One of the subjects that is important to discuss from time to time on a sourcing blog is the subject of services sourcing. I’ve discussed the subject of Strategic Service Management a few times on this blog, along with the service management capabilities of Servigistics and Provade, but I’ve never dived into the subject of contingent labor force sourcing.
Although it may not be as universally applicable as the sourcing of marketing, print, and legal services, which every company needs, if you’re a call center, drop shipper, retailer, or seasonal manufacturer, for example, contingent labor services can be a very significant part of your budget. Furthermore, if left unchecked, these costs can not only soar out of control, but lead to significant losses through uncaught over-billing (and by the time you caught them in a properly executed spend-analysis project, it could be too late to get a refund if you’ve switched vendors).
That’s why, if you fall into one these categories, you really should have a good labor sourcing and management solution. One such solution that I would consider is the one offered by IQ Navigator. I recently had a chance to walk through and discuss their SaaS-based services management solution in length, and while, like a few other offerings, it is flexible enough to handle multiple services category, it is particularly well suited to contingent labour force sourcing and management.
Contingent labor is a complex category. Sometimes you’re hiring by the hour, sometimes by the day, and sometimes by the week. Sometimes you’re hiring one person for a job, sometimes twenty. Each position has a different job description, and different requirements. And, each HR person usually has hundreds of jobs across dozens of positions across multiple locations to fill simultaneously in your typical multi-national. Furthermore, multiple documentation requirements, including resumes, need to be maintained for each potential resource.
IQ Navigator’s solution not only allows each job requisition to be customized by type, requirements, and process flow, but it supports the entire process from job definition, advertisement distribution to staffing agencies, resource resume review, resource selection, time and rate approval, project tracking, billing, matching against approved rates, and alerts if a resource comes close to their approved hours. It also supports job type templates, project and process templates, and calendar based definition of resource requirements. This last capability is well thought out and rather unique – it allows a supervisor to load up a single monthly-calendar based screen, and, for each job, specify how many resources are needed for each shift in that month. All the supervisor has to do is enter numbers – and the system enables the HR manager to take care of the rest – automating the distribution of the advertisement to staffing agencies, the collection of resumes, and the matching of experience and certifications against job requirements.
IQ Navigator’s product is also quite configurable. It supports the definition of projects with multiple statements of work (SOW), where each SOW has multiple deliverables, and every SOW can have different terms and rates, tied to a contract, which can be incorporated as a key field or as an attachment. It also allows mass approvals, which can be done by e-mail or mobile device by a busy manager in the field.
And it works. IQ Navigator has over 50 clients, including a couple dozen Global Fortune 500s, processes over 50,000 thousand contractors weekly, from over 4,700 staffing agencies in over 15 countries which represent over 3 Billion in spend under contract annually. Furthermore, over one quarter of spending by its global multi-national clients is outside of the US.