What to look for in Contractor Management Software

What is Contractor Management?

Contractor Management is the engagement, monitoring and management of outsourced contractors that undertake work or tasks for your organisation. It is increasingly common for industries to rely upon independent contractors for specialised skills and knowledge, and many companies outsource specific jobs, from maintenance and cleaning to repairs and construction services. Contractors might also be utilised during busy periods when extra workers are required.

Why is Contractor Management Important?

Contractor Management is important to organisations for many reasons. Without paying attention to how contractors are engaged, reviewed, monitored or managed, all sorts of risks - from safety and legal liability to financial or insurance issues - can arise.

With respect to safety, under the Model WHS Act, all PCBUs (businesses) have a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers and others while they are at work. This includes other parties engaged to undertake work.

To ensure compliance with WHS legislation, organisations must communicate and share relevant information with all parties regarding workers, relevant worksites and tasks to be undertaken.

This information includes, but is not limited to;

  • Compliance with WHS standards and legal requirements
  • Potential hazards, risks and relevant control measures
  • Safe work methods and training requirements
  • Facilitation and assessment of workers' needs

A good Contractor Management system, allows you to capture the required information like ensuring that contractors not only hold relevant licences and insurances to work (e.g. Workers Compensation, Public Liability). Another example would be ensuring that contractors have adequate health and safety systems in place (e.g. SWMS, AS4801 accreditation) that align with your organisation's standards.

A great contractor management system that more comprehensively protects your organisation from risk, will go a step further than the company level checks. Systems such as Comply Flow allow you to easily track the documents, and competencies, and compliance of Workers coming on to your site via a simple web and mobile app. This includes accessing a list of your suppliers’ invited workers, where you can review their unique compliance ‘status’ for your business, and review documents such as work licences, accreditations and qualifications for the tasks they undertake, or if they have completed required inductions or training. You can also ensure that contractors review your organisation’s policies, procedures or processes before attending your sites.

What is Contractor Management Software

Contractor Management Software is a digital system that can streamline the engagement, prequalification and management process of contractors hired by your organisation, typically managed through a web or mobile app.

Generally, good contractor management software offers a selection of configurable modules that ‘talk to each other’ and sync easily, including:

  • Supplier/Contractor Prequalification & Company Compliance Management
  • Workforce Management (manage the compliance status of your staff or external workers)
  • Training & Induction Management
  • Incident Management (reporting tools, assigning corrective actions)
  • Audit & Inspection Management tools
  • Permit to Work
  • Site Access & Security (including integration with hardware or apps)
  • Plant & Equipment Management

Working with a provider like Comply Flow, for example, enables organisations to consolidate all of their contractor management tasks in one, easy-to-use online portal. You can invite contractors and request them to submit all applicable documents and vital information. It is a quick, easy process that ensures your contractors are work-ready and compliant faster.

Incorporating all contractor information into an online system enables your organisation to not only set personalised requirements and criteria for them to meet, but can help verify that both you and your contractors are, and remain, compliant with any relevant legislation and legal requirements.

The Future of Contractor Management

Organisations often only realise the pitfalls of contractor management software after they’re locked in. Consequently, it’s important to engage a forward-looking, innovative provider that is looking to the future of the industry, rather than simple business as usual.

One essential thing to consider here is assessing whether a platform is an ‘open portal’ solution, or a closed one (i.e. a one-way compliance path between contractor and client).


What is an open-portal solution?

In a nutshell, an open-portal solution refers to a system where contractors only have to manage one profile, which they can share (including their workers compliance profile) to unlimited external clients. One licence fee covers demonstrating their compliance to the whole industry - lowering the cost of demonstrating compliance for the entire industry.

Why is this important?

A single contractor often provides services to tens, if not hundreds, of clients, many of whom will all request that they demonstrate their compliance via various one-way systems (sometimes softwares, sometimes paper and spreadsheets).

Contractors then have to onboard their workers to multiple different systems, upload their documents for workers multiple times, complete different training multiple times and pay multiple licence fees depending on the cost-sharing model.

The benefits of an open-portal solution are:

  • cost sharing across the supply chain = lowers the cost of compliance for the whole industry
  • contractors only have to manage one profile & one set of documents/ training for workers (saving them time, money and hassle)
  • increases the accuracy and frequency of information being updated as contractors keep up to date across all their clients
  • in established open-portal solutions such as Comply Flow, each client can still set their own requirements for contractors (based on role etc) in their own unique, customised compliance management system which contractors just ‘access’ from one login

A solution like Comply Flow offers an industry portal where multiple clients can engage contractors, and Contractors only have to onboard their workers and upload documents once. They then just have to manage one profile, which can be shared with all their clients across the industry at no extra cost.

Why You Should Use Contractor Management Software

The benefits of utilising contractor management software within your organisation include:

  • streamlining your process & getting your team work-ready faster
  • easily onboard, induct and verify contractors workers
  • saving time and money by reducing administration tasks that are often carried via emails and spreadsheets
  • the ability to manage all contractor documentation in one place
  • knowing when your contractor records (e.g. work licences or contracts) are expiring
  • automating how you maintain compliance with relevant legislation
  • more storage capacity and enhanced security
  • allows easy sharing of necessary documentation between parties, i.e. licences, permits to work

Whilst the amount of documentation and upkeep for contractors can be overwhelming and difficult to maintain manually through spreadsheets and paper trails, online compliance systems can be a benefit to your company by allowing your business and workers to manage everything in one place.

Things to Consider When Choosing Contractor Management Software

When considering Contractor Management software for your organisation, there are some important considerations to address with internal and external stakeholders first.

A simple way to start the discussion with your team is to establish your criteria.

**1. Determine the needs of your organisation

Are your requirements for contractors (and their workers) already established? Do you have an existing list or matrix of requirements for each worker role? Or for high risk vs low-risk contractors? Do you need consultation (free) to determine best-practice requirement management?

Knowing your business's unique requirements is important. When choosing a provider, this is also essential to keep in mind: do they have the flexibility to change requirements or compliance criteria down the path? Is it an out of the box solution or can the software be ‘mapped’ to your business requirements?

**2. Determine the needs of your supply chain

You should also determine the needs of your supply chain - do they want another software to have to add workers to and manage, or would they prefer an industry portal (where Contractors and Workers have one profile they can share with all their clients?).

3. Determine your data and information security requirements

Where the software is created and developed should also be considered when choosing software. You should be aware of where your data is being stored and how it is being used. If your data is stored offshore, you may need to check the privacy, data protection and regulations of that country. Internationally based companies may also not have the right knowledge and expertise around relevant laws, legislation and contractor framework.

Finally, make sure you do your research: have a look at all the options available and find the best system for your organisation. Review the above questions to ensure you cover everything when conducting a review.

If you’re an Australian or NZ based business currently looking for a Contractor Management Software System, Comply Flow software provides a secure and easy way for you and other parties to access accurate and up to date information to ensure that the workforce is compliant and work-ready.

If you’re interested in our Contractor Management Software, or want to learn more about our other products, get in touch! Reach out using the Messenger at the bottom of this page, or shoot us a message here.

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