Work Market Expands To Third-Party Services Providers — Why You Should Care

MBO Partners

Work Market Inc., a leading work intermediation platform (WIP) that helps companies find, manage and pay their freelance and independent contractor workforces, announced last week new capabilities that would essentially extend the scope of what it calls its "freelance management system" (FMS) to not only engage independent workers directly but also to engage them via other third-party services providers.

The announcement appears to apply to the IT field services segment of Work Market’s business, which addresses technology original equipment manufacturers' (OEMs) need to dynamically engage and dispatch field service technicians to address end-customer service requirements. Rather than maintain their own captive field forces across broad geographic territories, some OEMs have turned to Work Market and its talent pools and marketplace of contractors as an efficient way to respond to end-customer service needs. OEMs often have indirect channel relationships with their customers, through value-added resellers (VARs) or managed service companies (MSPs). Consequently, Work Market has extended its platform capabilities so that OEMs can engage and dispatch workers that are employed or under contract with the OEMs, VARs or MSPs.

Establishing an expanded service delivery ecosystem of this sort gives OEMs a broader labor pool for fulfilling required service to their customers. It also ensures that VARs and MSPs are included in the service delivery process and remain integral to the whole customer support system. Finally, by creating this entire service delivery ecosystem with a centrally-leveraged digital platform from Work Market, OEMs can gain significantly more visibility into their remote service delivery processes and can likely find opportunities to both improve service and reduce costs.

While IT field services may represent Work Market’s largest business market segment at this time, the company is also steadily expanding the scope of its so-called FMS to serve other segments of businesses and to engage different types of independent workers. It will be interesting to observe that market expansion and see if the capabilities announced might also apply in those other areas. For example, might an enterprise using Work Market to engage and manage its directly sourced independent workers also begin to use it to intermediate various upstream suppliers of workforce? We’ll have to wait and see, as the new world of WIPs continues to evolve, connect in different directions and form labor sourcing and engagement ecosystems – in effect, creating whole new digital-platform-enabled contingent workforce supply chains that may bypass or include today’s traditional labor services suppliers.

Enterprises leveraging digital platforms to engage non-employee workers to fulfill services quickly and efficiently in different locations is becoming significant trend. Numerous examples can cited, including Gigwalk, which consumer products companies use to send workers into retail stores to survey product displays, or Swisscom Friends, which has ecosystem-partnered with Mila, the European version of TaskRabbit, to allow qualified neighborhood residents to freelance and make local service calls on Swisscom’s behalf. Clearly, how enterprises can engage and deploy workers for services fulfillment and other support activities is being radically transformed by digital platforms – and these trends toward online, shared and on-demand workforce are surely arising as new major variables in services procurement and contingent workforce management.

If you’re a Spend Matters PRO subscriber and interested how WIPs and ecosystem development go hand-in-hand, check out this recently published PRO piece, “Work Intermediation Platforms – The Emergence of New Labor Services Ecosystems."

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