“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on –shame on you. Fool me…you can’t get fooled again.” This absurdity, attributed to President George Bush, never fails to get a laugh. But imagine if a functional manager were to fumble for words or information in the Boardroom or at an inquiry failing to present data backed up by reports, analyses and quantified conclusions. It becomes the stuff of nightmares, a dreadful situation because no one wants the joke to be on them, not that it would elicit any laughs just then!
The support provided by a VMS helps one to avoid such a predicament as the VMS is a transactional system and a centralized resource for the organization as a whole, providing reports on transactions. This system helps you to achieve a fusion of your organizational processes – and provide comprehensive reporting upon your initiatives, plans, risks and performance as well as controls and forecasts. A few advanced VMS can even provide you with the option to build a data warehouse where snapshots of data can be created, migrated and archived to enable the generation of consistent reports. These reports enable true analytics and make it possible to draw comparisons, benchmark processes and forecast future requirements.
A VMS can record each and every transaction related to contingent workforce starting from requirement creation till contingent workforce selection. It then moves on to handling the on-boarding, tracks transactions through the assignment and maintains a record of all related data including reviews, time tracking, spend, issues, tenure and extensions even up to termination. It can be customized to provide standardized reports, by choosing from a comprehensive list of fields, to generate different reports to suit the customers’ requirements. The spectrum of customized choices, across parameters, extends all the way down to choosing even the graphics and styles. Now it is possible not only to know your total spend on a particular head, or by the company as a whole or department –wise, or just against one particular type of purchase.
Access to such data helps managers to compare, analyze and review the performance and evaluate them, and isolate best practices. More importantly, it can be used to track the performance and report upon the metrics of the compliance with the various regulatory requirements for risk mitigation and analysis. To illustrate, it could help managers to not just plan a diversity program but implement it and also measure it such that at any given point in time, the Organization is aware of where it stands on the metric, across locations, business units, product lines and as an entity. With reports coming in, that the year 2010 marked the highest number of Equal Employment Opportunity claims in the last 45 years, that alone provides one with a solid advantage. It is up to the organization to set best practices in place to capture the value of these reports and isolate the performance drivers in a timely manner to make it relevant and useful to create an impact on the bottom line.
The valuable data mining functionality offered by a VMS along with the data analytics and business intelligence tools can be utilized effectively to provide visibility into the spend on the type of labor, data on federal, state and regulatory compliance in leveraging independent contractors and consultants, and a clear idea about possible relationship violations and instances of non-compliance. Care must be taken to ensure that it is not enough to create a large number of check lists to be ticked off to ensure compliance, but relate the enormity of risk to the type of concentration that is bestowed upon it. This could help you meet the definite need to implement fair and legal HR practices across the organization and the need to be able to showcase this fairness and deflect discrimination claims, face queries/audits from federal authorities.
With the VMS in place, ad-hoc as well as on-demand reporting and invoicing/payment of contingent labor, documentation and creating dashboards for the management becomes reliable, automated with the added advantage of having an accessible data and activity warehouse.
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