Managing Contingent Labor: Common Challenges and Case Examples


In a recent Spend Matters research study titled Applying Supply Chain Rigor to Contingent Workforce Management, we found companies cited a number of common challenges regarding managing contingent labor relative to the direct supply chain. Below are some of the highlights from the above-linked paper:

  • An industrial companies suggests that “expectations are not set as high as [in] manufacturing,” and therefore, the cross-functional rigor and investment in resources was lacking.
  • A large Fortune 500 firm suggests: “[We are] one of the biggest technology companies in the world, and [our] in-house technology is [merely] average.”

Other responses from our research suggest similar challenges as well as opportunity:

  • “There is no enterprise-wide coordination. Three departments may be buying temp services from the same firm, and it's difficult to make them coordinate. Silos don't want to give up their autonomy. There is no forecasting at all beyond the budget process, which is never communicated to line staff.”
  • “Disorganization [is the norm]. [We are] not effectively leveraging vendor relationships, [and there are] too many different areas/lines of business involved with no one owning it or understanding the whole picture.”
  • “[The] biggest gap [is] the organization’s unwillingness to take control of this huge expense and better manage it from all perspectives, cost, risk, worker classification, on/off boarding, etc. [There is] opportunity for all of the above areas as well, and true human capital workforce planning and recommendations to our BU of best-in-class practices.”
  • “Managing all types of CW spend under one umbrella, including SOW spend, [is a significant] opportunity.”

This analysis is based on the Spend Matters research study, Applying Supply Chain Rigor to Contingent Workforce Management, which is available for limited period of time for free download, via the previous link, in the Spend Matters research library.

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