IQNavigator sail on in the rapidly growing VMS and MSP markets

Which category, in a very high proportion of organisations, offers procurement the best chance to make a mark on previously fairly untouched territory? We think it might be contingent (temporary) labour in many enterprises– as we said here not so long ago;

So there are opportunities for procurement functions that aren’t involved in this spend area to make the case for greater involvement. As well as bringing some commercial capability to bear on agency arrangements, and perhaps taking the opportunity to look at rationalising what is often a very dispersed spend picture in large organisations, procurement can also emphasise the aspect of compliance to the law.

Spend Matters US has just published a couple of very useful posts (here and here) about the market for contingent labour, quoting from a market share survey carried out by Staffing Industry Analysts – a firm who do very useful research in this area, run conferences etc.  They looked at both VMS providers (the firms who provide software to manage contingent labour workforces) and MSPs (managed service providers; the prime contractors who manage the actually provision of staff, often through a network of sub-contractors who are agencies in their own right).

There is a link of course; some firms, including IQNavigator, both provide software and offer an MSP service and are strong in both (3rd in the MSP ‘vendor neutral’ market, 2nd as a VMS provider). Others like Fieldglass are in the main VMS providers, and top that list. (Providers such as Emptoris and PeopleFluent are also strong here). Others like Manpower/TAPFIN and Adecco are purely MSPs, although confusingly Beeline, an independent subsidiary of Adecco, are strong in the VMS market!

Given this, and the focus on the Agency Workers’ Directive which came into force last month in Europe, it was interesting to catch up recently with John Martin, COO of IQ Navigator. As the survey results show, they are a leading global player in this world, providing both the software to manage contingent workforces and acting as a vendor-neutral manager of contingent labour  for clients.

If you’re not convinced of how this whole field is taking off, talk to John. IQ Navigator have hired over 100 staff this year, taking them up to 350+. They signed up 6 new major clients in September alone, and have just appointed a senior UK based business development lead - previously much of their European business has been the local divisions of their USA customers, but that is changing now. And there is considerable growth through partners, like Randstad and Allegis, who use their software.

“ We see more and more organisations wanting a Managed Service Provider solution, supported by the right technology, and with all their contingent workforce being managed by one firm. The drivers are both financial and control / risk issues” says Martin.

Most large organisations are seeing their contingent workforce grow, so the need to manage it better  in both value and risk terms is obvious. The value opportunities come partly from the sheer scale of the spend now in many organisations, as well as issues around getting the specifications right, and managing both core rates and margins at competitive levels.

But the risk element can be even more important.

“We have clients who have perhaps just a small number of temporary staff in Pakistan for instance. They now want to know more about them than perhaps they would have at one time – personal details but also security accreditations and so on” says Martin.

So clients want a global tool, and the largest are using IQN across 20 countries or more. One large client reckons they’ve saved 30% from their contingent labour budget, and as well as commercial benefits there is a demand management element to that - “a lot of savings come from getting visibility of the spend before it happens”.

We’ll come back in part 2 of this short series and look at Martin's take on the HR and Procurement "battlefield" in this category and on the Agency Workers’ Directive.

First Voice

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *