What Makes Utmost Different from a Vendor Management System (VMS)?

Workday customers can achieve total talent management with Utmost

Traditional VMS technology is incapable of providing a scalable solution for total talent management

The modern enterprise workforce is changing at a pace unseen in previous decades. A mix of contractors, freelancers, gig workers, outsourced workers, professional services, independent contractors, and other classifications of non-employee labor is set to exceed traditional full-time employees in the workforce by 2023

Add to that the globalization of the market, technological advances, emerging skill sets, a post-pandemic shift in priorities for both companies and workers, the demand for a more flexible workforce, and a platform to manage its evolution -- has never been more necessary.

To achieve total talent management, there must be one system of record -- one source of truth -- for companies to have visibility into their entire workforce. VMS technologies today don’t provide a holistic view of the extended workforce because they weren't designed to do so. Utmost was built for the future of work, meaning it’s one platform that delivers data on all workers regardless of how they are classified. We combine data for all external workers with employee data for a total workforce view via our native Workday integration. 

Here are some key differentiators between Utmost’s Extended Workforce System versus a traditional VMS. 

Unmatched integration with Workday

Not all integrations are alike. VMS integrations with Workday are limited, resulting in poor user experience and lack of visibility into the extended workforce.  

Part of why a VMS cannot deliver total talent management is that they exist separately from an enterprise’s HCM like Workday. The integrations and product teams at the leading VMS providers must build and manage integrations with a variety of HCMs instead of focusing on a seamless experience with one. Even if they do integrate with Workday, it’s a custom integration that is costly to maintain and less intuitive to use.

For Workday specifically:

    • You can use many of the same data objects you’ve configured in Workday, such as job profiles, supervisory orgs, geographies, etc. The job profile in Utmost syncs with Workday. In a VMS (even those claiming they have native APIs with Workday), they need to do extensive mapping and testing or creating custom fields to accommodate Workday fields.
    • Utmost’s process builder, known as Utmost Flow, is natively integrated with Workday. This simplifies any automation you build, such as onboarding, duplicate worker checks, daily reporting, etc. To accomplish anything similar with a VMS, you need another software (known as an iPaaS), which itself will need to be configured for Workday and then for the VMS.
    • You can access Utmost directly from Workday. It’s as simple as clicking the Utmost tab on the Workday homepage, and you can single sign-on now into the software. No additional logins or passwords are required. 
    • All of our customers are Workday customers, so all new Workday releases will be quickly tested for compatibility.

Total workforce visibility:

A traditional vendor management system (VMS) was built to handle staff augmentation workers and offers a limited solution for the management of other categories of workers. Even if a VMS manages SOW workers, this only comprises around 16% of the total spend under management. Effectively, VMS platforms provide only a sliver of visibility into an organization’s entire extended workforce.

VMS platforms were not built to handle independent contractors, shift workers, freelancers, gig workers, or other emerging types of workers. These workers require more flexibility in the duration of work, how they work (i.e., multiple assignments), and most critically, how their work is billed. Because of this, these workers are rarely tracked in a VMS today.  

Simple hiring manager experience: 

The VMS hiring manager experience is lacking because VMS platforms do not allow for guidance or support to enter a requirement. That’s why we created Utmost Front Door.

Most VMS platforms have guided wizards for staff augmentation, but hiring managers often need help before that. They don’t always know what type of worker may be the best option for a given role or project.

Utmost Front Door makes Workday the single place for hiring managers to request and manage all classifications of workers, whether employee or non-employee. 

This ends the confusion about where a manager should go for different types of workers. More than a decision tree, Front Door guides the hiring manager through a series of steps to identify the right classification and sourcing channel. Front Door gathers the data necessary to create a requisition and routes the requisition for approval with no additional steps or data entry into other systems.

Organizations can then simplify the hiring manager experience, improve compliance, and dramatically reduce administrative overhead.

Streamlined worker experience:

While managing the extended workforce certainly requires spend-based tools, there is a significant human capital component to this part of an enterprise's spend. Of course, you need the contract management expertise of procurement software, but the extended workforce does not function like other spend categories.

Workers in a VMS must create an account for every customer or supplier they work with, duplicating standard information like their contact details, work history, and payment information. There is also no central place for a worker to see all the data across different clients, projects, or suppliers. What’s more, because a VMS was built around the supplier rather than the worker, workers engage with the technology after they’ve started their assignment and are submitting their time for approval. 

Additionally, VMSs are structured around rate cards and do not cover a worker’s previous work history, achievements, performance, or skills. 

With Utmost, workers have a single instance of their profile across all of the enterprises they work with, simplifying onboarding and managing their engagements. Workers have a single profile of their work history to track licenses, certifications, skills, and previous engagements. This allows them to better market themselves to the enterprise with complete, in-depth worker profiles.

Real-time risk mitigation:

VMS platforms are poorly designed to mitigate compliance risks because worker information is tied to the supplier of record rather than owned by the worker. 

With Utmost, you can track common anomalies such as expired contracts or licensure, configuring workflows unique to your organization as you go. These workflows are tied to the worker (not the supplier), offering flexibility and visibility to the worker assignment not possible in a VMS. Also, you can receive notifications about high-risk issues and get visibility into lower-risk problems with our global dashboard.

What’s more, not all VMSs have a real-time dashboard to assess compliance or risk issues such as expired certifications, ending contracts, or systems access. With Utmost, these dashboards are real-time and customizable, so you can view and sort the information in a way that works for you. A VMS is designed for requisitions and spend approval but not for managing the variety of risks that poor extended worker onboarding/offboarding can pose to an enterprise.

Automation for complex workflows:

Enterprises can automate more tasks and collaborate easier with Utmost. Even the most “next-gen” VMS lack a business process workflow builder to automate complex tasks.

Workflows in a VMS are largely standardized around requisition creation, approval flows, onboarding, and supplier communication. While most human capital management systems have introduced workflow or journey builders to improve the worker experience and automation of everyday tasks, VMS providers are behind in technology, typically requiring customized code and development to manage complex scenarios because they are built on 20-year-old architecture. 

With Utmost, you can create workflows that span enterprise systems that would allow you to, for example, provision workers in downstream identity management systems. Customized forms can also be included as a part of a workflow so that workers and suppliers can submit information, say, as part of onboarding.

Workflows can also be configured based on different values defined by the client. For example, approval flow in the EU can go down one path while the approval flow would go down another route in the US.

Pricing per active worker instead of spend-under-management:

Most VMS contracts are priced by spend-under-management, which forces suppliers and workers to pay fees. Sold as a “supplier funded model” (most common in the US), the fees are technically paid by the supplier but built into the bill rates of the workers they submit. This motivates suppliers to submit at the top of the rate range every time to recoup the cost. 

While some VMS solutions are moving towards a typical SaaS-pricing model, most still charge based on spend-under-management as if the extended workforce is any other spend category. This spend-focused pricing discourages businesses from getting visibility into the total headcount of extended workers. 

With Utmost, enterprises are priced by worker similar to other human capital management tools that the organization uses (i.e., Workday). No worker or supplier is charged to engage with the business, and the enterprise manages all spend and budget for the software.

Which one is right for you?

If you’re a Workday customer, there’s no question that Utmost should be on your shortlist as you evaluate solutions. Utmost natively integrates with Workday, which provides an experience beyond what any vendor management system can do, reducing the need for other integration services or software. 

Utmost introduces an agile and scalable approach to managing your external workforce, allowing you to manage external resources as you do your employee human capital with full visibility of individuals, skills, and of course, spend. This flexibility is built for the future of work, encompassing all types of workers. We provide the depth of data necessary to understand skills demand and availability, and the breadth of services to support your total extended workforce.

Still not sure? See if Utmost could be right for you by attending a live 30 min demo. Save your spot here.

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