Trend: Connecting SoW to the VMS

Security guards, maintenance engineers, cleaners, IT specialists from outside – organisations often have no idea who is running around on their workfloor. After all, they are external professionals who are hired outside the regular hiring process. Yet the solution is as logical as it is simple. Just connect a SoW module to the VMS.

The regular hiring of professionals in larger organisations is often arranged via a Vendor Management System (VMS).  The purchase of projects or services (IT) or outsourced work (security, cleaning or the accountant) is often done based on Statement of Work (SoW). The big difference with the regular hiring of external personnel is that with a SoW agreement arrangements are made according to results rather than hours (and rate).

But what if, as an organisation, you also want to get a grip on the costs and processes of external professionals who work for you via purchased services and projects, apart from the regular hiring? This is not standard in every VMS solution.

External hiring and SoW in one system

Staffing MS has now made this part of the hiring programme by also offering SoW Worker tracking with the Nétive VMS (see box). According to Paul Oldenburg of Staffing MS (part of HeadFirst Group), this is in line with the trend. “Over the past ten years, you can see that the professionalisation of the hiring of external professionals has grown. At least half of the organisations in the Netherlands now have this process ( quite reasonably) under control (partly thanks to working with a VMS). These organisations are looking for next steps, such as Statement of Work (SoW), to get a grip on all the external professionals active in the organisation. Think about security, cleaning, but also organising turnarounds and maintenance in factories. A lot of personnel from outside walks around the company, uses systems, needs access, while you don’t know who they are. There are all kinds of administrations for this, but it is very labour-intensive and confusing. What could be more logical than mapping out the SoW in the system in which you arrange your external hiring (VMS)?

SoW Worker tracking

Staffing MS, which has been working with Nétive for over ten years, is one of the first MSPs to offer SoW Worker tracking. In October this year, Nétive added a new SoW module (Project Tracking and SoW Worker Management (Worker tracking)) to the existing VMS. SoW Worker tracking regulates the registration and (compliant) file management of all professionals of (sub)contractors who are deployed for outsourced work; for example screening, registration (issuing passes), compliance, onboarding/offboarding, performance accounting, invoicing and reporting. This gives an organisation a good insight into all the external personnel, both those who work for the organisation via regular hiring (VMS) and purchased services (SoW-module), via a single integrated system.

Risks associated with outsourced work

This SoW Worker tracking takes care of the registration of professionals (per supplier), on- and offboarding and compliant file management. Oldenburg gives a concrete example: “Suppose you outsource an IT project to ATOS. During such a project, up to fifty people walk in and out; developers, scrum masters, testers, and so on. Then it would be useful if you could record in the VMS who, where, when and how the file can be built up. Think about screening, identification (identity management) and applying for an access pass.”

And that’s very important. After all, an organisation also runs risks for outsourced work, especially if the work is carried out on location, such as legislation and regulations (AVG (privacy), VCA certification, liability (industrial accident), identity management and (information) security.

Technology offers a solution

More and more customers are looking for such a solution. “In 2014, UMC Utrecht already had the question ‘who is walking around in our hospital? “They then opted for a different (access management) solution and not for us,” says Oldenburg, who, with the arrival of SoW Worker Management, sees opportunities to offer this from now on. “Pre-employment screening, for example, is particularly interesting for the financial sector and our industrial clients. Now that the technology offers an elegant solution, it’s easier for us to tackle it. So we are actively talking to clients to take care of that access registration for them. We see this mainly as a very good extra service to help our existing customers get even more grip on the flexible shell”.

Connecting VMS

Whether organisations want to make use of this depends on what the customer already has in house, says Oldenburg. “Most of the alternative solutions I have seen are very simple (Excel) or very advanced applications. For us, offering a good solution is simple. The VMS is already there, it’s a cloud solution – so anyone has access to it, the information can be removed or made anonymous if necessary, and it’s AVG-proof, because no personal data remains in all kinds of mail folders.

Nétive is not the only provider that has included SoW solutions in their VMS. Large VMS providers such as Fieldglass and Beeline also do this. Not surprising, according to Oldenburg. “It is very easy to implement and connect to an existing VMS. Just flip a switch, you get a screen and the entire onboarding of external professionals via purchased services and projects (SoW) is integrated into the system”.

Project Sourcing

A step further than project tracking and worker tracking in SoW is project sourcing, in which a supplier even thinks about achieving the desired output and organising work. “Then you go more in the direction of organisational advice. That’s a bridge too far for us,” says Oldenburg. “We do give advice on setting up the hiring process, what better way for the client to do it himself and/or outsource it, but we stick to what we do best.”

However, Staffing MS does undertake project sourcing if, for example, it concerns the staffing of a call centre for clients. This can be compared to the marketplaces that are set up when hiring external staff. The client sets an objective, you submit a project plan and you carry it out. Oldenburg: “We do this for Aon, for example. They always need a lot of people in the call centre at the end of the year; they need to be trained and ready when customers call with questions about health insurance or want to switch. We put that on the market for them and do the pre-selection, after which Aon selects the best party”.

This article was published 2 november 2020 on