Contingent Labor Review: Key Procurement Priorities (Part 2) — Managing Tomorrow

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Back in May, I introduced our North American subscribers to a new two-part series published by my colleague Peter Smith, the head of our U.K./E.U. sister site. This series is based on interviews with senior procurement executives from a number of major public and private sector organizations and focuses on how the contingent workforce category is changing at large enterprises — and how procurement must take stock of and reset its priorities in response.

Part 1 of the series looked at the topic of contingent labor procurement generally and at the current structures in place to manage it. It also looked at how organizations are engaging with the supply market and their internal stakeholders as well as program maturity and value levers.

Part 2 of the seriesContingent Labor Review: Key Procurement Priorities (Part 2) — Tomorrow’s market and how to manage it is now available for download. In Part 2, the focus is on what’s next. What will contingent workforce procurement encounter and how it will be challenged? Part 2 concludes with a set of specific recommendations for procurement practitioners.

The future scenario represented for contingent labor management is, not surprisingly, one in which engagement and use of contingent labor increases and how it is engaged and used expands and becomes more complex, partly due to the appearance of new intermediation technologies, like freelancer management systems (FMS) and online marketplace platforms.  

But all is not technology — the human factor will remain paramount.

Procurement is not only about managing the supply market, it is also about forming relationships and communicating with internal stakeholders: “The best procurement functions will work as the bridge between the market and internal demands, helping to match demand and supply in the optimum manner, making sure specifications are well managed, demand is questioned and controlled and that the commercial details are of course appropriate.”

To make this happen, the skills of category managers must be carefully considered. Contingent labor procurement was generally seen by interviewed practitioners as “one of the more challenging categories, not so much because of market complexities, but because of the challenging stakeholder environment. ‘We need category managers who can relate to the stakeholder groups, preferably with similar experience.’ The ability to think creatively and look at future options will also be prized — ‘we need to challenge the status quo then join the dots to get the right workforce strategy.’”

Part 2 moves smoothly from analysis of future developments and requirements to the presentation of a set of practical recommendations. To be in the know, click here and download Part 2.

Please follow Andrew Karpie on Twitter @andrewkarpie. Read more of our contingent workforce and services procurement coverage.

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