“We Try Harder” — Beeline Takes Avis’ Motto to Heart in Services Procurement (Part 4)

Click to read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this post.

When interviewing users of services procurement tools, it's rare to find an organization using the project-based and SOW capabilities of a VMS toolset more than the contingent procurement areas of the application. But one of Beeline's references we spoke to transitioned largely from using the application as a tool to manage onshore and offshore contingent spend to driving over 75% of its usage into project-based supplier engagements in global environments (in part to avoid co-employment issues on a worldwide basis). For those comparing Beeline to others, it's important to note that this reference put the vendor through the competitive ringer, both when it was evaluating Beeline for just its contingent VMS capabilities as well as when it considered Beeline for its project-based requisitioning and lifecycle management capabilities.

What impressed this company most with Beeline was it's "show-me" approach to demonstrations compared with others. Their anecdotal experience provided continual reinforcement to our view that Beeline does try harder than others to delight users at all stages of an engagement from sales to ongoing support. In comparison to others during the evaluation, one well-known vendor "wanted the opportunity to network with the senior management team but would not go deep with evaluation team, so they were disqualified." Another vendor said "yes to everything in the RFI response." Beeline took a more conservative response to the RFI, yet it ended up when it came to key demonstration scripts they significantly outperformed the other provider that checked the box in every single area.

This organization, which is also selectively using Beeline's MSP capabilities in different global markets, views a successful VMS deployment as "more than just a way to track billing and contractors." Rather, when the tool is properly deployed, it enables companies to hold users "accountable to SLAs, more effectively manage payment terms, ensure proper on-boarding procedures and whiz through any potential audit." Moreover, this company observed that enabling MSP services on top of the tool can help ensure that all "vendor paperwork is in order, that the tools always reflect the actual contract terms, and that the approval process with decentralized hiring managers" goes off without a hitch.

Another Beeline user we spoke with, this one using the tool in a self-managed environment with no MSP, echoed the reasons we heard from other users about why they opted for Beeline: overall flexibility. Curiously, this customer, who admitted his organization was extremely demanding, ended up being "fired" by a Beeline rival in the sales process who clearly did not want to go the extra mile to accommodate unique requirements. In contrast, Beeline made this company's entire team feel comfortable and embraced the unique requirements, despite a very specialized deployment and usage scenario, which may have scared others away. Beeline's embrace of this complex environment extended past getting over technical hurdles. They also proved their worth in a variety of training, education and knowledge transfer programs as well, designed to get the self-managed team up and running.

Overall, the experience of Beeline's customers speaks for itself. Even though some earlier Beeline deployments that Spend Matters is aware of may have disappointed some users based on ease of use, the company has made a significant transition to delivering what our analysis suggests -- and customers echo -- is currently one of the most straightforward services procurement technologies to use in the market. Companies considering IQNavigator, Fieldglass, Peopleclick Authoria and Provade should put Beeline on their shortlist as well and should not be concerned with the level of current investment Adecco is making in the services procurement provider. Our view is that Beeline is ready to compete on its current -- and future -- technology and MSP merits. Moreover, their flexibility in sales, deployment and account delivery/management may alone win over a greater number of users if they're invited to the evaluation table more often.

Jason Busch

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