The Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Management Category

The 2018 Beeline Conference: What Did We Learn?

Eved

The 2018 Beeline Conference, which officially wrapped up Wednesday, may in retrospect be a milestone event for the company. Not only was the conference well attended, well organized, informative and analyst friendly in terms of access and transparency, it also provided visibility into a company that has weathered a near-perfect storm in 2017 and is now unfurling its sails, looking toward the horizon. Realistically, on the voyage ahead, there will be both smooth sailing and rough seas — and as any seasoned mariner knows, that’s just how it is.

Holding Managed Services Providers (MSPs) Accountable to a BPO-Based Standard (Part 3) [Plus+]

Consider that during the initial years of a services procurement outsourcing initiative involving legal spend, that pursuing e-billing programs that enable rate management and better invoice tracking along with formal rate management programs and related benchmarking, rate/value alignment and volume discounting is most likely to deliver optimal near-term results. Yet in most cases, in the out-years of a multiple-year legal spend management program, it makes sense to move to such areas as law firm selection, alternative fee arrangements, resource optimization and document discovery as the next areas to tackle.

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The State of the MSP Industry (Part 1): The Moment of Truth Has Arrived

Capgemini IBX Business Network

The MSP industry was born in the early 1990s. Enterprises were using more and more temporary labor, sourced without much control of cost and risk from a fragmented and opaque staffing industry. The very idea of an enterprise contingent workforce management program was a glimmer in the eye of CFOs. However, what had been a small problem was becoming a big one. To help businesses take control of their growing temporary labor use, MSPs, along with VMS technologies, stepped up to offer a solution to this problem. And since the 1990s, MSPs have served enterprises in these ways, delivering value primarily in the form of spend visibility, cost avoidance and reduction, and compliance enforcement. But what worked in the past in no longer simply enough for many businesses to justify their ongoing with relationships with MSPs.

What’s New on the Beeline Technology Horizon: BeelineOne

Beeline Senior Vice President of Strategy Colleen Tiner made two important product announcements at the 2018 Beeline Conference Tuesday, providing a clearer technology roadmap for the company following its merger with IQNavigator. The first announcement concerned the completion of Horizon, Beeline’s name for its new underlying microservices platform. The second covered the development of BeelineOne, a user-facing product that delivers a common set of capabilities from both Beeline and IQN’s platforms.

To learn more about Horizon and BeelineOne, we spoke with the Beeline engineering team to understand what is complete, what is available and what is in the works.

2018 Beeline Conference: CEO Doug Leeby Talks Integration Hurdles, What Lies Ahead

Doug Leeby kicked off the 2018 Beeline Conference Tuesday with a talk on how Beeline has done over the past year and where it is headed. Given our interest in Beeline’s progress post-merger with IQNavigator, Leeby’s talk was very helpful. Compared with past years, Leeby’s keynote was notably more serious, focused on the here and now rather than technology and innovation. Specifically, Leeby emphasized Beeline’s increased “customer focus” — no doubt of critical importance given the typical challenges that come with integrating two companies.

The 2018 Beeline Conference: What Lies Ahead in a Changing World of Work

The 2018 Beeline Conference kicks off Monday in Amelia Island, Florida, the company’s second annual event since its merger with IQNavigator in December 2016. The conference will provide a good opportunity to review Beeline’s technology and product strategies, to be sure, but we at Spend Matters are also interested in the broader picture. In particular, we are eager to gauge Beeline’s progress as it evolves from simply a vendor management system (VMS) to something much bigger. 

Holding Managed Services Providers (MSPs) Accountable to a BPO-Based Standard (Part 2) [Plus+]

In the first post in this series, we explored the changing managed services provider (MSP) ecosystem and suggested what we believe will be a new battle between business process outsourcing (BPO) firms and traditional, often contingent-focused MSPs for the management and program oversight of broader services procurement initiatives for organizations looking for an outsourced services procurement option.

In our view, the more effective BPOs we track are making substantial investments in senior client-facing resources that become effective members of the company procurement team. These individuals often focus on opportunities to drive results that extend far beyond basic sourcing or compliance opportunities. In contrast, MSPs often bring limited subject matter expertise outside of contingent labor or basic SOW-type procurement initiatives.

How to Fix the Services Procurement Machine: A New Operating Model for Procurement and its Stakeholders

Spend Matters welcomes this contributed content from Stefan Zorn, vice president of customer success at Globality

The services procurement machine is broken, that much is certain. In the sourcing of high-value, complex services, cost consciousness has dominated where quality should have lead. Compulsive risk avoidance has allowed larger suppliers to capture the services market, excluding expert small and mid-sized providers from the selection process. But these misplaced priorities are far from the only reason for malfunction. The machine also broke because it hasn’t kept up with the rapidly changing, real-time global economy.

What You Don’t Know Can’t Help You: Why Crowdsourcing Is Alive and Growing

Crowdsourcing is obscure concept for many, but one that is also widely in use. Large organizations ranging from Coca-Cola and Starbucks to AstraZeneca and NASA are increasingly experimenting with the approach, finding solutions for everything from sweetener development to answers to citizen science projects. And they’re not the only ones. In fact, there is considerable evidence that even midsize organizations are using and benefiting from crowdsourcing, too. To bring contingent workforce and services category managers and sourcing practitioners up to speed on these developments, we recently published “Crowdsourcing: New Trends and Developments” (Part 1 and Part 2).

Crowdsourcing: New Trends and Developments (Part 2) [Plus+]

crowdsourcing

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we provided an overview of crowdsourcing, defining what it is and how it is different from online freelancer marketplaces. We not only provided examples of different crowdsourcing platform providers (of which there are many) but also provided illustrations of real crowdsourcing in action.

Today in Part 2 of this series, we cover the emergence of practices and functions to effectively manage crowdsourcing across organizations and some of the segments where crowdsourcing has grown both on the demand (buyer organizations) and supply (platform providers) side. We also look at how the space is evolving and provide some highlights and suggestions for practitioners.

Crowdsourcing: New Trends and Developments (Part 1) [Plus+]

Crowded.com

Back in mid-2015, we published a brief on crowdsourcing, “Clarifying Crowdsourcing: Contingent and Services Procurement Examples, Definition and Analysis,” to provide procurement professionals with a clearer understanding of this valuable, innovative tool kit for business problem solving. We’re not sure of how many practitioners took note at the time or, if they did, what they might have done about it. In any case, after a three-year hiatus, we’re back to review recent trends and developments.

Crowdsourcing, properly speaking, is still neither highly visible nor well understood, except for by the managers that use it. Yet, in some ways, it is also becoming a mainstream sourcing practice. Its use within large enterprises continues to grow, and the range of real, applied solutions crowdsourcing provides is expanding. And while crowdsourcing becomes a new normal, what it is and how enterprises are using it also continue to change.

This two-part Spend Matters Plus series explores what forms crowdsourcing is taking in 2018 and how this approach could continue to evolve. Part 1 provides a definition of crowdsourcing (and what it is not), as well as examples of how companies are currently using crowdsourcing platforms. Part 2 looks at how procurement functions are managing the use of crowdsourcing within their organizations and potential new ways in which they could soon be using the technology.

Holding Managed Services Providers (MSPs) Accountable to a BPO-Based Standard (Part 1) [Plus+]

Observing the broader procurement BPO market in recent years, we’ve seen a number of trends emerge among the leaders in the industry. When it comes to the world of managed services providers (MSPs), however, few firms, if any, mirror these trends, at least not consistently. Part of the reason for this is that many MSPs have long-standing relationships with their clients, often owning to the history of their staffing firm-based parent company. (Many MSPs work in either a stated vendor-neutral or non-vendor neutral manner, even if they are part of a staffing firm’s based P&L, indirectly or directly.)

From a foundational perspective, MSPs provide a number of core services that we explore in the report "The Managed Services Connection— The Evolving Roles of MSPs in Services Procurement." In this analysis, we suggest that on the most fundamental level, all MSPs should provide transactional management in the area of contracted services (or outcomes), including the area of cost reduction.