Insights

Planning for a Successful VMS Implementation

Vendor management systems (VMS) allow you to collect and store contingent worker transaction data for analyzation to refine a program, forecast future needs, and ensure items such as:

Rate compliance

Legal/regulatory compliance

Service levels are met

Requisition approval/distribution and candidate selection are simplified

Visibility into spend patterns

Together, all result in an optimized contingent workforce. Additionally, a VMS can be used by Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who optimize and manage suppliers of a tailored talent pool on behalf of a client on an outsourced basis providing transactional processing as well as insights into more strategic initiatives (i.e. best practices, legal/regulatory and market trends and new/creative sources for talent). Is your company planning for a VMS implementation? Below, we explore three tips to help streamline the implementation process and ensure a successful project.

#1. Prioritize VMS Implementation Project Scoping

When planning for a successful VMS implementation, our first tip is to conduct a complete and thorough project scope. Without a clear goal and focus, your implementation can easily run off course, wasting valuable time (and money) among your project team, as well as losing credibility with the executive team, project charter sponsors and other internal constituents. Therefore, draft a comprehensive and mutually agreed upon project scope with feedback from the extended constituents that clarifies what the team should implement, why, and how. Furthermore, elaborate on goals, business reasons, expected benefits of the implementation, and the overall implementation timeline, all of which impacts the Return on Investment (ROI) and determining the success of an implementation.

Additionally, it is imperative that the project lead or manager assists by managing any stakeholder expectations. This can be accomplished by identifying key goals and requirements the project team will execute and allowing time for any unexpected issues that may impact the overall budget, timeline, or resource allotment. As a result, the project lead or manager can effectively monitor and track VMS implementation activities to properly meet the documented standard.

Throughout the project, regular checkpoints to update the various stakeholders on progress, achievements, and roadblocks are an important component that ensures a continued investment and interest in the implementation. Also, as part of the project scope, it is equally important to define what the change request process looks like to avoid “scope creep.”

#2. Appoint a Project Sponsor

With any implementation project, especially when integrating a VMS system, one of the most valuable yet overlooked roles is project sponsorship. A project sponsor is critical in remedying any issues if the project lead or manager detects that the implementation process is delaying. Without appointing a project sponsor, the project team can lose valuable time, or even reach an impasse, when trying to maneuver any “corporate politics” with project stakeholders in making strategic and timely decisions.

The role of a project sponsor is to dedicate their time to acquire the support from both corporate stakeholders and executives to guarantee the project expectations are being met across all platforms. In the event an issue arises that challenges the project scope regarding allocated resources, budget, and the project’s overall timeline, the project sponsor works to remove any obstacles. As a result, a project sponsor can help create a streamlined process when planning for a successful VMS implementation.

It is important to note that you must get the proper level of Project Sponsor within the company’s hierarchy. Ideally, the individual should be at a high enough level of the organization to impact change and decisions, but also be close enough to have a vested interest in the project’s success.

Additionally, they should also have the proper level of tolerance/appetite for changes and should be a key internal change management agent (not that they will ultimately “own” change management, but rather be a vocal advocate for it to help progress the project.) It’s particularly helpful to have a sponsor who’s adept at and/or possesses key relationships/partnerships throughout the organization as a VMS implementation touches many areas of a company (i.e. HR, Finance, Operations, Legal, IT, Procurement, amongst others.)

#3. Hold an Internal Meeting with the VMS Implementation Team

With your project scope completed and project sponsor appointed, the final tip is to hold an internal meeting with your VMS provider.

While sharing the vision of the project, the goal of the meeting is to:

  • Introduce the internal team to the implementation team
  • Promote collaboration among subject matter experts and assign the responsibilities for each project team member
  • Answer any questions or concerns regarding roles, responsibilities, and the projected time commitment
  • Establish specific expectations and clarify any misunderstandings that can affect project deliverables
  • Reinforce the project scope, timeline and goals
  • Communicate any key milestones and any “gate” criteria and go/no-go dates

Furthermore, this meeting is a great opportunity for your team to ask the following:

  • Are the subject matter experts qualified?
  • Are they aware of the project and its benefits? Are they vested in it?
  • Do they require any additional communication or education concerning the program?
  • Are there other internal competing projects that project team members are assigned to?

At the close of this meeting, your team can confidently begin a successful implementation and introduce a VMS to your enterprise. Although there is always a risk of an unexpected issue to arise, having a project scope, project sponsor, and a project team all working with the same objective will help you overcome any emerging challenges.

 

Choose Monument: A Highly Rated MSP with VMS Implementation Expertise

Have you completed the three tips above and still feel uncertain about your VMS implementation strategy and training? Consider partnering with our team of managed service providers (MSPs) at Monument Consulting to guide you and help implement it on your behalf with the intention of handing it over for you to manage internally.

At Monument Consulting, we understand the importance of managing your contingent workforce in the most optimized and efficient manner. 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.

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