The Services and Indirect Spend Category

Fiverr Delivers A New Slant on Independent, Specialized Knowledge Workers

Coworks

Fiverr, a marketplace for creative and digital services, recently published a unique study focused on independent, specialized knowledge workers (ISKWs). The study, conducted in collaboration with the market research firm Rockbridge Associates, seeks to provide a better understanding of ISKWs — “where [they] live, what kind of work they do and how much they’re growing as a population and in terms of revenue earned.” From our perspective, the study is unique in its sharp focus on ISKWs and its sophisticated, transparent methodology. 

The Digital Evolution of the Contingent Workforce Supply Chain: What Does It Mean? (Part 1) [Plus+]

contingent workforce

Driven by the effects of new digital technologies and other factors (talent availability, generational change, etc.), contingent workforce procurement — and the contingent workforce supply chain — will be noticeably evolving over the next 10 years. The last impetus to change in the supply chain and procurement was the advent of VMS over 15 years ago, a set of developments that is well known by now. Given how much the world of commerce has changed since that time, we probably should not be surprised that another round of change has now begun. This time, given the range of drivers — technical, economic and social — that are converging, we should also not be surprised if the new round of change may give rise to new kinds of technology-enabled labor/services intermediaries and technology-based innovation across the existing contingent workforce supply chain (staffing suppliers, VMS, MSP and others). This Spend Matters Plus brief helps contingent workforce and services procurement professionals form a broad, strategic perspective on how technology, specifically, may bring about changes to the contingent workforce supply chain and how that may unfold. However, as will discuss later in this series, this is not just the “long game,” as both specific opportunities and threats will arise along the longer path forward.

The Freelance Frontier: How the Future of Independent Work is Happening Now

On May 15, we will be joining the Freelance Frontier webinar to contribute our own perspective on emerging, alternative sourcing channels and ecosystems for independent-freelance contract workers.The webinar will also feature three young, innovative solution providers — IC PreCheck, Bunker and Genesys Talent — that have started their journeys across the Freelance Frontier.

In addition to developing their own digitally enabled solutions, these providers have chosen to partner and configure themselves as part of an ecosystem that can bring together organizations and independent-freelance workers in an efficient, fast, compliant and mutually beneficial way. In the webinar, the providers will discuss their own solutions as well as how they work together.

The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hotlist: May 2018 [Plus+]

Welcome to the fourth edition of Spend Matters’ monthly feature, “The Contingent Workforce and Services Insider’s Hot List,” available to Plus and PRO subscribers.

Today, based on our own observations and our discussions with supply chain participants, change in the CW/S space (both its scope and pace) appears unprecedented; moreover, it may also be accelerating. The staffing industry of 10 years ago was mature, stable, highly concentrated and hardly innovative. But between then and now, much has been happening.

Change, up and down the supply chain, is being driven not only by enterprises beginning to require more effective solutions in the current environment but even more so by other external forces (e.g., new technology/solutions, workforce demographics and so on). While it is important to consider these external factors/sources, it is also important to watch how the core/traditional supply chain is responding to them. There is little, if any, disruption occurring, but there are many signs of assimilation, adaptation and, in some cases, innovation. For more on this, see our discussion, under the heading “Wildfire? Or Slow Burn?," in last month’s Hotlist.

Given the above, the past month did not disappoint, with developments in both the core/traditional category and the external/innovation category. We’ll start with developments in the first category and then proceed to those in the second.

Is Corporate America Now Embracing the Future of Work? It’s Complicated [PRO]

In this heady and confusing time of freelancers, digital platforms and the gig economy, there are different perspectives on the extent to which large enterprises are — or will increasingly be — sourcing and engaging independent workers, using new technology solutions, digital platforms and new internal processes to do so. In this PRO brief, we look at the state of affairs in 2018 by evaluating this question: When will enterprises, thus far reserved, recognize the tactical and strategic importance of leveraging the independent workforce and start deliberately taking steps to make the independent workforce a part of their total workforce strategies?

The answer is complicated, and predictions are impossible. But trying to answer the question offers procurement and HR practitioners insights, from which they can draw their own conclusions and form their own managerial perspectives.

Services Procurement History: The Rise of the Staffing Industry Model [Plus+]

interview

By just about anyone’s numbers, the staffing industry still maintains dominant market share when it comes to placing temporary or contingent labor at companies (and often government agencies and departments). In this multi-part Spend Matters Plus analysis we take a look at the growth of the temporary labor market and how staffing firms emerged as a dominant model — and the context with which they accelerated their growth in recent decades. Finally, we introduces the ideas behind why Spend Matters believes staffing firms will begin to increasingly share overall contingent market share with freelancer models, talent marketplaces, alumni and shared interest pools, independent contractors/consultants and related models in the coming decades and what this means for procurement organizations increasingly tasked with managing services spend.

Healthcare’s Purchased Services Management Problems Expose Contract Management Deficits

contract

As a super-category of spend, purchased services continue to pose challenges that are felt across all industry. Although there’s a well-known playbook (i.e. get your data-act together; benchmark; rationalize suppliers and source better arrangements), what is it about purchased services that continues to confound our best efforts? Among healthcare providers — an industry that is just now learning to take control of its supply chains — it has been exposed as a huge problem.

Catalant’s Reimagining Work 20/20 Report: Good Imagination or Perfect Vision?

Catalant, a provider of innovative solutions to access and maximize the value of expert talent, recently released a report entitled “Reimagining Work 20/20.” In essence, the report focuses on the evolving relationships among organizations, expert workforce and the so-called future of work. Reimagining Work 20/20 examines why and how organizations are already or will need to begin a transformational journey (our words) to arrive at place where they can take full advantage of what Catalant calls the “radically agile workforce.” It also acknowledges and cautions that the journey to becoming an agile organization will be a challenging one.

The SAP Fieldglass Digital Network: What Is It and What Does It Mean? [PRO]

SAP Fieldglass announced in March the first stage in the development of its Digital Network, a new way for businesses to access alternative digital suppliers of workforce and services. Prominent among these suppliers are online talent marketplaces, which engage and aggregate one or more general categories of talent, typically freelancers/independent workers. While larger enterprises have generally been slow to utilize these emerging digital suppliers — especially through a managed buying channel and a VMS — we’ve observed that levels of curiosity and interest have been trending upward. Within SAP Fieldglass, these marketplaces and other digital platforms are treated as additional contingent workforce suppliers within a “multichannel” sourcing framework.

We had an opportunity to connect with SAP SAP Fieldglass President Rob Brimm and members of his staff to discuss what the Digital Network is and what it means from the SAP Fieldglass perspective. Below, we share some of what we learned, as well our own perspective on how this development fits into a broader industry context.

The 2018 Beeline Conference: What Did We Learn?

Eved

The 2018 Beeline Conference, which officially wrapped up Wednesday, may in retrospect be a milestone event for the company. Not only was the conference well attended, well organized, informative and analyst friendly in terms of access and transparency, it also provided visibility into a company that has weathered a near-perfect storm in 2017 and is now unfurling its sails, looking toward the horizon. Realistically, on the voyage ahead, there will be both smooth sailing and rough seas — and as any seasoned mariner knows, that’s just how it is.

Holding Managed Services Providers (MSPs) Accountable to a BPO-Based Standard (Part 3) [Plus+]

Consider that during the initial years of a services procurement outsourcing initiative involving legal spend, that pursuing e-billing programs that enable rate management and better invoice tracking along with formal rate management programs and related benchmarking, rate/value alignment and volume discounting is most likely to deliver optimal near-term results. Yet in most cases, in the out-years of a multiple-year legal spend management program, it makes sense to move to such areas as law firm selection, alternative fee arrangements, resource optimization and document discovery as the next areas to tackle.

Sponsored Article

The State of the MSP Industry (Part 1): The Moment of Truth Has Arrived

Capgemini IBX Business Network

The MSP industry was born in the early 1990s. Enterprises were using more and more temporary labor, sourced without much control of cost and risk from a fragmented and opaque staffing industry. The very idea of an enterprise contingent workforce management program was a glimmer in the eye of CFOs. However, what had been a small problem was becoming a big one. To help businesses take control of their growing temporary labor use, MSPs, along with VMS technologies, stepped up to offer a solution to this problem. And since the 1990s, MSPs have served enterprises in these ways, delivering value primarily in the form of spend visibility, cost avoidance and reduction, and compliance enforcement. But what worked in the past in no longer simply enough for many businesses to justify their ongoing with relationships with MSPs.