6 criteria for choosing a VMS 

In the current professional world, in which agility and effectiveness are vital, managing external service providers has become a complex equation for many businesses. So, what’s the key to solving this problem? A system for managing the supplier panel (VMS) that is adapted to the business’s specific needs. Here’s some practical advice for choosing the one that’s right for you.

#1 Visibility and transparency

The role of the VMS is to provide a clear overall view of your external resources. Therefore, the first thing to consider is if the VMS covers the whole of the procurement cycle (sourcing, drawing up contracts, monitoring projects, invoicing, renewing projects).

Furthermore, buyers also value the ability of certain VMSs to create dynamic dashboards that update in real time: this enables them to have an effective alternative to their Excel indicator calculations. These indicators are particularly interesting for negotiation framework agreements as well as challenging a listed suppliers panel.

Finally, the VMS must enable you to know which service provider works for the business, as well as the nature of the project and the associated cost.

In short, make sure that transparency is a key criterion when choosing your solution.

#2 Integration and compatibility

The ideal VMS is one that easily integrates with your existing systems. It is crucial for this solution to be able to converge with your IT tools to create a harmonious technology ecosystem that supports all your processes.

In fact, for a business’s operations team, a VMS tool may seem like yet another tool that could potentially make everyday tasks more complicated. But an appropriate VMS does the very opposite: if it interfaces with an E-procurement tool as well as an ERP, it puts an end to duplicate data entry and optimises purchases of intellectual services.

#3 Simplification of processes

A good VMS must standardise and simplify purchasing and service provider management processes. Finding a solution that harmonises procedures while adapting to the organisation’s unique features means that we minimise errors and speed up operations, making the business both more agile and reactive.

And what’s more, some VMSs offer custom validation systems that adapt to procurement processes and different entities.

#4 Ergonomics of the solution

The user interface of a VMS must be intuitive and accessible. This is because easy navigation encourages teams get the best use out of the platforms, reducing time spent on, and the cost of, training.

Therefore, how intuitive a VMS is plays a major role in internal teams adopting the tool. Moreover, some of our current clients have adopted our solution after their operations teams did not embrace their previous VMS at all, mainly due to UX.

#5 Support and reactivity

Reactive and competent technical support is vital. In the event of a technical or operational problem, the customer service’s availability and effectiveness are key guarantees for the continuity of your operations. This plays an important role in the successful deployment of a VMS.

#6 Legal Protection

Some VMSs have been designed to adapt to French labour laws, especially in terms of the specificities of the intellectual property and innovation market. To protect yourself against improper subcontracting throughout the procurement cycle, it is useful to choose a VMS that takes this problem into account.

#Bonus : Choosing a partner, not just a service provider

Beyond the features, choosing a VMS means choosing a long-term business partner. Your supplier must share your vision and commit to innovating and evolving with you. This is the vision that we share at LittleBig Connection. Our VMS solution, Rise, is not just a technology tool, it is also a platform that has been designed to establish and strengthen successful partnerships with a multitude of external talents.


LittleBig Connection has created Rise to connect you with more than 400,000 global experts and to simplify your procurement process thanks to full digitalisation. Rise’s successful deployment at more than 70 sites is living testimony to the value that we bring to our clients. Discover Rise and unleash the full potential of your external collaborations.