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How to prepare for a successful VMS implementation and integration

Before integrating a new Vendor Management System (VMS) into a current IT ecosystem, it’s essential to design an implementation project plan that will position an organization’s contingent workforce program for maximum success and immediate ROI on the new VMS technology.  

A well-deigned implementation project plan will take into consideration the technology and human capabilities required to better manage and payroll a contingent workforce. However, before any organization can begin its search for a VMS provider, it will help to ensure an ‘essential must-have’ VMS checklist is in place. A successful VMS program will ensure extensive reporting functions to support contingent workforce goals and objectives while also forecasting future needs and mitigating risks associated with temporary talent.  

If you’re interested in planning for a successful VMS implementation and integration, the following information will provide insights into getting started with the technology. 

VMS implementation planning 

A Vendor Management System is a software application, typically cloud-based, that helps to facilitate the process of contingent worker procurement and contingent workforce management. A VMS will automate and streamline the sourcing, engaging, managing and payrolling of contingent workers sourced through an organization directly or by their Managed Services Provider (MSP) like a staffing agency. 

Understanding the importance of change management  

In any industry, integration of the Vendor Management System will help create a streamlined end-to-end process of sourcing, managing and paying contingent workers on an enterprise-wide level.  However, planning a VMS implementation process at such scale means understanding the level of change within the business at each user type across the organization and how each user type (administrators, employees and guests) will interact with the system.  

What initial training will each type require? Does the company have consistent implementation support messaging as part of a successful roll-out? Which team member is responsible for communicating change? 

By understanding change management best practices and involving all users in the planning of the implementation process, organizations may create support for this group early in the VMS project process. 

Identify areas of risk  

Define any potential risks the organization could anticipate with a VMS implementation project. Risks to consider may include cost overruns, change management issues – such as resistance to change among user types or internal competing workforce management priorities. 

Building a business case with key stakeholders 

The planning stage of your VMS implementation project will begin with defining your organization’s approach to communicating with stakeholders.  Who is involved? These team players should include executive leadership in Procurement, Human Resources, IT and Hiring Managers. 

When building a business case for implementation and integration, it will help to consider the following in the plan:
What are the hard and soft costs of manual work?
How much is incorrectly entered data costing you?
What are the risks of incorrectly entered, missing or lost data? 

Define Scope of the Project with goals and objectives 

  • Reinforcing a common understanding of goals and objectives is critical. A VMS will provide extensive reporting tools to support contingent workforce strategies and objectives, forecast future needs and also mitigate risks that arise with contingent workers across all industry sectors. 

The outcomes of a successful implementation should include:
Adoption among stakeholders with full understanding of the project – including VMS capabilities and functions.
Identification of hard and soft savings.
Visibility into contingent resources spend on an enterprise-wide level.
Establishment of quality assurance and improvement processes.
Introduction and enforcement of risk mitigation functions. 

Identify and introduce success and measurement metrics  

Similar to defining goals and objectives, it’s important for the project team to establish benchmark expectations and KPIs in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Metrics should be augmented with understood timelines and milestones.

VMS implementation communication plan 

Before searching for the VMS provider, detail the organization’s approach to communicating the VMS project with key stakeholders, including executive leadership, procurement, IT and HR leadership, as well as Hiring Managers.

Consider system integration 

What other program systems within the organization’s IT ecosystem must be integrated with the VMS? Define all systems so that the chosen VMS provider’s team can work to determine the best integration approach.  

Integrating your VMS into your organization’s IT ecosystem – including Human Resources systems, Procurement operations, supplier systems, access/credentialing systems and ERP/AP tools to start – will provide a seamless end-to-end process.  

Scrub your data! 

Which data will be integrated into the new VMS and what are the sources of that program data? Ensure to clearly specify this data and be aware of where the data resides and how it will be configured with the new VMS.  

Bad data is one of the leading stumbling blocks to missing implementation project deadlines.

Select a project Implementation Team 

A project team is essential to driving a successful implementation. Lead by a Project Manager, the project team should include a senior member of the IT department, data security, IT administrators as well as representatives from Human Resources and Procurement. These key members of the project team will ensure the VMS implementation is guided from the technical as well as functional needs of an organization.

Project management, lead by the Project Manager, is an important component in the implementation planning process, with each team member involved from the beginning of the process. 

Set roles and responsibilities within the VMS implementation project team 

Before beginning the search for a VMS provider, it’s important to hold an internal kickoff with key Subject Matter Experts involved in the VMS project. Doing so is a great way to promote collaboration, knowledge sharing and the vision for the VMS implementation process.  

This internal project communication should address any questions and concerns about roles, responsibilities and commitment. 

Here are some key questions to ask:
Are the subject matter experts qualified?
Are they aware of the project and its core business benefits?
Is additional communication and education about the program required?
Are there other internal competing projects that project team members are assigned to?   

Starting your search for a VMS provider 

The relationship between your company and the VMS provider should not only be strategic – but long lasting. Ensure your search has a focus on VMS providers who have long lasting experience in the industry and a reputation as a Subject Matter Expert. A trusted partner should have the ability to advise employers on contingent workforce program best practices and processes to remain effective and ensure compliance as technology and other trends disrupt the world of work.  

As the workforce and compliance legislations continue to evolve, and your company along with it, your VMS provider should have the flexibility to adapt to the way your company’s workforce operates now and in the future.  

Do you want to gain deeper insights into Vendor Management Systems?

Download our free Case Study to learn how Procom’s VMS technology helped one client partner save on contingent workforce costs and more.


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How to prepare for a successful VMS implementation and integration

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