A comprehensive vendor management system, like Vista Select, can mean the difference between staying ahead of a plethora of vendor issues and being overwhelmed by them. Healthcare facilities know this all too well. Between recruiting for full-time positions and working with multiple staffing companies to secure locum tenens help, it is easy to lose track of what’s going on.
A high-quality vendor management system keeps everything under control. And now, such systems are becoming even more personal with the introduction of chat. But lest you think that is chat with another human being on the other end, it is not. It is chat with an AI-powered chatbot.
Chatbots are making vendor management systems more personal by making it possible for users to interact with their systems the same way they would interact with human beings. This more personal interaction is helping to make vendor management more intuitive and seamless.
A Few Chatbot Basics
A chatbot is a piece of software capable of carrying on a conversation with a human being – via text or audio. In their first generation, chatbots were limited to answering basic questions based on certain keywords and phrases entered by the user. Today’s bots are a lot more advanced.
Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), modern chatbots are a lot more capable of natural language processing. They are able to analyze words and sentences bidirectionally in order to determine user intent. As a result, they can carry on actual conversations rather than relying on a predetermined script.
With the basics out of the way, let us talk about the practical applications of a chatbot in a vendor management environment. We can use a locum tenens vendor management system as an example. For this example, imagine yourself as a hospital administrator trying to work out staffing problems.
You are fresh from a meeting with the head of the emergency department. During that meeting, you were made aware that the ED needs to bring in a couple of doctors to cover holiday staffing holes. You do not have time to create and post the jobs because you have other things to do. But you do have 5 minutes to chat.
You login to your vendor management system, initiate a chat session, and let the chatbot know you need to post three job openings. Because your system already has templates in place, it only needs the details. The chatbot asks you a series of questions about scheduling, pay, etc. By the time the conversation is over, the jobs have been posted on targeted websites.
Chatting is More Natural
This example represents just one of the ways chatbots can be practically applied in the vendor management environment. Regardless of the application however, the key to seeing the potential here is understanding that chatting is more natural. Just think about the way we interact with people as opposed to machines.
Almost all our human interactions involve chatting in some way, shape, or form. We have not been able to interact with machines in the same way, until recently, because the technology just hasn’t been there. We have had to rely on more cumbersome means of interaction – like clicking buttons, entering long strings of text, etc.
Chatting is something we do reflexively. It is a normal part of who we are as humans. And now that it has made its way into the cyber sphere, it is making the task of interacting with vendor management systems much easier. Thanks to chatbots, vendor management systems are more personal than ever before. You might even make the case that they are more effective too.