One of our WSA members recently brought up what to him, after over three decades in sweeping, represented a new type of business entity he would have to work through in order to retain one of his clients. Since then, there have been other similar situations that have cropped up.
He’s received calls from several ‘Vendor Procurement System companies’ which, although similar to the more than two dozen ‘aggregators’ (also termed ‘third party vendors’) on whom we track reputations for our WSA members, operate distinctly differently, as well. For one, when he works with one of their (mostly) large property manager clients he still does so under their contract, unlike with aggregators.
Like many aggregators, he is required to use their unique portal system to invoice. In some instances, this is so onerous that he said it’s clear one of the savings to his client is that the VPS operates so as to transfer the client’s current back office costs to him, the sweeping contractor. Oh, and all to date have listed a 90-day payment timeline for payment, no increase in cost-per-sweep is available and at least one wants a pre-payment of $500 for the contractor to be ‘entered into the system.’
The VPS organizations are also much more invasive in terms of the information they want. In addition to a wide variety of company background info, some want details on any and all social media accounts the company has and — perhaps most disquieting — they plan to use all that to develop a ‘social score’ for the contractor. To his knowledge there will be no way to mitigate/modify that score and so far none are willing to sign an NDA concerning protection of all the info they have on his company.
For an overview and more information about this emerging industry concern, go to www.worldsweepingpros.org.