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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Creating a Strategy for Your Workforce Management System

The benefits of new technology for managing a contingent workforce can be exponential. These systems can provide a more streamlined way to conduct daily business and free employees' time up for handling other important tasks. They can save companies thousands of dollars, or more, after their implementation. However, the technology isn't a magic bullet in and of itself. Like any system, a workforce management solution is only as good as the information entered. When establishing a workforce management system in your business it is important to create a strategy to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

Think about it this way. If you want to lose weight you might consider buying a treadmill. Simply owning the treadmill doesn't mean that you'll lose any weight. You need to make a plan to run or walk on the treadmill every day and include a healthy meal plan in your weight loss strategy. The key factor here is to develop a strategy to use your tool or technology to get the best results. 

Here are a few key points for creating a plan to implement your new workforce management system. 

Before you decide on the right workforce management system for your company you need to have a clear understanding of what you want to see improve in your business. This is your vision. Talk with your service provider to determine what things are most important to you and they should be able to customize the system to provide you the results for which you are most interested. Without a clear vision of the results you expect, the new technology will not satisfy your goals. 

Beyond your vision, it is also important to understand the best way to roll out this new technology in your business. You can work with your provider and your management team to determine the best implementation of the system. You want to know how it will integrate with your current technology, the best ways to train your employees to use it, and the best way to demonstrate the benefits to your clients and contingent workforce. This will be different for every company depending on the needs and vision. One of the best strategies for new technology implementation is to designate one project leader who is passionate about the change. The leader should also possess strong organizational skills to assist with the process.

New Technology
Businesses who adopt new technologies early on can become trailblazers in the market place. Often users will want to treat the new technology just like they did the old one but it is important to understand the difference. A smart phone is not the same as a landline phone and using it for only the function of making and receiving phone calls can limit the user experience. When you realize your cell phone can also help you manage your calendar and keep up with emails it opens a new world of possibilities. The same is true for any new office technology.

The last question that a new system should answer for you is "how can this technology help me improve my business?" Your workforce management system should provide your company with the right innovation to move your organization to the next level. When developing your strategy, it is important to understand exactly how your new system will improve your business. 

There have been companies who have implemented new systems, like our workforce management solution, who became frustrated with the product. They felt that the system should simply begin working as soon as everything was installed. Unfortunately, no technology can provide that level of service without the customer understanding the uses and benefits of the new system. To get the most out of a workforce management system there needs to be a strategy in place.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Can White Label Workforce Management Be the Solution for You?

The term "white label" refers to a product or service that is manufactured by one company and sold by another. Take, for instance, generic grocery store brands. When you go to a supermarket you will find the store brand items. Generally these are produced by the same companies who make the name brand products but they are rebranded for the store to sell. 

The technology sector took ownership of the White Label concept and many companies offer the ability to brand their services for their individual clients. 

The most obvious benefit of using a white label service, such as NextCrew, is the ability to customize the interface so the site appears to be branded for the company managing the service. There are a number of additional benefits to this type of product solution. 

1. Look and Feel. The number one reason to work with a company providing white labeled services is to match the new product to your existing website and marketing brand. Your end users, the clients and employees, will see the logo and colors they are expect when working with your company.This will create a consistent experience for anyone visiting your website.

2. Cost. The product has already been developed so the cost to your company is merely the purchase price of the service. There may be ways to customize the interface further and you can partner with the company providing the service to adapt it for your needs. This is significantly less expensive than hiring a development team and working on the same solution in house. 

3. Availability. The white label company has already completed the research and tested the implementation of their product. Using an existing service means shorter ramp up and launch times than building one from scratch. The partnering company can help you with the transition and training. They can even connect you with other companies already using their service. 

4. Updates. As the builder of the solution, your white label technology partner is consistently improving their product and service. As new features are added they will be integrated with your existing system as part of their regular updates.  As a company, you benefit from the technical expertise of your partnering service. 

There are some limitations to white label technology as well. For example, it is important to research and fully understand the product before making a purchasing decision so you know if it fits with your long term vision. It is also important to make sure that the partnering company offers the support that you need for the product. If there are problems with the system you have to be able to rely on their developers and customer service to help you solve them. 

Are you looking for a white label solution to your workforce management needs? NextCrew can work with you and your company to customize our platform to meet your requirements. Contact us today!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The 100 Most Influential People in the Staffing Industry

Just one year ago I couldn't imagine where I would be today. I am humbled and honored that I have been been selected as one of Staffing Industry's top 100 influential people for 2013.

My background is in IT and the corporate world. I spent several years helping companies streamline their processes and become more efficient through the use of innovative technologies. That kind of service has always been a driving force behind my career.

The last decade alone has seen many changes in the way we conduct our daily business. Everything from shopping, to travel, to how we watch television has been enhanced by technological advances. However, the staffing industry model of hiring and placing contingent workers on assignment remained unchanged.
I saw the increase in online applications for freelance workers such as oDesk and eLance. While these are great ways to connect independent contractors to potential customers they are limited to that professional sphere. What if similar methods could be used to improve the quality of work for organizations that handle contingent staffing like temporary employment agencies, event staffing, security companies, and healthcare staff providers?

I had an idea to make this happen but like many entrepreneurs I had moments of doubt. What if I left my corporate job and failed? I realized that I couldn't wait for the opportunity to arise, I needed to take it. Three simple rules helped me get started.

 I took a chance and launched NextCrew. Little did I know at the time what was in store. 

NextCrew, an innovative technology supplier that provides a cloud-based software platform which allows brick-and-mortar staffing firms to introduce and grow “next-gen” online staffing processes and revenue streams. NextCrew integrates with existing ATSs, websites, etc. and enables efficient, fast online staffing processes many clients are now demanding. Nice thing about platform is that, it easily integrates with existing system such as ATS and Payroll systems. This allows, organizations can start maximizing their revenue without making drastic changes to their existing workflow.

NextCrew is not backed by venture capital or angel investors. Getting our concept on the market has not been easy. I have been extremely proud of our accomplishments and I would like to take some time to thank those who helped make it happen.

We are a true LinkedIn success story. When I started I didn't have a single contact in the staffing industry. I didn't have a marketing budget and I wasn't sure how to get the word out to my target industries. However, as part of my professional life I was already connected to the largest online network: LinkedIn.

The light bulb went off and I realized that I already had the right tools at my fingertips. LinkedIn has been a great asset to me and NextCrew. I was able to market the concept, publish blog posts, join groups, and get connected. Shortly after beginning my LinkedIn campaign we were contacted by two staffing services interested in learning more about NextCrew. LinkedIn gave me the confidence to continue marketing my idea and allowed me to grow the business to where it is today. There have been a lot of great individuals who have helped me with their advice and their connections. Never underestimate the need for mentors no matter where you are in your career.

I was also able to put together a great team to bring NextCrew to life. Without my technology team or my marketing team I would have never been able to make this happen.

Currently we have clients in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. They span several industries but have two things in common; they all employ contingent staff and they were looking for a more efficient way to manage their processes. The sky is the limit moving forward and I am excited for each and every step along the way.

Getting listed as a top 100 most influential company means a lot to me personally and to the success of NextCrew. It is a great mental boost. I know that my efforts are appreciated and that my product can help hundreds if not thousands of companies do the very best work possible.

If you have ever thought about stepping out on your own and pursuing an idea as an entrepreneur I am here to tell you it is not only possible but it may be vital. If you feel restless in a corporate environment it is most likely because you are meant to do something more. It is critical to the business community because we need more great ideas to continue innovation. My advice to you is:

1        Don't be afraid to refocus. Your original idea might not be perfect but with some creative thinking you can take it to the next level.
     Failure is not an option. That is not to say you won't experience failure along the way, but don't look at it as the end of the journey. Learn from your mistakes and keep going.
3       You can't do it alone. Connect with great people. These individuals, organizations, and companies will become your first cheerleaders, your first customers, and your best asset.

Thank you for supporting NextCrew. I look forward to the future of our company. 

"Success is a Journey not a Destination"
- Heraclitus

The Anatomy of Online Staffing Business

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Create Your Virtual Offices - Nationwide

There was a time when staffing businesses needed brick and buildings stores throughout the country, and even the world, in order to provide the proper level of service to customers in each area. With technology booming and global business evolving this is no longer the case. Many businesses, including those which utilize contingent employees, can run all of their operations out of one location. This reduces the overhead costs and streamlines the systems.

Years ago, candidates used to walk-in to and office and fill-out their employment application, And now those searches have shifted online. Regardless, how many physical locations you might have nationwide, you have to be searchable by search engines. It also applies to your potential clients. They are also searching for staffing companies or talents online regardless you have physical location in their area or not.

Depending upon capabilities of a workforce management system, you are able to create virtual locations which your clients and employees can access through the web. As your clients submit jobs directly through the system a list of matching candidates is generated based on the location where talent is required. 

As the administrator of the contingent workforce it is also easy to generate reports based on the location of each client or candidate to determine where to focus the efforts of your recruiting staff or plan for other business needs. Candidates are also able to access their own portal and specific their location and search for jobs in their area. 

  A workforce management solution offered by NextCrew, is applicable to any industry which uses contingent staff. Using built-in GEO based integration you are able to track candidate and client information to make the best match based on the virtual branches or locations. As an example, a locum tenens medical staffing provider needs to ensure that their candidates are licensed in the state of the open position. With a NextCrew each medical professional can keep their profile up to date with their current certifications and education. A locum tenens administrator can easily check if the right licenses are in place for the doctor to accept the specific project. Once the match is made, the system tracks all of the important information including hours worked and client notifications. The administrator never needs the desk and doesn't need to be located in the same state as the locum doctor. 

Your business doesn't need to be chained to a brick and mortar store front to be successful. NextCrew provides cloud based solution for staffing companies so that, they can easily grow nationwide or international without creating brick-and-mortal offices. NextCrew reduces the overall cost of operations and open your services up to new potential clients and candidates. Contact NextCrew to see how our products can help your business grow nationwide without spending lot of money to establish physical offices at multiple locations.