So you did your due diligence and evaluated several Vendor Management System (VMS) providers, went through the demos narrowed it down to your top pick among Vendor Management Systems and invested in the technology that will help you manage your contingent labor, suppliers and give you data metrics you only dreamt was possible. Now it’s time to take the big dive into implementation!
Like anything important, it will take plenty of planning, great communication and an enthusiastic champion to create user buy-in. While DCR does the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to implementation, so it’s not labor intensive for stakeholders or our customers, we do require detailed communication up front so we can configure the system that’s perfect for your needs.
There are basically five phases of implementation: Planning, Discovering, Testing, Training, Tweaking. Let’s take a look at the best practices for each one of these.
The very first thing you’ll want to do is establish a core team to identify team goals for the program. You’ll identify suppliers and stakeholders as well as IT resources (for integration requirements). Stakeholders will come from various departments and have specific requirements to meet. This is also the point where you’ll select a champion from your team. This person will be the driving force for getting end users’ buy-in! Do NOT neglect this step thinking it’s no big deal. It is! So choose this person carefully.
Next comes the discovery process. This phase takes up the bulk of the process as we take a deeper dive into your requirements and are discovering exact configurations expectations. It’s where DCR works to understand how to set up the program, which takes a lot of back-and-forth communication. DCR will create a plan that includes mapping out financial approvals and invoice requirements, functional approvals and software integration. There are also document program policies and compliance requirements to consider. Once we understand the scope of work, we’ll establish a timeline and start to configure the system.
The fundamental goal of a Vendor Management System is to hire outstanding people. While your company will have various stakeholders, each with their own specific interests, the goal to hire the best people should supersede every other objective. At this stage, your champion will help drive communication because communication is of utmost importance for successful implementation. Of course, DCR will work in conjunction with you to set up regular milestone checkpoints to leverage your expertise on any needs that may not have been stated previously.
During testing, we’ll keep everyone in the loop regarding the testing progress and note any issues that may arise. This is the fine-tuning stage. Again, we’ll work closely with your champion to keep your managers’ and suppliers’ spirits high. We’ll set up some show-and-tell sessions, get your feedback and incorporate them into the system.
Depending on the scope of the implementation, you’ll receive customized training documentation along with on-site and web-based training. Our training is extensive and comprehensive. We know what it’s like to have to deal with a new system, so we make it easy to understand. Right from the start, Smart Track is intuitive – you don’t have to decipher hidden meanings. Just dive right in. The more information you provide, the better it will work for you! Again, you’ll want to have your champion working his or her magic. For the socialization of the program amongst end users to be rampantly successful, you will need an abundance of communication prior to the go-live date. This is where DCR excels. We know that training and change management can be tricky to navigate without the proper communication, so we take it upon ourselves to deliver micro-messaging that helps set expectations.
Post go-live, you may discover that you need a few tweaks to get things humming along – like a well-trained swimmer working with a coach, it will take a little bit of tweaking to get everything working in perfect harmony. We can’t stress enough that communication is key. Because every implementation is different, we may not know exactly what you and your team require unless you ask for it. Don’t be shy! Or if you are, talk to your champion and have him or her relay the information. After all, that’s what the implementation team is here for! And don’t think we’re going to abandon you after implementation. At DCR, it’s our mission to ensure that you’re satisfied long after the system is up and running.
Like a diver with perfect form, it takes practice, timing and great coaching to excel. We’re here to make sure that the implementation process flows smoothly, and we need your input to make it first-rate.
If you have other questions about the Smart Track implementation process, ask us in the comments!
Nice post. The implementation of VMS system with the best practices can give more efficient results and make organizational processes more streamlined. You have shared some great information here.
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