The Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Management Category

3 Essential Concepts that will Enable True Workforce Transformation

As businesses gear up to enact company-wide digital transformations, many firms are realizing that these strategies must first start with their workforce. But now that the foundation for this new approach is clear, the next question is how to execute these initiatives. To craft a successful digital workforce strategy, you'll need to fully understand the tools with which you'll execute it. Here are the three essential technology concepts you need to know about — and how they're already changing the way businesses source and manage work.

The Gig Economy in the U.K.: Growth, Issues and Predictions


The “gig” or “platform” economy is a worldwide phenomenon. Whether car service drivers or skilled online freelancers, it is present and growing in many countries in every region across the world. Not only is it an enormous pool of labor, the gig economy may also represent potential sourcing networks, since generally workers are connected through various digital platforms. But for now, while the gig economy is growing across the globe, labor issues and legal uncertainties are common.

Legal Sourcing and Billing: Category Sourcing, Maturity Models and Services Procurement Linkages (Part 1) [Plus+]


Around 2005, while working for Procuri, one of the authors of this article was involved in a large legal services e-sourcing project (with reverse auction at the end) for a Fortune 10 firm that spanned law firms across the U.S. At that time, we included a substantial amount of spend segmentation into the event. From my experience and research, we were one of the first to engage in a procurement legal sourcing effort of this magnitude.

Where Are Online Workers Located? — Oxford Internet Institute Tool Breaks it Down

In the first article of this series, Online Gig Economy Up 26% Over Last Year: Oxford Internet Institute, we covered the demand side of the global online work marketplace — specifically overall growth in projects posted in the aggregate and by region/country and occupational category. It bears repeating here that the subject workforce is what has been called “digitally delivered” labor (i.e., online freelancing and crowd work) consisting of “temporary and project-based work conducted remotely over digital platforms.” In this article, we summarize new iLabour Project research focused on the demand side of the marketplace, in particular the number of online workers (by region/country and occupational category).

Eaze: On-Demand Cannabis Delivery to Your Home

In the past month or so, Spend Matters has featured a number of articles about the fast-growing cannabis industry and supply chain. It’s complex, but the cannabis industry is not what it used to be. While the earlier articles have focused on procurement and supply chain processes and technology, there is another area of the business that was not covered: on-demand home delivery. Over the past two years, a number of startups have emerged to provide the platform/app-based service — think of it as a Grubhub or DoorDash for pot, instead of food. The list includes companies like Nugg, Speed Weed and, but perhaps the most recognized — and most well funded — is Eaze.

Online Gig Economy Up 26% Over Last Year: Oxford Internet Institute

The Oxford Internet Institute recently highlighted a sharp rise in its Online Labour Index, which “measures the utilization of online labor across countries and occupations by tracking the number of projects and tasks in real time.” The “normalized” index is based on the number of new projects posted daily to six of the largest English-language labor platforms, reportedly accounting for at least 60% of all traffic to English-language online labour platforms. According to the index methodology overview, these platforms represent a “range of different market mechanisms and contracting styles, from online piecework to hourly freelancing.”

What Does the Future of Work Really Mean for the Enterprise? (ICYMI)

digital business transformation

The future of work is upon us, or at least that’s what the marketing gurus would have us believe. From the explosion of the gig economy to the increasing availability of online marketplaces and talent clouds for labor, the way businesses source, manage and spend for labor has changed dramatically. But amid this deluge of new information and technology, we may have forgotten to ask ourselves an essential question: What does this future really entail for large organizations?

Viva La Revolution: Flexible Staffing Models in China

Tradeshift Baiwang

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from GEP.

As the world's most populous country, China's labor market is undergoing unprecedented structural revolution. In recent years, due to labor shortages caused by a decreasing demographic pool and labor cost pressures, Chinese companies are eager to adopt more flexible staffing models to maintain labor agility and cost competitiveness. As per the Chinese Human Resource Service Industry Research Report published in 2016 by HRoot, it’s estimated that between 2016 and 2020, the average compound annual growth rate of China's flexible staffing industry will hold steady at around 22%, and China's flexible staffing market scale will reach about 60 billion yuan, which is more than $8 billion.

Catalant Raises $41 Million to Expand Its Transformative Enterprise Talent Solution and Bring in the Future of Work


Boston-based Catalant, perhaps the leading technology platform for “business expertise,” announced this week that it has raised an additional $41 million in private equity. This brings the total investment in the company to $73 million since its founding in 2013. The new investment, which comes from the full complement of earlier investors (including Greylock Partners, GE Ventures, Mark Cuban), signals continuing confidence in the company and its future.

Strategic Technology Planning: A New Imperative for Contingent Workforce and Services Procurement (Part 2) [PRO]

In Part 1 of this series, we provided a context and rationale for the adoption of strategic technology planning for contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement. We also began the discussion of what strategic technology planning explicitly means for an organization and how it can be enacted. Part 2 of this series continues that discussion.

By way of summary, we defined “strategic technology planning” as a specific type of strategic planning that lets an organization (i.e., CW/S procurement) know where it is now, where it wants or needs to be some time in the future, how technology can be leveraged as an enabler and what changes in resource allocation and investment must occur or what constraints will condition progress. We should emphasize that strategic technology planning is not the same as a tactical plan or roadmap, though ideally it would lead to these.

Strategic planning is more about high-level understanding (insight and foresight) than it is about immediate, direct action. We believe it must become a critical component to any CW/S procurement function and program that wants to avoid being caught flat-footed and aims to deliver a new (and necessary) level of business value over a reasonable planning horizon (e.g., three to five years). This type of planning effort may represent a shift of gears for many procurement practitioners. For this and other reasons, we suggest and outline a process in this Spend Matters PRO research brief that is intended to help practitioners get started and pointed in the right direction.

Online Work Platforms and Enterprises: Survival of the Fittest or the Fastest? [PRO]


In this PRO research brief, we provide an analysis of the complex dynamics that characterize the online work platform technology market, in particular with respect to large enterprise adoption (or, to date, the lack thereof). We also examine some promising platform strategies/approaches that may promote platform business viability and, over time, more success in achieving large scale enterprise penetration. Finally, we discuss the implications of our analysis for both platform providers and enterprise buyers.

(Note: To avoid possible perception that we are making endorsements or recommendations in this brief, we forego references to specific platforms (platform providers are evaluated separately, in our Vendor Snapshot and SolutionMap series, with these strategies and approaches in mind.)

Integrated Workforce Solutions: A New Alternative in the MSP-IMP Debate

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brandon Moreno, CEO of EverHive.

Hear the term MSP, and you likely have mixed emotions. Managed service providers (MSP) emerged in the 1990s to help companies manage their contingent or temporary workforce more efficiently. But even though MSPs have become a fixture in the industry, the perceived maturity of the MSP model and the accelerating evolution of workforce categories, enterprise requirements and available technology solutions are challenging companies to make new choices about how to manage their contingent workforce.