting is built on a commitment to our clients and our shared values. Through our genuine passion for delivery, relentless pursuit of perfection, and bold decision making, we are creating a more agile contingent workforce so businesses can dream bigger and achieve more. Our expertise is proven, and we’ve worked with a suite of Fortune 500 companies to help implement innovation that lasts. Our agile model allows us to pick the best tool(s) based on the flows and features that will truly meet our client’s needs and bring them the best outcomes.

If you’re looking for a partner who’s ready to help, contact us.

What is Supplier Onboarding?

At its core, supplier onboarding involves an organization collecting the information needed to set up a third-party as a supplier or vendor for their own supply chain. An integral part of supplier onboarding is ensuring the prospective supplier complies with the laws, regulations, and standards required by your organization.

Before you begin the supplier onboarding process, it’s important to verify whether or not there are existing suppliers within your current supply chain that can be leveraged to meet your needs. Awarding business within your current supply chain will not only help strengthen your existing supplier relationships, but it will also increase the speed of delivery for the task at hand. If you’re unsure whether or not your current supply chain can address your needs, a GAP analysis can be performed to verify if bringing on a new supplier is the right step to take.

If you determine a new supplier is needed, vetting the new suppliers will be crucial to identifying the right partner to move forward with. You need to make sure any partner that you’re considering entering into an agreement with can truly meet your deliverables. To properly vet the suppliers, you should request they complete a Request for Information (RFI). The RFI will determine if this supplier can meet the needs of your client – if the supplier is not a good fit at this time, create a profile for them to store in your database.

 

When is Supplier Onboarding Necessary?

There is a gap or a need your current supplier pool is not filling, but should you immediately look for a new supplier? You may believe a larger supplier pool is the best option – but in reality, a larger supplier pool may dilute your results. When a problem arises, analyze your current supplier pool first by performing a GAP analysis.

Performing a GAP analysis is an integral step in determining whether or not you need to onboard a new supplier. This will either validate that your organization does have a gap within your current supplier base or determine that your gap can be addressed through your current supplier pool. If you can’t solve your problem among your current supplier list, draft an RFI that centers around the issue you are trying to solve, and request suppliers provide the needed information to solidify that they can meet this demand.  Send the RFI to your prospective supplier base – the responses to your RFI will allow you to determine which supplier(s) are capable of addressing your issue at hand.

The vetting process is an integral part of successful supplier onboarding. Vetting is the process of diligently investigating your prospective suppliers prior to moving forward with a partnership. You must collect details from the RFI to determine if the prospective supplier will fill your gap or need. If you determine the prospective supplier is not capable of addressing your issue at hand, create a profile for them to store in your data base. Monument Consulting has an abundant list of suppliers and the needs that they support – creating this database is very useful for when a client comes to us with a gap in the future.

 

Why is Supplier Onboarding Important?

Implementing a supplier onboarding process is the premise of building strong partnerships with your suppliers. Not only will it strengthen your business relationships, but it will also assist your organization to mitigate risks, streamline processes (similar to a VMS), increase efficiency, and ensure compliance within your organization’s internal and external policies and regulations.

While the supplier onboarding process takes time, it is important to ensure all suppliers are fully compliant in order for your organization to minimize exposure to risk. Your hiring team may be eager to fill roles, but it must be done in a compliant manner with a deep due diligence process. Steps you may take to ensure supplier compliance include, but are not limited to, determining their financial health, verifying they have the right level of insurance, and processing a background check.

Although business needs may urge you to fast-track supplier onboarding, missteps in the process can cause business disruptions and impact your current supplier partnerships. To mitigate this, a standardized onboarding process can ensure all requirements are met to form a successful partnership.

 

The Key to Successful Supplier Onboarding

If through your GAP analysis, CW Readiness Assessment, and vetting process you’ve determined that moving forward with a new supplier is the right next step, there are several processes to follow in order to achieve successful supplier onboarding. Below are the main steps you’ll need to ensure the process flows smoothly.

  1. Document your approval process
    • Before you build your supplier onboarding process, you should establish clear approval policies. Determine who from your organization needs to approve the onboarding of a new supplier, gather the necessary approval in writing, and store the approval per your compliance requirements.
  2. Establish onboarding requirements and expectations
    • Outline your program’s supplier onboarding policies, procedures, and systems. Clearly outlining your requirements and expectations will not only allow your company to easily vet and approve appropriate suppliers, but it will also ensure the prospective suppliers are compliant with your regulations.
  3. Establish a communication and training plan
    • As you develop your onboarding process, communication and training must be highly considered. This will increase efficiency, reduce the risk of human error, and strengthen supplier relationships.

Proper supplier onboarding also helps to ensure the supplier understand the rules of the program before they start. Together, examine the rules of engagement and the rules of the program; Define every document that needs to be filled out. As suppliers return the requested documentation, assign a member of your team to be accountable for ensuring each document is filled out completely and accurately. By auditing documentation as it is submitted, you will help mitigate risk of missed information which can result in impacts to your deliverables down the road.

 

After Onboarding

Once you have successfully onboarded your new supplier, your organization must ensure the supplier is fully prepared to support the client. To do so, you must provide training and orientation sessions to ensure your new supplier has all of the information necessary to successfully support your client. You will need to conduct a high-level introduction between the supplier and the client by setting up introductory meetings between the supplier and procurement, HR, management, and other appropriate client resources. Once the supplier has started supporting your client, begin tracking the performance.

Founded in 2003, Monument Consulting is built on a commitment to our clients and our shared values. Through our genuine passion for delivery, relentless pursuit of perfection, and bold decision making, we are creating a more agile contingent workforce so businesses can dream bigger, receive the benefits they need, and achieve more. Our expertise is proven, and we’ve worked with a suite of Fortune 500 companies to help implement innovation that lasts. Our agile model allows us to pick the best tool(s) based on the flows and features that will truly meet our client’s needs and bring them the best outcomes.

If you’re looking for a partner who’s ready to help, contact us.

CW Program Readiness Assessment

The thought of enhancing or implementing your contingent workforce program can be overwhelming. You understand the importance of reducing costs, streamlining processes, increasing the ability to attract quality candidates, and improving compliance… but where do you begin with evaluating your readiness for this level of change?

Look no further! Monument Consulting has you covered. The contingent workforce experts at Monument have developed a readiness assessment to help you decide if now is the right time for a fresh perspective of your program. Monument’s proven “Readiness Assessment” will give your organization the ability to ascertain what your current state of readiness for change is, identify where there are opportunities to improve your program, and provide recommendations on how to achieve your program goals.

The Importance of Assessing for Readiness during Pre-Implementation

Understanding your organization’s current state of readiness for a meaningful transformation is the first step to making a change. To avoid the risk of never getting the change off the ground, you should clearly define the “why” behind your desire to change. Then, work internally to verify that you have the available resources, brainpower, business expertise, and understanding of how viable the longevity of a solution will be. Identifying any weaknesses up front is key to ensuring these obstacles are addressed before they interfere with implementation. Since our company’s inception in 2003, Monument Consulting has helped clients with contingent workforce program enhancements of all shapes and sizes. By utilizing our industry expertise, we will help you evaluate your readiness and identify any potential pitfalls that could prevent you from reaching your goals.

Analyze Your Capacity for Change

Understanding your “why” for change is critical, but do you have the capacity for change? Evaluating your organization’s capacity for change is a crucial step in any transformation. Analyze your organization’s infrastructure, finances, and leadership. This will determine if your capacity for change is sufficient, or it will reveal some areas in need of attention. Once you have your project goals and objectives clearly defined, ask your executives the following questions:

  • Do we have the infrastructure to ensure this change goes smoothly?
  • Do we have support for this change from the necessary stakeholders at all levels?
  • Do we have the resources necessary to implement this change, or do we need to hire new staff members?
  • Do our employees have the skills they need to help execute this change or do they need more education and support?
  • How will our leaders encourage employee buy-in for this project?
  • Can we sustain this change long-term?
  • What is our budgetary allowance for the up-front costs involved in implementing this change?
  • What is our budgetary allowance for the long-term costs involved in sustaining this change’s success?
  • What will the return on investment be for this change?
  • After this change is successfully implemented, will it be scalable?

This analysis will leave you with a clear view of your capacity for change, as well as factors that may need more attention prior to embarking on the initiative. As part of Monument’s Readiness Assessment, we will assist with developing an actionable list for your capacity for change considerations – i.e., identify resource gaps; design a business plan to promote stakeholder buy-in; evaluate technology options from a budget and capability perspective.

Determine What Type of Change is Needed

Once your organization determines a well-defined goal, it’s important to understand what options you have available to achieve that goal. Can the issue be solved with a process change? Does a new technology need to be introduced? Can a system integration solve your problem? Multiple paths can often get you to the same desired result, but these solutions can have a variety of different effort and cost levels associated to them. As part of the Readiness Assessment, the solutions experts at Monument Consulting can help you evaluate your current state and make recommendations on the various options you have to help you reach your desired contingent workforce program results.

What to Do if You’re Ready for Change: Partner with Monument Consulting

Founded in 2003, Monument Consulting is built on a commitment to our clients and our shared values. Through our genuine passion for delivery, relentless pursuit of perfection, and bold decision-making, we are creating a more agile contingent workforce so businesses can dream bigger and achieve more. Our expertise is proven, and we’ve worked with a suite of Fortune 500 companies to help implement innovation that lasts. Our agile model allows us to pick the best tool(s) based on the flows and features that will truly meet our client’s needs and bring them the best outcomes.

If you’re looking for a partner who’s ready to help, contact us.

Successful SAP Contingent Workforce Management

We’re living in the midst of a workforce revolution. The 20th Century paradigm of seas of cubicles, desktops, and landlines has been replaced by a more agile workforce, remote yet connected, independent yet committed to business success. According to Deloitte, in 2018, nearly 40% of workers were in “alternative work arrangements”, those that don’t quite fit our image of the traditional 9 to 5. Today, it’s inching toward 50%. Some of these are employees working flexible schedules and locations. Others are non-employees just as important to your success. These include freelancers, temps, outside service providers, consultants and more.

They aren’t your employees and, in many cases, you’ve never met them in person. If we’re honest, that does come with its share of management, workflow, and logistical issues. But they’ve become integral within large organizations for a reason. A well-managed contingent workforce is an asset to large companies who need that agility to pivot with changing market and industry landscapes. That’s where SAP contingent workforce management comes in.

What is SAP Contingent Workforce Management?

SAP contingent workforce management is a set of Systems Applications and Products that streamline management of all areas of your non-employee workforce to get the most value from these alternative working partnerships. Also known as Vendor Management Systems (VMS), this set of technologies and surrounding workflows can eliminate much of the stress and hassles around managing non-employees.

These tools help you effectively find and connect with outside services and individuals you need to efficiently and flexibly run a big corporation. Once connected, they give you access to user-friendly tools and analytics to effectively manage this workforce from centralized, integrative, uniform, and intuitive dashboards.

They automate tedious and repetitive management tasks, so you can stay focused on maximizing the value achieved through your non-employee labor. Furthermore, they provide you with usable business intelligence to optimize everything.

This fully-integrative software works with you throughout the entire non-employee work cycle:

  • Hiring, screening, recruiting, and selecting top talent
  • Negotiating and finalizing work arrangements
  • Onboarding, tracking, and payment
  • Offboarding, evaluations, and analytics

What Are the Benefits of SAP Contingent Workforce Management?

The benefits are many. Here are a few you’re sure to notice and appreciate.

Choosing the Right People

SAP can help you connect with the right people for your project faster. Contingent workers aren’t looking for long-term employment. They like the flexibility and autonomy found in not being your employee. With that said, it takes a certain kind of person to “manage” themselves, as a non-employee must do to classify as a contractor. They need not only the skills for the job but the right mind-set — dependability, self-motivation, critical thinking, effective communication, among other skills.

As a bonus, you can gain access to hard-to-source skills more easily.

Cost-savings and Resource Management

They support cost-effective management that saves money through efficiency, not underpaying contingent labor. Thanks to useful analytics capabilities, you’ll achieve greater visibility of contingent workforce spend.

Through it, you can identify redundancies and disjointed management processes that may be costing you money. These tools manage the negotiations for you, reducing that isolated overspending that happens when each hiring manager gets to set the pay rate.

Quality Work and Productivity

Find and onboard new non-employee workers faster through streamlined recruiting and selection processes. As a result, you spend less time training. You have more time generating value for your company from non-employee arrangements. In areas where contingent labor turn-over is naturally higher, this one efficiency can completely change a project’s trajectory.

But at the same time, SAP management can help you retain non-employees because it delivers a better candidate and employee experience. When you create systems and processes that work, it shows you value the people working within those systems. They want to stay with you longer.

Ensure Compliance

Whether you have to abide by HIPAA, SOC, FERPA, or ISO, handing off protected customer data or proprietary information to someone outside your organization is a scary proposition. SAP can put safeguards, best practices, and systems in place to maintain compliance with local and state laws, regulatory bodies, internal compliance standards, and the IRS.

Better Security

In line with compliance, security features allow you to track who’s in the system and what they’re doing. You’ll never have to wonder if a non-employee had access to something they shouldn’t have.

Easy to Use

Technology and processes shouldn’t be complicated. When they are, people create workarounds and you end up with an unproductive mess. SAP workforce management tools are intuitive and easy to learn. They work like people expect them to function, in line with other quality technology solutions. On top of that, they come complete with tons of time-savers like pre-designed reports and templates you can steal to develop your own streamlined processes.

Global Expansion Capabilities

Finally, the highly configurable and integrating nature of these solutions also makes them very scalable, supporting your global expansion initiatives.

What Sets Our SAP Contingent Workforce Management Solutions Apart

As your continent workforce consultant, we can help you implement, train, and integrate SAP into other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools to optimize communication, productivity, security, compliance, and efficiency of this management system.

We work in two primary capacities to meet your large business’ needs, as either a Consultant or Managed Services Provider.

As a consultant, you retain full control over the management of your non-employees as we provide our expertise regarding implementation, training, and getting the most out of SAP solutions and contingent labor arrangements. We can guide you through security, compliance, cost-savings, and all-important correct worker classification.

As an MSP, we offer you full-service implementation, training, and day-to-day maintenance of non-employee workflow. We alleviate the burden of non-employee management while keeping you in the loop with regular analytics, showing you the effectiveness of your streamlined technology and systems.

Are you looking for a better way to manage non-employee resources and think our SAP solutions might be a good option for you? We help Fortune 1000 companies streamline and maximize non-employee labor. Contact us today to discuss Monument Consulting’s SAP management technologies and services.

 

What is a Vendor Management System (VMS)?

Vendor Management Systems (VMS) are increasingly popular in the contingent workforce space. The right VMS can allow your business to cut costs, more quickly source qualified personnel, plan for total workforce management needs and adjust to increases and decreases in production and demand. Has your company considered exploring the implementation of a VMS? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, the contingent workforce management experts at Monument Consulting cover everything you need to know about VMS solutions.

 

Common Capabilities and Value Adds

An effective VMS, or “Vendor Management System,” is a cloud-based technology solution best known for its ability to streamline the management of contingent workforce. Vendor Management Systems can give companies a leg up by providing a one stop shop for visibility into their full contingent workforce, streamlining processes, increasing compliance, and offering advanced reporting and invoice automation capabilities.

Vendor Management Systems introduce automation to your contingent workforce process, which in return, allows in-house human resources, procurement, and PMO departments to focus on more strategic responsibilities without interruption. Handling external workforce management can be complex, but a VMS can help simplify the process by automating common tasks related to areas such as job posting distribution, vendor management, approvals, candidate qualification, onboarding/offboarding, reporting/analytics, timekeeping, and invoicing.

In addition to automation, a VMS can add value from an audit and compliance perspective. A VMS centralizes your contingent workforce information within a single system, creating accessible audit trails to help ensure you’re meeting all compliance requirements.  Additionally, a VMS can ensure full compliance in regards to legislative and company policies by driving consistency in the process.

With today’s challenging  labor market, finding external talent quickly is crucial for your organization.  Vendor Management Systems can help shorten the time it takes time to fill openings. Hiring managers and vendors will be reminded through the VMS when they have a next step in the hiring process and you will have access to VMS reports that can help you better diagnose which vendors are the most successful in reaching your time to fill KPI’s.

Lastly, a VMS will help control costs by ensuring you are getting contingent labor at a fair price. Rate ranges by role title, location, and experience can be set within the VMS so that you can present your best offer for each opening. Vendors will be subjected to submitting candidates at or below the max rate, helping you to have more controls and better insights on your contingent labor costs.

 

The Benefit of Pairing a VMS with an MSP

The source-to-pay capabilities of a VMS can help your company manage the lifecycle of your contingent workforce. Bringing in a managed services provider (MSP) for complete and daily oversight of the VMS simplifies and enhances processes even further. At Monument Consulting we provide full MSP services with a focus on overall program management, strategic guidance on vendor strategy, enhanced reporting and analytics capabilities of the VMS, and streamlining of the invoice process.

 

 

Notable VMS Companies in the Industry and their Differentiators

  • SAP Fieldglass: SAP Fieldglass was named a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure-to-Pay Suites. SAP’s VMS solution offers process automation compliance technology, including a single-entry point for all of your locations and business units to avoid any inaccurate or disjointed results; complete supplier partner integration; analytics capabilities; and automated on-boarding processes. They pride themselves on transparency, their ability to work with third parties, and the ability of their various resources to save their corporate partners’ money, particularly on recruiting and training costs.
  • Beeline: Beeline’s Extended Workforce Platform (EWP) is focused on providing a solution for workforce agility. They fill staffing needs for corporate clients who are high volume with shift-based workforces. Beeline’s EWP seeks to leverage clients’ brand equity to recruit talent, looking always to find the best prices. They claim decades of VMS success, and growing rates of automation for seamless tracking of all non-employee personnel.
  • VNDLY: VNDLY represents its VMS platform as “modern, intuitive, and friendly.” It touts agile software with frequent new releases, built-in API integrations, and “effortless” migration from legacy platforms. This might be a good fit for a corporation that is concerned with keeping existing data while modernizing its platforms. VNDLY wants implementation and launch to be as easy as possible for its clients, and strives to provide an intuitive and configurable interface. In December of 2021, it was announced that Workday had officially acquired VNDLY in a move that will undoubtedly have impacts on the industry for years to come.
  • Coupa CCW: Coupa’s goal is to help companies spend less on services, and gain visibility and control during the process. Their VMS aims to provide advanced capabilities to help their corporate clients source and manage workers at scale. They provide onboarding services, processes to reduce compliance risk and improve performance and overall value within your contingent workforce. Among their VMS platforms most important capabilities are staff augmentation optimization, worker tracking acceleration, onboarding compliance automation, and reporting customization.
  • 3Story: 3Story supports an extended end-to-end workflow (from procurement through offboarding). The 3Story VMS allows you to track, automate, and process contingent labor with capabilities that can be catered to your organization. 3Story includes a reporting suit that, amongst other areas, allow you to track costs and performance.

Where the VMS Industry is Headed

As with all industries, we’re prepared to see the VMS space incorporate even more machine-learning capabilities and expansions into features incorporating artificial intelligence technology. Integrated solutions are on the rise, as are compatibility with clients’ HR and procurement departments. Additionally, there’s an increasing focus on the candidate/worker experience ensuring it is easy and intuitive to work with a company through their VMS platform.  One thing is for sure: for long term agility and scalability, the effectiveness of partnering with a contingent workforce management provider is here to stay.

Partnering with Monument Consulting

Founded in 2003, Monument Consulting is built on a commitment to our clients and our shared values. Through our genuine passion for delivery, relentless pursuit of perfection, and bold decision making, we are creating a more agile contingent workforce so businesses can dream bigger and achieve more. Our model is vendor neutral, and we partner with industry-leading VMS systems to bring our corporate clients the best outcomes. If you’re looking for a partner who’s ready to help, contact us.

Delta’s Non-Employee Workforce: Taking Off with Monument

Delta Air Lines’ Keith Browning, managing director, supply chain management, had his eye on the post-pandemic recovery when he decided to evaluate his extended workforce program.

His mission was to make Delta an industry-leading airline while identifying policy and process inefficiencies that might hinder its ability to grow as travel picks back up. Therefore, Browning sought an independent advisor that knew the ins and outs of managing non-employee programs. Enter Monument Consulting, which delivers contingent workforce solutions that can be customized and tailored to meet clients’ concerns.

Browning discusses Delta’s experience and what his program gained from the assessment.

What was the scope of Monument Consulting’s work with Delta?

In March 2021, we engaged Monument Consulting to assess our non-employee workforce — and the contingent workforce program overall — with a focus on stakeholder feedback, our policies and procedures, the effectiveness of the technology we are currently using, and the overall program for improvement opportunities.
We wanted to use Monument’s data to identify gaps in our current program to enable us to become what we consider best-in-class in the marketplace.

For example, we were looking to improve our timelines associated with our direct-hire processes. Monument provided us with benchmarking data to assist in our analysis of our direct-hire processes and associated timelines to understand if our methodologies were on par with the market. It took about six weeks.

It aligned with our goal to streamline the use and engagement of contingent labor and prepare ourselves for growth. Coming out of the pandemic, travel will pick back up and hopefully exceed where we were in the past. Conducting this assessment helped us understand our resource needs as demand for travel comes back and our operations grow.

Given the increase in travel that you expect, what are your plans around your contingent workforce program to meet this need? What’s going to be different?

Obviously, our goal is to make sure we have enough resources to meet the demand of our operations. We are focused on making it easier for our hiring managers to get the talent they need in a very challenging market.

One of the changes we plan to make will include updating the tenure policy so that we do not have to go out to market to replace a resource that already has experience at Delta and knows our culture.

Were Delta’s executive leaders aware and supportive of the project? Who sponsored it?

Yes, our executive leaders in our talent acquisition, supply chain management, IT and internal audit departments were aware of and fully supportive of this project.

The project was sponsored by our chief HR officer and chief people officer; it was championed by the supply chain management and HR/talent acquisition leaders.

What was the exec team thinking before assessment and after?

One of the issues related to the program was lack of visibility — I would say that our senior leaders had minimal, if any, visibility into the program and the day-to-day operations.

In my opinion, our executives view the program as very tactical, but our goal is to have a more strategic focus by developing a comprehensive approach for all resources — including employees and contractors. Monument’s recommendations of developing a communication plan and implementing a governance structure will help us achieve that.

What was unique about the service you received from Monument?

One of the things that stood out was their willingness to collaborate with our current MSP provider and identify opportunities for improvement. It was great to see both companies, who are competitors, work very closely together and be open and honest in their discussions, with minimal resistance offered when exchanging information.

I would say their openness and transparency separate them from not only companies in the industry, but companies that I work with overall. I was impressed by their willingness to truly dig deep and understand our needs, and their willingness to be an independent evaluator of our program. Rather than potentially selling us their business model, they truly were a consultant and a trusted advisor for us.

How did Delta benefit from the assessment conducted by Monument?

For starters, Monument conducted the assessment and delivered on the scope of work within the prescribed timeline — six weeks.

Monument provided a summary of items that needed to be addressed. Some of these issues we were already aware of, but Monument created a comprehensive list of items and recommendations. Now, it is up to us to prioritize and implement.

As mentioned previously, some of the recommendations included implementing a structured governance model by creating a committee of key stakeholders, end users and service provider partners. This will enable escalations of issues and program controls. It will also help us gain alignment on the strategic roadmap for the program.

They also recommended that we develop a concise and defined change management approach to ensure all stakeholders understand any changes to policies or processes.

What are Delta’s short and long-term plans for its CW program?

Short-term, our goals are to implement the governance structure and a communication plan. We also plan to implement some policy changes related to tenure to reflect the current environment and challenges associated with finding and keeping talent. We also plan to develop a process to keep policy and process documents updated and current.

Our long-term goal is to become a best-in-class contingent labor program that is part of the overall approach for human capital at Delta. We plan to look at our technology requirements and implement a VMS that will accommodate our future needs. We also plan to implement strategies to improve diversity for both candidates and suppliers within the program.

Monument Consulting: Re-Imaging the Non-Employee Workforce

At Monument Consulting, we understand the importance of managing your contingent workforce in the most optimized and efficient manner. Therefore, our team uses the industry’s leading vendor management systems to streamline our managed service provider programs. Additionally, we offer contingent and non-employee workforce management consulting services to share our expertise with your staff on how to operate your contingent workforce at maximum efficiency.

To learn how Monument Consulting can assist or advise your program, contact Maritza Morris, director of business development, at [email protected].

Delta’s Non-Employee Workforce: Taking Off with Monument

Delta Air Lines’ Keith Browning, managing director, supply chain management, had his eye on the post-pandemic recovery when he decided to evaluate his extended workforce program.

His mission was to make Delta an industry-leading airline while identifying policy and process inefficiencies that might hinder its ability to grow as travel picks back up. Therefore, Browning sought an independent advisor that knew the ins and outs of managing non-employee programs. Enter Monument Consulting, which delivers contingent workforce solutions that can be customized and tailored to meet clients’ concerns.

Browning discusses Delta’s experience and what his program gained from the assessment.

What was the scope of Monument Consulting’s work with Delta?

In March 2021, we engaged Monument Consulting to assess our non-employee workforce — and the contingent workforce program overall — with a focus on stakeholder feedback, our policies and procedures, the effectiveness of the technology we are currently using, and the overall program for improvement opportunities.
We wanted to use Monument’s data to identify gaps in our current program to enable us to become what we consider best-in-class in the marketplace.

For example, we were looking to improve our timelines associated with our direct-hire processes. Monument provided us with benchmarking data to assist in our analysis of our direct-hire processes and associated timelines to understand if our methodologies were on par with the market. It took about six weeks.

It aligned with our goal to streamline the use and engagement of contingent labor and prepare ourselves for growth. Coming out of the pandemic, travel will pick back up and hopefully exceed where we were in the past. Conducting this assessment helped us understand our resource needs as demand for travel comes back and our operations grow.

Given the increase in travel that you expect, what are your plans around your contingent workforce program to meet this need? What’s going to be different?

Obviously, our goal is to make sure we have enough resources to meet the demand of our operations. We are focused on making it easier for our hiring managers to get the talent they need in a very challenging market.

One of the changes we plan to make will include updating the tenure policy so that we do not have to go out to market to replace a resource that already has experience at Delta and knows our culture.

Were Delta’s executive leaders aware and supportive of the project? Who sponsored it?

Yes, our executive leaders in our talent acquisition, supply chain management, IT and internal audit departments were aware of and fully supportive of this project.

The project was sponsored by our chief HR officer and chief people officer; it was championed by the supply chain management and HR/talent acquisition leaders.

What was the exec team thinking before assessment and after?

One of the issues related to the program was lack of visibility — I would say that our senior leaders had minimal, if any, visibility into the program and the day-to-day operations.

In my opinion, our executives view the program as very tactical, but our goal is to have a more strategic focus by developing a comprehensive approach for all resources — including employees and contractors. Monument’s recommendations of developing a communication plan and implementing a governance structure will help us achieve that.

What was unique about the service you received from Monument?

One of the things that stood out was their willingness to collaborate with our current MSP provider and identify opportunities for improvement. It was great to see both companies, who are competitors, work very closely together and be open and honest in their discussions, with minimal resistance offered when exchanging information.

I would say their openness and transparency separate them from not only companies in the industry, but companies that I work with overall. I was impressed by their willingness to truly dig deep and understand our needs, and their willingness to be an independent evaluator of our program. Rather than potentially selling us their business model, they truly were a consultant and a trusted advisor for us.

How did Delta benefit from the assessment conducted by Monument?

For starters, Monument conducted the assessment and delivered on the scope of work within the prescribed timeline — six weeks.

Monument provided a summary of items that needed to be addressed. Some of these issues we were already aware of, but Monument created a comprehensive list of items and recommendations. Now, it is up to us to prioritize and implement.

As mentioned previously, some of the recommendations included implementing a structured governance model by creating a committee of key stakeholders, end users and service provider partners. This will enable escalations of issues and program controls. It will also help us gain alignment on the strategic roadmap for the program.

They also recommended that we develop a concise and defined change management approach to ensure all stakeholders understand any changes to policies or processes.

What are Delta’s short and long-term plans for its CW program?

Short-term, our goals are to implement the governance structure and a communication plan. We also plan to implement some policy changes related to tenure to reflect the current environment and challenges associated with finding and keeping talent. We also plan to develop a process to keep policy and process documents updated and current.

Our long-term goal is to become a best-in-class contingent labor program that is part of the overall approach for human capital at Delta. We plan to look at our technology requirements and implement a VMS that will accommodate our future needs. We also plan to implement strategies to improve diversity for both candidates and suppliers within the program.

Monument Consulting: Re-Imaging the Non-Employee Workforce

At Monument Consulting, we understand the importance of managing your contingent workforce in the most optimized and efficient manner. Therefore, our team uses the industry’s leading vendor management systems to streamline our managed service provider programs. Additionally, we offer contingent and non-employee workforce management consulting services to share our expertise with your staff on how to operate your contingent workforce at maximum efficiency.

To learn how Monument Consulting can assist or advise your program, contact Maritza Morris, director of business development, at [email protected].

Contingent Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

Building Contingent Workforce diversity and inclusion is imperative. We explore how to focus on strengthening your DE&I goals and strategies!

I live in the world of contract (temporary) labor, or what our fancy industry has deemed “contingent labor.”  One topic that continues to resonate and is at top of mind (and should always be), is that of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). This is a critical topic if businesses and humanity want to succeed and is one that is near and dear to my heart. Over the years, I have concluded there are several ways to address this challenge within a contract labor program, and I am here to lay out a few of those options and present some of my thoughts on how we should be approaching this problem and address it moving forward. Below, I express my take on building diversity and inclusion in your contingent workforce.

A caveat for this piece, I am by no means an expert, just an inquisitive business leader who likes to ask questions and provoke thought.

Diversity and Inclusion: Addressing the Issue at Hand

First and foremost, for years companies have addressed this problem by working with diversity certified staffing firms (e.g. minority or woman -sometimes Veteran- owned businesses or MBE/WBE). Others chose to partner with a diversity certified MSP who manages all contingent labor spend for the end client.  This results in 100% of a company’s spend qualifying as diverse (but not always if you choose to “follow the dollar” and see where the economic benefit ultimately lands).

Both strategies are admirable and I believe the right intentions exist (as they do support Diverse businesses); however, is there a more effective way to make progress and really “move the needle,” invoke change, and ensure a truly diverse and inclusive talent pool?  Isn’t that what we are truly after?

Isn’t our goal to Change the World, not Check a Box? 

 

A New Approach to DE&I

My view is a bit different, instead of focusing on the spend flowing through your overall contract labor program (which is the strategy mentioned above), why not focus our time and effort on the makeup of the contractor population itself.  The actual diversity (or lack thereof) of the workers in your contingent labor program.

How do we make sure that population more closely resembles and reflects the demographics of your primary business locations, or that of our population in general? Now this can be considered a “risky” proposition by some and there are legal considerations to be aware of, so understanding what policies/strategies can be deployed from your legal teams and MSP partners will be of utmost importance.

So, what options do we have?

  • Do we create SLA’s specific to the diversity of the talent population that the suppliers must hit?
  • Do we set a “submission goal” based upon a certain percentage of diverse candidates being presented for each role?
  • What if a subset of your organization, say an engineering team already has a significantly diverse population of workers, should the goal for that subset be to identify non-diverse candidates?

Keep in mind, many of the thoughts above require candidate visibility and an “opt in” policy.  During an application process candidates cannot be forced to disclose, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. AND if information is collected, it must not be used during the selection process (nor be available to those involved in the selection process), but rather used for reporting after the candidate(s) are selected.

While the reporting is after selection, the data can be very useful to “tweak” the recruitment and marketing strategies to alter the talent pool and achieve a more diverse population.  Additionally, it is important to train those involved in the selection process to recognize bias and microaggressions that can make individuals feel not included (or even sometimes wanted) in an organization.

 

Your Contract Worker Population and The Need for Evaluation

One thing is for certain and should be implemented, and that is to consistently evaluate the current composition of your contract worker population. A current state view of the demographics within your contract worker population is an absolute must to establish a baseline and seek to improve where weaknesses are identified and ensure your workforce is reflective of the entirety of the population from where it’s garnered.  This may even be an opportunity for staffing companies working within formalized contingent workforce programs to utilize metrics, such as the 2020 US census as benchmarks for diversity within their own regions/communities.

At many organizations, direct employees (FTEs) get their first opportunity at employment via a temporary position. If we are highlighting and focusing on diversity in our contract labor programs and making sure it is important to us, we can then realize progress and impact the diversity of the direct worker population at a particular company.  If (and when) these contract workers are converted as direct workers, the focus then turns to the client’s DE&I goals and strategies, such as retention, promotions into leadership roles, DE&I scorecards, and nonobvious measures that can be leading indicators of DE&I success at a corporation.

 

Benefits of Monument Consulting’s DE&I Council

Beyond being the right thing to do, what can a business expect as a result of this focus? What’s the return? We all intellectually understand that strong diversity of thought within an organization is a key component to sustainable success as a business. One of the first places to look for that diversity of thought remains the composition of your workforce, including the contractor population.

Some of the benefits the Monument DE&I council has highlighted are as follows:

  • Diverse ways of thinking/different perspectives to bring to the table.
  • Diverse experiences that bring additional insights.
  • Employee/contractor satisfaction (having people around you that you can relate to in some way).
  • A greater pool of qualified candidates (if you are selecting from only one demographic, you could be missing out on the perfect fit for your company).
  • Positive company culture: when people have good experiences with a company (or bad) they share them with their personal and professional networks. This can be made up of old colleagues, friends, family, students at universities. The better their word of mouth, the better reflection on that company (or client) within their network.

 

Starting with An Internal Reflection

So, I return to the title of this article and ask, are we checking a box, or changing the world? Although I have zero qualms with clients employing the strategy of driving all spend through a diversity MSP, or diversity certified staffing supplier (as this can be a part of a broader DE&I strategy), I am not convinced this approach accomplishes our goals by leading to a more diverse, inclusive and equitable worker population.

Instead, I will continue to advocate by focusing on the individual contract workers and their composition as the primary motivation and the way to truly impact individuals and make the world a better place to live, work and thrive.

 

Managing Your Inclusive and Diverse Workforce with Monument

At Monument Consulting, we understand the importance of managing your contingent workforce in the most optimized and efficient manner, all while conforming to the DE&I standards. Therefore, our team uses vendor management systems to streamline our managed service provider services.

Additionally, we offer contingent workforce management consulting services to share our expertise with your staff on how to operate your contingent workforce at maximum efficiency. Our team at Monument will train your team how to operate with a VMS and help with your configuration evaluation, system integrations, and system enhancements to tailor the program to your industry and on-demand talent needs.

Are you looking to connect with Monument Consulting? Contact us today to ask about our contingent workforce consulting or managed service provider (MSP) services!

 

Author: Ryan Baker

Contributions by the Monument DE&I Council