Author Archives: Andrew Karpie



Bunker: A New Platform Innovates Business Insurance for Self-Employed/Gig Workers

The emergence and expansion of the so-called gig-economy (the non-employee, project and task-based segment of the labor market) has opened up challenges for both businesses and workers.

Businesses previously vigilant about the classification and other compliance risks that come with self-employed, 1099s/independent contractors (ICs) are now faced with the dilemma of how to work with the growing population of much-needed talent that prefers self-employment and independence. And self-employed workers and micro-businesses are also facing the challenge of how to “make independence work” without the “support services” that employees never have to think about.

Following Up on SAP Fieldglass Flex: The New VMS for Mid-Sized Organizations

services procurement

In December, Spend Matters covered SAP Fieldglass’ launch of its new product, SAP Fieldglass Flex. The new offering is effectively a VMS designed specifically for mid-sized organizations. Existing enterprise VMS solutions have tended to be too complex and costly for mid-sized businesses. And although some enterprise VMS solutions may have achieved some limited penetration in the mid-market, we believe none has been (1) designed from the ground-up specifically for this purpose, (2) benefited from best practices knowledge of a leading enterprise VMS and (3) had the support of one of the largest global software players. Given the above, we thought it was important to go a bit deeper into understanding Flex and were able to have a conversation with Rob Brimm, President of SAP Fieldglass, to gather more details about the product.

How Will CPOTUS Trump Deal with the Gig Economy?

White House

President-elect Trump has wasted no time intrepidly wading into numerous policy areas. One notable area of action has been federal spending, where his frequent pledges to cut costs from federal programs has made him seem more like the chief procurement officer of the United States (CPOTUS). Beyond federal spending, however, we as analysts of the contingent workforce and services procurement space have a far more specific question we’d like to address: How will Trump deal with the gig economy?

A New Year for Contingent Workforce Procurement Practitioners and Platform-Intermediated Work

Will 2017 be the year when digital-platform-intermediated work is ushered into the enterprise by procurement? That is the question.

It has been nearly five years since I began my labor of love, i.e., research and analysis of technology-based platforms that intermediate work. These digital platforms allow business users to work with specific employees or purchase and consume services of a platform-based or more traditional service provider.

Up to this time, these platforms (of which there are now hundreds worldwide) have been off the radar of procurement practitioners, considered novelties or, at the most, piloted. In the meantime, increasing numbers of internal business users have been accessing these platforms without procurement visibility and control.

Blockchain as a Labor Intermediary? Chronobank is Working on It

What? A work intermediation platform (WIP) based on blockchain, that now much talked-about distributed ledger system?

Chronobank.io is aiming at “making a fundamental difference in the way people find and are rewarded for their labor, decentralizing the process and moving it outside the framework of traditional financial institutions.” Chronobank.io is focused on short-term work in labor categories like “e-commerce, cleaning, warehousing, industrial, building and various forms of freelancing.”

TalentWave: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) –– Background and Solution Overview

TalentWave

TalentWave is a third-party independent workforce compliance and engagement service/solution provider. As a provider within the workforce supply chain, its core function is to ensure that organizations remain in legal compliance when engaging independent workers –– through Employment of Record (EOR)/Payrolling, Agent of Record (AOR) and other services. While these kinds of services/solutions are materially provided by a limited number of large staffing conglomerates (like Kelly and Randstad), TalentWave is one of a larger number of independent/non-captive providers in this evolving and increasingly important space.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like TalentWave as an alternative for or complement to their organizations’ incumbent solutions for organizing, managing and assigning work to their own “affiliated” workers. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider TalentWave. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Merging Beeline and IQNavigator: Customer, Prospect and Partner (MSP) Recommendations

change of control clauses

Since the announcement of the GTCR/Adecco transaction Tuesday morning, Spend Matters has penned a summary overview of the Beeline and IQNavigator merger considerations (see: GTCR Acquires Beeline From Adecco, Merges VMS Firm with IQNavigator) as well as a more detailed analysis of the mechanics of the transaction and what it might bring for the combined entity for Spend Matters PRO subscribers (see: Beeline, IQNavigator & GTCR: Transaction/Valuation Analysis, Future Product/Technology Considerations and SWOT Analysis). This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides initial recommendations for Beeline and IQNavigator customers and prospects, alternative solution providers and partners, including managed services provider (MSP) recommendations, following the merger.

Beeline, IQNavigator & GTCR: Transaction/Valuation Analysis, Future Product/Technology Considerations and SWOT Analysis

Tradeshift Baiwang

Earlier Tuesday GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm, announced it had acquired vendor management system (VMS) and freelancer management system (FMS) provider Beeline from Adecco. Spend Matters’ initial coverage of the transaction provides background on the merger of Beeline and IQNavigator.

The combination of the two providers creates a VMS powerhouse, both by services procurement network volume and revenue, making GTCR — as well as Adecco and the management of both organizations — the owner of the largest independent services procurement technology provider by a significant margin. It also marks a potential (and even near-term) takeover candidate by Oracle, another solutions provider, or even a firm such as Accenture — or as an IPO candidate as early as 2017. We explore these and other considerations in this research brief, as well as the material potential upside for Adecco, owing to the new capitalization structure of the combined entity for GTCR/Adecco, based on our analysis of the transaction and benchmark valuation considerations.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides a more detailed look inside the transaction and what it means for GTCR, Adecco and Beeline/IQNavigator, including potential exit options and how the combination could change some of the core dynamics of the contingent workforce and services procurement market. It also provides a SWOT analysis to illustrate the comparative position of the merged Beeline and IQNavigator in the VMS and broader services procurement market, as well as a product/technology outlook. Subsequent research briefs will provide customer, prospective customer and partner (MSP) analysis of the transaction and the relative combined technology capabilities of the merged organization.

GTCR Acquires Beeline From Adecco, Merges VMS Firm with IQNavigator

GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm and owner of IQNavigator (IQN), announced early Tuesday it had acquired Beeline, a vendor management system (VMS) and freelancer management system (FMS) provider, from Adecco. Beeline had previously been part of Adecco’s acquisition of MPS, which valued that combined entity (including Beeline) at $1.3 billion in 2009. Financial terms of GTCR’s acquisition of Beeline were not disclosed.

DCR Workforce: A Disruptive Provider in the Services Procurement Scene — Year-End Tech Review

gig economy

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we are highlighting a company in the services procurement field.

DCR Workforce is a difficult provider to paint into a box. On one level, DCR provides a next generation vendor management system (VMS) solution, more than capable of holding its own against some of the better known providers in the sector on a functional basis addressing basic contingent workforce requirements. But on another level, it delivers much more — a statement of work (SOW) capability that is fundamentally different than other VMS providers in approach and capability; a powerful analytics platform for managing broader services procurement activities; and even a freelancer management system (FMS) and supplier network that offers new ways to manage freelancers and contractors.

DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Commentary and Summary Analysis

VMS

It’s hard to dispute the data. Companies are increasingly buying all kinds of services, including those that do not neatly fit a common profile (parts, components or even outcomes, such as “power by the hour,” in the case of manufacturing outsourcing). Yet today’s procurement solutions are designed primarily to support either the purchasing of materials (direct and indirect) or targeted types of services procurement spend (namely, contingent workforce).

Today, many procurement organizations, such as Coupa and SAP Ariba customers, are putting large percentages of services spend through indirect procurement systems. These solutions are not yet specialized in influencing, capturing and managing all aspects of the sourcing, buying and supplier management lifecycle for services. Moreover, from a depth perspective, vendor management systems (VMS) tend to have functional gaps across the source-to-pay continuum in supporting statement of work (SOW) and freelancer management needs, compared with source-to-contract suite capability or specialized tools.

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot on DCR Workforce provides an objective SWOT analysis of DCR and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to DCR Workforce and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering DCR Workforce as a potential vendor. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at DCR Workforce as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 offered a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses

supplier management

This vendor research series focuses on DCR Workforce, a provider of services management/ procurement technology solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering DCR Workforce. In the context of the solution set, we noted that Smart Track is somewhat different than the typical monolithic VMS solution, for a number of reasons. These include: one, the modularity of the Smart Track platform which utilizes an SOA (services oriented architecture) model and allows separate modules to be implemented on their own, according to the client use case; and two, the strength of the SOW/Services Management module, which was the lead product at the time of DCR’s market entry.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores DCR Workforce’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 pros/cons critique of the user interface. The remaining parts of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.