Author Archives: Guest Contributor



How to prepare for the IR35 reform, the UK’s freelancer work-status mandate for the private sector

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Martin Konrad, co-founder of Shortlist, a freelancer management system provider based in San Francisco and with an office in London.

The UK government has announced that the IR35 reform introduced to the public sector in 2017 will also be rolled out to the private sector in April 2020.

What does this mean? In less than nine months, all medium and large private sector businesses using freelancers will be responsible for checking their employment status with every engagement. If it is determined that freelancers should be treated as an employee for the purposes of IR35, the business will need to deduct income tax and national insurance contributions from payments made to freelancers.

In this article, I would like to discuss how companies can determine their freelancer's IR35 status, and how your company can prepare for the upcoming reform.

3 Reasons Smaller Consultancies Can Compete with Traditional Consulting — Procurement Take Note

Bigger is not always better. Yet traditionally, the view is that a bigger business has, presumably, offered scale advantages and stability. But reliance on small professional services providers across many categories (creative, IT, engineering, business consulting) has been increasing for a variety of reasons — like hyper-dynamic market environments, the need for ever-changing specialized expertise and the reasons covered in this article: outcomes-based approach, new technology tools and lower costs/faster results.

How smart data extraction makes for smart AP automation

What you really want to know when investigating AP automation solution providers is whether the solution has a complete technology, combining OCR (converting images to text), smart data extraction (transforming the text into relevant data) — and machine learning (remembering the data and populating it into the applicable data fields each time the data is recognized). You are looking for a system that gets smarter the more you use it!

Protect Against These Risks when Working with Third-Party Vendors

risk

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Matt Kunkel, the CEO of LogicGate, a provider of risk management solutions.

A recent study revealed more than 60% of organizations in the U.S. that have encountered a data breach were compromised because of a third-party vendor. Organizations use vendors as a means to efficiently complete tasks, but they can create vulnerabilities for which the organization is ultimately responsible. Vendor decisions and operations are frequently out of a chief information security officer’s control, but they still carry serious risks to the organization’s business and reputation.

Retiring Murphy’s Law — Time for Procurement to Move On

supplier network

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Paul Martyn, VP-North America at SirionLabs.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with several mid- to large-size companies' supply chain leaders. And while I assumed our conversations would be dominated by their views on the latest flurry of AI-enabled SCM tools, instead, several of our discussions turned toward recent advances in supplier performance management. Should I have been surprised? After all, the space is white hot, with several new risk and contract management vendors recently entering the solution market.

What follows is a brief summary of what I heard, plus some personal observations:

A look at GovShop and its agile insights as feds shift software development methodologies

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Public Spend Forum, a sister site of ours. It runs GovShop, a single place to search online, find and connect with suppliers for the public sector market. We'll occasionally highlight GovShop's capabilities in our Friday series on public spend. Today's story looks focuses on agile resources that can be found with GovShop.

The federal government has begun making significant strides in the monumental task of shifting software development methodologies from traditional waterfall development to a more modern agile development methodology. While this road will continue to be a long one, there are pockets of excellence in DoD, CMS and the VA (just to name a few). As much as this transition requires both culture change and resources on the government’s part, it is also highly dependent on a new breed of government contractors that are nimble, highly motivated, tech-savvy and of course agile.

Within this community of agile vendors, there are a few different disciplines that are collectively aiding the transition. These disciplines can be thought of as doing, advising and teaching. Within GovShop, these disciplines have been identified as Agile Development, Agile Coaching and Agile Training.

How to Use Drones in the Public Sector and Procure Their Services

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Public Spend Forum, a sister site of ours that each week helps us look at public sector procurement. This week we explore the increasing use of drones — in agriculture, construction, emergency response — and how to procure those services.

We are truly in the modern era — drones are now everywhere, no longer just tools for movie making or toys for tech-savvy teens. And “everywhere” includes their increasing use in the public sector. Between 2016 and 2017, drone bids and RFPs saw a growth of 194%. To properly cover this important topic, this article will focus on:

— What drones can be used for in the public sector
— Tips to keep in mind when procuring drones

Contract Workers Needn’t Be Bad News — Unless You Allow Them to Be

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Pradeep Chauhan, founder of OnContracting, an online directory of U.S. staffing agencies that helps jobseekers find temporary contract jobs.

Companies’ procurement of contract workers has in recent times become a flashpoint, sometimes tarnishing the pristine reputations of even the most reputable companies. A number of stories in the media have covered reports that some of the best companies are mistreating their contract workers. In damage control mode — and sometimes under pressure from their own employees — companies have responded reactively to these stories, updating their policies and buffing up their legal and audit teams but not after getting a black eye in public.

Why are businesses and contractors facing this now now? And what can companies do to manage it better? In this article, I’ll try answer both of those questions.

The Evolving Power in Spend Visibility

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from John Callan, Senior Director at Coupa.

It’s no secret that businesses struggle with full visibility when it comes to spend management, with many still believing that it simply isn’t possible to find a comprehensive solution that is easy to implement but will also deliver value. Time and time again, we see the price that businesses pay when they lose control over the procurement process.

Spend that is fragmented across multiple categories and suppliers often leads to payments being incorrectly classified — or not classified at all — due to inconsistent and disjointed spend processes. This can render payments invisible, easily becoming the pocket where procurement fraud is concealed.

There are also many operational considerations. When spend is miscategorized, it results in poor, inaccurate data, potentially damaging the credibility of the procurement process. Business leaders need more comprehensive, effective and data-driven business spend management (BSM) solutions.

Confessions of an RPA Salesperson

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Doug Hudgeon, a business automation expert. 

Earlier this month, HFS Research, the company who brought robotic process automation (RPA) to the world's attention, pronounced RPA as dead.

This will create headwinds for RPA salespeople. To help counter that, I've put together this playbook.

Before we dive into the playbook, keep in mind that, even though RPA is fading, companies are still talking about automation. They still want to do it, so a sale is there for the taking. If you execute the following plays well, they'll do it using your RPA software.

Beginner’s Guide to the Procurement Cycle

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Public Spend Forum, a sister site of ours.

Procurement isn’t a household topic, but it is a ubiquitous process in the business world, nonetheless. Let’s break down the concept to make it more accessible.

At first glance, procurement might seem daunting to the unfamiliar; the behind-the-scenes process can be dizzying. While there’s a lot of meat on the procurement bone, it can be broken down and more easily understood by dissecting the pieces that make up the process. You see, procurement isn't just one set-in-stone idea or methodology, and it’s also not something that can be done overnight. It’s a dynamic process that can take any number of forms. It’s facilitated by the individuals or entities that play a role in its operation and the factors that couple and interact with each other throughout all the steps.

3 Reasons Why Public Sector Tenders Should Use Dynamic Purchasing Systems

procurement software

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Marko Rossi, product manager for Cloudia, a source-to-pay provider.

Dynamic purchasing systems have advantages over the venerable framework agreement, which has been the go-to structure for public sector authorities looking to procure goods and services for many years. Designed to remove uncertainty, traditional framework agreements typically bind vendors and authorities into four-year relationships that ensure all parties within the agreement commit to each other for the long term.

This works perfectly well — if the pace of societal and economic change is serene. The world today doesn’t quite fit this picture. A supplier that meets buyer requirements today may go out of business tomorrow, or their circumstances may change so drastically that they may struggle to fulfill their contractual duties.

Dynamic purchasing systems (DPS) were purpose-built to address these flaws. Read on to find out the three reasons public sector tenders should use DPS.