PRO Insights Blog

Highlights from ProcureCon Indirect East

March 20, 2017
Last week, over 250 senior-level procurement executives attended the annual ProcureCon Indirect East event in Orlando, and PRO Unlimited was invited to facilitate an entire session focused on current best practices for reducing costs associated with managing the contingent workforce. Key takeaways included: Determine when to engage an outsourced Managed Services Program (MSP) provider Use innovative technology platforms that help benchmark labor costs against current market trends Navigate co-employment and compliance issues Successfully plan and expand management of contract labor internationally Understand how staff augmentation saves costs when there’s a mandate to reduce employees Lastly, PRO enjoyed spending time with dozens of procurement practitioners who were eager to engage with live demonstrations of PRO’s Wand Vendor Management System (VMS), the industry’s only fully native omni-channel VMS. Clients use Wand to help build their private talent networks in order to self-source and manage professional freelancers, contractors, and pools of temporary project workers If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion or a demo of PRO’s VMS Wand, please contact a representative at 800.291.1099 or email at info@prounlimited.com.   Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.  

The Benefits of a Private Contract Talent Network

March 15, 2017
Our Executive Vice President of Product Development Ted Sergott was asked to share his industry expertise with Talent Economy magazine about the benefits of implementing a private contract talent network. In the article titled, “The Power of Private Contract Talent Networks,” Ted emphasizes that as organizations continue to expand their use of contingent talent to supplement their full-time workforce, they are also seeking ways to optimize their contingent workforce programs to generate additional cost-savings. Historically, this is done through the process of supplier rate rationalization, improvements in workflow and cycle time, and engaging a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management System (VMS) to drive efficiencies in the program. While all of these measures generate cost-savings, particularly in first generation and early stage programs, more mature programs require the identification of other strategies like self-sourcing. The concept of self-sourcing is not particularly new. However, companies have begun to embrace organizing self-sourced contingent resources into talent networks, automating the workflows to identify and procure talent, and leveraging software that optimizes this workflow. The primary drivers for this include the ability to save significantly on the margins imposed when sourcing through staffing companies, increase the quality of the talent being hired, and dramatically reduce the time required to identify talent for new requisitions. To enable this process, more forward-looking companies have begun to create and use self-sourced talent networks. Click on the link to continue reading and to learn how to create your own Private Contract Talent Network in three steps.  If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion or a demo of PRO’s VMS Wand, please contact a representative at 800.291.1099 or email at info@prounlimited.com.   Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.  

Three Steps to Ensure Total Workforce Visibility

March 8, 2017
Our Vice President of Strategy, Analytics, and Metrics Dustin Burgess was asked by HRO Today to contribute his thought leadership expertise in the area of Total Workforce Visibility. In the article titled, “Total Workforce Visibility,” Dustin notes that it is important for organizations to be able to take a holistic view of their entire blended (full-time and contingent) workforce on a single dashboard in real time. As contingent workers represent a greater percentage of the overall company headcount, the ability to track the entire workforce has become extremely difficult. This “gap” also opens organizations up to a multitude of risks including: data security breaches; worker misclassification; compliance with company policies and/or local, national and international laws; and general workforce management. Additionally, it severely limits the business’ ability to make informed decisions that affect profitability. According to the “2017 Workforce Compliance Report” published by WorkMarket, the contracted labor population accounts for 20-60% of the workforce at half of the 200 companies surveyed. Yet, approximately 23% of the company leaders surveyed do not know how many contractors they have and approximately 20% do not have easy access to contractor data. Companies need to be able to quickly and easily understand the geographical location of their workers, what classification of workers they have, and what level of access they have (to infrastructure, like buildings and IT systems). They should also be able to understand the financial impact of each worker to the business and how the organization is effectively utilizing its workforce. Without this information, an organization could be susceptible to multiple detrimental situations. In order to help bridge this gap, organizations should consider taking three steps to ensure total workforce visibility: Step 1: Partner with a Managed Services Provider (MSP). By partnering with a MSP and a Vendor Management System (VMS), companies are able to see clear budget breakdowns, and gain regular headcount reporting. This visibility and transparency significantly enhances contingent workforce management and reduces risk. Step 2: Ensure the MSP has a strong compliance team. Their teams of experts work with suppliers to ensure candidates have the necessary compliance documents and audit each credential and certification prior to engagement. An MSP partner, such as PRO, can provide business validation services to mitigate risk of non-employee misclassification. Step 3: Challenge the MSP on analytics. The amount of data available now is staggering and assuming the first two steps were successfully completed, the organization should have plenty of data to use. However, having access to data is not the same as using the data to drive actionable intelligence. At PRO, we have deployed a Total Talent Solution to look at the holistic workforce (full-time employees, and all non-employee types), which is provided meaningful business intelligence to our clients. We are able to answer a variety of questions with this data such as: Where are my workers?  How many do we have in a given location? What vendors are we using? Are we compliant with local/national and international laws? Who is onsite and has access?

Innovations in Vendor Management Systems: Part 5

March 6, 2017
Here is Part 5 –  the final post of our blog series on “Innovations in Vendor Management Systems (VMS).”  As noted in our previous posts, the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) held an in-depth briefing with PRO’s Ted Sergott, Executive Vice President of Product Development about our VMS, Wand. SIG  evaluated and assessed PRO’s VMS offering in the following areas: Rate and Spend Management, Implementation and Consulting, and Services Procurement. Based on SIG’s review, you can see why a number of clients worldwide use PRO. We hope you have enjoyed reading our VMS series. If you would like to catch up on any of our previous posts including Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and/or Part 4, please check them out. As for Part 5, please keep on scrolling! VMS Advancements in Rate and Spend Management, Implementation and Consulting, and Services Procurement Rate and Spend Management PRO’s Wand platform includes real-time market rate data by location in its SAM package. The market rate is loaded directly into the Wand SaaS VMS platform and is available to the Manager in the Create Request workflow. This module includes sanitized, anonymous, cross-client data in addition to market data. Additionally, the Wand Discovery BI Platform contains benchmarks based on industry or vertical. The Wand platform has many ways to help a manager with their budgeting and forecasting. Every engagement will have the forecasted cost, funds depleted, and any Change Orders. The Wand Discovery platform has all the global data available to be customized for forecasts. Implementation and Consulting PRO clients who have the integrated VMS/MSP solution (the majority of clients do) have consulting services included in the offering, giving them access to experts across a wide variety of topics throughout the lifetime of the engagement, including free implementation support upfront. For VMS-only customers, the implementation fees can be waived or negotiated depending on the amount of spend and number of integrations. Service packages are available including SAM, Business Validation, and engagement consulting. PRO provides configuration support for all VMS customers at no charge. The average time frame from signed agreement to launch is 30-90 days. There are four factors that determine the pace: 1) services/solution offering; 2) volume of workers and suppliers; 3) priority of countries/locations; 4) the client’s constraints and business drivers. PRO’s project methodology is designed to be scalable for every implementation. To support a “rapid deployment,” PRO leverages a library of templates and tools. They also leverage technology such as web-based enrollment for workers and suppliers. Leveraging technology helps standardize the information flow and provides the end user an efficient submittal process that reduces follow-up effort for incomplete data. PRO is able to minimize the go-live compression of activities utilizing their project methodology and planning to be ahead of the timeline. Many activities need to be executed during the deployment phase and PRO builds an in-depth cutover plan to ensure all activities are completed. In addition to applying additional resources to support these activities, below are some examples of efficiencies sought: Training – PRO will

Innovations in Vendor Management Systems: Part 4

February 22, 2017
Here is Part 4 of our blog series on “Innovations in Vendor Management Systems (VMS).”  The Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) held a briefing with PRO’s Ted Sergott, Executive Vice President of Product Development about our VMS, Wand. Below is SIG’s assessment of Wand; specifically in the areas of  Preferred Talent, Analytics, and Mobile. We will be closing out our series with Part 5 this week! In case you missed any of the other posts including Part 1, Part 2, and/or Part 3 be sure to give them a read. Advances in Preferred Talent, Analytics, and Mobile Technology Preferred Talent The PRO “YS Talent Network” is a client-specific talent pool containing self-identified, client-approved workers. Managers invite workers to their Talent Network by sending them an email with a link to the portal. The Worker logs on, uploads their resume which is parsed into a profile. They can edit their profile and add appropriate information such as availability, rates, and prior work history at the client. Once approved as a potential candidate, the candidate can search and apply for contingent labor jobs just as the hiring manager can search the YS Talent Network for top candidates. These freelancers appear as potential candidates during the Create Request process. When searching, a hiring manager is shown these individuals along with their cost savings as compared to supplier candidates. Interview scheduling is performed between the candidate and manager through the application. On/Off boarding dashboards are provided showing the status of every candidate in process. The candidates provide desired rates and managers can post a rate range if desired. Any negotiations are performed by the MSP or hiring manager. Analytics The PRO platform leverages advanced BI features for both tactical and strategic decision making. Key features include: 1) Wand’s MRM, the real-time market rate module embedded into the Create Request workflow (unlike PRO’s competitors), 2) the Wand Discovery BI platform, the view designed for executives, sponsors or their delegates, 3) PRO’s exclusive SAM (Strategy, Analytics, and Metrics) package, the support from a named analyst provided to the Client to build customized dashboards. These SAM analysts have vertical-specific expertise and engage the Client’s C-suite and their delegates to understand their key business drivers. Predictive & Prescriptive Analytics are provided in dashboards by leveraging the underlying data and algorithms, and are served concierge-style to these key leaders. Examples include global Total Talent Management as well as PRO’s recommendation on the location of a Client’s IT division. The Wand platform contains numerous dashboards and reports out-of-the box. Users can create customized reports using any data. Reports can be scheduled and shared. Wand provides industry-specific benchmarks for key data including rates by role by location, time-to-fill, length of service, and many other metrics. Mobile PRO’s Wand Mobile’s 100% native apps have an extensive list of features with hundreds of screens. Swiping, tapping, typing, and speaking are all utilized. Hiring managers can view their entire workforce from their phone and easily see all their action items from the home screen. With a swipe or tap

PRO Unlimited Joins Cloud Security Alliance

February 17, 2017
PRO just announced that we have joined the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the world’s premier organization dedicated to defining and raising awareness of best practices to help ensure a secure cloud computing environment. For over 26 years, we have been recognized as the leading innovator delivering purely vendor-neutral Vendor Management Software (VMS) and Managed Services Programs (MSP) helping  companies safely source, manage and track contingent workers/indirect services providers (SOW engagements) in over 80 countries. Having delivered the industry’s first omni channel secure cloud based Wand VMS with fully native mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Tablets and the Apple Watch, PRO is aligned with CSA members who are committed to assuring the protection of critical client data. Ted Sergott, PRO’s EVP of Product Development, said, “There is natural synergy since a number of CSA members are also current PRO clients who deploy the Wand VMS and are already familiar with the high standards we place on security.” Lastly, Jim Reavis CEO of Cloud Security Alliance stated, “We welcome PRO Unlimited as our first cloud based VMS provider and are looking forward to the unique perspectives they will bring as it relates to managing a secure global contingent workforce.” If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs globally, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at info@prounlimited.com.   Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.  

Innovations in Vendor Management Systems: Part 3

February 14, 2017
For those of you who have been reading our series on “Innovations in Vendor Management Systems (VMS)” Part 3 is here! This week, we are taking a look at how the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) evaluated PRO’s Wand, VMS User Experience and Integration capabilities. We only have two posts left in this series – be sure to check back soon! Missed Part 1 or Part 2? No worries, you can easily catch up by a simple click of the mouse. Two Areas of a VMS that Matter User Experience For PRO, the overall User Experience combined with robust, useful functionality ultimately drives user engagement and adoption. Extensive user research determined that the functionality most often used by managers is request creation, candidate review, and time/expense approval. This user research is then combined with the Design team’s core principles of Usability, Mobility, Analytics, and Consumerism. The Wand UI is very intuitive and action driven. It tells the manager what to do next. It is also contextual where actions are identified only if appropriate. The award-winning Mobile apps allow managers and workers to engage with the VMS anytime, anywhere which drives acceptance in a program. Extensive intuitive dashboards include all aspects of candidates, existing workforce, rates, dates, spend, compliance, and status. Two separate platforms are available. The core Wand platform has Operational and Transactional real-time data. The Wand Discovery BI platform is designed for executives, client sponsors, or their delegates to manage their program on any KPI or Metric desired. Customized dashboards contain all global data. Within three clicks, a user can drill down to the transaction level. For example, the Global Spend Dashboard contains the overall global spend displayed in any KPI or Metric. Three clicks later, a user can see an individual contractor’s rate, supplier, and length of service. To support candidate management, the Wand platform utilizes an advanced Parsing Engine to deconstruct all job descriptions and resumes. The engine creates a Candidate Profile in Wand. For supplier candidates, the supplier can edit the profile if necessary. For the YS (Your Source) Talent Network, the candidates themselves can edit their profile. When a manager is looking for candidates, the advanced Wand Search & Match technology uses sophisticated algorithms to determine the best match. The Manager sees a dashboard containing the highest percent matches at the top. New market data is provided real-time in the Wand platform as it becomes available. Client Sponsors can use this information to modify the configurable controls they have in place about maximum rate per role (e.g., warning, error, or routing for approval with justification). Wand tracks and measures all historical rate behavior and provides predictive analytics on the future of the market. Many clients also import employee data in Wand Discovery and perform global Total Talent Management on where and what percent of their human capital will be contingent. Wand provides extensive alerts, notifications and messages to its users to optimize their time in the system. The most beneficial notifications are on mobile devices for the iPhone, Android

Innovations in Vendor Management Systems: Part 2

February 2, 2017
As promised, here is part two of the Innovations in Vendor Management Systems (VMS) Technology Report. As noted in our previous blog post (Part 1), Sourcing Industry Group’s (SIG) analysts evaluated PRO Unlimited’s VMS, Wand in their industry landscape report. In this week’s post, we will look at how PRO stacked up in the areas of Consumerization, Configuration, Decision Guides for Worker Classifications, and International Support. Here is SIG’s assessment of PRO’s VMS, Wand. Check back for the third post next week! Vendor Management System Advancements Consumerization of User Experience A systems adoption is the single most important indicator of its success. If people use it, depend on in and don’t try to work around it, the system will be considered a success. If you look at VMS today, it’s the user experience that drives adoption. There are some creative innovations in this area and most originate from other popular consumer software. PRO focused on the top 3 actions; creating requests, reviewing candidates, and approving time & expenses PRO considers their UI as an “Amazon-like” experience, requiring fewer clicks and offering quick ways to jump to other transactions Flexible Configuration of all Fields Earlier versions of the VMS had some difficult limitations in configuration. It seemed like every customer had a different requirement for nomenclature, branding, definitions and business rules. Almost every implementation required lengthy customizations and even then, each department or manager felt their specific needs were not being met. Today’s VMS has made it easy to configure virtually every field of data. When PRO makes enhancements, they evaluate how the functionality can be leveraged as a standard configuration for all clients to use. One customer asked them to design an applicant portal for source their own temps. Once it was completed they offered it to all customers and it’s used by the general public. Decision Guides for Accurate Worker Classifications This innovation is not any less important especially as it relates to the huge exposure to legal risk that a misclassified worker can present. When a manager is preparing to hire a worker it isn’t always obvious what type of worker they may need; FTE, Temp, Independent Contractor, Consultant on an SOW or a freelancer. The PRO platform has embedded business intelligence, so when a user clicks on the “Help me Decide” button depending on the answers to key questions the tool will recommend the best engagement model. International PRO Unlimited receives requests for foreign language translations to support clients’ specific business needs. These requests are handled through a monthly release process for quick and efficient delivery of applicable Wand user interface, report header, and email notifications. All translations are coordinated with a third-party vendor that is responsible for completing translation requests and validating all are done in proper, accurate context. PRO’s Product Development QA resources then validate that all translations appear properly within Wand and conform to prescribed aesthetics. For currency requirements, a conversion multiplier is used with bill rates and displayed throughout the sourcing process, approval routing and reports.

Making an Informed Decision about Contingent Workforce Management Advice

January 31, 2017
PRO Unlimited’s COO and EVP Allie Ben-Shlomo was recently asked by Buyers Meeting Point, a destination for procurement professionals, to share her expertise on the key questions companies need to ask when seeking contingent workforce management advice. Contingent Workforce Management Insights Allie begins by noting that non-employee talent is receiving more attention by senior management as contractors, freelancers, and consultants play a pivotal role in meeting an organization’s objectives . However, we often hear that there is a challenge when executives make an attempt to line up their current contingent workforce management programs with their vision; many find out they cannot answer some of the the most fundamental questions about how effective there current programs/processes really are. When this becomes clear, stakeholders will reach out to contingent workforce management third-parties for guidance. Contingent labor management is specialized as it includes interdisciplinary areas of expertise such as Vendor Management, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources Operations, Employment Law, and Employment Tax. More than ever, the contingent workforce programs are taking a strategic view from executives and comprise a larger portion of an organizations total workforce. About 40% of the U.S. workforce is comprised of contingent workers. This percentage of the workforce is forecasted to expand in the short-term. In fact, 42% of U.S. executives expect to use more contingent workers in the next three to five years.  As result, executives are asking more strategic questions about these types of programs such as: Are there any additional cost-savings opportunities to be realized? Are we losing out on top talent by not adapting to shifts in the market and/or industry? How does our contingent workforce program minimize risk? Does our contingent workforce management strategy and vision reflect our company’s goals and objectives? Click here to read more as Allie touches upon the following areas that professionals need take into consideration as they properly vet a contingent workforce management provider. Assessing Qualifications of a Potential Advisor Specialized Experience Is Paramount Beware of Quick Fixes Thinking Ahead If you or a member of your team would benefit from a further discussion on how PRO is helping companies implement winning contingent workforce management programs, please contact a PRO representative at 800.291.1099 or email at info@prounlimited.com. Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of PRO Unlimited and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

Innovations in Vendor Management Systems: Part 1

January 25, 2017
Sourcing Industry Group’s (SIG) President and CEO Dawn Tiura says, “Sourcing professionals are finding themselves in the midst of a technology firestorm. Almost every function in a typical business process is being automated and apps are being developed to improve virtually everything we do. Sourcing organizations’ clients want new and exciting technology to help make their lives better too, but by the time sourcing has done their due diligence and is ready to buy, newer, faster and more attractive solutions appear.” Dawn continues, “What happens when a proven system meets new technology? Innovation. In the area of services procurement, one such example is the Vendor Management System (VMS), which makes the acquisition of non-employee talent and professional services manageable. Recently, many SIG members have asked for help to make sense of this category. SIG responded with a new and unique report: Innovations in VMS Technology.” In that report, SIG’s analysts evaluate PRO Unlimited’s VMS, Wand. They take a deep dive into how PRO has integrated mobile technology and Artificial Intelligence into mature systems to make them more powerful. SIG’s research also shows how providers like PRO are using a massive amount of data to drive actionable initiatives through analytics. Ultimately, the study shows how PRO has been innovating its VMS and how we are enabling our clients to meet their goals with proven technology. Here is what SIG’s analysts say about PRO’s VMS. This is only Part 1, so stay tuned for more over the next two weeks! The Benefits of PRO’s Vendor Management System, Wand Predictive Analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence PRO has a unique business intelligence platform that is designed for executives, client sponsors, or their delegates to manage their program on any KPI or Metric desired. Customized dashboards contain all global data. Within 3 clicks, the user can drill down to the transaction level. Machine learning in PRO’s system, tracks and measures all past rate behavior and provides predictive analytics on the future of the market. Their clients also import FTE data into their tool, so managers can make Global Workforce decisions. There is no end to where this innovation can take the industry. As the data volume increases and the fields of data capture increases, workforce planning that was limited to only the most sophisticated HRIS tools will now become standard capabilities of a contingent workforce manager. Mobile Device Platforms and Apps that Drive Them Like any technology, the easier it is to access and operate, the more it will be used. PRO has invested heavily in Mobile platforms so their systems can be used on-the-go and without the need to be at a workstation. PRO had their 100% native Mobile app deployed in April, 2014 and has received the highest rated app in the industry winning 4 awards including the Gartner Cool Vendor award. Open APIs and Communications between other Client or Supplier Systems In order for a VMS like PRO to be accepted as the “System of Record” for all transactions, it must
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