Sourcing professionals are finding themselves in the midst of a technology firestorm. Almost every function in a typical business process is being automated and apps are being developed to improve virtually everything we do. Sourcing organizations' clients want new and exciting technology to help make their lives better too, but by the time sourcing has done their due diligence and is ready to buy, newer, faster and more attractive solutions appear. What happens when a proven system meets new technology? Innovation.
In the area of services procurement, one such example is the Vendor Management System, which makes the acquisition of non-employee talent and professional services manageable. Recently, many SIG members have asked us to help make sense of this category. We have responded with a new and unique report: Innovations in VMS Technology.
This research compares the top seven providers in the VMS sector and evaluates their newest enhancements. We take a deep dive into how they have integrated mobile technology and Artificial Intelligence into mature systems to make them more powerful. Our research shows how providers are using a massive amount of data to drive actionable initiatives through analytics. This study provides buyers with the nuances in new technology releases and predicts which system(s) will be capable of taking their business into the next decade.
Our market research included a survey of the SIG membership to determine how their use of contingent (i.e., non-employee) labor has changed and what demands have been placed upon them. The survey results indicate a need for systems that capture their international spend and provide more analytics for a full and accurate picture of what to pay for certain skills or knowledge. Survey respondents want technology to be easier to use and more intuitive. Since most of us are mobile, they want to be able to access these systems remotely and have their VMS talk to their other systems like accounting and security, project management and the Human Resources suite. Most importantly, they want to have access to the broadest categories of talent: temp workers, freelancers, consultants and outsource project workers. The days of hiring a full-time staff and letting HR handle talent acquisition is dying. The future includes so many varieties of human resources, the technology needs to give the end user of the talent more control and enable them to make sound decisions.
We are proud to say our research uncovered capabilities for all of these demands and more. Our providers did a great job responding to our 65 question RFP-style survey. They gave us detailed examples and were not afraid to share their future road maps and plans. A few of these providers were able to comment on their vision for the future, so we included articles from three of the top technologists in the space.
To add some perspective we asked one of our board members, John Sculley, to share his vision. He has spoken at a recent SIG Summit and helped us understand how important technology is in the total spectrum of procurement; how systems like VMS technology are an essential part of the future toolset. It is his belief that a manager needs to be enabled to buy talent and services just like they buy products and goods. Non-employee talent may not ever fully replace the need for employees, but the shift in demographics, global influences and internet access make non-employees an attractive option for getting work done. VMS technology is an integral part of making that happen.
We hope this report can serve as a supplement to your sourcing efforts. If you already have a VMS solution, see if your provider is giving you the best that this technology has to offer. Feel free to challenge us. Let us know what you want to see in this category. Our plan is to continue to look for solutions that impact this space and provide you this level of research on Managed Services Providers, Recruitment Process Outsourcing and other tools that will make Procurement's contribution to the enterprise more critical than ever.