CWS 3.0: May 30, 2012

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Consolidated, Real-Time Contingent Workforce Data

Progressive program managers no longer rely on retroactive reviews of disjointed reports to drive value throughout their contingent workforce program. These examples show how top managers are using consolidated data to reduce risk or improve business outcomes and cash flow in the blink of an eye.

Holistic view of SOW projects. Managers are delivering SOW projects on time and on budget by monitoring the cost, schedule and achievement of critical milestones in real-time. For example, once 75 percent of the budget has been expended, managers can quickly see whether 75 percent of the project’s milestones have been attained, according to Benjamin Jack, VP of sales for TargetCW. The manager can then adjust the budget; and/or revamp the specifications or staffing levels by reviewing multiple benchmarks simultaneously.

“Managers are using calibrated performance and purchase order data to drive contractor accountability by issuing payments as they complete various milestones,” says Jack.

IC compliance tracking. Managers may have to pay premium rates for professional contractors with specialized skills if an IC fails to certify at the eleventh hour. Plus, team continuity is critical to the success of lengthy, complex projects, however, managers are often plagued by departures of ICs who fail to obtain recertification. So, savvy managers are tracking IC certification in real-time, which not only reduces misclassification risk, but the need to engage in bidding wars for top-notch contingent talent.

Quality and cost comparisons. Program managers tend to prioritize cost savings over quality, especially if they use a VMS. But recently, several companies started optimizing quality and cost by comparing the performance of staffing firms and their contingents to their hourly rates. By correlating the information from line manager surveys, requisitions and cost data, program administrators were able to reduce indirect hiring costs by reallocating requisitions to the top performing firms in each staffing category.

Accrual accuracy. It’s difficult to forecast expenditures for a large contingent workforce, so companies often err on the side of caution, by over-estimating accruals. That is until the program manager at a large technology company started tracking line items like GL, cost center and project codes on work orders. Accruals are now 99 percent accurate because the finance team can pull reports and update each line item as time sheets and expenses are processed. 

Leslie Stevens-Huffman is a freelance writer in Southern California who has 20 years' experience in the staffing industry. She can be reached at lesliestevens@cox.net.

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