Contingent Labor: Analyzing Spend Under Management by Sub-Category and MSP/Non-MSP Involvement

In a previous analysis in this series, we explored the percentage of penetration in formal programs to manage various contingent labor and external spending types. Spend Matters research suggests that the majority of organizations have some type of formal process to manage project-based professional services (e.g., consulting firms), temporary labor (via staffing firms) and some types of managed services. However, others also manage “lone wolf” independent contractors on one end of the scale, and large BPO relationships on the other.

Clients may even use specialized managed services providers to manage some of these diverse contingent workforce segments. However, just because a firm formally manages a few of these third parties individually, that doesn't mean they manage them well collectively – especially since many of them are highly interrelated.

The data suggests a strong opportunity for intermediaries (e.g., MSPs, freelancer marketplaces, etc.) to play a more central and strategic role in managing professional services. For example, as we previously noted, 68% of firms formally manage (at least to some extent) staffing firms directly without MSP intervention. Only 48% of respondents formally use MSPs or related firms that managed the extended workforce across multiple services categories/areas, which suggests significant opportunity for external managed services providers.

Curiously, 60% of firms do not formally manage the freelance or independent consultant (non- staffing) contractor workforce through freelancer marketplace models. This suggests a strong opportunity for both practitioners and providers to collaborate to create arbitrage opportunities between staffing and non-staffing rates for similar resource types.

This analysis is based on the Spend Matters research study, Applying Supply Chain Rigor to Contingent Workforce Management, which is available for limited period of time for free download, via the previous link, in the Spend Matters research library.

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