Author Archives: Andrew Karpie



Freelancer Limited Enters the Enterprise Neighborhood: Who’s the New Kid on the Block? (Part 2)

In this two-part series, we highlight contingent workforce industry trends, discuss Freelancer Limited and its new enterprise offering, and offer our own Spend Matters commentary on this provider’s development. In Part 1, we focused on overarching trends, Freelancer (the company) and Freelancer Enterprise (the solution). Today in Part 2, we discuss enterprise demand for Freelancer Enterprise, Freelancer’s experience with procurement and the state of enterprise solutions for sourcing online freelancers, along with suggestions for procurement.

Freelancer Limited Enters the Enterprise Neighborhood: Who’s the New Kid on the Block? (Part 1)

Lystable

Freelancer.com, a part of publicly-traded Freelancer Limited (FLN.ASX), is one of the two largest online freelancer marketplaces in the world (we’ll leave it to Freelancer and Upwork to duke that out). Spend Matters has covered the company and its online marketplace (Freelancer.com) over the past several years. Most recently, we called attention on its December announcement of “Freelancer Enterprise,” described by CEO Matt Barrie as providing “large organizations with a platform that enables transparency, control, talent management and compliance, together with the ability to scale adoption across the organization.” In this two-part series, we highlight industry trends, discuss the company and its new enterprise offering, and provide our own Spend Matters commentary.

SAP Fieldglass Introduces its Digital Network to Support Multichannel Services Sourcing and Engagement

SAP Fieldglass has announced the launch of its Digital Network, a new way for businesses to “find, hire and manage an array of workforce channels, such as freelancers, contingent workers, statement-of-work consultants and permanent employees,” according to an SAP blog post. The announcement indicates the Digital Network will provide enterprises with an end-to-end, digitally integrated, multichannel sourcing and engagement process, including access to third-party digital platforms and other solutions. The company introduced 11 providers of various kinds and said the number would increase over time. 

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List: March 2018

This is the second edition of Spend Matters’ new monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List,” available to Plus and PRO subscribers. In the depths of the evolving and expanding contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space, innovations and emerging practices may be brewing but escape observation. To shed some light, at the top of every month, we select, summarize and provide some brief commentary on noteworthy development that have recently appeared on our radar.

February was mostly cool and did not bode well for the hot list. But fortunately, things really heated up late in the month.

Outcome-Oriented Contracts for Services: Should You Dangle the Carrot or Wave the Stick? (Part 2)

contract

In Part 1 of this series, we provided an overview of services and outcome-oriented contracts, as well as introduced specific research on that subject. Today in part 2 of this series, we cover key findings of the research and explore some of the more practical implications and potential guidance for practitioners. Below we summarize the research findings published in the working paper “Using outcome-oriented contracts to foster performance improvements in logistics outsourcing relationships” and conclude with a set of takeaways from the series as a whole.

How Hiring Managers View the Changing World of Work: Upwork’s 2018 Future Workforce Report

Lystable

Upwork, a global online freelancer marketplace and enterprise solution provider, announced Wednesday the release of its second annual “Future Workforce Report: Hiring Manager Insights on Flexible and Remote Work Trends.” The study is specifically concerned with “knowledge work.” The underlying survey, conducted by independent research firm Inavero, was based on a sample of more than 1,000 hiring managers within U.S. organizations, across 10 industry verticals and ranging in size from under 50 employees to more than 5,000. Because this is the second year of the study, year-over-year changes are indicated in the report. 

Outcome-Oriented Contracts for Services: Should You Dangle the Carrot or Wave the Stick? (Part 1)

In this two-part series, we dip into the topical subject of outcome-oriented (i.e., outcome-based, performance-based) contracts for managing service delivery and outcomes. Part 1 provides an overview of services and outcome-oriented contracts and introduces some specific research on that subject. Part 2 addresses the key findings of that research and provides a set of takeaways from the series as a whole. 

Catalant: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) – Competitive and Summary Analysis

consultant

In the previous two installments of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series (Parts 1 and Part 2), we provided an overview of Catalant and its solution offering(s) as well an analysis and evaluation of solution strengths and weaknesses. In Part 3, we provide a SWOT assessment and competitive analysis of Catalant in the context of an evolving contingent workforce and services intermediation industry made up of long-established providers and innovative new entrants.

Direct Sourcing of Independent Professionals: What Enterprises Need to Know in 2018 (Part 4)

The main purpose of this four-part series has been to provide corporate and functional decision-makers with guidance for identifying a technology-enabled direct sourcing solution that will be fit for the purpose of engaging skilled independent professional talent and will, at the same time, satisfy non-negotiable enterprise requirements.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, we traced the development of the enterprise-oriented technology-enabled direct sourcing solution, from talent marketplace platforms (such as online freelancer marketplaces) through freelancer management systems (FMS) to the current state of development in 2018. In Part 3, we highlighted the crucial relationship between technology-enabled direct sourcing and the increasingly important independent professional workforce.

In the fourth and final part of this series, we provide executive decision-makers with criteria to identify a technology-based direct sourcing solution that is fit for purpose and that meets the high bar of enterprise requirements.

Beeline Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis

Beeline remains one of the top vendor management system (VMS) brands in the contingent workforce market today, holding market share that is roughly equal to SAP Fieldglass following its merger with IQNavigator. The company, which operates independently of any larger software or staffing-related firm, has distinguished itself with a forward-looking strategy and innovative solutions to changing market requirements.

But in a sector marked by rapid change, including procurement’s continued interest in gaining greater control over complex services spend (e.g., professional services) as well as labor market alternatives (e.g., freelancers), the traditional VMS solution model is evolving and its scope widening. That can be both positive and negative. VMS, now becoming more of a broader solution suite, may be perceived in the market as transforming from a sharp, fit-for-purpose tool to a Swiss army knife. While Beeline is not sitting still in this market by any means, it faces — as do other VMS providers — dampened growth rates and narrowing margins, as well as the specter of continuing direct competition from other VMS providers, new competition in the VMS market and a range of alternatives and substitutes targeting different types of services and labor.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot provides a SWOT analysis of Beeline and offers a competitive segmentation of the complex landscape Beeline faces. It also includes recommended candidates that could serve as alternatives to Beeline, as well guidance for procurement practitioners developing a shortlist. Finally, it provides a summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering Beeline.

Direct Sourcing of Independent Professionals: What Enterprises Need to Know in 2018 (Part 3)

Visually

In Part 2 of this four-part series, we examined the emergence of purportedly enterprise-grade, fit-for-purpose, technology-enabled direct sourcing solutions over the past few years, beginning from the “first stab” of freelancer management systems (FMS) to today’s solutions, which are being developed and brought to market a range of different third parties: VMS providers, new software/technology providers, contingent workforce service providers and even some of the talent marketplace platforms.

But the emergence of a range of different solutions in this complex, evolving supply-side environment presents enterprise corporate and functional executives with the challenge of sorting through and identifying a direct sourcing solution that is fit for purpose and will satisfy enterprise requirements. However, fit for purpose may mean different things depending upon what type of independent workers are being sourced and engaged to perform specific kinds of work (e.g., low-skill gig workers compared with specialized, skilled independent professionals).

In this third part of our series, we focus on the crucial relationship between technology-enabled direct sourcing and engaging specialized, skilled independent professionals.

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List: February 2018

This is the first edition of Spend Matters’ new monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List,” available to PLUS and PRO subscribers. While for many the mention of “contingent workforce and services” may elicit a barely suppressed yawn or a semi-glazed look, others know that what is true is often more than meets the eye. Beneath a spend category associated mainly with traditional temp staffing and under the surface of the obtuse, clinical label of “contingent workforce and services” (CW/S) lies a hotbed of innovation (I kid you not).

Technology, new economic realities, and supply- and demand-side transformation are giving rise to new alternatives for sourcing and consuming workforce and services within enterprises. Some of these developments are obviously relevant and potentially applicable in an enterprise context, others simply represent innovations in the environment that may, in some form or another, become relevant and applicable down the line.

In this series, we try to set the record straight, perhaps turn a few heads (or at least provoke a double-take) and even prevent some unwary practitioners from getting burned. In the depths of the evolving and expanding contingent workforce and services environment, events and developments, technology-based innovations and emerging sourcing and consumption models, may be brewing and may escape observation and require illumination. To shed some light, at the top of every month, we will summarize specific events and developments that have recently appeared on our radar, and we will offer brief commentary on the significance.

Now, welcome to the February edition of The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List!