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In Contingent Workforce Management, Vendor Neutrality is NOT Passé

January 25, 2013

When it comes to contingent workforce management, is the issue of vendor neutrality a non-issue?  Some industry analysts seem to think so.  Companies are told that if all suppliers simultaneously receive job requirements, the problem is solved!  Not so fast.  This approach reflects a limited, short sighted view of the benefits clients are seeking when requesting a vendor neutral solution.

In a best in class Contingent Workforce Management program, you should have access to the best suppliers, all working at the top of their game to provide you with the best clients.  You should expect that every supplier will rigorously screen, properly onboard, and manage contract workers to ensure that you receive a strong contribution from every contract worker over the entire life of their assignment.

Simultaneous distribution of job requirements is only one reason for choosing a vendor neutral approach.

You need to seek out and include smaller suppliers who are masterful at finding great candidates, but may lack the resources to carefully screen candidates or stay on top of regulatory changes or market trends.  Your Managed Services Provider (MSP) should serve as a coach and mentor to these suppliers. The MSP’s only concern should be to make every supplier successful.  If the MSP is a “separate, autonomous group within a staffing company”, you must determine exactly how autonomous the group truly is.  The answers to a few critical questions may help:

  • Does your MSP believe that they will add value by rationalizing your supplier list and eliminating the weaker performers, or is the MSP committed to increasing the performance of all incumbent suppliers?
  • Have you experienced increased pressure from your MSP over time to add their staffing divisions to your supplier list, or to make their staffing divisions Tier 1 suppliers?
  • Is the MSP/VMS division of the staffing company core to the company’s overall business?  What percentage of the company’s revenue and profit are generated by the MSP/VMS?  If it is small, then consider the motivation for being in that business.

If your program is truly vendor neutral, you will experience significant improvements in supplier commitment and performance.  We encourage you to take steps to re-evaluate the neutrality of your program.


Disclaimer:
The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.

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