Manage Crowdsourcing using VMS | DCR Workforce Blog

Manage Crowdsourcing using VMS

We discussed in our last post about how crowdsourcing provides access to an on-demand, highly scalable workforce online comprised of a large groups of people willing to take up and execute micro-tasks. Many of these workers are amateurs or volunteers who look upon the work as a second job with convenient hours. With due apologies to those of you who are employers, we quote the results of a recent survey by CrowdControl which found that 21% of them execute these additional tasks during regular office hours while others take them up only at home. Extracting quality work from such a group, while paying them on a fixed or per hour basis, depending on the output, is a challenge which requires the support of a suitable software solution.

Crowdsourcing saves costs when compared to traditional employment models as well as contingent labor staffing, while reducing the time to deliver. It also helps to save costs on employee benefits, training and supervision while taking away the cost of physical infrastructure, facilities and support from the equation. It optimizes on the utilization of the workforce by utilizing it on demand.

While some count open source contributions to sites like Wikipedia as crowdsourcing, we are looking at it here only as a business model where payment is involved. The use of on-demand workers is a logical progression from using contingent labor and independent contractors; which is enabled by adaptive Vendor Management Systems which provide highly reliable contract life cycle management solutions.

Most people wrongly assume that crowdsourcing allows no control over the quality of delivery from the workers. In choosing a team for a crowdsourcing project on payment basis, employers require their own systems to evaluate the workers, verify their qualifications, past experience, work samples and quality expected along with the expected time of delivery. Engaging, recruiting, motivating and rewarding the workers is a challenge which needs to be carefully handled, and would require an excessive amount of managerial involvement without the able support of a VMS solution.

A good VMS solution incorporates a high level scalability in the number of contracts, users and contract activity. Such a VMS solution offers the required scope to handle the large numbers of contracts that crowdsourcing involves. Without a VMS, any big user of contingent labor (through crowdsourcing or otherwise) could end up with manual, labor intensive processes which cannot be easily integrated with the procurement system. By moving all their procurement into the same VMS system, organizations find themselves controlling spend effectively.

A reliable VMS offers the following capabilities which enable it to comfortably handle crowdsourcing activities involving a high number of participants:

  • Service Level Management: Services Procurement, Control on Service Levels, Amendment processing/control, Milestone alerts, Escalation flow management, Profiling and rewarding, Contract renewals, Contract Portfolio
  • Project management: Monitors the overall project management as well as accountability; Manages Billing and Payments.
  • Quality Control & Due Diligence: Monitors the recruiting process, project deliverables and timely execution.
  • Software: A VMS enables web-based secure access to the system, offering seamless integration of data from business applications, monitoring tools, databases and data warehouses with ERP/legacy systems. The modular architecture facilitates ongoing configuration, scalability and accommodates growth in a reliable manner.
  • Protection of Intellectual Property Rights: oversight and protection of intellectual property
  • Ensures Compliance & Mitigates Risk: Meets stringent county, state and federal regulations stipulating in-built compliance mechanisms.
  • Security: Offers security at each access layer and controls it using a rights-based architecture.
  • Reports: Enables the generation of customizable or canned reports which provide insights into the operations and provide strategic advantage.

Only robust vendor management systems can claim to have invested in applicant tracking and performance management solutions for project-based services as well as temporary labor. Such solutions measure up to the challenge of providing enterprise crowdsourcing services and leverage talent from a pre-qualified field of public crowd members to provide their clients with project-based services on an ongoing basis.

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.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.