Editor’s Note: This is the third of a six-part series dedicated to the Sourcing Industry Group’s report, “Innovations in Vendor Management Systems Technology 2016” which is sponsored in part by DCR. References in italics are taken directly from the SIG report along with the corresponding page number.
Managing suppliers, talent, rates and spend is a monumental undertaking when dealing with the fluid nature of the contingent workforce. The use of an innovative Vendor Management System (VMS) streamlines that process, and a system with next-level machine learning will propel you in front of your competition.
Here’s what you need to know about how Smart Track VMS technology handles supplier and talent management as well as rate and spend management.
Supplier and talent management
Suppliers, or vendors, are managed and measured in Smart Track to provide clients with a transparent system. Vendors are identified, vetted and scored in a vendor portal. All vetting criteria is easily configurable to client-specific needs to provide the utmost in risk management. Vetting is conducted using their Supplier Risk Management module which offers a comprehensive toolkit for measuring vendor fit within the client program (p. 50).
Once vendors are selected, the transactional functions are easily used through the Smart Track interface. Vendors are able to manage orders, submit candidates, process interviews, schedule meetings and perform all other transactional details right within Smart Track.
DCR dashboards are role-specific with content access determined by role and customizable default templates included for hiring managers, suppliers, Human Resources, Finance, Procurement, IT Help Desk, Cost Accounting, etc. This gives complete control to the user so they can drill down on alerts, actions and data that is important to them (pp. 14-15).
DCR considers vendors a key asset to their service delivery and is building a strong vendor network which aligns to Smart Track and to client delivery. High-performing vendors are introduced to client programs via a consistent, measured vendor optimization (p. 50).
Since DCR is always all about the data and improving performance with metrics, vendors can receive an online scorecard which includes a summary of all activities, billing and invoice payments and other analytics. This way clients and vendors can see at-a-glance what actions need immediate response.
Similarly, DCR provides a powerful system to quickly, easily and effortlessly identify direct candidates through Smart Track xCHANGE, a total ecosystem that allows for collaboration, opportunity sharing and reviews. Identifying the candidate and the proper classification isn’t unique, yet the ability to configure, then measure the process is a core strength to DCR (p. 50).
Candidates can upload their profiles right from LinkedIn, while clients are able to customize processes to find preferred workers not coming into their company through the traditional contingent workforce means such as utilizing niche suppliers. It brings together the best features of private talent pools, social networks, and online labor marketplaces in a single site. Independent consultants, freelancers, former employees, retirees, and interns can register and maintain personalized profiles indicating qualifications, credentials, desired positions, expected compensation, recommendations, and availability (p. 17).
Using xCHANGE allows companies that next-level talent management so they can promptly take advantage of the gig economy and their online presence. The collaboration it allows for all stakeholder groups lends itself to open communications and user engagement.
Smart Track also has a candidate selection module called Match Index Intelligence baked in, so it can show clients who the best candidates are based on several factors using machine learning. This sophisticated algorithm learns more as the clients feed it more and more data. As it learns client selection, the more precise the recommendations it’s able to present. The user interface also delivers optional job title information based on keyword and probability of candidate match. The user sees a complex diagram of “like” skills and cross-match job titles so managers can drill into the labor market information for options, forecasts, and cross-matching skills (p. 53).
Rate and spend management
Talent is the biggest differentiator across the board, yet managers need to assess rates, location-based market data for compensation and tie it to their proposed spend. Smart Track stands out in the crowd with its integrated rate management and market detail feature that delivers market data comparisons from Metropolitan Statistical Area. Managers can view rates in a graphical format. The information is based on keyword search, web spiders and Natural Language Processing (NLP).
DCR does not aggregate client information based on confidentiality. They do provide significant data to their clients by sampling a larger population of information via the system learning and NLP. This approach assures managers are receiving up-to-date pay information relative to current market conditions for specific skills (p. 53).
In any situation, spend management is important, and in Statement of Work (SOW) projects it’s critical because scope creep is a known villain. Smart Track provides configurable spend management via menus to match the needs of the user or employee engagement classification. The system can calculate budget based on requisitions or team analysis, manage cost-center data, suppliers and current spend status (p. 53).
Billing is streamlined and significantly automated for pre-billing, accruals, milestones and other common billing triggers. Pay weeks, pay week-ending days, daily rates or bi-weekly and bi-monthly schedules are all accommodated. Smart Track manages these with ease and can be fully automated via integrations with client AP/AR systems. This is particularly useful within the freelance, SOW and non-work related procurement categories (p. 53).
Additionally, Smart Track embeds a suite of alerts which can be configured and delivered via batch alerts in order to enhance the user experience. In addition, Smart Track syncs with all major calendars, texts, and email services in order to eliminate duplicate messages and actions (p. 37).
As with most features in Smart Track, alerts are highly configurable. Alerts can be issued based on budget, time and progress as configured and delivers proactive alerts based on learning and manager preferences (p. 53).
Smart Track VMS technology works proactively on behalf of clients to assure the best supplier and talent plus rate and spend management through meaningful analytics and actionable data presented on an easy-to-use graphical dashboard.
To read part one of this series, click here.
To read part two of this series, click here.
To read part four of this series, click here.
To read part five of this series, click here.
To read part six of this series, click here.
Or you can also get the full “Innovations in Vendor Management Systems Technology 2016” report here.
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