Beeline Customer Summit: Services Procurement Trends and Maturity in Asia/Pacific (Dispatch 4)

Click here for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this dispatch.

At Beeline's Customer Conference yesterday, the international leadership team shared a number of useful observations exploring services procurement trends and maturity in the Asia Pacific region. In a couple of posts exploring what the team had to say, we'll dig into these observations on a country-by-country level. Beginning with Australia/New Zealand, Beeline observes that the vendor landscape is only slowly maturing and typically follows the lead of the US and UK. In looking at more mature and updated approaches to working with Managed Services Providers (MSPs), there is much more research and shopping going on in the area than actual selections.

Given the focus across much of the local economy on raw materials and mining/minerals, it's not surprising that for overall contingent workforce and services procurement governance and oversight, "occupational health and safety issues are a big deal," as Beeline suggests. From a technology perspective, this market has seen the entrance of a number of global VMS players. Spend Matters is familiar with some of the activities, for example, of Beeline, IQNavigator and Fieldglass in the region. A couple of years ago we had the chance to talk to a CPO who was currently deploying a VMS toolset in the region and the supplier onboarding and compliance issues they desired to gain control over had risen to the top of procurement's overall priority.

The Beeline team next explored the state of the contingent workforce and broader services procurement market in Hong Kong and Singapore (two very different countries, of course, but with similar adoption patterns and trends). Both regions are "moving up the maturity curve," the Beeline team notes. Beeline also observes an increasing acceptance of supplier-funded models and a high degree of technology acceptance even though "contractor headcount is lower" compared to other markets in the region and "volume is typically fragmented."

Perhaps most important for solution providers and broader procurement, there is an increasing trend linking VMS penetration and SOW work to services and BPO engagements being driven by MSPs and master vendor (MV) relationships. In summary, Beeline suggests that Hong Kong and Singapore are among the "most favorable markets from contractual, billing, administrative, legal and regulatory framework perspectives" in the Asia Pacific market.

Stay tuned as we continue to share what we learned at Beeline's Customer Conference, including trends in other Asia Pacific regions. In the meantime, check out our latest services procurement Compass report: In Your Back Yard (and Mine): The Global Labor Challenge. Readers should note that in May, our Compass research series reports will only be available to qualified procurement practitioners free of charge.

- Jason Busch

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