Author Archives: Andrew Karpie

Online marketplace Fiverr now worth over $3 billion

The share price of Fiverr, the online freelancer service marketplace, reached $91.39 at the end of Wednesday’s trading session. At that price, the company (which went public in mid-June 2019) was valued at $3.21 billion, for a revenue multiple of about 10X, based on our scratch pad 2020 revenue projection.

An Executive’s Guide to Direct Sourcing of Contract Work/Services (Part 3) — What To Pay Attention To

supplier network

Direct sourcing of contract work/services is an emerging, alternative way of tapping into pools of contract workers and service providers that are not available through established sourcing channels provided by procurement. Senior executives may be hearing more about this phenomenon, or their organizations may already be embarking on an initiative. As such, a clear understanding of today’s direct sourcing of contract work/services may be needed. This three-part series is intended to help executives to get a leg up.

Part 1 of the series discussed how direct sourcing today is different from the past and what it is now. Part 2 reviewed the landscape of direct sourcing solution providers and looked at some of the purpose-built technology solutions available today. This final Part 3 offers executives suggestions on what to pay attention to if they or a part of their organization begins moving in this direction.

Q&A: ‘Unless procurement takes a different view to management of services spend, it will continue to be difficult to get it right’

gig economy

A recent study suggested that most companies’ contingent workforce management (CWM) programs are not doing very well at managing the sourcing and consumption of services. That raises the question of whether some approaches to services spend may be better than others.

We talked with Jon Kesman, Head of Procurement Solutions at Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), to get his perspective on what are some of the problems with current approaches within CWM programs and what may be needed to overcome them.

“Unless procurement takes a different view to management of services spend,” Kesman told us, “it will continue to be difficult to get it right.”

In the following Q&A, Kesman further explains his viewpoint and elaborates on what may be more effective ways to manage the procurement of services.

An Executive’s Guide to Direct Sourcing of Contract Work/Services (Part 2) — Technology

Direct sourcing is a popular topic among contingent workforce practitioners today, and a significant number of organizations are either looking into it or starting to do it.

But there is a lot of confusion about the concept.

This three-part Spend Matters PRO series tries to put direct sourcing into perspective by offering executives a way to break it down in an observation-based, meaningful way.

In Part 1, we covered how the direct sourcing of contract workers and services has changed over the past 10 years, what it is today, what benefits it offers and what the emerging “direct sourcing ecosystem” consists of. We explained that the direct sourcing model, which has been taking shape in the last five years, is notable in a number of ways:

  • It is very much intertwined with digitally enabled self-service trends, new but maturing technologies (e.g., cloud, mobile, data analytics, AI, etc.), and the ongoing unfolding of enterprise digitalization.
  • It is a new and different sourcing channel, which can be looked at on three levels: program, process and technology.
  • It is part of an emerging digital ecosystem that includes:
    • “Buy-side” organizations
    • Established cloud, broadband and near ubiquitous wireless/mobile infrastructures
    • Millions of digitally connected contract workers and small service providers
    • Pure-plan providers of purpose-built enterprise technology solutions
    • Providers of IC-compliance/AOR and/or payroll/EOR services;
    • Multi-line contingent workforce BPOs (i.e., MSP/RPO),
    • Providers of digital work/services platforms (e.g., marketplaces, contest sites, etc.)
    • Contract worker sourcing specialists
    • Other supporting services providers (e.g., background checks, insurance, payments)

Part 2 of this series examines purpose-built enterprise technology solutions that are focused specifically on the direct sourcing of work from contract workers and/or services provided by small-scale service providers (SSPs). The focus is on what technology solution providers are in the market today, what these solutions do and how they differ in potentially important ways. We do this based, in part, on our SolutionMap demos and discussions with solution providers.

Part 3 will consider the implementation of direct sourcing programs and provide some guidance on what to expect.

Healthcare services procurement solution Medpricer becomes Conductiv — and expands scope

gig economy

The third-party services procurement solution provider Medpricer recently announced its rebranding and its name change to Conductiv. The company also announced the addition of new offerings. Conductiv is owned by Premier Inc. but operates as an independent business entity, with its own branding, product line and market strategy.

Partly based on a recent conversation with Conductiv CEO Chris Gormley, this Spend Matters PRO brief takes a look at the company, where it is today and where it’s headed — including the potential application of the solution in non-healthcare verticals.

An Executive’s Guide to Direct Sourcing of Contract Work/Services (Part 1)


Direct sourcing of work/services, in the simplest terms, means sourcing workers/providers without traditional intermediaries like a recruiting firm or temporary staffing agency.

It is not a new practice, but over the past several years, it has become something significantly different than what it was 10 years ago.

While direct sourcing — particularly of permanent workers — is old as the hills, a new and distinct way of direct sourcing contract work/services has been emerging in only the past five years.

This three-part PRO series is intended to provide a practical executive’s guide to this emerging form of direct sourcing of work/services.

  • Part 1 examines: (a) how direct sourcing has changed over the past 10 years, (b) what it is today and what benefits it provides and (c) what the emerging “direct sourcing ecosystem” consists of today.
  • Part 2 looks at current direct sourcing technology: (a) what it does and (b) what technology solution providers are in the market today, what they do and how they differ. We do this based on our SolutionMap demos, scoring and ranking — as well as discussions with solution providers.
  • Part 3 considers the implementation of direct sourcing programs and provides some guidance on what to expect.

Medpricer becomes Conductiv, launches new solution

Medpricer, a provider of complex services solutions, has changed names to Conductiv, which introduced the Conductiv Platform, an integrated suite for purchased services cost optimization. While the company has been operating in the healthcare industry and addressing the services procurement needs of hospitals and healthcare systems, its new branding appears to be less industry-specific.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: July 2020

Welcome to the July 2020 edition of Spend Matters Insider’s Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space that’s available to our PLUS+ and PRO subscribers. For those new to the Hot List, each edition covers the prior month’s important or interesting technology and innovation developments in the CW/S space.

In the last Hot List, we covered key events and developments that took place in May, a pivotal month in the COVID-19 crisis. Among those were the first damage-control numbers reflecting the dramatic cut earlier this year in contingent workforce jobs by organizations across the U.S.

June seemed to start with a high level of business optimism, and the Dow reached a peak of 27,572 on June 8. But by the end of the month, large parts of the country have started to reapply COVID-19 restrictions, and the economic recovery could be heading for its first major bump in what is going to be a long road.

In the CW/S space, there was a lot going on, which we’ll dig into now before heading into the Independence Day weekend.

Spend Matters previews Everest Group’s contingent workforce management (CWM) best-practices study

supplier network

The management consultant and research firm Everest Group recently conducted a survey to get a clearer picture of how well organizations manage their contingent workforces, what practices they have adopted and to what extent.

Spend Matters assisted in the survey design, and Everest Group completed the survey and analyzed the data using its Pinnacle Model framework. The firm will soon be publishing its Pinnacle Model report, “How Best-in-Class Organizations Manage Their Contingent Workforce.”

Earlier this year, Spend Matters and Everest Group joined forces to produce three online sessions based on the findings (video recordings are available for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

In this Spend Matters PRO brief that has been unlocked for our readers, we preview a subset of the survey results. The brief begins with a short explanation of Everest Group’s data methodology. It then discusses the five areas that provide a representative picture of and key insights into the current environment. The brief concludes with some of our thoughts on where things stand today — not so much for high-performing organizations, but for low-performing ones.

Extended Workforce Tracking Solutions: Can They Fill Your Gap in Visibility, Control? (Part 3) — Analyst Perspective


Today, we’ll take a big-picture view of the sector for extended workforce tracking solutions, and we’ll offer some tech selection considerations.

Part 1 of this three-part Spend Matters PRO series outlined the three general types of potential solutions (VMS, FMS and EWS, extended workforce systems). And Part 2 presented overviews of three providers/solutions that gave concrete examples of those types.

The examples showed that there are solutions that offer capabilities that could enable extended workforce tracking and management for an organization. They also showed that solutions vary in different ways that will impact suitability/value of a solution for a given organization (e.g., whether an organization is using a particular enterprise solution like Beeline, SAP Fieldglass, WorkMarket; the extent of requirements for a mobile solution, etc.). From the standpoint of organizations thinking about their current options, it is a complicated and evolving solution space.

Part 3 will now close the series with an analyst perspective on the current state of extended workforce solutions and suggested considerations for business executives and practitioners seeking technology solutions for the comprehensive tracking/management of their extended workforces.

Extended Workforce Tracking Solutions: Can They Fill Your Gap in Visibility, Control? (Part 2) — A Look at 3 Providers


In Part 1 of this three-part Spend Matters PRO series, we asserted that amid the COVID-19 crisis, some organizations may be focusing their attention on and gaining visibility into their external or extended workforces (comprised of temporary staffing workers, independent contract workers and service provider workers). Considering that business practitioners might be thinking about available options for enabling technology, Part 1 also examined the landscape of solutions that could potentially enable companies to track, gain visibility into and control their entire extended workforces.

The landscape was broken down into three general types of solutions:

  • VMS (related to or based on vendor management platforms)
  • FMS (based on freelancer management systems/direct sourcing solution platforms)
  • EWS (extended workforce system designed as a platform for managing all workers)

Part 2 of the series offers summary overviews of three providers that serve to illustrate one of the three types.

Part 3 will close the series with an analyst perspective on the current state of extended workforce solutions and suggested considerations for business executives and practitioners.

Three vendors have been chosen only to highlight the issues and give concrete examples of what’s in the market. Let’s look at the providers/solutions: Beeline, ADP’s WorkMarket and Utmost.