More and more companies are using vendor management systems to help with their back-office operations. In fact, according to one research company, more than 72 percent of companies in the U.S. use some type of VMS for managing professional services sourcing/procurement and overseeing their freelance workforce. 

And as the industry matures it has started providing different types of vendor management software solutions for different size companies, industries, and challenges.

Take a look below at the different types of vendor management systems available today and see which type might work best for your situation.

A contract management system

If you’re “only” interested in keeping track of and managing contracts – developing, negotiating, signing, and managing contracts – this type of “simple” VMS might be best for you. Be aware, though: because they focus on contract management, these types of vendor management tools can be weak on supporting such important tasks as performance, risk, and due diligence.

A workflow management system

This type of system is great for designing and controlling workflows – processes for managing contracts, risk, procurement, vendors, etc. Be aware, however: they do take work upfront to customize them to your specific needs. In addition, because they stay static (functionality doesn’t improve), your workflows will stay the same year after year, meaning you could lose out on new technology that can help improve (make them more efficient) them over time.

A procurement management system

If you’re more focused on making sure you manage your procurement processes well, a system that focuses on “just” sourcing, procurement and payment processes may do the job. These software systems often come with the opportunity to add on different modules (such as for contract, vendor and/or risk management), should you feel the need to do so.

A full and robust vendor management system

This type of VMS is best for managing the entire lifecycle of your third-party/vendor relationships because they are designed to do exactly that: manage the life of your relationship with vendors as well as your freelance workforce. Contract management, project management, invoicing, payments, due diligence – all “go back” to the main vendor’s record. This type of VMS provides the clearest “view” of all aspects of just about any third-party relationship.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the types of vendor management systems available, we don’t blame you: there are several different types at different price points and for different types of companies: Aysling’s VMS, for example, is designed for the following industries (though it can be applied to any company with vendors and/or freelancers):

– Graphic and multimedia designers

– Technical consultants

– Custom software designers

– Media publishers (online and print)

– Mechanical and industrial engineering

– Event management

– General business

We’d love to talk to you more about how Aysling can help you manage your vendors and contract workforce.

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