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How It Works

By Anna Maria Virzi  |  Posted 2007-04-05 Print this article Print

CUNA Mutual Group, which spends $15 million a year on contract workers, wanted to get the best talent at the best price. First, it had to take a good look at its hiring processes.

How It Works

Now, when someone from CUNA Mutual logs in to IQNavigator, there is a home page or dashboard showing what is going on in the system, based on that person's role. For example, a hiring manager who has requested a business analyst could see if any sourcing firms have submitted the names of candidates along with a profile or resume.

Once a hiring manager offers a job to a contractor, a work order is created within IQNavigator that includes contractual information such as rates and dates of the assignment. The work order is then submitted to the supplier for approval, and it becomes a contractual agreement upon the supplier's acceptance.

The worker or the staffing firm can log in to IQNavigator and submit a time card, and then an invoice is created based on the pre-negotiated rates that appear on the work order. IQNavigator then automatically lets a hiring manager know there is an item awaiting his approval: either via an e-mail notification or on his status item list when signing in to IQNavigator. When an invoice is cleared for approval, it is transmitted to the PeopleSoft general ledger, which then enables an electronic fund transfer to be made to the sourcing firm for payment.

The new system has provided some benefits for sourcing firms as well, according to one CUNA Mutual client. For instance, after a worker has wrapped up an assignment, a CUNA Mutual hiring manager who logs in to IQNavigator is asked to fill out a three-question yes/no evaluation, including: Did the resource perform the duties as outlined in the work assignment? Evaluations, stored in IQNavigator, become part of a supplier's scorecard and are used to determine whether it can be named a Tier 1 supplier.

But the services management software hasn't just provided a grading system for sourcing firms. CUNA can grant its vendors access to the system, and the information in IQNavigator can help them become better vendors, according to one CUNA Mutual client.

Mike Kolpien, director of business development at TeamSoft, a sourcing firm, places five or more contractors with CUNA at any given time to provide Java development or other services. When he logs in to IQNavigator, he learns about open positions at CUNA, and can also submit and track TeamSoft candidates for those opportunities. If a CUNA manager decides to interview and retain a TeamSoft candidate, Kolpien gets an e-mail alert in the IQNavigator application at each step of that process.

"Their managers usually give good details on a position," Kolpien says. "And if they provide good feedback on candidates after an interview, that helps us become a better vendor—and better hit the target when we submit a candidate."

CUNA Mutual's experience using services management software underscores the adage frequently heard among technology managers: It's all about the people, and not the technology. Managing contract workers, as Nelson puts it, represents "a unique supply chain—a supply chain of people." CUNA MUTUAL GROUP BASE CASE

Headquarters: 5910 Mineral Point Rd., Madison WI 53705
Phone Number: (608) 238-5851
Business: Underwrites, markets and administers insurance and financial products for credit unions and their members.
Director of Sourcing: David Nelson
Financials in 2006: Revenue of $2.85 billion, up by 8% from prior year.
Challenge: Centralize the hiring, payment and evaluation of contract or contingent workers.


  • Move from 100% ad hoc or maverick speding for contract workers to zero
  • Reduce billing rates for contract workers by an average of 18%, resulting in a $2.7 million savings
  • Eliminate $400,000 in annual soft costs associated with screening and paying contract workers.

Executive Editor
Anna Maria was assistant managing editor Forbes.com. She held the posts of news editor and executive editor at Internet World magazine and was city editor and Washington correspondent for the Connecticut Post, a daily newspaper in Bridgeport. Anna Maria has a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island.
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