The Services and Indirect Spend Category

Does Marketing Procurement Deserve a Bloody Break? Our Q&A with Tina Fegent

marketing spend

In our series Ask Spend Matters, we recently answered this question: Do other areas of procurement get as much negative press from suppliers as marketing procurement do? We had the chance to chat with our question asker, Tina Fegent, who lives near Oxford, England, via Skype as we kicked off our reporting process. Here are select excerpts from that initial conversation. (Read the full piece to see where it all went.)

Tapping Your Most Underutilized Innovation Source: The Contingent Workforce

workforce

It’s no secret that talent is tougher to find these days. From skills deficits and low application levels to intense hiring competition between companies, contingent workforce managers know the search for the right candidates is fraught with challenges. No wonder, then, that one survey from the Society for Human Resource Management reported more than two-thirds of organizations hiring full-time staff are struggling to fill job openings. One result of this talent dearth, understandably, is that the lack of full-time talent translates into a reactionary need for contingent staff to fill the gaps. Scrambling to do this in a cost-effective and timely fashion, contingent workforce managers ultimately approach sourcing workers as a transactional activity.

10 Things Procurement Professionals Must Consider Before Hiring Labor for Their Organization

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Deepesh Jethwani, consultant at GEP.

There are times when you need to hire non-permanent labor for your production line or when your contract with an existing labor providing agency is about to expire. Before you decide to launch a request for proposal (RFP) with suppliers, here are the top factors you must consider as a procurement professional.

Do Other Services Procurement Areas Get as Much Negative Press from Suppliers as Marketing Procurement?

Tina Fegent is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but for someone with a couple decades of experience in the marketing procurement space, Tina is officially en garde when it comes to marketing services suppliers (namely, the agencies) bad-mouthing her chosen profession. That really got Tina’s goat. So she she came to Ask Spend Matters and asked us a question: “Do other areas of procurement get as much negative press from suppliers as marketing procurement do?”

WorkMarket’s Acquisition of OnForce: Why It Takes a Village, Not Uberization [PRO]

We recently covered WorkMarket’s acquisition of field services execution platform OnForce from the staffing industry giant Adecco Group. While this M&A activity could easily be viewed as just a “tuck in acquisition” (into WorkMarket’s field services solution vertical), it is really more than that. Considering the comprehensive deal and its context provides a different perspective on the strategic development of this particular digital work platform, as well as on digital work platforms in general.

This Spend Matters PRO brief addresses HR and contingent workforce procurement practitioners who are trying to understand the emergence of digital work platforms and the ongoing transformation of the enterprise and the execution of work. It provides an overview and introduction to OnForce and WorkMarket, offers sector definitions to cut through the jargon and introduces the different components of the field services contractor management technology market as well as alternative providers.

Finally, it offers analysis on the future of the OnForce/WorkMarket combination and the future of online work intermediation platforms in general — and why collaboration and ecosystem relationships are key to driving change in established B2B industries.

New Report: Obstacles in Advancing Marketing Procurement’s Strategic Value

marketing spend

There is still a case for marketing procurement, as a new report on the function’s obstacles and opportunities shows. Globality, which connects clients with small service providers, commissioned a survey of 300 senior procurement professionals from around the world. It gleaned eight major takeaways from the survey, which are presented in the report, Marketing Procurement 2017: Key Opportunities and Barriers in Advancing Procurement’s Business Impact. We’ll look at a few of these more closely.

How to Attack Marketing Spend (Part 1) [Plus+]

Torchlite

Like MRO, packaging and logistics, the marketing category straddles the boundary between direct and indirect spend. And we all know (or so marketing folks claim) that it has a substantial impact on sales — allegedly, at least. The direct commercial impact is notoriously difficult to assess, although the new breed of analytics-driven spend analysis tools targeted specifically at marketing spend (e.g., cross-channel, competitive insights, etc.) and campaign performance can help. But put these in the agency parking lot for a minute. We’ll get into them later in this analysis and series.

For now, let’s focus on the marketing category as one among many — what makes it unique, what makes it similar and what are important trends.

WorkMarket Acquires OnForce: Not Such a Big Deal, or More Significant Than It Appears?

WorkMarket announced Wednesday that it has acquired OnForce from The Adecco Group for an undisclosed amount, forming a strategic partnership with Addeco as part of the deal, according to a press release. The acquisition of OnForce will increase WorkMarket’s existing footprint in the field tech contractor work execution vertical. OnForce, founded in 2003, was a pioneer in that segment, which WorkMarket entered in 2010.

The Emerging World of Digitally Intermediated Work: Old vs. New — or Something Else? (Part 2) [PRO]

The digital transformation in contingent labor and outcomes-based services within procurement today is happening now. In contrast to indirect procurement and direct procurement, where traditional intermediaries and sourcing models have remained largely untouched by limited new disruptive entrants, the services procurement sector is in the early stages of transformation due to fundamental changes in labor-driven connectivity to demand.

Although adoption of these solutions has varied to date, incumbent staffing, consultancy and other labor intermediaries are indeed coopting and engaging these new models — an important indicator of their trajectory. Moreover, to deny this trend is to turn your back on dozens of solutions that connect specialized labor markets with end users in the business, not to mention the hundreds of millions in funding that these new, innovative intermediaries have received in recent years.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief explores the evolution of digitally intermediated work. In the first installment, we explored digitization in the context of new staffing and labor models today, explaining how these new models can complement and work alongside traditional incumbent approaches. We also explored how organizations can incorporate labor-based digitization into familiar contingent and services procurement models and practices. In Part 2, we turn our attention to summarizing the key trends that procurement, HR and IT practitioners need to be aware of, and we provide key recommendations to put digital services transformation to work for you — rather than against you.

The Emerging World of Digitally Intermediated Work: Old vs. New — or Something Else? (Part 1) [PRO]

digital business transformation

Fact: New, digitally enabled models and marketplaces for sourcing labor, talent, skills, expertise and services have started to emerge in recent years. Yet “talent brokers” have always existed in the labor market — work arrangements have long been intermediated by staffing firms and service providers. Viewed from this lens, what is happening now is not so much disintermediation of those intermediaries but rather the emergence and evolution of new intermediation models that, at their core, take advantage of digital technologies. While these models are appearing in the market as new solutions offered by new companies (e.g., Upwork, Catalant, Hired, WorkMarket), gradually they are also being incorporated and adopted by incumbent staffing and service provider intermediaries (e.g., Randstad, GRI, MBO Partners, PwC, Deloitte).

This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief explores the evolution of digitally intermediated work. In the first installment, we take inventory of the current staffing and labor models today and how digitization alters the structure and properties of work compared with staffing models. We also explore the comparative sourcing and provisioning of digital talent, as well as how organizations can structure and consume these new services — compared with traditional approaches. Finally, we consider the current state of digitally enabled work arrangements and intermediaries. In Part 2 of this series, we summarize and structure key takeaways from all of the current trends and provide recommendations for practitioners.

Why Human Capital Innovation is More Relevant Than Ever for Procurement (ICYMI)

Highly skilled, specialized talent (e.g., business subject-area consultants, new technology experts) is critical to organizations today. Not only is such talent often in short supply, it is also often needed for a limited time (and sometimes on demand) to make specific contributions to particular projects. This becomes more relevant as organizations continue to evolve toward dynamic, agile, project-centric ways of achieving specific value-adding outcomes. Earlier this year, we began a three-part series that addresses different aspects of human capital innovation.

Beeline: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

Beeline is a global “external workforce management solutions” provider and, alongside SAP Fieldglass, one of the top two providers of VMS solutions globally, based on volume and revenue. After years occupying 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.

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 Beeline as provider of VMS software or a provider of technology-based CW/S solutions beyond traditional VMS. 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 Beeline. Parts 2 and 3 of this multipart research brief cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Note: Since Beeline merged with IQNavigator in 2016, there have been two VMS technology platforms operating under the Beeline brand. (A process to “converge” the two platforms on a new, state-of-the-art technology architecture is underway.) In this particular Vendor Snapshot, the section Beeline Solution Overview — Offerings and Functionality (below) focuses only on the Beeline VMS technology platform, pending separate treatment of the IQN platform. The order of treatment is in no way intended to suggest a ranking of one platform over the other.