Extended Workforce Tracking Solutions: Can They Fill Your Gap in Visibility, Control? (Part 1) — Landscape Overview [PRO]

As the economy begins to tentatively lurch forward amid the coronavirus disruption, and large and midsize organizations begin to reconstitute their workforces and supplier relationships for a new normal business environment, we may see an adjustment of focus on their flexible, non-employee workforces.

We do not know what organizations’ extended workforces (a mix of temporary staffing, service provider or independent contract workers) will look like by the end of the year (and it is something that will certainly vary by industry segment/type of business and even individual company).

But it would not be outrageous to assume that pandemic lessons learned and uncertainty (about even the short-term future) will translate into organizations that are more flexible and reliant on extended workforce as ever before (and perhaps more savvy about the deployment of their workforce, both employees and non-employees).

Organizations that are recognizing that their visibility into their extended workforce is incomplete may be wondering about how this problem can be overcome, fairly quickly and at the least cost possible. As any good procurement practitioner knows, VMS solutions have been the work horses for tracking contingent workforce in the past, but that has largely been limited to temporary workers deployed from staffing suppliers. Beeline and SAP Fieldglass provide extended workforce tracking modules that enable basic tracking of any type of non-employee worker (without the VMS functionality).

New solutions have emerged in recent years that may be able to serve the purpose of tracking and, to some extent, managing the full breadth of extended workforce (temporary staffing, service provider or independent contract workers). Some of these solutions provide VMS capabilities, while others were not conceived to do so, but they were designed to encompass all worker types (in some cases employees in addition to non-employees).

This three-part Spend Matters PRO series focuses on solutions that may enable organizations to gain visibility into their entire extended workforces. Part 1 focuses on the state of technology solutions that organizations could use to keep track of their extended workforces, breaking down three types or categories of solutions. Part 2 will provide a summary of a solution/provider from each of those three categories, and Part 3 will offer analyst insights on what organizations should be thinking about as they evaluate their options.

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