Contractor management has taken on a larger role in field service organizations as business continues to grow while resources continue to be scarce. The ultimate business plan in field service has revolved around increasing productivity without increasing employee numbers, forcing management to do more with less.
Contractors have become integral in the everyday success of field service management. In 2020, it was predicted that by the end of the year, 40% of field service work will be performed by third party technicians.
With contractors becoming a large part of your business, it is important to determine the best ways to hire and integrate them into your work force.
What is the Contractor Management Lifecycle?
Before we can understand how to make the contractor management process more efficient, we must understand the purpose of the contractor management lifecycle. Ultimately, contractor management aims to be cost-effective. Field service managers can save money using contractors and meet headcount requirements for their business. However, this technique can only be cost effective if it is efficient.
Thankfully, with the rise of contractors, service automation platforms have been on the rise. Contractor management solutions can help managers optimize their service workflows. These types of solutions help create an end-to-end lifestyle approach. Contractor management solutions make sure you are getting the most out of your contractor and all business needs are being met.
Choosing the right contractor management software is important. Contractor management solutions should be able to manage requests, analyze real time data and reduce invoice processing. Contractor management solutions should also be able to monitor contractors based on qualifications and performance. This will keep the contractor lifecycle moving.
Here are 5 steps to effectively manage your third party contractors.
Step One: Request a Contractor
The most important step is the first. It is critical to find a reputable contractor with the experience that your business needs. If not done properly, this step can drive higher costs and result in a contractor that does not fit your needs. Some companies even turn to brokers or other intermediaries to find a contractor for them, which can get expensive quickly.
However, contractor management software contains essential features in helping solve these common problems. Integrated contractor management solutions enable field service organizations to recruit and authorize contractors to determine you are getting the best person for the job.
If you have yet to invest in third party management software, then leveraging ServicePower’s unique contractor network may be the easiest way to get in touch with vetted and professional contractors.
Step Two: Draft the Contract
Be sure to consult with upper management or an in house attorney before drafting the conditions of the contract. Make sure to lay out requirements concisely, so that there is no room for misinterpretation.
Expect that there may be some contract negotiations involved. Transparency and trust is of the utmost importance when it comes to these negotiations. With the rise of the gig economy, contractors know that they are more important than ever, so they will be more willing to take risks if a contract or management does not feel right.
Step 3: Ensure Contractor Compliance
You have found the right contractor and signed a contract, it is now time to make sure that the contractor lives up to their expectations. Contractors must comply with all corporate and regulatory requirements. Keeping an eye on this will help mitigate risk and prevent costly liability problems.
Contractor management systems can have credentialing processes integrated into their program. Not only does this ensure that contractors are meeting regulatory requirements, it can also conduct criminal background checks and health screenings.
Step 4: Optimize the Onboarding Process
Onboarding can be a time consuming and monotonous process. However, contractor configured profiles can speed up the process and allow for tedious tasks to be completed faster and easier. Some platforms provide self-service options in the onboarding process, allowing for insurance and tax information to be collected, certification to be checked and errors to be eliminated.
The faster onboarding is complete, the quicker your contractor can get out in the field. Contractor management solutions will streamline your dispatch processes and help you optimize your workflows. Once a contractor's feet are on the ground, there are endless possibilities to expand the geographical footprint and output of your services.
Step 5: Conduct Performance Reviews
It is considered a best practice to conduct performance reviews of your contractors. Before, it may have been difficult to conduct performance reviews for third-party contractors. However, the digital transformation of field service has given management the opportunity to access real-time data to drive business decisions, including performance metrics.
Contractor management software has revolutionized the way contractors can be used. Contractor management software allows you to dynamically dispatch ranked contractors, making sure you select the best fit for each job. With this new technology, contractors are set up for success and should be performing at a higher level. Contractor management software can make the review process easier and grants management the insight to retain top performing contractors and weed out those that may not be the right fit.
Since the competition for contractors is so high, consistent performance reviews can help contractors understand their performance. It can also strengthen the relationship between your business and its contractors, allowing everyone to conduct their business in a positive manner.
In 2021 and beyond, companies will be utilizing a blended workforce to deal with fluctuating workloads. The value of an intelligent workforce management solution will be indispensable for effective contractor management.
Are you a skilled contractor looking for more opportunities in the field service network? Apply to ServicePower’s service network.
If you are looking for vetted and skilled third party contractors to join your business, use ServicePower’s contract network to find independent contractors near you.