Getting It Right: Solving Challenges of Contractor Qualification and Management
Dec 19, 2017
Are you struggling to deal with an ever-increasing population of contractors in your workplace while simultaneously keeping up with government regulations? Are you still using paper-based processes or homegrown spreadsheet solutions to certify and ensure contractor compliance?
Industry-leading companies are turning to compliance software and services to save time and money and minimize risk when addressing these challenges. However, it will be helpful for companies that are evaluating a new system to keep in mind the most common issues businesses overlook, including:
- Lack of sophistication to handle varying risk levels across locations
- No or inadequate quality control/administrative resources
- Failure to implement industry best practices
- Weakening of relationships with contractors
For safety and procurement professionals, it’s essential to learn how to avoid these common pitfalls of contractor compliance management. What are some of the challenges safety and procurement professionals face?
Challenge #1: Managing contractor compliance on paper
Managing contractors out of filing cabinets and/or spreadsheets is time-consuming, inefficient, and ultimately more costly. Most importantly, companies that rely on outdated, inefficient methods to track and manage this data are taking extremely high risks.
A single error or expired piece of documentation can shut down operations or bring on civil penalties for a company. In rare but real instances, they can also cost lives. In the US, and globally, governments hold prime employers responsible when things go wrong:
Both OSHA and MSHA often assess higher civil penalties against the prime employer, mine operator, or general contractor than against the subordinate company directly involved in the violative action, because the agencies deem the primary employers to have a higher level of culpability or a better understanding of regulatory responsibilities.
Challenge #2: Inability to handle varying levels of risk
Generic questionnaires that don’t take into account varying degrees of risk can alienate contractors and thus drive up your costs and theirs, impacting business relationships.
Advanced compliance management solutions should rely on a sophisticated risk assessment engine to compute data taken from your unique environment, your specific industry, and all your locations, in any language. Using this software, the solutions vendor can tailor the system to match your unique environment and risk tolerance levels.
Software reduces paperwork, but doesn’t solve everything
Businesses that have taken the next step to improve contractor compliance management use software systems to manage contractor information.
With these, owner/operators and contractors enter safety, procurement, risk, and regulatory information in a centralized system that workers throughout the organization can access, whether at the entry-gate or in the office.
These systems provide a number of other important features, including:
- An easy-to-use interface that lets contractors enter compliance information themselves securely from any computer
- Intuitive icons that show immediately who is compliant and who is not, at the point-of-entry and other areas where this information is needed
- Automatically generated alerts that notify contractors prior to expiration dates for documents such as licenses, insurance policies, or certificates
- Flexibility to override the system as required, with tools for documentation and notification of the event
Software on its own, however, is not a magic bullet. To gain full advantage, companies also need good processes supporting the technology. When it comes to compliance management solutions, service is as important as software.
Fortunately, complete solutions that meet all these requirements are available and already widely used in many industries. Such industry-leading solutions provide advanced technology to handle widely varying levels of risk.
They provide services to implement best practices and supplement the technology. And they help strengthen relationships with contractors by providing additional professional services for a wide variety of contractor specialties.
To learn more about other challenges companies face, download the eBook ‘The Five Most Common Challenges of Contractor Qualification & Management.’
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