Contingent workforce and services procurement practitioners may view "online freelancer marketplaces," sometimes called "online staffing platforms," not adapted to enterprise use. This is not true when it comes to Upwork
, with its unique Upwork Enterprise offering that fits into enterprise contingent workforce programs. There are many hard and soft benefits that businesses derive from the use of Upwork, but there are some that be surprising, and yet very familiar, to procurement practitioners.
A recent paper
, by me and Jason Busch, describes how the extensive and highly granular data that flows through Upwork Enterprise provides the basis for very detailed workforce analysis and extremely powerful spend analysis. Correspondingly, they point to rate arbitrage — between workforce engaged through Upwork and workforce provisioned by traditional staffing suppliers — as a source of significant untapped savings. In effect, we argue that new digital work platforms like Upwork should also be viewed as new procurement tools that provide new spend analysis and cost savings opportunities.