Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Content

Shortlist: Vendor Introduction — Analysis, SWOT, Selection Checklist [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Shortlist, which describes itself as an FMS (freelancer management system) or, alternatively, a software-as-a-service platform for businesses to engage, on-board, manage and pay independent/freelancers. Shortlist was covered in the Spend Matters SolutionMap for software solutions that enable businesses to manage their direct-sourced, independent contract workforce (where it was designated as a Solution Leader, the upper right quadrant for having high scores for capabilities and high customer scores, for all four buyer personas).

FMS solutions began to emerge about eight years ago, when the rise of the gig economy called attention to the lack of solutions designed to enable organizations to engage and manage their independent/freelance workers. Vendor management systems (VMS) solutions did not provide fit-for-purpose solutions; and many companies managed with spreadsheets, other kludged systems or nothing at all. In any case, it became increasingly clear that organizations of all sizes had neither adequate visibility into their independent/freelance workers nor the tools to manage and fully leverage that population of talent.

Over the past eight years, various solutions emerged to attempt to address these requirements. Today they now number on the order of 20 providers, depending on how the category is delimited, based in North America and elsewhere. These solutions have taken a variety of forms, often going beyond the classical definition of FMS[1]. Some arose in tandem with their proprietary, pre-populated online freelancer marketplaces (e.g., Upwork). Some were geared to enable mobile field contractors/gig workers (e.g., FieldNation, WorkMarket). Some, including Shortlist, began supporting small-scale service providers (like boutique creative agencies, small specialized consulting firms) in addition to individual independent/freelance workers.

In this Vendor Introduction, we will zero in on Shortlist and provide an overall understanding of the company and the solution. The brief includes a summary assessment of features and functions, a SWOT analysis as well as a selection checklist for companies that might be considering Shortlist. In this brief, we will abbreviate individual independent/contract/ freelance workers as ICWs and small-scale service providers as SSPs (collectively, we refer to them as “providers”).

CFTC orders Kraft, Mondelez to pay up; UPS moves on self-driving trucks; China increases soybean imports from Brazil

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) ruled that Kraft Heinz Co. and Mondelez International Inc. will have to pay a $16 million penalty in an old wheat manipulation case. ICYMI, Spend Matters' Andrew Karpie covers VMSA West on the Pacific Coast and Jason Busch drills down into Proactis amid a takeover bid for the UK spend management provider. And TechCrunch reports that UPS picked up a minority stake in TuSimple, a self-driving truck startup. Afternoon Coffee: starting up your weekend early with the latest procurement and supply chain news.

VMSA West — A Breath of Fresh Air for Contingent Workforce Conferences

This week, on Aug. 14 and 15, I had the opportunity to attend the VMSA West conference held right on the coast in beautiful Half Moon Bay, California. This was the first conference on the West Coast for VMSA, which wanted to create a contingent workforce event more accessible to businesses on this side of the country (the annual flagship conference VMSA Live is held annually in Florida). About 130 ecosystem professionals (a balanced mix of buy-side, MSP, supplier and other providers) met in an intimate setting to breathe, explore topics and learn from one another.

SourceDay nets ‘Built for NetSuite’ status; Kelly Services, Moonlighting in blockchain partnership; Boeing’s struggles continue

Boeing has once again delayed the entry of an ultra-long-range version of its forthcoming 777X widebody into service. SourceDay, a provider of purchase order management and supplier collaboration solutions, announced today that its SuiteApp has achieved “Built for NetSuite” status. And Kelly Services recently announced a strategic partnership with Moonlighting to take advantage of the latter's blockchain-based platform. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Upwork Enterprise’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for Upwork Enterprise, the solution provided by the global online freelancer marketplace. It combines technology and managed services to enable enterprises to source and engage freelance talent. The applicable SolutionMap category for this report is in Independent Contract Workers. SolutionMap Insider members can read about Upwork Enterprise's reviews in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of information from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

How to prepare for the IR35 reform, the UK’s freelancer work-status mandate for the private sector

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Martin Konrad, co-founder of Shortlist, a freelancer management system provider based in San Francisco and with an office in London.

The UK government has announced that the IR35 reform introduced to the public sector in 2017 will also be rolled out to the private sector in April 2020.

What does this mean? In less than nine months, all medium and large private sector businesses using freelancers will be responsible for checking their employment status with every engagement. If it is determined that freelancers should be treated as an employee for the purposes of IR35, the business will need to deduct income tax and national insurance contributions from payments made to freelancers.

In this article, I would like to discuss how companies can determine their freelancer's IR35 status, and how your company can prepare for the upcoming reform.

China tariffs on ‘certain’ items delayed til Dec. 15; Field Nation launches multi-site work orders

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) said “it will delay 10% tariffs on ‘certain articles’ from China, originally slated to take effect Sept. 1, to Dec. 15,” according to Supply Chain Dive. Field Nation is on a crusade against duplicate data entry by looking to streamline workflow and releasing multi-site work orders. And HP laptop maker Inventec Corp. said it would be moving its manufacturing base for U.S. laptops out of China. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

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.

Afternoon Coffee: Fiverr reports rapid growth; Seal Software joins SAP App Center; Beyond Meat a no go in Japan; La-Z-Boy to close plant

The online freelancer marketplace Fiverr, which released its Q2 2019 financials this week, reported continuing high top-line growth. Q2 2019 revenue came in at $25.9 million, an increase of 41% over Q2 2018. Seal Software announced that SAP users can use its contract solution now that Seal is on the SAP App Center. Supercomputer maker Cray gets an Air Force contract. La-Z-Boy is optimizing its supply chain. Afternoon Coffee: A jolt of news for procurement and supply chain professionals.

Five Scenarios for VMS 2025: Scenario 1 — Status Quo [PRO]

In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO series, we explore the future of VMS, not because we consider ourselves futurists, but because we think — as stated by my colleague Jason Busch in the introduction to the series — it is “critical for procurement organizations as they have the power to define how these technologies serve them rather than the other way around.”

The introduction laid out the thesis for the series — that the future of the VMS (the long-dominant technology solution model for managing contingent workforce) has become uncertain. Second, it pegged what a VMS is (or was) in terms of the Spend Matters SolutionMap categories saying:

As part of Spend Matters SolutionMaps for contingent workforce and services (CW/S) enterprise technology, we think of VMS as the solution for managing temporary staffing suppliers and workers. That is, within the Temp Staffing map — rather than Contract Services/Statement of Work or the Independent Contract Workforce maps.*

* Some providers of VMS solutions have, to some extent, expanded their platforms to address services/SOW and independent workforce. Hence, the major VMS providers’ solutions address more than just temp staffing. And those could be thought of as broader, but still specialized, solutions for sourcing and managing contingent or external workforce.

The introduction also mapped out five potential scenarios for the future of VMS by 2025: * The status quo, a largely independent VMS ecosystem, continues and new technologies, like artificial intelligence, lead to a better overall VMS experience and even “MSP bot-type” services.
* Integrated VMS and procure-to-pay technology suites gain momentum.
* Managed services providers (MSPs) rule the day as offerings evolve and increasingly leverage software as a competitive advantage (a market that could include new entrants as well).
* Talent management and human capital strike back — people are not widgets, and the VMS must operate in an increasingly dual HR-and-procurement universe in which value and outcomes become as important as price and timesheets.
* Temporary staffing (and hence the VMS) loses its influence as the core technology “anchor” that companies “buy first” when tackling services procurement.


In this part of the series, we look at “Scenario 1 — The Status Quo” in which VMS continues to evolve and flourish as a distinct, specialized enterprise solution (alongside e-procurement and human capital management) for sourcing of temps and, potentially, other forms of contingent workforce and also managing the spend and risk that comes with them.

Note: A scenario is not so much a prediction of a future state as it is the building of one possible future state, carried out with a mix of reasoning and imagination. Ultimately, scenarios are tools that assist planners and executives to think about the future.

Afternoon Coffee: Upwork reports second-quarter growth; China imports oil from Iran despite U.S. sanctions; Huawei ban update

Get an update on Upwork's second-quarter financial results, and learn more about China's oil imports from Iran as well as more information about the U.S. restrictions on Huawei telecommunications. Also, take a look at how an organic grocer is upgrading its supply chain. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news about procurement and supply chains.

WorkMarket’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews for WorkMarket (an ADP company), a cloud-based workforce management solution. The applicable SolutionMap ranking for this report is in the Independent Contract Workers category. SolutionMap Insider members can read about WorkMarket in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary from the SolutionMap peer review process. It includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of customer quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.