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Adopting AI in Contractor Management: From Inquiry to Invoicing

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has snowballed over the last few years and is transforming how businesses handle their operations. As the technology continues to evolve, it's becoming increasingly useful in various areas of industry, including contractor management. In fact, research shows that around 35% of companies are using AI, with nearly 65% of consumers stating that they would trust a company that uses this new technology.

By leveraging AI-powered solutions, companies can automate mundane administrative tasks related to contractor management, freeing up time to focus on achieving business goals. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the ways AI is being used to improve contractor management processes and discuss how businesses can benefit from this exciting technology.



Finding a Contractor

Finding the right contractor for your job can take time. You need to examine their websites or professional social media profiles, check they do the type of work you’re looking for and double check they have the qualifications you need, if applicable. You’ll also want to check their rates and ensure they align with your project budget. Then, you need to find their contact information and create a list of potential contractors to get in touch with.

AI can help you source the right contractor for your project by searching online profiles on freelance sites and creating a shortlist based on your criteria. Whilst it’s still vital that there’s a human element to checking out your potential new hires in more depth, AI can certainly save time when it comes to that initial step. 

Creating Enquiry E-mails

When you’ve settled on a few promising contractors, you’ll need to send out emails detailing your project, dates, and specific skills that you need. Then, the contractors can reply and tell you whether they’re a good fit for the project and confirm their rates and availability. 

If you’re looking to just send a quick few lines and are a confident writer, then you probably don’t need to use AI. But if you need to go into detail about the project and what you’re looking for, then this can be time-consuming. Whilst you don’t want to overload the recipient with information, going into some detail can mean that you and the contractor understand from the outset whether or not they’re a good fit.

AI can create a professional email in a matter of seconds for you to review, saving you valuable time and energy. You can then tweak it if it’s not quite what you’re looking for or ask for another version.

AI for Contract Generation

Contracts are an essential part of business. They protect you and the contractor and make sure that everyone has the same understanding about what needs to be delivered and when. However, they can be lengthy, and most are generated based on a template from a previous project. 

If you’re just starting out and don’t have these established templates, are taking on a new style of project, or simply want to refresh your contracts, then using AI can save you a lot of time. Since this is a legally binding document, it’s still best practice to get it reviewed by a legal professional before signing. 

If you’re using a lot of contractors, AI can also help you with contract management, reminding you when contracts are expiring. Automating this process speeds things up but also removes the risk of human error. Especially when you’re dealing with high-stakes, high-value contracts, reducing risk is vital. 

Automation for Invoicing

When you’re working with multiple contractors, it can be labour-intensive to keep track of invoicing. This is especially true if you need to account for different time zones and currencies – research shows that 56% of global freelancers have enabled cryptocurrency payments. You may also have some contractors being paid hourly or daily and some getting paid in stages throughout the project. 

Correct invoicing is crucial for any business. Not only do your contractors want to be paid on time, but any delays can result in you not receiving work or goods on time. Plus, regularly paying people late or having to be chased for payment can damage your reputation, potentially reducing the pool of contractors who are willing to work with you in the future.

Using AI can keep things running as planned. It can generate and send invoices automatically at scheduled times or send you reminders to review payments if combined with your financial systems. It can also track time logs, warning you if your contractor is close to reaching their allocated hours or budget so that you can schedule renewal conversations in a timely manner. By automating some of these processes, you can remove the stress of juggling multiple projects at once.

Resource Allocation and Scheduling

When you’re running a business, you want to make sure that you’re being efficient, especially with contractors whose rates may be higher than retained staff. AI can track and report on key analytics, checking if you have internal capacity for work before you outsource. If you have any contractors on a retainer, it can also assess if they can be reallocated to another project if things slow down in one area of your business based on their transferable skills. This maximises both productivity and efficiency and helps your company make smart financial decisions about hiring or outsourcing in the future.

The Future of Contractor Management

Contractor management can be complex, especially when you’re managing multiple projects on a large scale. Using AI to automate some processes can reduce the chance of error and save your team some of their important time, making them more efficient. Just like using spreadsheets rather than doing mathematical calculations by hand, AI helps speed up mundane tasks, allowing your team to focus on the work that matters most.

It’s important to note that a human element is still key when it comes to fostering positive relationships with your contractors. However, AI is no substitute for conversation; you should still be available to handle any queries or issues that arise to ensure a good working relationship. And for more such helpful information, please check out our other contractor management blogs.