Freelancer Limited – Anatomy of a Large Global Work Intermediation Platform [PRO]


Continuing our coverage of work intermediation platforms (WIPs), a focus on Freelancer Limited should help practitioners begin to appreciate the unique nature of these platform intermediaries. Freelancer Limited is a special case, as it is the only WIP that is publicly traded on the stock exchange (in Australia), and it therefore publishes its financials every half year. There are also a number of other features that make Freelancer unique, including its history of acquisitions and integrations, its emphasis on small businesses and labor in developing economies, its 3 different lines of business and its rather complex pricing structure. The dissection of this WIP is important for procurement practitioners to gain a clearer idea of the new kinds of animals they will be dealing with in the expanding and evolving contingent workforce space.

Happy August Bank Holiday!

It is a Public Holiday in the UK today celebrating the end of the summer season (and the rain is absolutely pouring down from leaden skies). This heralds the "back to school" moment - what still feels to me more like the true start of the year than January 1st. So we've been storing up some interesting guest articles, features and ideas for when everyone is back to work, and you'll start seeing those coming through soon on the site. Given the holiday though, we won't be publishing anything on a procurement note today unless something remarkable happens in the […]

Reading Festival Saturday Review – Metallica, Catfish, and Nothing but Thieves Impress

Catfish - impressive light-show too, not that you can tell from this!

A better day than Friday musically (for us anyway) but not for the weather, with drizzle and some heavier showers. We started with The Mini Band, five kids from Newbury, just down the road, (12-14 years old) whose video of them playing a Metallica song went viral a few years ago. They were invited to meet Metallica at Reading yesterday, then learnt this week that they would be playing as well. So a novelty act, you might think? Not at all – just five talented young musicians. The two guitarists were excellent, and their latest, the self-penned Step Into the […]

Reading Festival Friday Review – How Were the Mumfords?

Reading ea;ry 2015

The first day at Reading Festival (pictured  five minutes after the gates opened in its pristine loveliness) was dry, muddy in the campsites (by the look of it), and a good rather than stunning day for us anyway. Of the bigger bands on the main stage, Bastille got the crowd singing along and looked like they’re only one more decent album away from being headliners themselves – they have some great tunes, and their cover of TLC’s “No Scrubs” was a highlight. But much as I love Alt-J, a large field is not the best environment to listen to their […]

Down the Procurement Pub with IBM, Raj Sharma, Robot Overlords and All We Are

IBM team Aug 2015

I’ve had a busy and quite eventful week considering it is supposed to be deep into the holiday season. It was a real pleasure to meet the CPO of one of the largest and most influential firms in the world (still) – Bob Murphy of IBM. He is the successor to the legendary John Paterson, who retired last year. Now what are the odds of a Scotsman replacing a Scotsman as CPO of a huge global firm? But that’s what has happened here. I reckon it is something to do with the accent and the lasting effect of Sean Connery […]

Austin Allegros and Bad Procurement Software

(In this holiday period, when news is somewhat thinner on the ground, we thought we would take a few articles from the Spend Matters archives – even the Procurement Excellence blog archives – and feature them again here, with a touch of editing / updating where necessary. Only those of course that are relevant – so nothing about the latest procurement of horse-drawn carriages!  And the message below is still very relevant, I think). I learnt to programme on the Cambridge University Maths Department mainframe computer in 1977. It had the distinction of having a totally unique programming language, used […]

Procurement Provider Patents and the Potential Risk to Practitioners [Plus +]

laptop & glasses

On this Flashback Friday we look back to another one of our most popular Ask the Expert webinars, this one originally held in July 2014. Thomas Kase, vice president of research at Spend Matters, led this webinar Ask the Expert: Intellectual Property, Patents & Proprietary Procurement Solutions, which focused specifically on procurement provider software patents and what practitioners using these solutions need to know about said patents. Why is such information important for practitioners? Read on and check out the full recording of this popular webinar!

Public Spend Matters Europe – Highlights from this Week


So, what have we published for you this week on our site dedicated to exciting and fascinating matters connected with European public sector procurement? And before you even think about switching off... around Europe, we are talking about well over a trillion Euros of money from taxpayers and citizens being spent by government and public sector bodies of some sort. Worth doing well, you might consider. Anyway, here are summaries of our features this week – do click though and read the full articles. Berlin Brandenburg Airport – Lining Up To Be a Fiasco of Historical Proportions The saga of […]

Is Total Talent Management Really the Next Big Thing? Or is There Something Else? [PRO]


We hear the terms total talent management (TTM), holistic talent management and blended workforce bandied about with great frequency by analysts and writers these days. But when and how it will be achieved remain unclear. While some declare the time is right for such an approach and hazard conceptual roadmaps, others have wondered whether the idea is really feasible. This concept of a unified way of sourcing and engaging both permanent and contingent labor/talent is appealing and probably inevitable, but its realization is – even according to its promoters – admittedly still some ways off. Spend Matters believes there could be another, more near-term development, closer to home in the areas of contingent workforce and services that has already started to occur and is of more practical relevance to procurement. This is a trend toward a comprehensive independent workforce ecosystem and eventually workforce as a service, which will mean correlating capabilities and outcomes under an expanded services taxonomy. But what exactly is this other development? Read on...

Forget Category Management, Start with Customer Management and Context Management: Part 2 – The Solution [Plus +]

starting line

In Part 1 of this 2-part series (published over on our Chief Procurement Officer website), we talked about the importance of not just having strong category management capabilities but also customer management and context management. In this second part of the series, we’ll discuss how to implement it in terms of organizational structure, roles and technology implications. Demand management is a combination of what customers want to consume and why they want to consume it (i.e., what are their goals and objectives). This Spend Matters Plus article offers advice for procurement practitioners on how to organize a customer management initiative and how to engage with your customers.

E-Signatures and Digital Signatures In Procurement: Definitions and Considerations [PRO]


While the terms e-signature and digital signature are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Every digital signature is electronic, but not every electronic signature is digital. This may sound a bit confusing, but it's not with proper definitions. This 3-part Spend Matters PRO research series provides a foundation for procurement and supply chain practitioners to understand the benefits that digital signatures can bring to contracting and contract management as well as interactions with internal stakeholders, suppliers and partners. This first part provides definitions, a general background on the topic and the benefits and drawbacks of these tools.

The Leap From Contingent Workforce to Extended Workforce and Services [PRO]


This PRO brief proposes that an organizational shift is taking place from (a) enterprises that source and consume a very limited set of labor/talent resources (contingent workforce) through certain processes and technology solutions to (b) enterprises that are advancing to another stage (extended workforce) in which a broader array of labor/talent-based services can be accessed by internal business consumers. Some of the pieces of the extended workforce ecosystem are already present, but major gaps in technology and processes must be filled, and procurement must become interested in moving beyond its limited contingent workforce view and take an interest in making extended workforce a reality for their businesses.