Services and Indirect Content

Workforce Logiq’s acquisition of ENGAGE Talent: On the innovation path beyond MSP [PRO]

In October, Spend Matters reported on Workforce Logiq’s acquisition of the workforce data and analytics firm ENGAGE Talent. The acquisition of ENGAGE capped a big year for a company that, under the leadership of staffing industry outsider Jim Burke, has been innovating beyond the boundaries of the traditional — some would say commoditized — MSP model.

This Spend Matters PRO brief analyzes the acquisition of ENGAGE Talent as a key milestone in the execution of Workforce Logiq’s innovation and transformation strategy. Taking a closer look at ENGAGE Talent (and what it does) is important, but it is at least as important to put the acquisition in the broader context of where Workforce Logiq is heading. Consequently, much of the brief will focus on that context.

This brief should provide a useful update for contingent workforce and HR executives who are thinking about where to go next with their existing MSP/VMS vendors.

Afternoon Coffee: USMCA on way to Congress vote; Degreed grabs Adepto; Payoneer acquires optile

Congress announced its plans to vote on the USMCA next week. Payments platform Payoneer nabbed optile, a Munich-based tech company "that streamlines payment acceptance processes for merchants worldwide, to boost merchant control of payments." And in the workforce tech platform space, Degreed acquired Adepto. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: USMCA clears hurdle; WTO paralyzed; Tariff delay; new Upwork CEO; SAP partners with project44

U.S. House Democrats have worked out a USMCA trade deal with the White House that could lead to the NAFTA replacement moving forward. In other trade news, the WTO's Appellate Body, which acts as the highest court for international trade, will in effect be paralyzed by losing more panel members. Also, new U.S. tariffs against China could be delayed from taking effect Sunday, the WSJ reports. In contingent workforce news, Upwork names a new CEO. In logistics news, SAP today announced a partnership with project44, which provides visibility for shippers and service providers. And former Boeing manager Ed Pierson told NBC News that he had warned the company about problems at its main factory in Washington state, prior to two of its 737 MAX airplanes crashing in separate incidents that killed 350 people. Afternoon Coffee: Stay safe out there.

A new species: Specialist providers of contingent workforce rate benchmarking/analytics [PRO]

Specialist providers of contingent workforce rate benchmarking/analytics services have emerged over the past several years. Based on our market scan, we have identified three such standalone, vendor-neutral providers — PeopleTicker, Brightfield Talent Data Exchange (TDX) and HCM Strategies. All three will be profiled at a high level in this Spend Matters PRO brief. A secondary goal of this brief is to begin to explore a broader, systematic research approach to understanding and comparing different rate benchmarking and analytics capabilities.

The estimation, or benchmarking, of contingent workforce “market” labor rates by job category is certainly not new, and rate benchmarking is widely used — or made available as a service — in practically every part of the contingent workforce supply chain (e.g., staffing suppliers, MSPs, VMS solutions, et al). But rate benchmarking data sources and methodologies have remained somewhat in the shadows for years.

Rate benchmarking produced within — and as just a part of — those contingent workforce supply chain providers has not made it easy to assess what lies behind the many different benchmarking approaches that are in use today. However, the emergence of third-party, vendor-neutral rate benchmarking and analytics service/solution specialists may help in doing so.

To compound the problem, there is currently no established framework that would allow for a comparison of different providers’ rate benchmarking approaches and allied capabilities (e.g., self-service, scenario-building and other capabilities). And, as “advanced analytics” (based on techniques such as data/text mining, machine learning, pattern matching, semantic analysis, simulations, etc.) provide a new foundation for rate benchmarking, the differentiation of approaches becomes more important over time.

Now, let’s take a look at PeopleTicker, Brightfield Talent Data Exchange (TDX) and HCM Strategies and then make some high-level observations about the group.

Lease spend is a hidden category worth millions in savings, strategic value for business

procurement

In most businesses, their millions of dollars in leasing spend represent a hidden opportunity for procurement and finance departments to find savings and create strategic value.

With every department in a business juggling leasing terms, financing and renewals for things like warehouses, offices, computers, supplies, furniture and fleets, it’s a daunting task to think any single department could manage it all. These are some reasons why lease spend isn’t managed well. But technology has developed to the point that it would be unthinkable to leave all of that spend unmanaged.

So it's clear that lease spend should be its own category, but why is that becoming apparent now?

Afternoon Coffee: Q4 SolutionMap update is out; SIG links up with PeopleTicker; Mintec wins digital tech award

Spend Matters today released its Q4 2019 SolutionMap today, ranking 59 procurement software companies across 12 tech solution categories. SIG (Sourcing Industry Group) announced a new partnership with PeopleTicker, a real-time salary and labor rate data provider. A new study by A.T. Kearney has revealed that external procurement spending was the single-largest cost element for most companies and a crucial component of their value chains. And Mintec won a neat digital tech award at an EU ceremony recently. Afternoon Coffee: keeping it real in procurement and supply chain news since 2010.

CPO masters of complexity (Part 2): A new approach to augment talent

Deloitte's 2019 Global CPO Survey shows that many procurement leaders are finding it hard to balance a variety of competing demands for their limited resources. One common theme expressed was the challenge of how to find, recruit and retain the talent required to implement and optimize a more digitally complex and increasingly sophisticated procurement function. Many organizations are using this opportunity to challenge the traditional operating model, including the roles, responsibilities and skill sets required for this new digital world.

Demand for top talent in the global procurement space continues to outpace supply, even as the expectations from the corporations they serve continue to increase. While investment in training in both technical and softer skills appears to be rising, the CPOs surveyed felt the negative impact of a “talent drain” on their ability to keep pace with the increasing complexity of reducing costs and risks while implementing digitally-enabled procurement functions.

Q4 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services

Q4 2019 marks the sixth research cycle for Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, the sourcing and management of three underlying spend categories: Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (formerly Independent Contract Workers, or ICW).

Beginning in Q3 2019, Spend Matters changed the name of the Independent Contract Workers (ICW) category to Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services, primarily to express the proper scope of the category’s coverage of those solution providers that enterprises use to source and manage both workers and small services firms in a relatively direct manner. (At the very least, a traditional supplier’s role is more limited and the technology solution enables more direct sourcing and talent management by an end-client.)

The full list of providers in the Q4 2019 CW/S SolutionMap includes:

— Beeline
— Coupa
— Elevated Resources
— Field Nation
— Shiftgig
— Shortlist
— SirionLabs
— TalentNet
— Talmix
— TalonFMS
— Upwork Enterprise
— VectorVMS
— Vndly
— WorkMarket (ADP)

As noted further below, a vendor may participate in a SolutionMap category but may not necessarily appear on the SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics (get a first look here).

Given Spend Matters’ procurement orientation, we evaluate “enterprise technology” vendors within a source-to-pay (S2P) reference model. In other words, we look at vendors in terms of their capabilities that address some or all enterprise requirements that arise within an S2P lifecycle (i.e., from supplier sourcing to worker or supplier payment).

We have gathered extensive business profile information, have more than 100 active customer survey references and have assigned scores to specific solution capabilities (RFI line items) ranging from well over 100 to about 300, depending upon how many SolutionMap categories a particular vendor participated in.

Hyr Medical’s Manoj Jhaveri: ‘We knew that this was a big, hairy, audacious problem worth solving’

Healthcare staffing has long been a big business — and a major spend category for hospitals and healthcare systems.

But are the established staffing models meeting the needs and expectations of healthcare delivery organizations and contingent healthcare professionals? And are there alternatives?

We recently spoke with Manoj Jhaveri, the co-founder and CEO of Cleveland-based Hyr Medical, which aims to leverage lean processes and technology (including blockchain) to provide a lower friction, higher velocity alternative to traditional locum tenens staffing.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: December 2019 [Plus+]

Welcome to the December 2019 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.

As we head into December and the holiday season, we look back on the developments in November: Small service providers now ‘Open for Business’ on LinkedIn; Is the job board Indeed going gig?; Fiverr grows topline, not bottom; crowdsource testing; and news about financial services for freelancers.

Contractor, supplier relationships come with many financial risks, Avetta warns

supply risk

Managing supply chain risk is an important area of focus for companies to consider when working with suppliers and contractors at various levels of business. A recent study from the business-qualifying firm Avetta, “The Importance of Assessing Supplier Financial Stability,” evaluates an array of research on the issues and pinpoints the many risks that companies face when choosing and working with contractors and vendors.

An inside look: Premier Inc. acquires Medpricer, a purchased services procurement solution [PRO]

healthcare

Let’s take a closer look at the Premier Inc. acquisition of Medpricer announced recently. For this Spend Matters PRO brief, we talked with leaders of both firms to get further insight into the acquisition and what it means. We also offer some reasons why this development is significant for procurement practitioners. Premier Inc., a $1.2 billion diversified healthcare improvement company, has acquired Medpricer, an innovative solution provider focused on the management of the enormous and largely unmanaged “purchased services” category of spend within hospitals and healthcare systems.

Premier bought Medpricer for $35 million and expects the acquisition to be modestly accretive in 2020. The company has stated that Medpricer will continue to operate as an independent unit and brand, and will remain GPO neutral, while augmenting Premier’s own technology and analytics capabilities. Medpricer’s CEO will continue to lead the business as part of Premier’s Supply Chain Services segment.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Premier describes itself as “a leading healthcare improvement company, uniting an alliance of more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems and approximately 175,000 other providers and organizations to transform healthcare.” The company leverages integrated data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, and consulting and other services to promote "better care and outcomes at a lower cost.” It also collaborates with members “to co-develop long-term innovations that reinvent and improve the way care is delivered to patients nationwide.”

“Medpricer’s spend management platform,” the company has noted, “uses artificial intelligence to validate, compare and onboard purchased services suppliers; track and measure spend by category, supplier and facility; benchmark contracts terms to ensure competitive rates; set and manage specific savings targets; and manage contract compliance.” It was also noted that purchased services — which “often fall outside the scope of national group purchasing contracts” — are estimated to “account for up to 30% of a typical healthcare provider’s non-labor expenses, and represent a total addressable acute care market of approximately $160 billion.”

Premier told Spend Matters that “Medpricer is an important component of its evolving cost management strategy and is an integral next step in our continuing expansion toward a fully integrated purchased services platform.” Premier also noted that it has the “ability to fund and materially accelerate the development of Medpricer’s offerings.”

Spend Matters recently posed some questions to Premier. We received written answers and also had an opportunity to talk with Premier’s Senior Vice President of Supply Chain, David Hargraves, and Medpricer’s President and CEO, Chris Gormley.