Fieldglass – impressive progress from VMS software provider

We’re seeing a rush of 2013 company results coming out at the moment, particularly from firms who aren’t publically quoted and can therefore get the information out there a little faster than those who have to go through quoted company formalities.

Another one to issue an update last week was Fieldglass, who provide software that supports the management of ‘contingent labour ‘ (temporary staff as some would call it) and other related services. Those related services include the area often referred to now as ‘SOW’ (statement of works), which might cover engineering or construction type projects, where the transaction may be based on hourly or day rates and / or some element of fixed fee or other payment mechanism.

Fieldglass are the clear market leader in this VMS (vendor management systems) space, and their 250 strong customer base includes some real blue-chip names such as Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. Unlike some of their competitors, they do not act as a managed service provider themselves – some firms both sell software and run their own managed recruitment and management service for end clients.  This may have helped Fieldglass in terms of focus, and means service providers who might be clients for their software don’t see them as direct competitors.

They are a privately owned firm, with  Madison Dearborn Partners (a Chicago based private equity firm) and the management as major shareholders, so they don’t have to release detailed results. But they did  release a certain amount of information last week  – here are some of the highlights.

They won 69 ‘new customer awards’ (as they define it), and the Fieldglass  VMS was accessed by two million new users and in 15 languages. There’s an increasing focus on SOW spend amongst their users – as Fieldglass say, ‘customer adoption of SOW grew by 80% in 2013’. Compliance to the European Union Agency Worker’s Directive, which has different interpretations in different countries (just to confuse everybody) is a challenge for clients, so that has been another big priority for the firm in 2013.

They’ve just moved into a new London office to accommodate the growing European team, in the up and coming but still pretty low cost area of Southwark – a good choice. Not too flash, but a practical and pleasant working environment. I met with some of their senior management team there recently, so in part 2 we’ll feature some further thoughts on Fieldglass, and the VMS business more generally from a procurement perspective.

(Late news - Forrester report also gives Fieldglass a high rating).

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