How to Get the Most from Your VMS; so say your peers…

Staffing Industry Analysts 2012 CWS Summit was probably the best one I have attended in terms of content, information flow, and fun…I must say Jeannee from 3M and Ben from Brightfield Strategies took an otherwise dry topic and created the most fun (read chaotic) guacamole-making process mapping experience!

Content-wise, the roundtable sessions were a huge hit. I hosted a roundtable called “How to get the most out of your VMS” that was truly a fun experience. Everyone was interested in getting to know each other and glean a little nugget of advice in our 30 minute conversation. We moved quickly, but managed to identify 6 insightful lessons per table. Top 6 Ideas to get the most from your VMS (courtesy of your peers!)
  1. Do the RIGHT Integrations, not EVERY possible integration. Top suggestions were user management (HRIS), identity management, time sheet (if external), and invoicing. Keep in mind that too many integrations create dependencies, be selective and know what other IT projects are underway.
  2. End user experience is a critical component to success. Never forget that when you are asking for features and complexity in your VMS (or when choosing a VMS if you haven’t done so yet) you might be clouding the user’s experience. KEEP IT SIMPLE, use online training (a good VMS provider includes online help and training).
  3. Work directly with your VMS partner and not just your MSP. It was even suggested to go so far as to have separate contracts and SLA agreements, which will allow you to build relationships and have greater influence.
  4. Change is hard, so make it easier. Develop a change management plan for implementing new technology as well as adopting new features. Think about your program holistically and perform change management for both process and technology. Your business customers will take the path of least resistance, so you can go along way by socializing the program and branding it while demonstrating value for the business units.
  5. Don’t change too much at one time. If you are implementing a new program technology (like Beeline VMS), don’t mess too much with your supply base at the same exact time. It creates delays. Capture the data and then make your changes based on performance metrics.
  6. Leverage your vendors best practices, don’t automate how you do it today. Pause and think globally (whether that means geographically or holistically), rather than reactively. Follow your instincts and if something feels like “we’ve always done it that way” question it before automating it!

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