A New Opportunity

Traditionally a VMS is chosen by a client organisation to help them manage their suppliers and help them report on spend, supplier performance and fulfilment rates. As with any software system it takes time, money and expertise to put this in place.

To justify this expense an organisation must have a high enough volume of staffing so the benefits outweigh the costs of implementing a VMS system. Typically (our experience has shown) a project will be over £100m staffing spend before an organisation decides to implement their own VMS system. The time and costs for something like Fieldglass or Beeline are just too high for smaller projects.

As a result the SME and SMP (Small/Medium Projects) market is not serviced by traditional VMS solutions – this is an opportunity for staffing suppliers, particularly those who see the chance to increase their margins by offering additional services (e.g. Master Vendor or Managed Service Provider).

In a nutshell the opportunity is – What if a supplier delivers a VMS on behalf of their clients and bundles it with their other services?

This removes most of the problems associated with implementation. Because the VMS is bundled with staffing services and complements standard processes the supplier is in a great position to direct the end-client to use the VMS in its ‘standard’ configuration. Supplier staff will be experts in the platform and the costs are kept low because the same VMS can be used for multiple clients (removing the ‘per-project’ implementation cost).

Additional Services & Happier Clients

We have found that supplier-led VMS projects work best when the supplier offers a standard solution (their ‘best-practice’) to clients. A supplier-led VMS also allows delivery of MSP services, management of all suppliers on behalf of the end-client and provides an overview of the full staffing process. This, in turn, further embeds the supplier into the client’s organisation as a true partner. The end-client is happy because they are getting a full technology platform that would not otherwise be possible – and the supplier is happy because they are in a great position to see what work is in the pipeline. This additional insight makes it possible to plan ahead if staffing is going to decrease, or sell additional services based on any client needs identified.

Obviously we at Pixid are not unbiased as over the last 10 years we have been delivering a VMS dedicated to this model! But the statistics support our approach. The SME/SMP market represents over 50% of staffing spend in the UK and 70% globally (ref. International Labour Organization). This is a huge opportunity for suppliers to provide “MSP-lite” services for projects that previously would not be possible.

By Russell King,
Head of UK Operations, Pixid