Why Contingent Workforce Professionals are Heading to VMSA Live – A Peer Review

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Spend Matters is honored once again to be covering VMSA Live, a semi-annual executive conference for members of the contingent workforce community. The next conference will be held Feb. 8-11 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

We are not surprised to learn that enterprise contingent workforce procurement professionals are realizing that a conference like VMSA Live, which brings together all parts of the contingent workforce ecosystem in an intimate setting, can be uniquely valuable. Today, we report on our interview with two such professionals from MetLife, Mike Schiappa and Melanie Temkin, who will be participating in VMSA Live in February.

Your Peers From MetLife

MetLife describes itself as “a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers.” The company reported approximately $73 billion in total revenue in 2014 and employs more than 65,000 people.

Mike Schiappa is MetLife’s associate vice president of global labor and consulting, reporting to the CPO. He is responsible for managing a global contingent workforce program that encompasses some 20,000 non-employee workers across contingent worker staffing, statement of work (SOW), including consulting projects for strategy, finance, M&A, and offshore outsourced software development and testing. He does this with a staff of 10, including Melanie Temkin, the global labor and consulting lead, who acts as the HR recruitment services and contingent labor category manager with a scope of responsibilities that also includes the management of managed service providers (MSP) and vendor managed services (VMS), non-employee onboarding processes, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) service providers, search firms and staffing agencies

The total spend associated with 20,000 person non-employee workforce is confidential information, but Temkin was able to say that about half of this headcount was related to IT. Both Schiappa and Temkin noted that one of the major priorities of the program has been to expand spend under management internationally. At this time, 100% of U.S., U.K. and Ireland spend is under management, but work remains to be done to increase that percentage in other countries where MetLife operates and procures labor services specifically in Mexico, Japan and India.

It is not surprising, therefore, that both Schiappa and Temkin indicate that bringing more spend under management internationally will remain a top priority — and large opportunity — in coming years. Schiappa also mentioned that establishing and extending best practices and achieving more savings will also remain at the top of the list.

What They Think

Schiappa emphasized that education of and collaboration with suppliers, domestically and internationally, was critical to developing a successful program. Internationally, suppliers require more education on the supplier-funded model and how they can benefit from it. But generally, understanding about performance and process requirements must be present on both sides of the procurement-supply equation. In other words, a strict “command and control” model alone will not cut it.

Schiappa and Temlin told us that they were looking forward to the VMSA Live conference as a different kind of learning experience. Schiappa pointed out that he considered VMSA Live a unique conference, with a just a few hundred participants, open representation from literally all parts of the supply chain and a relatively practical orientation on “what does or does not work.” Schiappa also said it was important to have a conference where all the supply chain constituencies and perspectives could be present and interact versus a conference where the contingent workforce buyer perspective dominated. Besides gathering information of successes and lessons learned from his industry peers, Schiappa also noted that such a conference was also valuable because of the opportunity to make professional connections for ongoing communications.

But don’t take it just from us at Spend Matters. Listen to other contingent workforce procurement professionals like Mike and Melanie about why you should consider participating in VMSA, where attendance is not mandatory — but almost.

To learn more about VMSA Live in Fort Lauderdale and how to register, go to the event website.

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