How a Single Vendor Strategy Benefits Workforce Management
Streamlining your software tools with workforce management solutions from an integrated technology partner can save on your bottom line.
According to a survey by Tech Pro Research, 47% of surveyed businesses are managing 10 vendor relationships or more. That’s like having a different software provider supporting your scheduling and payroll needs, with another solution handling invoicing and billing. And then another solution housing your employee self-service portal, with yet another system rolling out your applicant tracking and onboarding solutions. Then there’s location tracking and business intelligence and job costing and…you get the picture.
The bottom line is this: if you’re looking at all of these business needs (and the software you use to complete them) as separate entities, you’re doing your company a major disservice. There are benefits to establishing a technology partnership where your tech stack is housed, managed and supported by a single software partner.
What is a tech stack?
In layman’s terms, a tech stack is the collection of technologies you use to run your business. There are advantages to moving forward with a single vendor strategy for your tech stack, including:
- Expert opinion: When you partner with a technology partner who is an expert in your industry, you gain access to solutions that were built to address challenges specific to your industry. (At TEAM, we pride ourselves in being software experts in the cleaning and security industries, tackling the biggest challenges from compliance and profitability, to hiring and retaining talent).
- Ease of doing business: Your company has access to a streamlined channel of support and billing management.
- Simplified training: From implementation to ongoing training, integrated, single-vendor relationships often result in easier and faster pieces of training for your personnel.
- Investing in relationships: With an integrated tech partnership, you can provide vital insight into the evolution of products, weighing in on product roadmap needs, beta testing new product features and voicing your opinions through idea portals to make the most out of your contract.
- Easier to track your operating costs: With a single software provider, you can gain a clearer picture of your operating costs. Everything from invoicing (i.e. – less invoices to sort through) to recurring billing becomes easier.
- Cohesive tech stack strategy: Solutions often complement each other, with fine-tuned APIs and interconnectivity for seamless data sharing (reducing data error and providing you with better information for decision making)
Technology partnerships in action.
One of the biggest benefits of using solutions from an integrated tech partner with a specialized industry focus is the ability to lean on a company’s expertise. Put simply, your tech partner should be keeping an eye on what’s going on in your industry, so you can focus on your contracts and customers. This can include anything from a new compliance regulation to product features that address ever-changing labor laws.
Bottom line: you need to be able to continue what you’re doing without disrupting your contracted work. Investing in an integrated tech partner relationship enables you to do this.
Things to be prepared for when investing in a single technology vendor strategy.
- Growing pains: If you use a software provider to manage some parts of your business, but not others, there may be growing pains as you consolidate and streamline actions. Some software features, like out-of-the-box reports or timekeeping strategies, may seem simple at first glance. But, you can’t just turn them on and walk away.Your business is unique, so come prepared with your business-critical needs and make them known to your tech partner as you work to implement and migrate data from other systems. Trust us, the hard work upfront does pay off in the long run.
- Change management: Change is hard, always. So, having a product manager on your team handling the specifics is key to success as you work to consolidate your tech stack.“A project manager enables a second set of eyes that can keep the team on track and greatly improve their success. Project managers also ensure data collection and research are accurate and on time.” – Vicky LaFrancis, Customer Experience Operations Manager
How to get started.
If you don’t invest in a worthwhile partnership early on, you may regret your band-aid approach eventually. You don’t have to take our word for it. Forbes agrees – invest in a first-rate technology stack early on, so you can focus on your core business.
First things first:
- Ask yourself what you’re really trying to accomplish. When consolidating your tech stack, there may be opportunities to sunset solutions that aren’t serving a revenue-generating purpose for your business. By trimming the fat, you could also be opening up opportunities to explore add-on solutions or packs from your integrated tech partner (with shared data supporting it).
- Evaluate current partnerships. If you aren’t supported by a provider with years of experience in your industry, now might be the time to make a switch.
- Evaluate that partner’s technology suite. Do they have solutions for your time and attendance needs? Scheduling? Employee engagement, recruiting or applicant tracking? What about BI and analytics, or back-office management? Finding a software provider that checks as many boxes as you need up-front can reduce headaches down the road.
- Talk to people. If you’re brand new to the software provider, talk to their current customers. Talk to your own customers to figure out what is most important to them, and how a software solution can help support those needs. Talk to the software company’s account rep, but feel confident enough to dive deeper and reach out to implementation specialists early on.
If you’re looking to expand on your current solutions and consolidate into a single vendor strategy, talk to your customer success manager and senior leadership. Trust us, if you’re looking to explore a long-term partnership, they want to talk with you, too.