In the ever-changing world of contingent workforce programs, garnering feedback on your vendor management systems is critical to identify gaps and drive continuous improvement for all stakeholders. While internal stakeholders’ feedback is paramount and well represented, what about the suppliers? They, too, are stakeholders, and understanding their needs can optimize supplier engagement and performance.

Suppliers must be able to access and utilize the VMS platform quickly and efficiently to meet demands and provide qualified talent. Collecting, reviewing and understanding supplier feedback is vital to optimize vendor relationships, enhance system functionality and achieve operational excellence within contingent workforce management programs. Understanding how suppliers function within the platform is crucial to ensuring a successful and symbiotic relationship between VMS technology providers and the suppliers.

VMS technologies have streamlined the process of acquiring talent, but a critical success factor is the supplier’s ability to submit qualified candidates in a timely manner. The suppliers become the super users within the VMS platform and likely log into the system multiple times a day, completing such tasks as candidate submittals and engagement, compliance documentation and timekeeping.

As part of SIA’s recent VMS Global Landscape Report and Differentiators report, SIA queried suppliers for feedback on VMS platforms. Because the suppliers are held to specific key performance indicators, or KPIs, often centered around the time to fill, the survey gathered insights on how they interact with the platform and its ease of use.

Both MSPs and staffing suppliers participated in the survey. This distinction is essential as an MSP may have additional administrative access because they are usually the system administrator, while staffing suppliers may depend on their services. At a minimum, the VMS participants needed to provide three completed surveys to be represented within the report.

The supplier survey asked for an assessment of VMS functionality in nine areas, focusing solely on critical tasks the suppliers regularly utilize within the VMS:

  1. Quality of training, user materials, online assistance/guidance tools
  2. Responsiveness and quality of technical support
  3. Ability to create additional users as needed
  4. Process to reset both internal and candidate passwords
  5. Process to submit a candidate and move through the workflow from onboarding/offboarding
  6. Ability to submit/upload candidate compliance/credentials
  7. Process for timesheet entry
  8. Ability to amend/correct timesheets
  9. Availability of supplier-based data, analytics and metrics

SIA collected 51 completed surveys, 13 from MSPs and 38 from staffing suppliers. The results were presented in a report using a heatmap with the grading listed below.

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SIA published the results of these surveys under the SIA VMS Global Supplier Landscape Supplier Survey 2023.

VMSs received positive scores for their ability to process the candidate through the workflow, complete candidate compliance and ease of timesheet entry and submission. Areas for improvement were noted in the availability of supplier-based data, analytics and metrics as well as the quality of training, user materials and online assistance/guidance tools.

While understanding the level of satisfaction with the individual questions was necessary, we also wanted to understand their overall satisfaction; hence, we asked the suppliers how likely they would recommend their VMS partner. Respondents selected a value ranging from zero (not likely to recommend) to 10 (very likely to recommend). The graph below provides the distribution of responses. The net promoter score is calculated by subtracting the percent of respondents scoring zero to six (termed as “detractors”) from the percent scoring a nine or 10 (termed as “promoters”). NPS scores range between 100 and -100, with negative numbers reflecting more unsatisfied customers and positive numbers reflecting more satisfied customers.

Click on chart to enlarge.

The NPS for the VMS participants and their suppliers who completed the surveys is +53, suggesting a high level of satisfaction with the services offered by VMS. The VMS platforms that participated received a copy of the survey upon supplier agreement, which allows them to identify any areas of opportunity as well as functionality that allows for success.

The strategic use of incorporating supplier surveys in your contingent workforce program can yield significant benefits. Actively engaging your suppliers through surveys enhances the organization’s communication, fosters collaboration and drives continuous process improvements. It allows the supplier to become vested in the outcome and strengthens your partnership, smoothing the path towards operational excellence and sustainable growth.