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Enhancing Contractor Management through Mobile Technologies

Technology and economy can hardly be described as strange bedfellows, but even their invisible interactions are often felt across many industries. It's no wonder, then, that the rise in demand for contractors' services as part of modern-day gig-oriented economies has created a technological drive to make the management of these 'third parties' as streamlined as possible. Luckily for contractors and those who increasingly rely on them in their everyday businesses, this trend was closely followed by the huge strides made in the functionalities of mobile technologies.

Contractor Management from the Pocket

With this technological ally by its side, the contractor management business was ready to make the key next step in breaking with the traditions of the old. Back in those days, human resources departments were often in charge of hiring and overseeing the contractors in terms of their performance, induction, orientation and qualifications. Remember, all of this was done alongside the job-as-usual tasks of the HR departments, such as handling payment for the very same contractors and acting as a communication hub between them and the company's top brass.

Fast forward to the mobile revolution age. Considering that about five billion people on the planet use iPads, iPhones or Android phones, harnessing the power of these omnipresent devices for contractor management seems like a no-brainer. Today, there is even no need to hand out the devices needed for contractor management since those in this business already carry them in their pockets. What one still needs is to pair this mobile tech with a powerful enough platform which will allow companies and their relevant departments to engage, manage, track and review contractors and their performance. In other words, a dedicated software for keeping track of all of this is what will turn your phones into indispensable contractor management tools.

Beating Desktops and Papers

It is said that information is both the gold and oil of the 21st century. Nowadays, each project, be it a small or a big one, generates torrents of data which the smart contractor managers can turn to their advantage and use them to improve the general workflow and interaction with the third parties. Yet, there is an often invisible issue here, since the generated data needs to be filtered out in terms of its relevance and stored in a proper place.

Smartphones and tablets may be just the right platforms to get access to a contractor management portal for the delivery and collection of reliable and timely information, documentation sharing, around-the-clock communication availability and fast email correspondence and messaging. With their essential quality being their mobility, these devices can easily become conduits for the exchange of information on any work-related issue between the workers in the field and their supervisors and managers.

This is not to say that the field of contractor management has been immune to technological advancements of this type which have been proven to be helpful in the execution of its tasks. Desktop-based systems used for this purpose are surely an improvement over using paper as the main medium for contractor management. Yet, even they ran out of steam once the strength of mobile processors increased exponentially, rendering desktop contractor management platforms often too slow to respond, track and fully engage with the contracted parties.

Real Time, Real Benefits

So, the key advantage of mobile technology is its focus on what is happening in real time, as opposed to trying to manage things a posteriori or as an afterthought. This is particularly important when the dynamism of real-time dispatching of contractor's workforce is essential, such as during a crisis or periods of peak demands. In these situations, managing the contractor's daily schedule and making sure you select the best ones for a particular task is greatly helped if the software used for this is compatible with mobile platforms.

Another area in which mobile technology plays a key role in the contractor management are the health, safety and environmental procedures. It goes without saying that their reliance on timely information is essential, particularly if one needs to go over safety policies quickly, check incident reports and learn more about the training and qualifications a contractor has in this field. The same goes for reviewing its health & safety program in use, records of the provision of services, work defects and employee feedback on contractors. With a mobile platform, you can easily verify the contractor's safety history, insurance and business registration, safe work method statements and general compliance. Being able to do this in real time can surely save your business a headache or two down the road.

Online Induction Systems Save Time, Money.... and Lives

A mobile solution for tracking the contractors' status and performance paired with a quality software platform offering real-time status tracking can make the difference between a successful and wasteful management of your workforce resources, which contractors are a part of. Yet, not all of the contractors have the desired skills and qualifications for the specific business challenge you need to tackle. For example, being able to do some prequalification for your contractors in advance can prevent you from having to deal with those that are likely to underperform.

Having an online induction system fully compatible with mobile platforms can be a way to go in approaching contractor management when only the best among them are required for a particular task. This system makes it possible to fully personalize a portal you will use to interact with the contractors and manage their hiring, induction and performance. In terms of its usefulness, a solution of this type is not limited to what happens after the hiring procedure has taken place. With the help of this software, you can freely expand the contractor management to delivering full evaluations of your contractor's performance record and compliance. You can also check all the licenses and certificates that may be required for the task ahead. Having a comprehensive contractor management platform also gives you a central database platform which the contractors can access on their mobile devices to familiarize themselves with your incident report forms, health & safety policies, registers of hazards etc. In addition to saving you time and money, being able to access this information at any time can literally save lives in the long run.

Increased demand for contractors in modern economies presents a new set of challenges for the managers in charge of these tasks. Demands of contractor performance monitoring, complex prequalification and selection procedures and the focus on easy management of health & safety procedures can be taxing on your business and workforce resources. Thankfully, the rise of mobile technologies has followed in the footsteps of these pressures and provided us with a convenient technological platform for handling all aspects of contractor management in real time and with customizability which is essential for meeting any business challenge in the future.

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