O ne of the best parts of my – or any IQNer’s job – is hearing excitement and passion in a client’s voice when they describe how our VMS is helping them achieve (and exceed!) their corporate business goals and make a difference for them tactically and strategically.

At this year’s VMS Professionals Conference in Chicago, I had just such an experience. The executive sponsor of our client, a multi-national producer of a wide variety of health- and personal care products, talked about the multi-year journey they’ve been on to implement IQNavigator across a variety of spend categories and geographies. Today they’re live in multiple countries and have 1000s of workers in IQN including those in IT, professional categories, factories and distribution centers, and people on SOWs.

In keeping with the time of day I’m writing (Friday, late afternoon) and location (United 1247, ORD to DEN, gotta love wifi in the air) I’m going to keep this punchy and to the point!

  • It’s been a four part journey (so far):
  1. Getting Started and Building the Foundation
  2. Maturing the Program
  3. Going Global and Building Talent
  4. Optimizing Towards Total Talent Management
  • The initial driver to implement a VMS was a large amount of spend with little visibility and less control
    • Secondarily they needed to optimize the supply base and drive costs down
  • Within a couple of months from the first go-live
    • They saw value and progress towards goals
      • Exact head counts and spend figures
      • Opportunities for savings
      • Identification of misclassified workers
      • Quantitative data on supplier performance
    • And got answers to questions like
      • Why are we paying different rates for two people working the same job in the same location?
      • Why are we continuing to use suppliers who aren’t delivering with quality?
  • Knowledge and results was used to socialize the program across the enterprise to drive adoption and expansion
    • They have a no mandate culture, so such selling is key to success
    • They creatively use internal communication channels to provide stakeholders with real data
  • While the journey continued to grow the program into additional geographies and spend categories, they used IQN data to drive continuous improvement.
    • Example: a rapid and successful effort to optimize the supply base.
    • Integration between IQN and Workday that resulted in a massive soft-dollar cost saving (reduced duplicate data entry and increased efficiency)
  • Global expansion was successful due to
    • The foundational business process and integrations set up during the first phase
    • A rigorous and repeatable implementation methodology
    • Executive sponsorship
    • Measurable and meaningful results
  • The next phase is about using analytics to converge non-employee and employee data to ensure they get the right resource, at the right time, and at the right price.
    • They’ll use a variety of sourcing strategies to do this
      This will be key to winning the War for Talent!
  • Lessons learned:
    • Be aware of regional and business unit differences in requirements and process
    • Learn from your mistakes so that you continue to improve
    • You can’t do it alone, rely on your peers and providers
    • The journey is never over – check, adjust, and evolve!

I really enjoyed listening to our client’s presentation as it taught me a lot about how a well run VMS and MSP program can help and confirmed that a lot of the things that we talk to you about on this blog are on the right track!

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