In Parts I and II we discussed all of the improvements FieldGlass has made to its contingent workforce management platform since SI first covered FieldGlass back in 2010, including its improved rate guidance, rate structure, job posting process and it’s new ask-an-expert recommendation engine and powerful timesheet module. Today we’re going to dive into FieldGlass’ new Statement of Work (SoW) module.
You’re probably wondering why SoW gets its own post, because, after all, isn’t a Statement of Work just a formal document that captures and defines the work activities, deliverables, and timeline of a project that can be attached as a PDF? Well, technically, yes, but from a usefulness point of view, no. The problem with SoWs is that they are not a static contract attachment but a living, breathing document, and process, that needs to change and adapt as circumstances change. Every time new information is discovered, resource availability changes, external events introduce delays, unexpected regulatory changes require new approvals or different materials, or requirements change for business reasons, the SoW needs to change. Moreover, in order to effectively manage a project governed by a SoW, hours and resource usage has to be tracked against the SoW, which has to be updated as needed for the tracking to be relevant.
To this end, FieldGlass has built a very powerful, and flexible, SoW that supports the entire project lifecycle from a worker and resource perspective because you can’t just manage the resources, you also have to manage the resources they need to do their jobs. Take construction projects for example, in addition to the digger, he will need a Digger Truck. The workers putting up the frame will need a crane. And so on. And, more importantly, this equipment will have to be inspected on a regular basis, typically every six months, to comply with safety regulations. The ability to track the resources, and their last inspection date, is not only important, but critical to minimizing costs. For example, one customer, that was unable to effectively track and access this inspection data on a project basis, was inspecting a machine every time it was assigned to a new project on a new site. Because some machines are only needed for a few months, it was doing almost three times as many inspections as it needed to, and for one machine which cost 25K an inspection, spending 125K to 150K a year when it only needed to spend 50K. These costs added up and this savings on its own more than paid for the FieldGlass solution.
The SOW is full-featured and supports not only a project description and a list of approved workers but also rates, fees, schedules, milestones, deliverables, resources, roles, and management events. Each worker can be associated with the appropriate rate structure, payment schedule, location, onboarding, and offboarding process. Each resource can be associated with it’s own schedule (for usage, maintenance, inspection, onboarding, and offboarding), fee structure, and payments. Deliverables can be added and modified as required, and reports can be set up to report on the amount paid to date, budget amount, etc. It’s quite powerful and quite useful as the full lifecycle of the project, worker, and resource has been taken into account, made fully visible to the reporting engine, and integrated in such a way that the appropriate information can be used in timesheets, job postings, etc.
The new FieldGlass Statement of Work functionality has the potential to transform the way you manage outsourced projects.