Beeline: Broader Services Procurement Game On(Force)

My colleague Andrew Karpie is covering the Beeline customer conference this week for Spend Matters (I had hoped to attend as well, but had a previously scheduled vacation with the family). Alas, the 2 of us spent quite a bit of time catching up with Beeline prior to the event on the latest news and will be providing coverage throughout the week and next (a number of my posts will follow after the event).

I’ll start my first post around Beeline’s event by framing some of the context on why Beeline is so keen on embedding a broader capability around managing freelancers alongside traditional staffing resources and project-based services procurement within its suite (going back to the logic of the OnForce) agreement.

On a recent briefing call with Spend Matters, Beeline shared the juxtaposition that while it expects the number of freelancers to increase by “almost 40% by 2018” that “50% of VMS clients” surveyed suggested that “using freelancers is too high-risk.” Yet 100% of survey participants said they wanted to find a way to better leverage “retirees, alumni, graduates, interns and other contractor talent that are not or do not want to be affiliated with suppliers.”

Further, there can be significant cost benefits to working with freelancers compared with contingent resources that are contracted through a staffing firm. Consider, for one, that “IT labor costs have increased 3% [year-over-year] since 2012 and 10% overall since 2006.”

Yet “the average unofficial market for IT is 42% – and trending to 45%,” and “negotiated markups are difficult to enforce” with staffing firms. Beeline also shared with Spend Matters that pay rates are typically not required to be captured or accurate today.

This trending and customer interest points to a strong need to begin to bring together the worlds of vendor management system (VMS) capabilities with specialized freelancer management solutions (FMS). And it was the genesis behind the combination of Beeline with OnForce.

We’ll be providing a product review of the latest OnForce release and integration with Beeline in the coming weeks, as well as how Beeline intends to have the solution also interoperate with third-party services procurement technology solutions.

For Beeline, it’s game on. Or perhaps better said, game OnForce.

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