Technology and temporary agency labour
Last week we looked at the CIPD’s predictions for the next 20 years in procurement. One of those is ‘technology’.
Technology is already starting to play a huge, if not integral part in the procurement process; however in our experience this is less the case when it comes to temporary agency labour. As indirect spend, contingent staffing is a notoriously difficult budget to constrain, however with the right technology and training it is possible to manage easily.
No doubt in the next twenty years technology will move ahead in ways which we cannot predict, but it is unlikely that the UK workforce will be replaced by robots in just two decades so temporary agency labour will remain a headache for procurement professionals.
With a multi-step process comes the challenge of high-level admin and processing costs, it also means management software needs to be all encompassing or else multiple systems are required. The simplest way to implement technology is to look at which aspects of the process are the most labour and/or cost intensive and begin there. For most this is the processing of timesheets and invoices. Not only does this required administrative staff, it also consumes reams of paper and is susceptible to human error.
Barring the actual cost of employing a temporary workforce another significant unforecastable spend comes from legislative or health and safety breaches and improperly trained staff. It is difficult to ensure that every single temporary agency worker has the right qualifications and experience to carry out the role and if hiring managers are taking on a large volume of temps at once one could slip through the net.
de Poel have spent 10 years building and improving their temporary agency labour management system, e-tips® (which stands for electronic timesheet and invoice processing system), in order to make indirect staffing procurement easier for all parties involved.
Not only does the system provide electronic, consolidated invoices, there are also compliance checks and a wealth of management information available to download. Everyone involved in the process can have a user account, giving them access to what they need. Leading to a significant reduction in out of panel spend, better communication with all parties, the elimination of paper-based invoices and the ability to forecast and analyse spend more efficiently.