The Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Management Category

Procurement Free Agents: Are You Ready?

consultant

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing.

Call them on-demand workers, contractors, free agents or mercenaries — just don’t call them inconsequential. Procurement is no longer immune to to the increase of contingent workers other functions have experienced in recent years. And the shift from employing permanent workers to temporary ones is gaining ground.

Work Intermediation Platforms: Examples Within 3 Basic Categories [Plus+]

In a series last year, we set out to explore the digital evolution of the contingent workforce supply chain — a specific area of the services procurement world that, dare we say, has been getting hot.

We began tracing a line from the vendor management system (VMS)-dominated atmosphere starting over 15 years ago up to the more recent technology-enabled platforms such as Work Intermediation Platforms (WIPs).

Related: Join me and Jason Busch for a free webinar next week on 2017 Tech Trends and what they mean for contingent workforce practitioners.

But as we know, launching into heady discussions on the topic may be rough without laying down some simple definitions first. For that reason, we want to give services procurement practitioners a bit of a primer on three basic categories — marketplaces, service providers and private pools/networks — and examples of WIPs that fall into each (or more than one) of them.

Whoa, What’s a WIP Again? Here’s a Super Quick Review

First, let’s just quickly define WIPs. While well-known platforms such as Amazon, Uber and Airbnb have arisen in the retail, transportation and hospitality areas, tech-enabled platform businesses, functioning as new intermediaries between demand for and supply of work/services, have been proliferating. Spend Matters refers to these platforms as work intermediation platforms (WIPs).

These platforms have been able to engage workforce populations that have not  been previously accessible (e.g., talent in other countries). They have created new efficient ways of executing work arrangements (direct sourcing to electronic payment); performance and fulfillment of work/services (e.g., online end-to-end); and new models of engaging workers (e.g., crowdsourcing).

After 10 years, WIPs are still at a very early stage of development. However, such a rate of maturation and acceptance is not atypical for technology-driven innovation. In our view, many WIPs around today will evolve to be successful, and new WIPs will emerge with successful formulas and models right out of the gate.

So, WIP Category #1: Examples of Marketplaces



The above platforms basically fit the marketplace model (and Upwork would also fall into Private Pools/Networks), but there are variations. So let's dig into them, shall we?

How IT Services Provider Wipro Improved Performance Metrics by Segregating Demand Type

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Contingent workforce procurement and management in a professional services company is oftentimes a unique activity. Performance metrics, while similar to other programs, are prioritized differently. Costs are monitored more closely, as they are directly tied to operating margins, and time to fill is a crucial metric. For a large program that hires thousands of contractors yearly, each day of cycle time reduction can add millions to the top line.

AllWork Launches Innovative On-Demand Work Platform for Retail and Brands

Officially launched this week, AllWork is a work platform that enables consumer brands to place brand/product freelancer specialists into assignments at stores of any number of different retail businesses. From our perspective, AllWork is a truly instructive example of how digital work platforms can and will enable completely new ways of arranging work.

Accenture’s “Workforce Marketplace” Trend Report: The Time To Act Is Now

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Accenture recently joined McKinsey (“A Labor Market that Works: Connecting Talent with Opportunity,” 2015) and Deloitte (“Global Human Capital Trends 2016 ­­— The new organization: Different by design”) with its own report that directly addresses online work platforms (which go by a number of names). The Accenture report, “Workforce Marketplace: Invent your own future,” is trend No. 3 of 5 in the company’s more comprehensive “2017 Vision Trends: Technology for People.”

The Washington Post Talent Network’s Success is Procurement’s Golden Opportunity

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When the Washington Post launched its Talent Network in June 2015, the Jeff Bezos-owned company promised to bring order to one of the media industry’s most unruly problems: sourcing and managing freelancers. Nearly two years later, the Post seems to have made good on that promise. Such a success story is a boon not only to media companies but to all businesses that extensively rely on a contingent workforce.

Will Trump Deregulate Employment to Create New Jobs, Gigs or What?

President Donald Trump recently said, “Now, we’re going to have regulation, and it’ll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have right now. The problem with the regulation that we have right now is that you can’t do anything… I have people that tell me that they have more people working on regulations than they have doing product.”

So considering the evolving and heavily regulated labor market, how should we read these tea leaves?

In Their Own Words: 5 Contingent Workforce Companies We’re Tracking in 2017

Last year was an exciting one for the contingent workforce procurement market. This year, according to our resident CW/S procurement expert Andrew Karpie, is unlikely to be a massive breakthrough year. “For the most part,” he wrote, “the developments and trends that we have seen taking shape in 2016 will continue, and maybe accelerate or attract greater interest by procurement practitioners.”

To keep the momentum going, we thought about the innovative solution providers in this market whose next steps we’re eagerly anticipating, and we shot over a simple question to them: What exciting things are you doing in 2017?

The Untimely Demise of FMS: Gone, Buried and All But Forgotten

When the idea and prototypes of what was called the Freelancer Management System (FMS) appeared at the end of 2013, it was met with much excitement and interest, which continued well through 2014 and 2015. Though propped up into 2016, FMS — after a long struggle with confusion, rebuttal and lack of adoption in the market — finally succumbed, quietly and without much notice. Scarcely a tear was shed, and barely a whisper was heard, not even from investors who poured millions of dollars into their progeny.

Bunker: A New Platform Innovates Business Insurance for Self-Employed/Gig Workers

The emergence and expansion of the so-called gig-economy (the non-employee, project and task-based segment of the labor market) has opened up challenges for both businesses and workers.

Businesses previously vigilant about the classification and other compliance risks that come with self-employed, 1099s/independent contractors (ICs) are now faced with the dilemma of how to work with the growing population of much-needed talent that prefers self-employment and independence. And self-employed workers and micro-businesses are also facing the challenge of how to “make independence work” without the “support services” that employees never have to think about.

Sponsored Article

Planning for a Successful VMS Implementation

Spend Matters welcomes this sponsored article from Justine Hauth, implementation manager at SAP Fieldglass.

Your company has chosen a Vendor Management System (VMS) and you’re anxious to get started on implementation… but stop! An implementation project’s success begins with a well-organized and thought-out plan prior to kick off. Most of us have experienced the impact that poor planning can have: increased timelines, budgets, missed expectations and other frustrations that leave you scratching your head and asking “what went wrong?” and ”how did we get here?” So it’s essential that you consider the following while planning for a successful VMS implementation.

Following Up on SAP Fieldglass Flex: The New VMS for Mid-Sized Organizations

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In December, Spend Matters covered SAP Fieldglass’ launch of its new product, SAP Fieldglass Flex. The new offering is effectively a VMS designed specifically for mid-sized organizations. Existing enterprise VMS solutions have tended to be too complex and costly for mid-sized businesses. And although some enterprise VMS solutions may have achieved some limited penetration in the mid-market, we believe none has been (1) designed from the ground-up specifically for this purpose, (2) benefited from best practices knowledge of a leading enterprise VMS and (3) had the support of one of the largest global software players. Given the above, we thought it was important to go a bit deeper into understanding Flex and were able to have a conversation with Rob Brimm, President of SAP Fieldglass, to gather more details about the product.