Gain Visibility into the Retail Contingent workforce
  • 3 min read

Gain Visibility into the Retail Contingent workforce

Client Profile: A chain of retail outlets based in the northeast of the United States


In early 2017, our client chose Simplify VMS to provide visibility and process standardization for their contingent labor management program in the U.S. Prior to onboarding Simplify VMS, the client’s HR and procurement managers experienced several challenges with managing their contingent workforce, including:

  • They didn’t have a full view of non-employees working for their organization; where they were located, which agency they were from, or which compliance procedures were followed (if any) to onboard them

  • They didn’t have one centralized process to manage their contingent workforce; creating a significant burden surrounding onboarding and off boarding non-employee talent

  • They didn’t have visibility into their talent suppliers’ pricing and markups; supplier base opacity often times resulted in higher costs to onboard contingent labor resources, which reduced the program’s return on investment

  • They didn’t have an existing vendor management system (VMS) setup and so organizational alignment modifications were required

Through a competitive RFP bid process, the client decided to go with Simplify VMS for its “no walls” configuration capabilities and overall ease of use.

“Based on our positive experience leveraging the tool, we plan on expanding the tools’ coverage to include statement of work (SOW) labor categories in the coming year, which we expect to be around an additional $10m of spend going through the tool.”


By onboarding Simplify VMS, the client was able to centralize their contingent workforce data stream into one channel. From this channel, stakeholders were able to pull reports in real-time and automate workflows, which helped them when they needed to onboard and off board talent rapidly to meet seasonal demand trends. Additionally, by having visibility into their supplier base, stakeholders were able to transform their talent management strategy through supplier rationalization efforts and by identifying new “best fit” talent suppliers.

Another major benefit of funneling their contingent labor data (e.g., invoices, timesheets, requisitions, etc.) through one tool was the creation of a single channel of information that program stakeholders could leverage for a variety of uses. This channel has eliminated the need for multiple touchpoints and requisitions outside of the system, which ultimately helped reduce rogue spend.


The client met year-end workforce demand in a timely manner. By having the right fit VMS tool in place, the client simplified their onboarding and off-boarding efforts and centralized all of their data to support supplier negotiations and streamline their talent acquisition strategy.

By having more visibility into their contingent workforce, the client sponsor was able to rationalize their supplier base and reduce their administrative workload almost entirely. This enabled them to focus on strategic initiatives that helped drive their organization’s mission forward.

Overall, stakeholders were able to create measurable metrics for HR to use and drove inefficiencies out of the program. As a result, the client created a benchmark to measure return on investment against each year for HR, and they reduced onboarding and off boarding time by over 50%, which saved them $250k in year 1 of the program alone.