Author Archives: Andrew Karpie

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — But New Models Have Arrived

As discussed in Part 1 of this series, traditional models of workforce engagement continue to dominate and constrain organizations’ access to the talent they need. To break through this barrier, organizations must embrace and support innovation — doing new things. Increasingly, the place to turn for talent, growth and innovation exists outside of the four walls of the enterprise, and goes beyond traditional categories of consulting and contingent labor. This is especially true when it comes to tapping into specialized skills and expertise, many of which are required only for a limited time in targeted projects. But the landscape of new solutions is evolving rapidly. To see how, we provide some examples of different types of innovative human capital sourcing and discuss how procurement can use these tools to drive innovation and long-term growth.

How Procurement Can Deliver the Benefits of the High-End Gig Economy — Innovation


Access to highly skilled, specialized talent is becoming a serious challenge for most enterprises. Overcoming this challenge begins with recognizing that a new model for sourcing and engaging this talent is emerging. But organizational adoption of these models is not as simple as a adding a new supplier, bringing up a new VMS or setting up an MSP or internally managed program. It is really a process of organizational change and innovation.

The Venerable VMS: A Situation and SWOT Analysis of the VMS Solution Category

In this PRO brief, we take an in-depth look at the presumably well-understood vendor management solution (VMS) solution category: where it and the providers falling within it are today and what the future may hold. We also provide practical insights and suggestions for enterprise buyers, as well as recommendations for further reading.

Services Procurement Practitioners: Is It Time for ‘SOW Lite’?

In a time when skill and talent gaps are a serious problem, business hirers are increasingly finding that the gig economy, freelancers, independent professionals and small scale, specialized service providers offer new solutions. Skills, talent and services can be consumed in new ways that are efficient, fast, targeted and effective. But contingent workforce and services procurement organizations today do not provide a means for business users to leverage these resources. Is time for procurement to take the bull by the horns and give business users some new tools to do what they need to do to tap into these resources — and meet many of the goals of procurement?

Engaging the Global Contingent Contractor Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities

MBO Partners

As firms seek to enter new markets and global supply chains become increasingly complex, contingent workforce managers need to access qualified talent when and where they need it. This has lead many businesses to increasingly engage the global contingent contractor workforce, from utilizing foreign workers to support extended global operations and to tapping specialized remote project workers not readily available in their home markets. Alongside this contingent boom, however, comes several challenges.

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — Here’s How Procurement Can Fix It

Businesses operating in today’s disruptive economy need innovative thinking and agile teams to meet rapidly changing customer demands. Yet standard models of workforce engagement remain antiquated and inflexible, limiting companies’ ability to respond to new opportunities. The ascendance of the knowledge economy and the explosion of new technology applications, however, have created new opportunities for organizations to rethink how mission-critical, highly skilled talent is sourced, managed and consumed. Accordingly, new models of workforce engagement have begun to emerge, allowing organizations to break free from their legacy processes and tap a new source of innovation for the enterprise.

Upwork’s Work Without Limits Executive Summit: A Retrospective

Before the unofficial end of summer, I had the opportunity to attend Upwork’s first Work Without Limits Executive Summit in San Francisco. Upwork, the largest global online freelancer marketplace in terms of gross payment volume (effectively, spend), has earned a place on Spend Matters 50 to Watch list two years in a row, so many eyes are on the company. The focus of the summit was actually Upwork Enterprise, Upwork’s online freelancer sourcing and services solution for enterprise-scale organizations (from midsize to Fortune 500 firms).

Total Talent Management: The Need to Think Big(ger) — ICYMI

We are big fans of total talent management (TTM). Firms have been blending internal and external talent for decades, with staff augmentation, consulting and the like. The problem has been, and continues to be, that firms have not kept pace and progressed organizationally and technologically to make this blending more fluid and efficient. Our viewpoint? All in good time.

Blending Internal and External Talent with Technology: A New Recipe for Businesses (ICYMI)

A recent webinar, which I presented with KPMG’s Sougata Banerjee, is now online, and it is free to view. The webinar covers what Spend Matters regards as a new generation of contingent workforce and services that is supported by new technologies, solutions and intermediaries. While at an early stage — and easy to dismiss as “way out there” — it is real, and an increasing number of enterprises are beginning put to a toe into the water, closely examining, testing, piloting or even starting to move up the adoption curve.

Groundbreaking Study Analyzes Enterprises’ Platform Sourcing of Online Freelancers


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Today, a new study, “Platform Sourcing: How Fortune 500 Firms Are Adopting Online Freelancing Platforms,” was published by researchers Greetje Corporaal and Vili Lehdonvirta of the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. The research project, organized under the Oxford Internet Institute’s iLabour Project, was designed to fill a gap in the practical understanding of how large enterprises go about introducing and expanding the use of online freelancers. The research also provided the basis for recommendations for other enterprises.

Upwork Launches Talent Services Division to Enable Enterprise Use of Online Freelance Workforce


Upwork announced Wednesday that it is launching a new functional organization it calls Talent Services. The company issued a press release titled “Upwork​ ​Creates​ ​World’s​ ​Largest​ ​On-Demand​ ​Talent​ ​Agency” at its Work Without Limits executive summit in San Francisco (read our kick-off coverage here). The new division combines consultative services with Upwork’s technology platform and online marketplace, enabling quick access for enterprise companies to the specific freelance talent they need, when they need it, according to the press release.

Upwork’s Work Without Limits Executive Summit: A Preview

Taulia Connect Cedric Bru

Online freelancing platform Upwork is kicking off its first executive summit Tuesday, and Spend Matters is on hand to cover the event. Upwork has described the Work Without Limits Summit as an “event [that] will bring together an intimate group of HR visionaries, the Fortune 500 C-suite and policy experts to understand how progressive organizations are embracing the new world of work will help forward-thinking executives prepare for the changing world of work.”