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Consumerizing the Vendor Management System - Part 2

10/27/2016 11:18 am ET | Updated Oct 30, 2016
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As a follow up to our first post titled, “The Trend of Consumerization within Enterprise Applications,” we will now look at the importance of consumerizing the Vendor Management System (VMS). VMS within the contingent workforce have been plagued by this lack of consumerization. Like many industries, the technology has historically suffered from a robotic and cumbersome approach to user interaction. More than ever, there needs to be a synergy between enterprise processes and the ease-of-use that these systems deliver to both managers and contingent workers. Additionally, another critical component that cannot be ignored is that VMS access is available on any device – meeting users wherever they are in their day. The goal is to create an environment of efficiency. For example, when a worker or manager log in from their desktop or mobile device, there should be a short list of tasks that require completion. This enables a more actionable view of primary responsibilities and allows the user to optimize their time without wasting precious clicks searching for items that do not need immediate attention.

Another area that benefits contingent workforce management technology is “Contextual Interface Design.” In this instance, the buttons on the interface will adapt to elevate the appropriate next action for any task. There may be recently created requests and the actions required in context to its status. For a request that is in a “candidates submitted” status, the action button presented might be “Review Resumes”. However, that same action button might be presented as “Contact Approver” if the request is in a status where it is waiting for approval before it can be submitted to suppliers. In either case, the action that users take will be in context to the status of that request.

VMS features should also incorporate vendor profiles containing a “yelp-like” review system that produces a rating for managers to reference when selecting vendors. Additionally, vendors can manage aspects of their profile though a vendor portal. Managers who wish to include a RFI as part of a project request can do so by creating their questions through a “Survey Monkey” type interface. When reviewing quote submissions, the manager can review the quote and RFI details in a side-by-side view that rivals that of a consumer reports shopping application.

On the mobile access front, which is ever-present in today’ s workforce applications, a mobile VMS solution like PRO Unlimited’s Wand is an omni-channel platform, boasting not only a web application, but also native applications for the iPhone, iPad, Android, and Apple watch. These applications and others are built to take full advantage of each device and help organizations better manage their contingent workforce anytime, anywhere.

Finally, there is a need to understand that consumerization is the re-orienting and re-imagining of enterprise software away from “process driven design” and towards delivering a rich, enjoyable experience. Organizations that manage contingent workforces can now realize the benefits of new design approach creating more intuitive user interfaces while incorporating familiar UI pattern and features like real-time in app messaging, peer rating for vendors, and contextual action. These types of features along with mobile functionality will result in delivering greater business outcomes across the enterprise like never before.

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