The Importance of Contractor Management Software

What is a Contractor Management Software?

Contractor management software is an important part to managing any company, business or organization’s interactions with the contractors who support its operations and facilities. It is an integral part in managing all contractor types from electricians to plumbers, HVAC to garbage removal, paving to painting.

A contractor management system/software consolidates all contractor information into one database. And can then automate any processes across national, regional and local contractors.

Contractor Management & Onboarding

The first step for of utilizing a contractor management software is the onboarding of your commercial contractors onto the management software platform. Once on the platform your contractors can communicate and transact electronically with your Facilities Management team, and your facilities management team can perform an array of automated activities including work verification, electronic payments, and analytics.

Assess both the technology and the level of support of a contractor management solution

Onboarding and training your external contractors on how to get started and use the system is crucial as it will ensure proper and consistent use. Effective onboarding also leads to maximizing value and minimizing errors and risk by automating contractor sourcing, work order management and invoice/payment processes.

To have a truly successful facilities management program, contractors must be fully engaged in the process. It’s why whenever you evaluate a contractor management solution you cannot look at just the technology. You need to focus on the resources that go into contractor training. What good is software if no one knows how to use it or doesn’t full understand the features?

A robust contractor management system will include training and onboarding contractors on all aspects of the software and program, including registering and uploading contractor company information (insurance, W9 information, etc.), checking in/out using our GPS check in/Out or IVR telephone system, submitting electronic proposals and invoices, and adhering to all of your organization’s specific procedures.

One of the most significant benefits of having all your contractors trained and on board with contractor management service automation is that it enables you to receive objective, quantifiable performance metrics. It minimizes room for error, ensures brand consistency across all locations and avoids costly mistakes. It also ensures compliance by validating that contractors have the necessary and up-to-date insurance and licenses.

Ongoing Training and Web-Based Instructions

Training needs to take place continuously as contractors hire new employees, as new features are added or modified in the contractor management software, and to also serve as a refresher for those already using the system. Training can take place in person, but most contractor management programs provide value and efficiency in web-based instruction (training webinars) for commercial contractors and facilities management teams. Effective training and onboarding can save time and manpower in getting your contractor son the contractor management system and up to speed.

The Advantages of Contractor Management Solutions

Contractor management solutions enable facilities managers to better organize and manage work orders, and monitor performance and productivity. As facilities management becomes more data-driven, it’s critical that contractor sourcing not rely solely on relationships and perceived trust, but also include objective, quantifiable performance metrics. As with every aspect of your operations, you want to make sure you have the best-performing contractors doing your work.

The Quest for Global Risk Agility

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Man-made risks, such as cyberrisk, physical security threats and climate change—are the driving forces in the global threat landscape. Unlike natural risk, which remains a central preoccupation, man-made risks have agency. Simply put, a tornado does not pre-plan where and who it will strike. A cyberattack, by contrast, is generally not a random event. While large organizations can often shield themselves from the financial consequences of many risks, the ensuing reputational harm can irrecoverably erode market share and stakeholder trust. Small- to mid-sized enterprises confront these challenges as an existential threat.

The quest for global risk agility is principally a management framework aimed at changing the way organizations and senior leaders think about risk. Rather than making risk an object of “passive control” and something to be feared, agile decision makers make risk an object to be understood—with a healthy dose of respect—and properly harnessed. There is a risk in doing nothing at all in these turbulent times. Organizations, large or small, can no longer afford to remain on the sidelines.

Organizations tend to be far too passive vis-à-vis their approach to risk management. Risk does not wait for a board to have a quorum among its members before it strikes. Risk also does not recognize the annual planning, strategy or budgetary cycles that are the drumbeat of large enterprises. Too few of these organizations—particularly publicly-listed firms—are marching to the drumbeat and, therefore the short-termism, of the stock market. In the era of man-made risks, decisions need to be framed around longevity and optimization, as opposed to short-term performance and maximization. It is only through this that organizational resilience and a spirit of collective survival will take hold.

The best place to start is to create greater awareness of man-made risk in the context of global risk analysis. Too often, boards and senior decision-makers do not know what questions they should ask of each other, or necessarily where to obtain the right answers. This reality is confounded by the individual silos or domains over which senior leaders reign, largely in indifference to and with independence from their colleagues in the C-suite. The first step is to acknowledge that they may not have all the answers, particularly within the context of long-range planning. It is every global firm’s duty and obligation to develop their own “foreign policy” with respect to operating in international markets. Of course, this also applies to operating domestically, where a rare breed of organization puts its value systems front and center in all decisions, large or small.

Businesses will never be outside the reach of controllable and uncontrollable risk—all they can do is attempt to manage them in a reasonable and effective fashion. In the era of man-made risk, which often clashes with natural risk, many firms need to greatly strengthen their organizational resilience and risk management procedures, or to consider getting into another line of business in another location. Some prime examples are those firms with high profiles and/or a lot of money (that may attract the attention of cybercriminals), those that operate in strategic sectors (that may attract the attention of nationalistic governments), and those located in flood-prone areas or that function in areas of the world particularly prone to terrorism. The intersection between man-made and natural risk will only grow with time, with increasingly profound potential implications.

If 2016 was the year of cyberrisk maturity in that there is not an organization in advanced markets that is not sensitized to their exposure, 2017 will be the year of decision opacity. In other words, decision-makers from large and small enterprises, and across sectors, will be confounded by a world that is increasingly difficult to read and, therefore, to make long-range plans for inventory, investments, hiring and market expansion. Risk can be measured, but uncertainty cannot: Uncertainty creates bank runs, erodes consumer and investor confidence and trust in counterparties and institutions. 2017 will mark a year of intense uncertainty. Those firms already seeking global risk agility—and actively devoting resources to and making decisions consistent with that objective—stand the best chance of actually achieving organizational resilience in the face of such uncertainty.

This post was originally published on the Risk Management Magazine