Five ways the right technology can increase productivity in your contingent workforce program
March 29, 2023
In the last three years, the way work gets done has changed dramatically. If your company is like most, 47% or more of the work in your company is being done by non-employees. Whether temporary workers, consultants, independent contractors, or outsourced service providers, this extended workforce makes your company more agile, more resilient, and better able to respond to business challenges and opportunities.
But as this extended workforce grows, so does the challenge of acquiring and managing them. Although more than 80% of businesses with more than 1,000 employees use digital technology to automate their contingent workforce processes, thousands more are still living in a “paper world,” tracking contingent workers and contractors through a combination of emails, spreadsheets, and miscellaneous documents. This results in inefficiency, low productivity, and a high probability of errors. It also results in higher costs – both in time and money.
Cost savings calculated by Forrester Consulting
By automating your entire contingent workforce operation, digital technology minimizes the time your program managers, hiring managers, and other stakeholders spend on routine, administrative tasks. Based on a Forrester Consulting Total Economic ImpactTM report, the time saved can be worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars per year. And that does not include the opportunity cost savings of having the right talent in place when you need them.
In a detailed study comparing digital to manual systems, Forrester concluded that Beeline Extended Workforce Platform technology could pay for itself in less than three months and deliver 158% ROI and a net present value of $7.44 million.
Forrester also concluded that Beeline could provide a 28% reduction annually in the time to secure approval for costs, budget, and new extended workforce talent.
Here are just a few ways extended workforce technology increases productivity and improves operational efficiency.
1. Talent acquisition efficiency
One of the biggest challenges facing contingent workforce program owners and hiring managers is time-to-fill – the time between creating a job requisition or work order and engaging the right talent to fill the assignment. An automated sourcing solution within a vendor management system (VMS) or extended workforce platform will help you acquire the right talent quickly while creating a better candidate/supplier experience.
Beeline’s VMS-enabled Extended Workforce Platform uses AI-enhanced automation to accelerate the acquisition process. This includes embedded contextual decision-support tools to lead users through the work-or-worker requisition process to the most effective outcome. It provides an automated approvals workflow to streamline requisitions. And it automates the vetting and candidate selection process to minimize bottlenecks and move candidates quickly and efficiently to onboarding and provisioning,
Not only can this system reduce time-to-fill from weeks or months to just days. It also optimizes time-to-value by minimizing the time from when the need is first recognized to the time when the worker or service provider is on the job, delivering value.
“The automation of authorization was definitely a big gain. Before, we would have to chase down the individual to sign a work order. I cannot overstress how much of a huge gain it was to have it all electronically in one system.”
Contract system supervisor, global oil & energy company
2. Automated SOW creation & negotiation
Too often, statements of work (SOW) for outsourced services are created either by duplicating previous SOW language or by “cut and paste.” In the process, project managers may fail to follow company policies and may even let the contractor dictate the language and terms. To prevent the problems this can cause, a full-featured extended workforce platform incorporates a highly automated services procurement solution. This enables buyers of complex professional and support services to build and negotiate SOWs using templates that comply with corporate guidelines, either directly with chosen suppliers or through a technology-enabled competitive bidding process.
3. Onboarding and offboarding
Inefficient processes around onboarding and offboarding are the bane of many contingent workforce programs. And they can create security and compliance risks. Keeping facilities, networks, and data secure is essential to any organization. Yet businesses report instances where they terminated a contractor or a contractor completed a project, and the contractor still had access to the firm’s internal systems months – or even years – later.
To prevent potential security breaches, companies need a consistent, automated onboarding and offboarding process that is compliant with all company policies and ensures that access privileges are terminated as soon as the assignment is completed.
“Without Beeline it took an average of 10 days to fully onboard and provision a person after their official start date. After Beeline this was reduced to zero.”
Talent acquisition lead, international banking group
4. Time-keeping, approvals, and invoicing
A vendor management system (VMS) or extended workforce platform is designed to automate time tracking, deliverables management, payment processing, and expense reimbursement. With electronic invoicing and automatic reconciliation reporting, the system minimizes errors caused by manual data entry and frees your team from repetitive administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on more strategically important responsibilities.
One Beeline customer, the world’s largest direct selling company, reports that invoicing automation has reduced their invoice processing by 90%.
“We’ve turned what would have been 1,000 invoices a week into a tenth of that with consolidated invoicing. That’s a very clear cost avoidance.”
Global indirect procurement manager, world’s largest direct selling company
5. Single source of truth for all extended workforce data
By using an extended workforce platform as a single source of truth and audit-ready repository for all contingent workforce data (contracts, budgets, timesheets, onboarding and offboarding checklists, and more), your contingent workforce program will be able to report your accomplishments to company stakeholders and ready to respond to any questions raised about your program.
Efficient processes give you a competitive advantage
Top talent and consultants whose skills are in demand prefer to work with businesses that are easy to work with and have a reliable process for invoicing, payments, and reimbursements. Automated processes with intuitive user interfaces can contribute to worker and service provider satisfaction and enhance the productivity of your extended workforce.
It is time to take control
Optimizing your program can allow you to fully leverage your extended workforce, while streamlining operations, reducing wasted time, cutting costs, and giving you the data and insight you need to make smart talent decisions.
If you are still living in a “paper world” or using a mixed or incomplete stack of technologies to source and manage your extended workforce, it is time to take control. To learn how Beeline Extended Workforce Platform can deliver the efficiency you need – while paying for itself in less than 3 months – read this Forrester Consulting Total Economic ImpactTM report, view this Forrester TEI infographic, or contact Beeline