How Worker Visibility and Control Enables Strategic Thinking For Spend Management


Convincing the CFO or other finance stakeholders that a VMS and or MSP program is a necessity can be a challenge. This is because although a VMS/MSP delivers significant strategic benefits and operational efficiencies to HR and workforce management departments, the CFO has only one bottom line requirement – the bottom line. Rather than trying to convince Finance of the utility of the solution, it may be better to tie the benefits a VMS/MSP program delivers to a strong spend management function. In short, workforce managers know visibility and control leads to efficient spend management, but should frame the discussion strictly in terms of spend management when seeking approval for capital expenditure. Here’s how to build your business case and secure approval.

Particularly for heavily regulated companies spend visibility and control are difficult endeavors to pursue and may not be the most immediate need. So don’t focus on these benefits when making your case. Instead, try explaining that regulatory compliance (like IC classification, tenure and co-employment, etc.) can be exceptionally costly if left unmanaged and unaddressed. Similarly, weak security can be an expensive liability when a workforce program lacks standardized on- and off-boarding and pre-screening. The risk of intellectual property theft alone could be devastatingly costly. 

Illustrate how worker tracking solutions succeed at tracking all external workers engaged by the company and how standardizing this function is critical to company security needs. Then explain how automation and/or active management is key to ensuring a closed-loop worker tracking system with start and end dates effectively tracked to ensure badge, network, and other sensitive access is controlled (i.e. shut off when the worker’s engagement is terminated).

Next show the correlation between active tracking of external workers and the improvement of insight to external services spend.  For example, if an external worker is onboard then it is safe to assume there is an associated cost. Tracking the worker therefore is a solid first step towards creating visibility into spend. Demonstrate how workforce management solutions can be configured to add extra data points to the existing worker records for improved tracking of such factors as vendor name, PO amount, type of worker (i.e. Contractor or SOW consultant), etc.

If a company is heavily regulated or has a security risk associated with external worker access to company sites, systems, etc. the case can be made that it is risky to wait two years or more to get worker tracking under control. Since worker tracking can be implemented much quicker than spend management, it is only logical that worker tracking be a practical first step. Spend management across all segments of third party services spend can take a bit more time to achieve (1-2 years or more). In short, with a worker tracking solution – a VMS an MSP or both – spend management follows, thereby killing two birds with one cost-effective stone.

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