What’s all the brouhaha about vendor neutrality? Historically, it didn’t exist. It’s a concept that evolved in the ’80s and ’90s. But today, customers do care about having a vendor neutral program. Here’s why. There is a fundamental lack of trust that many customers have for their suppliers. One explanation is that companies insist upon vendor neutrality due to their experience with program and staffing practices considered contrary to their best interests.
So what is vendor neutrality?
It’s a sourcing model that a company can adopt where all staffing suppliers are given an equal opportunity to fill each order; and/or suppliers are selected for each order based on the same criteria. And most important, the MSP or VMS provider cannot fulfill orders or push orders to any particular vendor.
(Staffing Industry Analysts and Brightfield strategies partnered to produce an in-depth report on MSPs and VMS, which discusses vendor neutrality. CWS Council members can access the report, 2010 VMS and MSP Supplier Competitive Landscape, here.)
But really, if suppliers have clear, comprehensive service agreements, a transparent pricing scheme with the right incentives for behavior, the end result will be happy customers. Who cares, then, if you are vendor neutral or not?
For more information on the pros and cons of vendor neutrality, end users of contingent labor can join me as I discuss the topic with Ed Hidalgo, senior director of staffing at Qualcomm, and Jason Ezratty, managing partner at Brightfield Strategies. The webinar takes place June 15th.