April 01, 2016

K.I.S.S – Keep it Simple and Smart

The design principle of “Keep it simple, stupid” (KISS) is well known. However, when it comes to technology, particularly workforce technology, it makes more sense to not only keep the system simple but also to make sure it’s smart. Experts have been saying for a while that 35 percent of the world’s total workforce is comprised of contingent, non-employee or freelance labor. And that number is now predicted to reach 50 percent, according to Ardent Partners, in the near future. This complexity that grows due to a truly blended workforce means that companies need a contingent workforce software that follows the K.I.S.S. principle, but not the usual KISS principle, but a new one: Keep it Simple and Smart!

When it comes to Vendor Management Systems (VMS), this means that the technology should be both simple for users to implement and use on a daily basis, but also smart enough to provide the analytics needed to fully leverage the workforce and manage complicated processes.


As their workforce landscape become increasingly complicated, business users are looking for technology solutions that are easy to use and simple to implement. This means a vendor management system that does not require intensive training or a guidebook. Rather, users look for menus that are self-explanatory, built-in guidance, and instant reminders and notifications to prompt timely and appropriate actions. Business users look for systems that have customizable templates and pre-populated data.

Additionally, when it comes to investing in new business software, users are often hesitant or resistant due to the belief that new installations are a daunting process due to disruptions in productivity and lengthy timelines. Thus, they look for vendor management solutions that are supported by an implementation methodology that insures a seamless go-live process, with little impact on day-to-day operations and minimal burden on internal technology departments.


The number of non-employee workers in the labor force is continuing to grow at an exponential pace, increasingly impacting businesses. Companies who typically used a “traditional” workforce are now investigating the value an extended contingent workforce program can bring to an organization. This emerging type of labor requires a different type of intelligence to help make sound hiring decisions that also save on costs.

Business users are not only for a simple to use VMS, but also one that provides true workforce intelligence. This intelligence is not limited to reports and analytics, but intelligence and features that make it easy to collect and use the data needed to make the best choices regarding a company’s workforce.  For example, valuable data is not limited to the walls of the organization and often comes from external sources, such as the marketplace. A smart VMS offers a single platform for viewing and managing transactional and interactional data from multiple sources, both inside and outside the business.

A smart technology solution should lead users from analysis to the action that needs to be taken next, utilizing historical data and trend information to offer recommendations for estimating rates, spend, and contract values. Many of the leading VMS providers are offering advanced analytics functionality including algorithmic HR, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP).