This week, we asked Amy Gordon, global head of external workforce center at SAP: “What are tips to keep in mind when implementing a new VMS solution?”

International software firm SAP deployed the Fieldglass VMS to serve as a single point of access to engage with more than 20,000 external workers via service providers and global parkers. The situation is unique because SAP acquired Fieldglass back in the first half of last year.

Gordon’s tips include focusing on data and making sure all stakeholders on board.

“Data is definitely key,” Gordon said. “It was a large exercise to make sure that data was clean.”

In SAP’s case, data came from multiple different systems — HR had some data, purchase orders were on another system, etc.  — and was combined into Fieldglass’ system. Putting them all in one system boosted SAP’s understanding of the contingent workforce. “Rate trends, cost transparency that was a really big win for us,” Gordon said. It also got the company more information on time-to-hire and how vendors are performing.

Second, getting everybody on board when implementing a VMS is important.

“Having that global process and all of the stakeholders in place and aligned was another big challenge for us,” Gordon said. Stakeholders included purchasing, procurement, accounts payable, legal and others.

SAP is rolling out the tool on a global basis and getting everybody on board with the change is particularly important — especially when working with variances by country, she said.

Fieldglass is being deployed in a phased approach across the US, Canada and Germany. SAP will use it to manage all temporary workers and statement-of-work services and RFx once it is complete. It will also handle identity management across SAP’s global contingent workforce. The first go live was June 1.