We all know procurement teams juggle many responsibilities in the process of selecting and managing outsourced service providers. As vendor costs continue to rise, personnel value gets constantly evaluated, and compliance requirements change; it becomes increasingly difficult to keep all your stakeholders satisfied. Despite the challenges, there are plenty of resources and tools to help your team increase effectiveness as well as land better SLAs.

For example, to stay competitive today, businesses rely more and more on technologies like hosted vendor management solutions that are easily accessible on any device that’s connected to the network. Imagine members of your team being able to take care of all the primary aspects of their jobs, including managing outsourced service providers, from virtually anywhere. These hosted solutions are typically also less expensive and cause fewer issues for your IT department since they don’t have to worry about hosted servers or technical issues.

Reducing vendor costs and increasing efficiency helps your organization operate at peak level. By taking steps to streamline your processes with outsourced service providers, especially when you are managing talent across multiple locations or job sites, these goals become easier to achieve.

To help you continue to streamline the process of vendor management, we pulled together some great resources on the latest trends surrounding managing outsourced service providers.

Top Vendor Management Softwares Today

There are hundreds of software options for managing outsourced service providers. A simple search pulls up a number of competing services that claim to be the best. In short, an effective vendor management software should offer the features that your team needs to help improve the way you communicate with vendors and make your processes more productive than they are currently.  Choose a vendor management software that helps you achieve your business goals within budget and makes your life easier.

A few of the top solutions for managing outsourced service providers today include:

Connecteam: A mobile-enabled tool for managing and engaging your vendors and contractors.

Tipalti: A robust vendor information management system that specializes in payroll automation.

SAP Fieldglass: A cloud-based service that helps manage external talent and services procurement with built-in tools to find, engage, and manage all types of flexible resources.

ProcureWare: A supplier management, sourcing, bidding, and contract management SaaS.

Beeline VMS: Perfect for managing larger teams of contractors, this software offers automation of service procurement, contingent staffing, resource tracking and self-sourcing.

For more top vendor management software, take a look at this list.

Latest Training Resources from Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS)

Depending on your company’s area of expertise, always make sure you’re keeping an eye on the resources available from CIPS. There is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips on everything from the latest news in your industry to trends in various fields, such as managing outsourced talent for specialized services.

CIPS also breaks down resources specific to every stage in the procurement and supply cycle such as initial plan development or continuous improvement. Get the most out of these resources by exploring the CIPS website to find information relevant to your needs and processes.

Maintaining Positive Relationships with Suppliers

Ensuring a great relationship with your service providers comes down to communication and attention. When you begin a new relationship with a vendor, it’s important to develop trust from the onset of the relationship. If you begin involving them in your processes from day one, they can start to understand your business and provide better service due to a clearer knowledge of your needs. And remember their concerns matter as well; it must be a give and take relationship.

Continuous Improvement – Definition and Resources

The goals of continuous improvement are essentially improving processes based on definitive results, increasing productivity, meeting KPIs, and maximize spend by reducing unnecessary costs. You can most effectively achieve these goals when your team fully understands your processes, ensures the service providers tasks are built around the business goals, and also by strengthening communication. Most importantly, continuous improvement should include a regular search for opportunities to improve areas of the process.

As mentioned above, data-driven technology is also becoming important in quantifying improvement with outsourced service providers. Procurement managers need to collect and analyze more and more data relative suppliers from many different sources. It increases the complexity of your job. Be upfront about your needs so you can ensure that you’re gathering the information you need and keeping costs down by reducing waste.

Benchmarking is another effective method for getting the most out of your processes. You can take advantage of this practice by setting a baseline, monitoring your organization’s current performance levels internally, and decide who you’re going to compare results to, such as the industry or a direct competitor. Learn more about benchmarking here.

For more best practices on continuous improvement for your processes overall, take a look at this report from APQC.

We hope these resources give you a few areas to check out to help you better manage relationships with outsourced service providers. If you have specific questions about contractor and subcontractor screening, training or badging, do not hesitate to reach out to our team by clicking here or below. We look forward to answering your questions!



**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.