Many times, we go through life looking at things without seeing them! We rarely wonder about things like what goes into getting uninterrupted power supply (unless there is a blackout), water supply, clean roads and flights on time! The amount of hard work, co-ordination, commitment and operational processes that underlie the carton of milk we purchase are stuff we barely recognize, if at all.
It occurred to me that the interface between a supplier and the client in a contingent workforce management program often only focuses on the responsiveness to requisitions or quality of hires. But the relationship between the two extends far beyond these considerations. When companies use the services of third parties to procure temporary talent, they do so with the expectation (or at least the desire) that the service does not come with added administrative burden. Who tracks invoicing, issue resolution, user support, or supplier credentials? If you happen to do so, do you tie performance to service level agreements and establish metrics which track these non-conventional items on a regular basis? Or, do you conduct a post-facto audit, which occurs a long time after all the damage is done?
In the normal course of events, a supplier receives an order, fills the order, invoices the client and gets paid. But there could be many a slip between the cup and the lip, leading to a disorganized management of affairs, as when:
What causes these situations?
As a wag said, change is the only permanent thing, and it makes sense to change the supplier metrics you track. Your metrics must drive your business imperatives, providing you with insight into areas requiring attention and improvement. Let us discuss some best practices in managing Accounts Payable for contingent workers in our next post. Meanwhile, do write in with details of metrics tracked by you.
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