GUEST BLOG – The Role of Vendor Management System Technology in the Future of Work, Part II: Enabling Innovation and Agility | DCR Workforce Blog

GUEST BLOG – The Role of Vendor Management System Technology in the Future of Work, Part II: Enabling Innovation and Agility

Seventy-one percent (71%) of businesses today cite “the desire to be agile” as their top challenge in 2018, a far cry from the days when “cost savings” or “improve cost reductions” reigned as the top issue in contingent workforce management. We’ve come a long way since CWM programs were laser-focused on savings, and today, the arena of business agility has become the de-facto goal of the average enterprise.

Business agility translates into the ability to react dynamically to real-time business challenges. Talent, of course, is a key measure of that ability. In the Future of Work Compendium, I write about the “perfect storm” scenarios that helped shape this new world of work (click here for a breakdown on how the world of work has changed), including the rise of non-employee talent and the continued evolution of technology, both which are actively causing organizations to rethink how work is addressed.

One question I’m often asked is, “How can I make the most out of my Vendor Management System?” The answer has changed a bit over the years, however, what I would say only a few years ago still rings true today: VMS should be seen as a source of innovation and agility. Why?

  • Analytics have evolved to the point of having true machine learning augment the depth of data and information. Better insights equal better intelligence, and, knowing how to react to a new business challenge can mean the world when making a real-time decision that requires a talent-based resource.
  • Artificial intelligence may be experiencing low adoption today (less than 13% of businesses today are actively leveraging some form of AI), but an additional 49% of companies expect to be leveraging this technology within the next two years…opening the door to a new world of automation.
  • SOW management may not be in the purview of business leaders who are focused on innovation, however, this sizable bucket of CWM spend (often, for many, the largest chunk of non-employee spend across the organization) has a great impact on how agile a company can truly be: projects that are performed on-time, on-budget, and within scope ensure that leaders hold the utmost visibility (real-time) into total workforce-related spend, and also helps them know exactly how mission-critical projects are being addressed.
  • VMS should not be considered a point solution any longer. The size, impact, and depth of today’s VMS platforms eschew the legacy perspectives of old: VMS users today have the ability to harness innovative functionality (from machine learning to AI and mobility), leverage the platform to gain real-time intelligence, and, most importantly, transform the power of VMS into on-demand decision-making, and, in turn, supporting that greater goal of true business agility.


Christopher J. Dwyer
Vice President, Research
Ardent Partners

NOTE FROM DCR: At DCR, we must take exception to Chris’ title for this blog series.  We are not talking about the Future of Work, Chris is describing capabilities that are being used by our clients today.  DCR’s clients around the world are optimizing the use of non-employees through Smart Track’s advanced features.  Artificial intelligence is helping them to choose the best type of non-employee for each assignment and evaluate talent through cognitive analysis and machine learning.  They work anywhere at any time by performing all VMS operations via their smartphones. Reports and dashboards enable them to evaluate every aspect of performance, benchmarking against industry norms and prior results.  Work processes specific to agency contractors, project services and freelancers are all performed on a single platform, enabling holistic management of all non-employees.  And, complete integration with other enterprise systems streamlines operations and delivers the real-time intelligence needed for strategic direction-setting.  Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

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.
Christopher J. Dwyer is a Research Director at Ardent Partners, a Boston-based supply management research and advisory firm. He is considered a thought leader in the contingent workforce management industry with recognition from HRO Today as an “Analyst and Advisor Superstar” in 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as from Supply and Demand Chain Executive Magazine (named as a “Pro to Know” in 2013). He is a premier thought leader in this industry, authoring hundreds of research studies and evangelizing the evolution of the non-employee workforce, its technology platforms, and the concept of the “future of work.” He welcomes your comments at, on LinkedIn or Twitter (@CJD_Ardent). Visit to read more of his research.