The Services and Indirect Spend Category

A Tale of Two Case Studies: Centralizing and Getting Spend Under Management in Fast Food and CPG

Centralization of sourcing operations and overall spend has literally been at the center of debate in a number of ways for procurement practitioners.

A few months ago, our editor at large Sydney Lazarus answered a reader’s question on the very topic. In her reporting on whether centralizing or decentralizing sourcing structures of procurement organizations is the way to go, she wrote that “company size, location, expansion rate, purchasing category and industry are all factors that affect whether a more centralized or more decentralized structure is better.”

Several of those factors played into two case studies from BuyerQuest focusing on how a large quick-service restaurant corporation and a CPG organization used e-procurement technology to confront their centralization challenges.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 3)

The dramatically changing legal services industry discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series ultimately provides both challenges and exciting opportunities within legal services procurement. Alternative legal services providers (ALSPs), a main focus of this series, are just one component of these changes and still an emerging one in legal services procurement strategies and practice priorities. Growth in the corporate use of ALSPs, however, is expected.

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — Being the Solution, Not the Problem

Today’s enterprises can no longer rely only on traditional intermediaries for sourcing and engaging talent. This is especially the case when it comes to the specialized, often scarce skills of high-end knowledge workers. At the same time, businesses need low-friction, low-overhead, end-to-end and often project-specific processes that can support speed, flexibility and agility — often enabled by emerging technologies. Technology, however, is just one part of the puzzle. At least as important — if not more so — is initiating and sustaining change inside the enterprise. Adopting new talent models is not about making incremental improvements to your existing approaches, much less disrupting them entirely. Instead, it’s about ushering a new and potentially transformative innovation into the enterprise.

WorkMarket Partners to Offer Full Coverage Workers’ Compensation for Freelancers

WorkMarket has introduced a new insurance service that allows companies to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their independent contract workers, the company announced Thursday. According to the company, this is a “first-of-its-kind” service offering that was created in partnership with a leading insurance carrier. The new offering allows businesses that use the WorkMarket platform to extend workers’ compensation coverage to independent contract workers that the company engages through the platform.

Catalant: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

Catalant

This PRO Vendor Snapshot focuses on Catalant, an online (cloud-based) work intermediary and evolving enterprise platform that allows organizations to access and engage highly skilled, well-credentialed independent business consultants and small, boutique consulting businesses. These resources can be sourced from Catalant’s own “digital marketplace” of independent talent and small consulting providers, which has been growing both in terms of number of providers and number of enterprise customers since 2013.

Since that time, Catalant has been extending its enterprise platform to, at this stage of platform development, allow organizations to establish private networks of their own self-sourced consulting resources (including alumni and retirees). It also enables organizations to create and manage teams of internal (employee) workers and blended internal-external (consultant) workers over a full project lifecycle, as well as archive, share and access project content and artifacts.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview. In Part 1, we also identified basic fit criteria for firms considering Catalant. In Part 2 of this series, we present our view and analysis of Catalant’s product strengths and weaknesses to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the solution provider. We also offer a high-level evaluation of the user interface. Part 3, the final part of this series, will provide a business SWOT analysis, user selection guide, an overview of competitors and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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The Biggest Benefit of On-Demand Talent Is Growth, Not Cost Containment

By now, most procurement leaders have heard about the high-end gig economy—and how freelance knowledge workers can help them steer complex, strategic initiatives on a project basis. The companies that have grown up to serve this new ecosystem, Business Talent Group included, often point to things like cost-efficiency when making a case for on-demand talent. Freelance knowledge workers carry the pedigree of top consulting firms without the overhead, goes this argument. It stands to reason they can take on the same work for substantially less money. But the biggest benefit to on-demand talent isn’t cost containment, in my view. It’s capturing scarce talent, moving more nimbly, and positioning your company for growth in fast-changing markets.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 2)

forced labor

While it has been said that the wheels of justice turn slowly but exceedingly fine, the process may be accelerating in the procurement of legal services. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how monolithic, traditional BigLaw firms are being challenged to radically adapt by disruptive economic forces, the ascendance of legal procurement in enterprises and, last but not least, by the growth in a broad range of alternative legal services providers. But more important, as we noted in Part 1, BigLaw’s nightmare is also a shared opportunity for legal services procurement and for emerging alternative legal services providers. According to some industry observers, we are witnessing an ongoing paradigm shift from BigLaw to what is being dubbed NewLaw. In Part 2 of this series, we provide an introduction to the increasingly important, complex and rapidly evolving NewLaw world of non-traditional/alternative legal services providers (ALSPs).

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 1)

A number of unwelcome trends over the past decade have put large law firms on the chopping block. Among these has been the increasing involvement of procurement in managing legal services, along with the emergence of a range attractive alternatives to traditional full-service firms. While this has been a nightmare for the firms that constitute “BigLaw,” it is a shared opportunity for legal services procurement and for emerging alternative legal services providers. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we focus on BigLaw’s challenges, changing corporate buying behaviors and the rise of procurement in legal services sourcing and spend management.

The Case for Considering Contingent Workers in Your Diversity & Inclusion Strategy

Contingent workers are now sitting more firmly in the driver’s seat of their careers and are being selective in where they share their talent. While pay is still a significant driver, the culture and work environment of a business are also becoming important factors, similar to those seeking full-time employment. Organizations develop diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs designed to foster teamwork, acceptance and creativity within their full-time employee populations. Given the increased profile of contingent workers within organizations, is it reasonable to expect that this part of the worker population be considered when developing initiatives for the organization as a whole?

How to Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion Practices Into Contingent Labor Programs

supplier diversity

Many organizations struggle with how to incorporate D&I practices within their contingent workforce. In response to concerns regarding co-employment, buying organizations tend to keep non-employees at arm’s length. But given the increasing number of contingent workers in the workforce mix, as well as the central role they are playing in more organizations, one could argue that a different approach should be considered in acknowledgement of the changing dynamics.

5 Key Procurement Insights from Upwork’s 2017 Freelancing in America Study

Lystable

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Contingent workforce procurement practitioners are increasingly encountering the idea that freelance/independent workforce is growing in importance. This idea comes from many sources, including business users who are strapped for the skills and talent they need, media and analyst coverage of a new “gig economy” and, last but not least, new workforce solution providers that specialize in the provisioning of skilled freelancers and independent professionals.

For procurement practitioners — who for many years tolerated the use of independent contractors (1099 ICs) as a necessary evil and a last resort in exceptional cases — the idea of increasing use of the independent workforce can be challenging in a number of ways. One of those is figuring out whether this phenomenon is real and important enough to be spending more time on and enabling rather than minimizing. Practitioners might think, “Sure we’re hearing that skills and talent are migrating to an independent workforce. But is that true? Is there data to support this?”

In this article, we turn to fresh data on this subject and try to provide some helpful insights for practitioners grappling with this issue.

What Procurement Needs to Know About the High-End Gig Economy

consultant

Do you have a clear idea of what the gig economy is? That was the question that Andrew Karpie, research director of services and labor procurement at Spend Matters, posed on a recent webinar that he hosted with Jody Miller, chief executive of Business Talent Group (BTG). The way attendees answered may surprise you.