How to set up your own Contractor Portal
How to set up your own Contractor Portal
Many organisations recognise that a digital contractor portal is critical for ensuring workforce safety and compliance across multiple sites.
Importantly, managing everything in one place minimises risk, increases transparency and saves time.
This article sets out key tips for anyone looking to set up their own contractor portal and streamline the way they manage suppliers, contractors and external workers.
1. Identify requirements and expectations for contractors
What does your company expect from suppliers or contractors?
What do your safety policies, legal requirements and risk management needs mean for managing an external workforce?
Important items to consider include:
- Prequalification requirements for procurement & supply chain risk management, e.g., Workers’ Compensation, Public Liability Insurance, Public Liability Insurance
- Safety Prequalification - ISO 45001 certification, AS4801, Safety Management Systems, Safe Work Method Statements
- Worker & Site level requirements (e.g. Worker Licences, Qualifications, Competencies, Inductions, Identification, Training)
Establishing the requirements you expect for your supply chain at every level - company, worker, plant & equipment and site-level requirements - is critical before you set up a contractor portal, in order to ensure you request the necessary information from your supply chain at the outset.
2. Determine the most efficient way for your team to manage contractors and suppliers
What resources does your team have available? Can you devote personnel to administer or will work be shared across different teams? How will you communicate with and invite contractors to provide the necessary information?
Some important questions to consider here:
1. Who will be pre qualifying contractors?
Determine whether you have the expertise within your business or if you need external assistance from qualified experts.
Some contractor management software systems include services whereby in-house safety professionals can conduct industry-compliant supplier pre qualifications, document reviews and approvals and worker verifications - all within a single cloud-based platform.
Another benefit of using an online contractor portal solution means you can affordably ‘outsource’ the review and verification of requirements to experts, while allowing authorised administrators from your team to manage the rest.
2. Who is managing contractors on-site?
Determine whether you need a simple contractor register for your back office, or if your team is working on-site or in the field. Certain solutions have mobile app capabilities which allow your site managers to review contractor information such as:
- Company details and compliance (according to your requirements)
- Worker compliance and competency profile (including any missing requirements for that site)
- Sign-in time and location
- Live worker status and real-time location
- The status and details of any work permits
3. Find a contractor portal solution that meets your business needs
The process of staying on top of requirements and gathering the information listed above can be cumbersome and inefficient, especially when procurement or site managers rely on paper-based systems or poor file management tools (e.g. spreadsheets).
Setting up an online contractor portal (and finding a provider) is a crucial step in centralising information and making it easier for your team to manage supply chain risk.
Some important things to look for in a contractor portal are:
Industry expertise: The right software with the wrong set-up will only waste company time and resources. Ensuring that you select a provider with a high level of industry expertise and experience is crucial to ensure that the system you create meets industry standards.
Flexibility to set your own requirements for contractors and their workers, and the ability to change requirements as your business needs change (requirements might be licences, documents, certifications, insurance, training or inductions). Ensure you select a solution which can adapt to changing requirements and allow you to update criteria down the track.
Contractor pre-qualification and document review services: this is an important consideration for teams who are short on resources (e.g. admin support) and expertise. Selecting a provider which offers document verification and qualified contractor prequalification as part of the service is crucial for managing risk, liability and most importantly - ensuring safety.
Product customisation: Selecting a contractor portal with relevant ‘add-on’ modules that you can gradually try out (for example, incident management, training & induction solutions, work permits, inspections & audit and so forth) is important. Even if you don’t need these services immediately, thinking about how you can scale your contractor portal with your future business requirements will save your team downstream work (i.e. having to use multiple software solutions or complicated integrations). Look for a contractor portal that offers both simple and comprehensive WHS & compliance solutions.
Integration with site access: are there hardware or mobile app inclusions available to restrict site access only to those workers (and companies) who are compliant, qualified and competent? This is a crucial piece of the puzzle for managing site safety and it’s important to consider options when selecting a contractor portal.
Support: Managing compliance for workers across multiple sites can be confusing… ensuring that your internal staff and external contractors are properly supported by a knowledgeable team that can give real-time support is crucial!
Want to learn more about how Comply Flow can help your business set up an efficient contractor portal?