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CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Contingent Workforce/Services — Can direct sourcing of work and services help in this crisis?

04/27/2020 By

In the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) category of Spend Matters’ Coronavirus Response series, our focus has been on solutions that are able to, at a minimum, help rapidly ramp up extended workforce to deal with resource shortfalls as well as manage and track external workers, projects and services providers.

We are examining four categories of relatively new types technology-enabled CW/S solutions for: (1) sourcing and managing remote/online work; (2) sourcing and managing mobile-equipped workers across geographical locations; (3) “direct sourcing;” (4) management of workers; and managing data and producing analytical outputs.

The overall series addresses seven categories of technology solutions that can help in a crisis:

  1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc. (Read this category’s PRO analysis and solution recommendations here.)
  2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source. (This category was updated April 23 and is discussed in-depth here.)
  3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes. (Its profile for this series was updated April 22 and is available here.)
  4. Procure to Pay (P2P) that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (See details about this category here. It was updated April 24.)
  5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards when new suppliers need to be set up quickly, and also when lowlife fraudsters try to use the pandemic as a way to steal money and IP. (Its profile for this series is here.)
  6. Providers with deep contract analytics that can analyze a contract portfolio for affected contracts from suppliers (and customers) for not just force majeure clauses, but other related clauses that tie to the multiple risks popping up at once in the pandemic. (Read in-depth detail on this category here.)
  7. Contingent Workforce and Services: See the four items mentioned above.

In this brief, we turn to solutions for direct sourcing of workforce/services: enterprise solutions that enable businesses to “direct source” (without using staffing supply chain) and engage/manage their own affiliated (bring-your-own) contract workers and specialized service providers in private resource pools. These solutions typically take the form of horizontal, standalone software applications, while some digital work/services platforms are tightly coupled with their own front-end “direct sourcing” enterprise application (e.g., Upwork Enterprise). In the context of this brief, we will focus on the direct sourcing solutions that are horizontal, standalone software applications.

A selection of direct sourcing solution providers — WorkMarket (an ADP company), TalentNet and Shortlist — will be highlighted below. This list, however, is not exhaustive. Before you see the profiles of example solutions, we'll discuss this category of solutions, problems and use cases, and the solution rationale and value.

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Coronavirus Response