The Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Category

A Primer on the Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Procurement Technology Landscape

spend visiblity

“When it rains, it pours” may not seem like the most obvious adage to apply to the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) sector, but here we’re referring to how the CW/S procurement technology and services solution landscape, after decades of minimal change or growth, has suddenly begun to expand — and at a stunning speed. Not only is the overall number of CW/S providers growing, the types of solutions they offer are evolving and defying simple categorization. Hence, our latest landscape report from analysts Andrew Karpie and Jason Busch, Spend Matters Landscape Definition and Overview: Contingent Workforce and Services, was a long time in the making.

IC Precheck Gives Independent Contractors a Compliance Shot in the Arm

IC Precheck, a new compliance product aimed at independent contractors (ICs), launched this week. The product, which will be marketed and sold to contractors, provides, as the name implies, a kind of precertification to support or strengthen a contractor’s assertion of independent contractor (1099) classification status. The product is intended to benefit contractors as well as the businesses that engage them.

Unlocking Hidden Cost Savings Through Third-Party Payrolling: Does Your MSP Go All Out for You?

As companies rely more on non-employees to fill mission critical-roles, procurement leaders are realizing that their business objectives are not always aligned with those of their managed service provider (MSP). One scenario where this can be the case is the MSP’s rate of third-party payroll utilization — the percentage of spend for contingent workers who are W2 payrolled by a third party but sourced directly by the client. This article explains how an effective MSP maximizes third-party payroll utilization to drive cost savings and value for an organization.

The Services Procurement Machine is Broken — Here’s Why You Should Trade it in for a New Approach

Channel the original Apple Macintosh ad. Remember the people staring into the screen before our hero destroyed it? They weren’t just nameless faces in some Orwellian dystopia. They were procurement team members tasked with buying services. Category managers led astray by a misguided authoritarian philosophy. Call them part of the services procurement machine, if you will.

Beeline: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

This Vendor Snapshot focuses on Beeline, a contingent workforce and services sourcing and management technology solution provider. For years one of the top global players in 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. Although Beeline, as a company now merged with IQNavigator (IQN), currently serves clients with two VMS solutions, in this series we focus on the Beeline platform; we plan to address the IQN solution in the future.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview, including basic fit criteria for firms considering Beeline. Part 2 explores Beeline’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor to enable their services procurement technology requirements. It also offers a high-level evaluation of the user interface. Part 3 of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Trust No One: Is Independence a Solution to the X-Files?

Like the X-Files, the reality of a work environment can often defy explanation. Today’s procurement leaders talk about waging a “war” for talent. If the positions are out there and the inducements are so great, why are some of the best people opting out of corporate roles and into independent careers? I have cycled through both types of roles. For me, my choice to be independent comes down to one factor that happens over and over in corporate environments: people not keeping their word. Why is it so hard for leaders to say what they mean, then do what they say? With Fox Mulder-level skepticism, I don’t trust anyone when they tell me what I can expect in a job.

The truth is out there. But here are three areas where leaders frequently don’t walk the talk.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 3)

The dramatically changing legal services industry discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series ultimately provides both challenges and exciting opportunities within legal services procurement. Alternative legal services providers (ALSPs), a main focus of this series, are just one component of these changes and still an emerging one in legal services procurement strategies and practice priorities. Growth in the corporate use of ALSPs, however, is expected.

Traditional Workforce Models are Constraining Business Growth — Being the Solution, Not the Problem

Today’s enterprises can no longer rely only on traditional intermediaries for sourcing and engaging talent. This is especially the case when it comes to the specialized, often scarce skills of high-end knowledge workers. At the same time, businesses need low-friction, low-overhead, end-to-end and often project-specific processes that can support speed, flexibility and agility — often enabled by emerging technologies. Technology, however, is just one part of the puzzle. At least as important — if not more so — is initiating and sustaining change inside the enterprise. Adopting new talent models is not about making incremental improvements to your existing approaches, much less disrupting them entirely. Instead, it’s about ushering a new and potentially transformative innovation into the enterprise.

WorkMarket Partners to Offer Full Coverage Workers’ Compensation for Freelancers

WorkMarket has introduced a new insurance service that allows companies to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their independent contract workers, the company announced Thursday. According to the company, this is a “first-of-its-kind” service offering that was created in partnership with a leading insurance carrier. The new offering allows businesses that use the WorkMarket platform to extend workers’ compensation coverage to independent contract workers that the company engages through the platform.

Catalant: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

Catalant

This PRO Vendor Snapshot focuses on Catalant, an online (cloud-based) work intermediary and evolving enterprise platform that allows organizations to access and engage highly skilled, well-credentialed independent business consultants and small, boutique consulting businesses. These resources can be sourced from Catalant’s own “digital marketplace” of independent talent and small consulting providers, which has been growing both in terms of number of providers and number of enterprise customers since 2013.

Since that time, Catalant has been extending its enterprise platform to, at this stage of platform development, allow organizations to establish private networks of their own self-sourced consulting resources (including alumni and retirees). It also enables organizations to create and manage teams of internal (employee) workers and blended internal-external (consultant) workers over a full project lifecycle, as well as archive, share and access project content and artifacts.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview. In Part 1, we also identified basic fit criteria for firms considering Catalant. In Part 2 of this series, we present our view and analysis of Catalant’s product strengths and weaknesses to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the solution provider. We also offer a high-level evaluation of the user interface. Part 3, the final part of this series, will provide a business SWOT analysis, user selection guide, an overview of competitors and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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The Biggest Benefit of On-Demand Talent Is Growth, Not Cost Containment

By now, most procurement leaders have heard about the high-end gig economy—and how freelance knowledge workers can help them steer complex, strategic initiatives on a project basis. The companies that have grown up to serve this new ecosystem, Business Talent Group included, often point to things like cost-efficiency when making a case for on-demand talent. Freelance knowledge workers carry the pedigree of top consulting firms without the overhead, goes this argument. It stands to reason they can take on the same work for substantially less money. But the biggest benefit to on-demand talent isn’t cost containment, in my view. It’s capturing scarce talent, moving more nimbly, and positioning your company for growth in fast-changing markets.

Cutting BigLaw Down to Size: New Alternatives for Legal Services Procurement (Part 2)

forced labor

While it has been said that the wheels of justice turn slowly but exceedingly fine, the process may be accelerating in the procurement of legal services. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how monolithic, traditional BigLaw firms are being challenged to radically adapt by disruptive economic forces, the ascendance of legal procurement in enterprises and, last but not least, by the growth in a broad range of alternative legal services providers. But more important, as we noted in Part 1, BigLaw’s nightmare is also a shared opportunity for legal services procurement and for emerging alternative legal services providers. According to some industry observers, we are witnessing an ongoing paradigm shift from BigLaw to what is being dubbed NewLaw. In Part 2 of this series, we provide an introduction to the increasingly important, complex and rapidly evolving NewLaw world of non-traditional/alternative legal services providers (ALSPs).