Has your company experienced a successful implementation of a Vendor Management System? Or were the results not exactly what you expected?


I've worked with several clients who use VMS to manage requirements and many of the managers openly express that they despise them.


The initial good intentions of these systems are to streamline communications, decrease time-to-fill, create price competition among vendors (thus reducing costs), and save time for HR, managers, etc by decreasing the face-to-face and/or verbal contact between vendors and company employees/managers (also reducing vendor bias), etc, etc.


But what are the actual results?


From what I've seen, VMS encourage low quality, high volume behavior because of the lack of manager contact, input, and feedback. Vendors put a lot of effort in at first, but that stops when they see the system lead to very low success rates. They get burned taking the time to thoroughly screen and submit a great candidate and then never getting feedback or having it go any further than that. Amazing, qualified candidates can fall through the cracks when they’re in the system with mass amounts of other candidates (mostly unqualified). For some firms, if they submit 100 candidates and have 5-10 go through, that's enough for them to be successful. So then vendors start to take short cuts on screening because it doesn't seem to change their outcome. Do VMS' just cause a lot of noise that distracts the managers from looking at/finding the 2 or 3 actually qualified candidates from the firms who aren’t deviating from a proper screening process?


We have been successful with several clients using VMS, but it is almost always because of a relationship that is in place between us and the hiring managers, and a deep understanding of the clients' environments and needs.


So in my mind, VMS + relationships = success. What do you think?

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