Author Archives: Andrew Karpie



IC Precheck Gives Independent Contractors a Compliance Shot in the Arm

IC Precheck, a new compliance product aimed at independent contractors (ICs), launched this week. The product, which will be marketed and sold to contractors, provides, as the name implies, a kind of precertification to support or strengthen a contractor’s assertion of independent contractor (1099) classification status. The product is intended to benefit contractors as well as the businesses that engage them.

Beeline: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

This Vendor Snapshot focuses on Beeline, a contingent workforce and services sourcing and management technology solution provider. For years one of the top global players in the traditional VMS software category, the company has begun to expand its solution in a number of different directions to address the changing needs of enterprise clients at a time when external workforce utilization is increasing and new technology solutions for sourcing and managing contingent workforce and services (CW/S) are required. Although Beeline, as a company now merged with IQNavigator (IQN), currently serves clients with two VMS solutions, in this series we focus on the Beeline platform; we plan to address the IQN solution in the future.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview, including basic fit criteria for firms considering Beeline. Part 2 explores Beeline’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor to enable their services procurement technology requirements. It also offers a high-level evaluation of the user interface. Part 3 of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 3)

The dramatically changing legal services industry discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series ultimately provides both challenges and exciting opportunities within legal services procurement. Alternative legal services providers (ALSPs), a main focus of this series, are just one component of these changes and still an emerging one in legal services procurement strategies and practice priorities. Growth in the corporate use of ALSPs, however, is expected.

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — Being the Solution, Not the Problem

Today’s enterprises can no longer rely only on traditional intermediaries for sourcing and engaging talent. This is especially the case when it comes to the specialized, often scarce skills of high-end knowledge workers. At the same time, businesses need low-friction, low-overhead, end-to-end and often project-specific processes that can support speed, flexibility and agility — often enabled by emerging technologies. Technology, however, is just one part of the puzzle. At least as important — if not more so — is initiating and sustaining change inside the enterprise. Adopting new talent models is not about making incremental improvements to your existing approaches, much less disrupting them entirely. Instead, it’s about ushering a new and potentially transformative innovation into the enterprise.

WorkMarket Partners to Offer Full Coverage Workers’ Compensation for Freelancers

WorkMarket has introduced a new insurance service that allows companies to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their independent contract workers, the company announced Thursday. According to the company, this is a “first-of-its-kind” service offering that was created in partnership with a leading insurance carrier. The new offering allows businesses that use the WorkMarket platform to extend workers’ compensation coverage to independent contract workers that the company engages through the platform.

Catalant: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

Catalant

This PRO Vendor Snapshot focuses on Catalant, an online (cloud-based) work intermediary and evolving enterprise platform that allows organizations to access and engage highly skilled, well-credentialed independent business consultants and small, boutique consulting businesses. These resources can be sourced from Catalant’s own “digital marketplace” of independent talent and small consulting providers, which has been growing both in terms of number of providers and number of enterprise customers since 2013.

Since that time, Catalant has been extending its enterprise platform to, at this stage of platform development, allow organizations to establish private networks of their own self-sourced consulting resources (including alumni and retirees). It also enables organizations to create and manage teams of internal (employee) workers and blended internal-external (consultant) workers over a full project lifecycle, as well as archive, share and access project content and artifacts.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview. In Part 1, we also identified basic fit criteria for firms considering Catalant. In Part 2 of this series, we present our view and analysis of Catalant’s product strengths and weaknesses to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the solution provider. We also offer a high-level evaluation of the user interface. Part 3, the final part of this series, will provide a business SWOT analysis, user selection guide, an overview of competitors and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 2)

forced labor

While it has been said that the wheels of justice turn slowly but exceedingly fine, the process may be accelerating in the procurement of legal services. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how monolithic, traditional BigLaw firms are being challenged to radically adapt by disruptive economic forces, the ascendance of legal procurement in enterprises and, last but not least, by the growth in a broad range of alternative legal services providers. But more important, as we noted in Part 1, BigLaw’s nightmare is also a shared opportunity for legal services procurement and for emerging alternative legal services providers. According to some industry observers, we are witnessing an ongoing paradigm shift from BigLaw to what is being dubbed NewLaw. In Part 2 of this series, we provide an introduction to the increasingly important, complex and rapidly evolving NewLaw world of non-traditional/alternative legal services providers (ALSPs).

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 1)

A number of unwelcome trends over the past decade have put large law firms on the chopping block. Among these has been the increasing involvement of procurement in managing legal services, along with the emergence of a range attractive alternatives to traditional full-service firms. While this has been a nightmare for the firms that constitute “BigLaw,” it is a shared opportunity for legal services procurement and for emerging alternative legal services providers. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we focus on BigLaw’s challenges, changing corporate buying behaviors and the rise of procurement in legal services sourcing and spend management.

5 Key Procurement Insights from Upwork’s 2017 Freelancing in America Study

Lystable

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Contingent workforce procurement practitioners are increasingly encountering the idea that freelance/independent workforce is growing in importance. This idea comes from many sources, including business users who are strapped for the skills and talent they need, media and analyst coverage of a new “gig economy” and, last but not least, new workforce solution providers that specialize in the provisioning of skilled freelancers and independent professionals.

For procurement practitioners — who for many years tolerated the use of independent contractors (1099 ICs) as a necessary evil and a last resort in exceptional cases — the idea of increasing use of the independent workforce can be challenging in a number of ways. One of those is figuring out whether this phenomenon is real and important enough to be spending more time on and enabling rather than minimizing. Practitioners might think, “Sure we’re hearing that skills and talent are migrating to an independent workforce. But is that true? Is there data to support this?”

In this article, we turn to fresh data on this subject and try to provide some helpful insights for practitioners grappling with this issue.

The Future of Work is the Gig of Disruption or: How I Learned to Stop Caring and Get Back to Work

You know how some things seem timeless, while others — no matter how annoying — just don’t seem to go away. Or are they both one and the same? That’s the problem: confusion. One of the biggest threats to humankind today may not be nuclear war or climate change — it may very well be confusion, on a scale larger than the world has ever known. The misplacement of a comma or an innocent misspelling could mean the difference between life or death (or at least the flawed delivery of your Zappos shoes to your undeserving, though outwardly affable, neighbor). In any case, confusion seems to have become the bane of our existence and an accepted feature of our everyday life. But not for me. I have chosen to resist. And my first target is buzzwords.

Innovative Talent Sourcing Firm Genesys Talent Adds AI to the Mix with PREDICTe

Genesys Talent LLC (Genesys), an innovative talent sourcing and talent cloud curation firm headquartered in Houston, recently announced the release of PREDICTe, an AI-based set of capabilities for building and creating talent clouds.

Just over a year ago, we reported that Genesys had raised $2.1 million in a seed round that would be used to expand the Genesys team, invest in additional technology and enhance its existing talent sourcing and curation process. Since that time, the company has formed a data science team and have been developing PREDICTe. The solution has been in pilots with a number of businesses, and according to Genesys, the results have been very positive.

We recently had a chance to talk with the Genesys team to get further insight into PREDICTe and how it fits into the Genesys talent sourcing and curation model.

Procurement Expertise Platform Palambridge to Use Direct Sourcing Exchange MBO Connect

Palambridge, which describes itself as a virtual platform of procurement experts and intelligence, has announced that it will be using MBO Partners’ MBO Connect solution. MBO, a leading U.S. provider of compliance and engagement services for independent professionals and enterprises, launched the MBO Connect independent professional engagement platform in October 2015, and has since expanded MBO Connect as a direct sourcing exchange that enables the effective management and coordination of preferred talent networks. Palambridge, launched earlier this year, is now pioneering the procurement expertise and information service platform market.