Contractor qualification is critical when mitigating risks faced by large enterprise organizations. Companies that have no solution may suffer quantifiable losses, impacting everything from human life to litigation, and reputational damage.
Surprisingly, even many large organizations are still trying to manage contractor prequalification and third-party relationships from spreadsheets and filing cabinets. These approaches leave much to be desired as they lack integration to ERP systems, lack organizational access, fail to monitor data in real time, and can’t be scaled to match growth.
Founded in 2001, BROWZ has led a transformative revolution in the area of contractor management. In the early 2000’s few firms were ready to undertake steps that were needed to qualify third-party contractors coming on site. In the early days, the primary focus was on the qualification of raw material suppliers.
According to “Best Practices in Contractor Management,” a Campbell Institute whitepaper, contractor qualification and management is regarded as a best practice for companies working with contractors and suppliers.
Interestingly, while Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) departments are still considered a primary stakeholder, additional departments find value in the qualification of third-party contractors. Today, BROWZ seeks to lead discussions and implementations that include a diversity of departments including: procurement, purchasing, legal, operations, risk, and executive leadership.
With so many stakeholders involved and interested in the qualification process, communication is critical. When there is insufficient technology, it can be problematic for departments to communicate with each other and maintain current and accurate records or even facilitate daily operations.
BROWZ ensures that supply chains are safe, qualified and socially responsible by providing a comprehensive technology solution to prequalify, assess, and monitor supply chain compliance. These assessments are configured to the unique needs of the host employer. The BROWZ product suite addresses needs related to identifying risk within the supply chain, managing employee-level data, conducting safety audits, and sourcing new suppliers.
Once configured, contractors are invited to join the BROWZ network and complete online assessments. BROWZ then validates and scores the input information, providing assurance that the hiring organization is working with the best qualified members of their supply chain.
BROWZ facilitates contractor prequalification, pre-job risk assessment, contractor training and orientation, job monitoring, and post job evaluation.
When asked about the challenges faced by BROWZ customers, Elaine Beitler, Chief Executive Officer said, “Supply chain management isn’t just about the flow of materials and goods; it also includes qualifying suppliers and contractors. Anyone who comes on site presents risk to a host employers’ business. BROWZ addresses a significant gap, to address and mitigate that risk.”
The most common challenges companies face include a lack of necessary resources to adequately credential third parties, and a lack of technology or processes to facilitate communication between departments.
The BROWZ team explains how the company is unique when compared to others, “Our patented software functions as a web-based data exchange for all supply chain qualification and contractor management needs. Unlike other programs, we configure our solution specific to the needs of the hiring organization and stratify their supply chain based on risk profiles.”
BROWZ also offers a suite of mobile applications to aid the qualification process. This is essential because many employees and contractors will need qualification data while on-site and may not have immediate access to a computer.
Besides technology, BROWZ acts as an extension of the host employer’s team and assigns a single point of contact to every supplier and contractor, whether that contractor is qualified or not. BROWZ educates the contractor about the hiring company’s requirements and provides the fastest path to qualification. Throughout the year, BROWZ proactively monitors and reports deficiencies and expiring documentation.
BROWZ has a list of impressive global clientele, including such organizations as Disney, Caterpillar, Boeing, Universal Studios, ESPN, BNSF, Rio Tinto, Robert Bosch, and Ashland Chemical.
While BROWZ roots originated in mining, today they support more than 42 different industries globally and are considered the leading provider of contractor management and qualification solutions. Additionally, BROWZ operates globally with 6 different offices located around the world and supports more than 13 languages.
The foundation of the BROWZ product suite is BROWZ OneViewTM, a configurable software platform that allows you to specify and implement a supply chain qualification program that’s right for your business.
SUREQualifyTM is the center of the BROWZ product suite, enabling organizations to identify risk within the supply chain in key areas such as insurance, environmental health and safety, corporate social responsibility, financial stability, supplier demographics, security, and much more. Through best practices, expert consultation, online assessments, third-party validation, patented technology, and personalized support, companies can be assured that they are working with the safest members of their supply chain.
Taking compliance one step further, SUREWorkforceTM allows organizations to manage qualification down to the employee level within the supply chain. This can include employee-level documentation and data, delivery of web-based induction trainings, integration with badging and ERP systems, time tracking, and much more.
SUREAuditTM provides insight into the depth, trends, and culture of a supplier’s safety program by using qualified professionals to perform audits of safety programs and management systems, looking for both lagging and leading safety indicators. All audit findings are made available along with supporting documentation in BROWZ.
SURECarrierTM simplifies the process of evaluating motor carriers by helping track and trend the FMCSA/Department of Transportation safety and performance of motor carriers in a company’s supply chain. SURECarrier also provides a detailed view of the performance of current motor carrier suppliers, and it provides data to validate new contractors based on trending performance data.
Ready SourceTM is a supplier prequalification portal where contractors and suppliers submit information about their business. Organizations can evaluate qualifications prior to awarding work, expediting the sourcing process.
A BROWZ Success Story: Xcel Energy achieves greater than 90% compliance in contractor safety
Xcel Energy started a formal contractor safety program in 2009, creating a department and developing a robust safety program that included, among other things, developing prequalification criteria and contractor review processes, and solidifying relationships with contractors.
While the program they had developed was robust, they soon discovered that there was room for improvement.
“Shuffling paperwork between contractors and our supply chain organization was becoming quite labor intensive,” Joe Conrad, Manager of Safety and Training at Xcel Energy said. “This meant our project managers had less time to manage projects and project safety, as so much of it was dedicated to just getting contractors approved.”
By 2012, they decided to look for a new system that specialized in contractor pre-qualification. They selected BROWZ, who then configured their solution specific to the needs of Xcel. Today, Xcel Energy manages over 1,100 contractors in their BROWZ system.
In addition to the software, BROWZ provided administrative services. Dedicated support personnel received and entered all the necessary documentation in the system, and answered calls from Xcel’s contractors. This freed up a tremendous amount of time for supply chain project managers, field safety consultants, and others in the organization.
“We can now move our priorities away from the administrative side of the approval process and really concentrate our time and resources on the things that really matter: the integration of the safety processes that we’ve built.” The results speak for themselves.
“We can confidently say contractors coming in today are better qualified and better trained than before we engaged with BROWZ,” Joe said.
“By the end of 2015, we reached 92 to 93 percent of all of our contractors in a state of compliance.”
Say hello to Elaine Beitler, CEO
With over 30 years of experience leading business and technology solutions, Elaine Beitler brings the experience, passion, and proven ability to drive value for BROWZ clients.
At BROWZ, Elaine has brought her unique ability to develop innovative technology solutions to meet evolving business needs, all with the highest level of quality and client focus. She is driven for excellence, has a proven track record for developing high performing teams, and a reputation for results. Clients can be confident that her focus is on their success, and her commitment is to meet and exceed their expectations.
Elaine’s experience at companies such as Bowne & Company and Seagram & Sons provided her with global experience leading businesses, manufacturing, and technology across a diverse group of businesses. Ms. Beitler holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA from the State University of New York at Albany.
“The BROWZ product suite addresses your needs related to identifying risk within your supply chain,
managing employee-level data, conducting safety auditing, and sourcing new suppliers.”
“BROWZ provides comprehensive assessments using patented, configurable technology and expertise, resulting in the site operator’s confidence of a safer work environment for clients and supply chains around the world.”