User-driven Business Intelligence Begins with Smart Track – Be Data Informed | DCR Workforce Blog

User-driven Business Intelligence Begins with Smart Track – Be Data Informed

Do you collect a lot of data and look at a lot of dashboards, wondering what insights they provide and what decisions can be based off of all of that information? Do you understand the underlying data mining models and data requirements? Do you believe that data gives you a competitive advantage and, if so, do you have a strategy for the monetization of data assets? You’re definitely not alone! Today’s world is about data: generating it, collecting it, analyzing it and squeezing all of the dollars you can from it.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that contingent labor, including contingent workers, freelancers, 1099 consultants and statement of work (SOW) workers, will grow 20% by the year 2020. The industry asks itself: How can you engage and manage contingent labor without quantitative data analytics and business intelligence?

For several years now, strategic analytics and data mining have been recognized to be important in HR operations and as a consequence, in HR technologies because business decisions must be based on quantitative data, not qualitative or subjective feelings. Big data helps drive process efficiency, increase speed to market and provide greater visibility into workforce sourcing and management.

Using big data to manage your contingent workers

When using contingent workers, one of the major benefits in adopting a Vendor Management System (VMS) is clearly recognized as the automation of processes it brings as well as the reporting and analytics driven off the processes to help guide your business intelligence and data mining efforts.

So what does DCR’s Smart Track offer its customers by way of reports that are embedded into the program and ready to use?

With Smart Track, you have dozens of analytics reports and hundreds of canned reports plus Ad-Hoc Reporting, an OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) tool which helps you easily drill down into the data of your choosing, at will.

Using strategic analytics to improve your program

There are so many ways to slice and dice the data to gain deep insight into your contingent workforce program. Here are a few ways some of our current customers use it:

  • Optimize program spend as they gain increased transparency into the actual contingent labor spend and utilization.
  • Provide actionable performance feedback based on quantitative data which tracks candidate quality, quantity, and many other metrics pertaining to the supplier performance such as participation, responsiveness and cost of service. Some of the actionable items include supplier base prioritization through management of distribution tiers and supplier rationalization.
  • Hard Cost Savings on new engagements using predictive market rate analysis which allows for a well-informed procurement.
  • Increase the efficiency of the contingent labor program, processes and systems to save on the administrative costs of having additional staff to oversee and handle invoice, payments and disputes.
  • Risk analysis on active requisitions, contractors or suppliers to ensure compliance with SLAs and achieve program’s goals.
  • Predict seasonal staffing requirements to align suppliers so they’re proactive, requesting contingent workers well in advance thus avoiding higher bill rates at crunch time. This can contribute significantly to overall cost reduction and on time project completion.
  • Gather quantifiable data that enables informed decisions and improves alignment with an employers’ strategic vision and goals. This ultimately drive cost and cycle time reduction, higher efficiency and enhanced business decisions overall.

Balancing the needs of a blended workforce

The benefits of using a blended workforce, consisting of temporary employees, independent contractors and consultants alongside your permanent employees can be realized only when your contingent worker management program is carefully planned and all its elements are effectively executed.

Advantages from a blended workforce include:

  • Minimizing the impact of industry fluctuations and establishing a buffer zone for permanent employees – as you retain the ability to expand or contract their teams, as needed.
  • Having access to scarce skills needed for special projects or peak periods, or trying them before bringing them on full time.
  • Realizing a savings of 30% to 40% in health care, unemployment insurance, life insurance, workers’ compensation, severance packages and other expenses tied to permanent employees.

Set your sights on the suppliers

Staffing firms offer themselves as employers of record for these workers and provide end-to-end support through worker administration, economic management and redeployment of workers, while the staffing client manages the work effort and outcome. The Service Level Agreements between a staffing firm and its client assign most of the responsibility for the effective management of the contingent worker program to the staffing firm.

A new client who has never used Smart Track or another VMS may not even know how many contingent workers they have. But post-implementation, Smart Track data can give you real time insight into:

  • Number of non-employees working,
  • Number of non-employees on roll but not working,
  • Number of non-employees with offers soon to start,
  • Number of non-employees with their contract soon to end/expire,
  • Visibility into Non Employees Cost and Components (Non-Employee Pay and supplier markup cost data: Mandatory taxes, Supplier Margin, Benefits, Insurance, etc.)
  • Approval vs. Actual – Visibility into approved budgets and amount as it pertain to new projects and requisitions and how that compares with actual and accruals.
  • Hard Cost savings – Savings from reduction in costs on contractor’s rates, supplier markups or reduction in labor hours/spend.
  • Utilization/Charge Allocation analysis – who is working for what manager, department, cost centers and the respective actual spend, hours logged
  • Volume Spend Analysis – Volume Analysis on supplier Spend
  • Diversity Spend Analysis – Visibility on Spend from Diverse / Small Suppliers
  • Visibility into approval and cycle of new hires, timesheets, invoice and payment processes

In the recruitment process you can see:

  • All requisitions shared simultaneously with the suppliers in a tiered system
  • Visibility into supplier’s performance – how many requisitions are filled, how fast, quality of candidates and rates
  • Which skillsets are hard to get or taking too long to get
  • Automated recruitment cycle
  • Systematic process from onboarding to offboarding
  • Suppliers tiered based on the quality of talent they supply
  • Certification renewal alerts and compliance reports
  • Asset expiry
  • Tenure expiry
  • Periodic clearances

The relationship between staffing clients and staffing suppliers in a contract labor management program is generally clearly defined in a Master Service Agreement. This agreement specifies their roles clearly, sets out terms and conditions, concerning length, termination, insurance, indemnification, privacy, intellectual property, legal, compliance and other standards and parameters.

For a contingent workforce manager, the need to evaluate the performance of a supplier precedes most other considerations, as a successful and effective relationship with a supplier is imperative to the program and its goals. But the supplier scorecard which almost every VMS automatically generates may or may not have a robust evaluation process that allocates the ideal weightage to each of the parameters on which a supplier is valued. Smart Track provides a configurable and easy to use scorecard tool that provides deep analytical insight into suppliers’ performance. Here are some of categories suppliers are scored:

  • Participation
  • Quantity of Submittals
  • Submittals Quality
  • Engagements (Hires) Quality
  • Responsiveness
  • Cost
  • Compliance

Need more detail? Smart Track also has business intelligence and analytics with custom reporting capabilities that take only a few clicks to develop. Stay tuned for more details.

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.
Lucas’ background is in Nuclear Engineering. When he’s not busy analyzing data, he can be found winning company championships: He’s the reigning 2015 Ping Pong Champion and 2015 NFL Fantasy Football Champion. Lucas is also a news junkie, primarily getting his fix with economics, financial and labor market news.