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VMS Lights the Way at Nationwide

For companies with a large contingent workforce, a vendor management system 'really is the only way to manage,' says a Nationwide Mutual Insurance executive.

April 4, 2010
Related Topics: Contingent Staffing, Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS)

Janis Glick remembers when her company had no software system for managing contingent workers.

Back then, Glick and her colleagues at Nationwide Mutual Insurance were in the dark about the number of temporary workers who were serving the financial services company. It was the staffing agencies that “owned” the data about the hundreds of contingent employees assigned to Nationwide.

That all changed in 2001, when Nationwide began using a vendor management system from Peopleclick (now Peopleclick Authoria). The software helps Glick, who heads supply management services, do such things as identify the number of contingent workers—now about 3,000. It also helps her negotiate better rates with staffing agencies and keep track of cost savings.

For companies with a large contingent workforce, a vendor management system “really is the only way to manage,” Glick says.

Nationwide was among the early adopters of software tools for managing contingent workers. The systems have been getting more attention as companies move toward a just-in-time workforce, especially in the wake of the recession.

Glick says Peopleclick Authoria’s application helps Nationwide save about $10 million annually through staffing supplier discounts for volume and prompt payment. Nationwide spends roughly $240 million each year on contingent labor.

Other vendors selling vendor management systems include IQNavigator, Fieldglass and Provade. Peopleclick Authoria’s product isn’t perfect in Glick’s eyes. She wishes, for example, it would send out alerts when contingent workers have worked a certain number of hours.

But overall she’s glad to have a way to shine a light on Nationwide’s contingent labor situation. Without a vendor management system, she says, companies can be held “hostage” to suppliers for information about temporary workers.

“I would never go back,” she says.

Workforce Management, April 2010, p. 30 -- Subscribe Now!

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