In 2015, in partnership with Emergent Research, Intuit began conducting research into the on-demand or gig economy in the United States. “Our original research goal was to provide concrete data on who was working in the on-demand economy and their motivations, attitudes and demographics,” said Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research. The results of the two-year study are available in a presentation titled Dispatches from the New Economy: The On-Demand Workforce. A more formal report with additional data that dive deeper into key findings will be released in March. In the meantime, we thought it relevant to cover these key findings.
The Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Management Category
An increasing number of digital, platform-based service providers are appearing today, and while they now represent a small category far outside the scope of most contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement programs, the spend they account for is growing.
Back around 2010, traditional BPO providers sought to introduce clients to digitally turbo-charged offerings. Though similar in concept, the providers appearing today represent a whole new generation of platform-based service providers, many of which were startups or didn’t exist in 2010. They did not arise with the scale and legacy of the BPO providers, nor did they occupy the category of major service providers of which procurement was aware and already oversaw.
Far from a passing fad, these next-generation digital service providers will become an increasingly significant segment of services consumption and spend over the next 10 years. We base our projections on solid, long-term trends evidenced in both the consumer and business sectors.
This Spend Matters PRO research brief defines this new generation of digital service providers and poses the entirely open question of whether they require the attention of procurement organizations tasked with managing services spend at this time.
On Wednesday, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch and Research Director of Services and Labor Procurement Andrew Karpie co-presented on a webinar, Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement: 2017 Tech Trends and Their Impact on You. In case you missed it (though you can still watch a recording of the webinar on demand), here are some of the biggest takeaways from Wednesday’s webinar.
IQNavigator + Beeline’s Doug Leeby Answers Burning Questions on Product Roadmap, SAP Fieldglass and More
In Part 1 of this Q&A, IQNavigator + Beeline CEO Doug Leeby discussed customer and partner reactions to the recent merger and how he views the future of the VMS market. Today in Part 2, we ask Leeby about specifics of the combined product roadmap and what differentiates the firm he leads from SAP Fieldglass.
IQNavigator + Beeline Update: Doug Leeby Discusses Merger Reactions, Vision for Combined Organization
In December 2016, the announced merger of IQNavigator and Beeline rocked the contingent workforce and services market. As the shape of the new firm takes form, Spend Matters caught up with Doug Leeby, CEO of IQNavigator + Beeline, to learn how customers have reacted, how partners are dealing the emergence of a “Big 2” and what he sees as the future of the VMS market. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this interview, in which Leeby provides an update on the combined product roadmap and competitive landscape.
The CW/S world is rapidly changing as new and truly disruptive technologies emerge and as the employer-employee relationship evolves. How will this affect the average procurement practitioner? That is the topic to be covered on a webinar tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 12:30 p.m. CST), titled Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement: 2017 Tech Trends and Their Impact on You. We encourage our readers to tune in as Karpie and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch break down CW/S technology trends and where they’re taking root.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Naseem Malik, managing partner at MRA Global Sourcing.
Call them on-demand workers, contractors, free agents or mercenaries — just don’t call them inconsequential. Procurement is no longer immune to to the increase of contingent workers other functions have experienced in recent years. And the shift from employing permanent workers to temporary ones is gaining ground.
In a series last year, we set out to explore the digital evolution of the contingent workforce supply chain — a specific area of the services procurement world that, dare we say, has been getting hot.
We began tracing a line from the vendor management system (VMS)-dominated atmosphere starting over 15 years ago up to the more recent technology-enabled platforms such as Work Intermediation Platforms (WIPs).
Related: Join me and Jason Busch for a free webinar next week on 2017 Tech Trends and what they mean for contingent workforce practitioners.
But as we know, launching into heady discussions on the topic may be rough without laying down some simple definitions first. For that reason, we want to give services procurement practitioners a bit of a primer on three basic categories — marketplaces, service providers and private pools/networks — and examples of WIPs that fall into each (or more than one) of them.
Whoa, What’s a WIP Again? Here’s a Super Quick Review
First, let’s just quickly define WIPs. While well-known platforms such as Amazon, Uber and Airbnb have arisen in the retail, transportation and hospitality areas, tech-enabled platform businesses, functioning as new intermediaries between demand for and supply of work/services, have been proliferating. Spend Matters refers to these platforms as work intermediation platforms (WIPs).
These platforms have been able to engage workforce populations that have not been previously accessible (e.g., talent in other countries). They have created new efficient ways of executing work arrangements (direct sourcing to electronic payment); performance and fulfillment of work/services (e.g., online end-to-end); and new models of engaging workers (e.g., crowdsourcing).
After 10 years, WIPs are still at a very early stage of development. However, such a rate of maturation and acceptance is not atypical for technology-driven innovation. In our view, many WIPs around today will evolve to be successful, and new WIPs will emerge with successful formulas and models right out of the gate.
So, WIP Category #1: Examples of Marketplaces
The above platforms basically fit the marketplace model (and Upwork would also fall into Private Pools/Networks), but there are variations. So let's dig into them, shall we?
Contingent workforce procurement and management in a professional services company is oftentimes a unique activity. Performance metrics, while similar to other programs, are prioritized differently. Costs are monitored more closely, as they are directly tied to operating margins, and time to fill is a crucial metric. For a large program that hires thousands of contractors yearly, each day of cycle time reduction can add millions to the top line.
Officially launched this week, AllWork is a work platform that enables consumer brands to place brand/product freelancer specialists into assignments at stores of any number of different retail businesses. From our perspective, AllWork is a truly instructive example of how digital work platforms can and will enable completely new ways of arranging work.
Accenture recently joined McKinsey (“A Labor Market that Works: Connecting Talent with Opportunity,” 2015) and Deloitte (“Global Human Capital Trends 2016 — The new organization: Different by design”) with its own report that directly addresses online work platforms (which go by a number of names). The Accenture report, “Workforce Marketplace: Invent your own future,” is trend No. 3 of 5 in the company’s more comprehensive “2017 Vision Trends: Technology for People.”
When the Washington Post launched its Talent Network in June 2015, the Jeff Bezos-owned company promised to bring order to one of the media industry’s most unruly problems: sourcing and managing freelancers. Nearly two years later, the Post seems to have made good on that promise. Such a success story is a boon not only to media companies but to all businesses that extensively rely on a contingent workforce.