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Trim down: An excessive supplier pool is a poor program strategy

Running a contingent workforce  program today has its own set of complications. And it is often enough to challenge the best and brightest. From gaining enterprise-wide adoption to implementing real-time data integrations with enterprise systems, the complexities are nuanced and if not tackled right, can lead a CW manager down a rabbit hole. Then there are challenges with meeting program-specific objectives with regard to quality, efficiency, cost and risk management performance.

But more often than not, failure to achieve program goals and objectives can be attributed to a weak staffing supplier strategy. The reasons connecting staffing supplier strategy to poor program performance are numerous. Here are a few examples:

While there may be other contributing factors to the above-listed challenges, the role a poor staffing supplier strategy can play is often overlooked.

Here are a few examples:

Trimming suppliers. Too often, buyer organizations are driven to reduce cost by any means necessary. Competition, through a methodology of “I don’t need you, I have 19 other suppliers who can help me,” sounds like a fantastic way to drive down cost and to hold suppliers accountable. But too much competition in a tight labor marketplace is often a bad idea.

Strong CW programs with fewer suppliers and controlled competition can achieve a balance beyond cost for things like efficiency, quality and risk. Strong CW programs will enable engagement managers to work with three to five suppliers closely through controlled contact, overcoming the perceived process black hole many staffing supplier partners experience from having too many suppliers in a CW program. The results for the program are generally better talent, at a better price and on time.

When CW programs are able to determine the right amount of staffing suppliers and the correct level of competition, these programs can begin to build a CW program brand engagement managers appreciate and support. Additionally, and maybe equally important, staffing suppliers transform into committed staffing partners of the program because of improved profitability on their part and the enhanced, overall cost effectiveness for the program itself.