Benefits of Online Contractor Management
Many companies now rely on contractors to supplement their regular workforce. This gives them great flexibility because they can increase or reduce their resources easily in line with the workload and can take on specialist skills that are only needed infrequently.
The growth in the use of contractors, however, brings its own challenges. Large numbers of them may be employed on many projects across several sites and so keeping control of them can be a big problem.
The traditional answer was to manage contractors manually, with a combination of spreadsheets, email communications and an assortment of paper-based records. These made it difficult to properly keep control, with the drawbacks of manual searches causing renewal dates to be missed, inefficient selection of contractors and various other failings that caused contractor productivity to be lower than it could be.
Why Online Contractor Management is Much Better
The move to online contractor management improved the situation tremendously. Early versions of this required the purchase or licensing of packaged software that was then processed on a company’s own computer systems. This has now largely been superseded by cloud-based systems where all records are processed and stored at the supplier’s data centre. This brings numerous advantages:
- Since the data is stored and processed remotely, the expense and complexity of having powerful computers with large storage is avoided. Additionally, since data centres have extensive security with regular back-ups, sensitive data is much more secure.
- Software is upgraded periodically and automatically with no need to interrupt processing.
- Unlike manual systems where data is often recorded separately in several places, input of data to online contractor management systems is only made once. Thus, for example, input of hours worked by a contractor will be logged against the correct job for project management and charging, to the contractor for payment and into reporting modules to assess progress, efficiency and to monitor KPIs and SLAs.
- Data can easily be searched wherever it is recorded. This can have numerous uses, such as establishing the most suitable contractor for a job or identifying contractors that are failing to meet set standards.
- Any insurance, certificates and other documentation that are due to expire and need to be renewed can be reported automatically well in advance. This means you’ll always be compliant and won’t risk incurring penalties.
- Data can be accessed from anywhere and at any time through a mobile device by anyone who has the required authority. Contractors can therefore access job details from site and record all work carried out while project staff have a complete overview of all contracts and contractors so they can schedule work and monitor its progress.
- The system is totally scaleable without the need to acquire extra hardware or software. So, no matter how big your business grows, no matter how many projects and contractors you have, everything will be handled in the same way.
Gaining the Benefits of Online Contractor Management
When using LinkSafe’s contractor management system, much of the data is input by the contractors themselves, who will record the time they’ve worked and the materials they’ve used on particular jobs. Once your staff have set up jobs and allocated contractors to the work, they no longer need to print and despatch worksheets since they’re generated and transmitted automatically.
Your contract staff now have more time to monitor projects to make sure they’re running efficiently, to check that contractors are working effectively and to take corrective action if they’re not. They won’t be bothered by renewals and contractor compliance, so the overall result is an operation that runs smoother with higher productivity and profitability.