Organizations today understand that a strong supply chain for procuring temporary workers allows them to focus on core business goals, confident that they will have the needed resources to get the job done. So, it comes as a surprise to find that a recent survey by Staffing Industry Analysts indicates that 85% of buyers prefer to experiment with new suppliers.. This news is definitely not designed to please the old suppliers! But then, it is all about healthy competition, and instead of complaining or crying foul, let the suppliers step back and take a good look at what they are offering the buyers, and why a buyer would want to shop elsewhere.
Buyers have always wanted quality service offerings at the lowest possible prices. The question is, what is meant by “quality service offerings”? When it comes to using temporary labor, the answer to that question lies in a deeper understanding of who the buyer is.
In most companies, the task of building an effective supply chain for temp labor is a team effort. The process is frequently driven by a Purchasing agent who primarily is measured on minimizing cost. That’s a bit of an overstatement as they do worry about other issues but not really far off. Human Resources has a seat at the table, as internal hiring managers look to HR to provide the personnel needed for key projects and initiatives. Finance and Legal have a voice, as the company’s legal and financial interests must be protected. If a company has outsourced responsibility for contingent workforce management to a Managed Services Provider (MSP), the MSP may in fact be the one selecting suppliers, negotiating terms and assessing supplier performance.
Since each representative of the team has differing priorities and a different notion of operational efficiency and effectiveness, the definition of “quality service offering” must evolve.
No one can be perfect, and staffing firms and their buyers are definitely no exception to this rule. When suppliers misrepresent their own capabilities or buyers fail to adequately articulate their requirements and their performance objectives, or when both fail to establish an effective communication process or conflict resolution mechanism to build a harmonious and balanced working relationship; the relationship will break down half-way instead of growing from strength to strength.
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