Choosing a VMS used to be about comparing off-the-shelf VMS apps that, once purchased, took months to make operational. Not today. Contingent Workforce Management software has evolved since the early days of Vendor Management Software. In modern systems, managing vendor channels and performance is less than 25% of what modern talent portals are capable of. Find out what we mean by Moving Beyond the VMS.
When a VMS is More than a VMS—that is the Question
The contingent talent industry still refers to the technology platforms used to manage contingent talent as Vendor Management Systems, when in fact the main purpose of such systems these days is to source and manage their flexible workforce which has become a permanent contributor to a Total Talent Management approach.
We took a moment to ask our commercial team for their perspectives on what’s different about VMS platforms compared to those technologies that founded the VMS discipline back in the Y2K. Here are some of the key themes that came out of that discussion.
Matthew Wagner, SVP and General Manager at SimplifyVMS for the EMEA region says, “Some of the capabilities we never used to talk about back in 2000 include SOW management, direct sourcing, talent pools, background check integrations, contingent labour as part of strategic planning, integrations with candidate testing tools, and thinking of the needs of the supplier and the worker at all times in terms of the value the VMS can bring to them, not solely focus on the RoI arguments of the purchasing organization.”
James Main, VP Product Strategy at SimplifyVMS suggests, “The features and functionality of VMS solutions have evolved over time for sure. To me, there are three main differences in the products we see today and the products from the early 2000’s:
- User experience, which helps to ease apprehension around using a VMS solution (user can make it look and feel like they want to).
- Ability to be integrated with third-party products, which increase the productivity of the user, as well as the ‘stickiness’ of the VMS solution.
- Use of AI and machine learning, which allow users to more quickly and easily make better, data-driven decisions.
Matthew Wagner adds that, “One aspect of a VMS that hasn’t changed is that**speed to innovate **, to deliver measurable outcomes fast, is the key item for many customers. This then helps to (1) create a better client and partner experience, to (2) visualize data to help ask the “why” questions, to (3) speed up third party integrations to give users better data to make better decisions and, (4)streamline machine-to-machine integrations with client systems to make processes more efficient and lower overall cost of program.
If you’re looking for a technology platform to manage a flexible workforce for your business, then what you’re probably looking for is a VMS system—even though, chances are, only a portion of your contingent talent will come from indirect staffing vendors in future.
When selecting a VMS, we’d recommend you focus on technologies born post-cloud as these tend to be the tech-stacks designed to a ‘glueware’ ethos; making them modular and more flexible to deploy. Another feature of modern VMS tech-stacks is their fantastic data analytics capabilities (powered by big data tech tools) and simpler integration and adaptation features.