Author Archives: Elaine Morris Roberts



How risk, technology reshape the CFO role

Traditionally, chief financial officers have spent their time poring over budgets, auditing seemingly everything and ensuring compliance. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, their role is shifting, incorporating strategic planning, risk management and predictive analytics.

To find out what CFOs are facing and how they’re making changes, the survey “The Strategic CFO: Thriving with Risk” compiles the answers from 500 CFOs and global financial executives about their evolving experiences. The survey was prepared by The Wall Street Journal Custom Content group in association with Coupa, a business spend management technology solutions provider. In a webinar, Coupa CFO Todd Ford and Wall Street Journal contributor Rosa Harris discuss finance’s role as it tries to take on risk and other findings from the survey.

How to hire contingent workers around the globe — and stay in compliance

contingent-workforce

The world is getting smaller every day, helped along by technologies that allow us to connect to people, activities and companies around the globe. Businesses are able to incorporate workers from anywhere, sometimes as seamlessly as if they were next door. While communicating with workers may be simpler, engaging them for work can be a complicated matter.

Many companies are adopting a flexible approach to the way they want to source, engage and manage their contingent workforces domestically in the U.S. and across the globe. However, those same companies often struggle to deal with the complicated issues surrounding worker classification, including vetting and compliance for a global contingent workforce.

To find out how companies can successfully navigate these tricky issues, we spoke with John Smith, managing director, Americas, at CXC Global.

Struggling to find the right workers? Create an alumni network from your retirees and former employees

LinkedIn ProFinder

Companies need skilled employees, but with unemployment numbers at the lowest levels in decades, available candidates are in short supply. And people with the skill sets needed for certain jobs and industry sectors are just not there. The hiring professionals are feeling the stress. The situation is compounded by the fact that Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age in large numbers. Finding workers to fill positions vacated by retirees will continue to present challenges, so companies that set up systems to keep retirees and other alumni as part of their contingent workforce will have a competitive advantage.

Despite power of data, many organizations lag in making it key to their decision-making culture, a Deloitte survey finds

In today’s hyper-connected, data-driven business world, the amount of available data is overwhelming. And while the concept of “big data” has been around for more than a decade, many companies are still lagging when it comes to using that data to make decisions. Insight-driven organizations (IDO), according to a recent Deloitte survey, are those that have made a transition to relying on data and analytics, instead of intuition, to make many of their business decisions. Technologies, led by artificial intelligence (AI), have the ability to support these insight-based decisions, giving companies a competitive advantage when they integrate them.

‘There is so much opportunity to leverage high-skill, high-value talent,’ MBO’s Bryan Peña says of independent workforce

Technology is changing the way people in the independent workforce find work, and companies face challenges finding that talent, says Bryan Peña, Chief of Market Strategy at MBO Partners.

"Technology is also becoming ubiquitous, and the discipline of managing a talent pool is becoming an organizational competency," he says. "So what we see is a lot of technologies that have been around for a while taking off because there’s more of an organizational demand for them as jobs become harder and harder to fill. And now that some of the basic problems are solved, you can point to more advanced ones. So many technologies are evolving to solve very discreet, unique problems — it's an exciting time."

Freelancer Management Systems: How Companies Can Find and Retain Independent Contractors via Direct Sourcing

As technology changes the work landscape, as companies seek more specifically skilled workers and as those workers push for non-traditional work arrangements, companies need to find effective ways to meet those changes. Direct sourcing is emerging as a viable, practical option to fill on-demand and other staffing needs.

When used alongside traditional hiring methods, including third-party staffing firms, direct sourcing allows companies to find and hire previously untapped independent contractors.

For decades companies have relied on staffing firms, managed service providers (MSPs), and other internal HR or procurement processes to handle their hiring, so how can they successfully integrate new technologies and methods? A readily available and reliable choice is to enlist a third-party technology provider that specializes in freelancer management systems technology (FMS). This technology can be integrated into an existing vendor management system, allowing companies to glean data from all sources to support the entire contractor management program.

Direct Sourcing of Labor, Total Talent Management Strategy Help Companies Improve Independent Contractor Success

talent management

When companies decide to engage contractors, the strategic approach should include methods for compliant engagement and management throughout the talent lifecycle, which incorporates sourcing and re-engagement.

So how can companies achieve this? Direct sourcing is becoming a more common option. This approach allows companies to seek out their own candidates to fill contractor roles, bypassing traditional third-party methods.

Will an Internally Managed Contingent Worker Program Work for Your Company?

It’s becoming an everyday occurrence: Businesses are hiring more and more freelancers, contractors and temporary staff — but they’re struggling to manage the process. Contingent labor experts talk about how in today’s workforce there are companies that have as many as 50% of their workers from non-employee sources. So how do companies determine the best way to locate and manage those workers while keeping a focus on what matters to the company: visibility, cost control, compliance and productivity?

Some companies still rely on more traditional externally managed programs, but the tide is changing. Companies using a managed service provider (MSP) often benefit from the provider’s expertise and broad supplier networks, but there can be difficulties with employee buy-in, staffing supplier relationships and costs.

GDPR compliance can be complicated, but VMS technology can ease process of protecting personal data

As more businesses collect personal data, the concerns over privacy and protection continue to deepen. Social media outlets are failing to protect sensitive personal information, and hackers seem to easily find their way into retail and financial databases.

In response, governments are instituting policies to protect personal data. Some individual states in the U.S. are passing legislation, but the most sweeping effort to date is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in the European Union about a year ago.

So, how are companies handling the collection of data and protecting that information?

Take freelancer websites, for example. Those companies collect candidate information for use in their contingent worker programs, and that data is especially sensitive. Every person applying for work is required to submit personal information during their application process, so companies impacted by GDPR must now more closely manage that. Companies have to monitor who has access, determine what data can be shared, establish proper channels for sharing, have a plan to erase data and set a specific storage term.

Globality Uses AI to Transform Complex Services Sourcing

The sprawling, and often poorly managed, domain of services spend in procurement has not been fully solved by the digital transformation, but as companies adopt technologies to support their efforts, they are discovering the great potential that technology can unlock.

Managing services spend requires assisting the many stakeholders who are sourcing for a variety of needs. To help support all of those sourcing processes, procurement professionals need a robust technology like artificial intelligence (AI), which offers unprecedented capabilities and potential to streamline the process and improve the vendor match. To shed light on that topic, we talked to Globality, a solutions provider with an AI-based procurement platform that helps clients around the world source services.

“Digital sourcing reduces time and improves the quality of the process,” says Yuval Atsmon, Globality’s Chief Customer Officer.

In this Q&A, Atsmon explains the value of bringing AI to B2B sourcing and how Globality uses AI to deliver results that save global clients and service providers time and money.

Using AI to Extend Digital Transformation to Services Procurement

Every time you shop at a favorite retailer’s online store or use an app to bank, you’re benefitting from the digital transformation of B2C services.

In the B2B environment, digital transformation of services is also taking place but at a slower pace. And in B2B for procurement, the shift is even slower, most often being used to automate processes and uncover potential cost-savings.

As discussed in The Digital Transformation of Services Sourcing: What It Is and Why It Matters, part 1 of this series, procurement departments will need purpose-fit technology to manage the vast areas of services spend. Procurement won’t necessarily do the hiring of services. That role will likely continue to rest with the stakeholders who need a marketing team or extra legal services. Since procurement departments may not be able to centralize the decision-making over services spend, they need another way to manage each stakeholder’s sourcing process — and the answer is artificial intelligence (AI). Read on to find out how AI is changing services spend.

Big Costs in Small Parcels: A Webinar on Navigating Shipping Spend, Improving Contracts and Saving Money

For many companies, shipping small parcels to customers is a hefty, unavoidable cost. So what are buyers to do? Imagine the difference if you could uncover the specifics of your small parcel freight needs, then negotiate with small parcel freight suppliers to ensure better, more consistent pricing.

Spend Matters recently participated in a webinar  with experts from NPI Financial and Spend Management Experts that provided detailed information about what’s happening in the shipping industry. “Small parcel is way more complicated than you think,” Spend Matters' Pierre Mitchell said. “Organizations do have a sense that they’re not very good at being able to manage at this level of complexity.”