Talent Management Content

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.

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.

Deloitte webinar: How CPOs can tackle an increasingly complex world of procurement

Today’s procurement organizations are facing increased complexity from an array of sources — economic downturns, working with mega-suppliers, global trade issues and digital transformation, said Ryan Flynn, Principal Deloitte Consulting, in a webinar that explored the findings of Deloitte’s 2019 Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey.

While these complexities present challenges for procurement leaders, they can also be a means to increase procurement’s influence across entire organizations.

Deloitte’s survey — this year titled “Complexity: Overcoming Obstacles and Seizing Opportunities” — offers insight into how CPOs can evaluate their current situations and take actions that will secure a more successful future.

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.

Sourcing and Engaging the Independent/Freelance Workforce — An Emerging Ecosystem? (Part 4) [PRO]

IQNavigator

In Part 4 of this five-part Spend Matters PRO series on the emerging independent contract worker (ICW) digital ecosystem, we will examine “worker-facing services.” These are services designed and offered to independent workers by providers, many of which may not have existed five years ago.

Part 1 of this series discussed the size, growth and constitution of the ICW population in the U.S. (it cuts across many types of work/workers: freelance creatives to construction workers, Uber drivers to truck drivers, etc.). Part 2 of the series examined the extent to which a digital ecosystem has been forming to provide enterprises with the required capabilities to source, manage and maximize the value of this ICW population. In Part 3, we described (and represented graphically) the different components of the emerging digital ecosystem today (see the ecosystem graphic below).

Part 4 looks at the extent to which a part of the ICW digital ecosystem is forming to provide ICWs (and incorporated microbusinesses) with the access to the opportunity pathways and the support/services (the worker-facing services) that they require to function as viable “operators.” It provides an overview of the service and service provider landscape and concludes with some comments leading into Part 5.

Afternoon Coffee: AP automation provider Tipalti adds 3 partners; Globality survey is out; Boeing gets orders for grounded 737 MAX

Tipalti, a global payables automation platform, today announced three partnerships to modernize those firms' finance operations. Also, there's news from Globality as well as Boeing. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest in procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Workforce platform Fulcrum closes seed round; Wipro’s Topcoder launches tech talent sourcing offering; Amazon in India

Fulcrum, a platform for bringing together large enterprises and on-demand talent, told Spend Matters that it had raised a $1 million seed round led by Greatscale Ventures. And Topcoder, a Wipro company that’s described as the “world’s largest technology network and on-demand digital talent platform,” announced the launch of a new offering, “Talent-as-a-Service” (TaaS). Also, Jeff Bezos talks about Amazon in India. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in procurement and supply chain technology.

Shiftgig: What Makes It Great (Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services SolutionMap Analysis)

Shiftgig, which was founded in 2012 as an on-demand work marketplace, pivoted to become a pure-play technology provider. The company divested the staffing portion of its business and, in early 2019, launched its flagship software solution, Deploy: a deployment and engagement platform for staffing firms.

Shiftgig was able to pivot so quickly, in less than one year, to a software-as-a-solution business for staffing firms, because much of the original underlying technology functionalities/capabilities were built to power Shiftgig’s original business model, a technology enabled on-demand work marketplace. So while Deploy was brought to market this year, underlying it is an advanced, highly scalable, fit-for-purpose technology solution that has been developed and enhanced/updated over the previous seven years.

Staffing firms can use the Deploy SaaS under subscription pricing to establish their own new “on-demand, mobile-gig-workforce” staffing channels; that is to say, alternative, digitally transformed versions of their traditional ones. At this time, Shiftgig mainly targets staffing firms serving the hospitality, light industrial and experiential marketing staffing segments (but it can also be used by other businesses like per-diem nursing, catering or event management companies).

Within this new digital staffing model (enabled by Deploy), staffing firms continue to be the sourcer, curator, employer of record and payroller of the temporary workers utilized by client businesses. But Deploy enables a staffing firm’s own on-demand, mobile/digitally-connected temp workforce and 24/7 self-sourcing capability for clients. Operationally, Deploy reduces time-to-fill, and it improves the quality of deployed workers based on data and analytics. Shiftgig Deploy allows staffing firms to “up their game” and create a win-win scenario that also includes clients and workers.

Spend Matters breaks down the broadening and evolving enterprise technology solution market for contingent workforce and services (CW/S) into three main categories in SolutionMap, our free vendor ranking system. Those are solutions to manage:

* Temp Staffing, the primary historical focus and largest category of spend under management for established VMS providers (e.g., Beeline, Coupa-DCR Contingent Workforce, SAP Fieldglass, etc.)
* Contract Services/SOW (Statement of Work), the spend category now contributing the highest growth to VMS providers’ spend under management.
* Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S), while the largest volume of spend under management and numbers of users lie in the Temp Staffing solution category, top VMS providers have been evolving and increasingly providing capabilities to enable clients to directly source and engage contingent workers and manage the corresponding spend and risk.

So where does Shiftgig Deploy fit into the burgeoning CW/S solution market?

Shiftgig participated and was scored in the Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services Q3 2019 SolutionMap research cycle. Given its unique purpose and target market, Shiftgig Deploy differs from many of the other solutions (targeted to enterprises, not staffing firms) in Spend Matters in the Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services SolutionMap. These may offer capabilities that Deploy does not — and vice versa. For example, some of the FMS-like platforms may provide complete invoicing and payment capabilities for independent contract workers, while Deploy provides an open API that transfers timesheet data to a staffing firms payrolling system. Accordingly, because Spend Matters’ scoring RFI had not anticipated a solution like Deploy, the SolutionMap Solution Scores may not provide an adequate score for this very strong, highly specialized solution.

As of Q3 2019, SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the overall procurement technology landscape, including 14 providers within the CW/S segment. But, taking into account the qualifications above, where does Shiftgig Deploy stand out most and help “set the bar” for the Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services segment? And why should this matter for procurement and HR organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Shiftgig is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Classification Complications: How Companies Can Use Technology to Navigate Stricter California Freelancer Law

sharing economy

There were already abundant federal and state laws surrounding freelance worker classification before California approved the adoption of the country’s most stringent test. In the recently passed Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5 or the “Uber bill,” as it’s commonly called), the state tightened the rules to close what they saw as loopholes hurting workers and the state.

Growing from the 2018 California Supreme Court decision Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, AB-5 establishes a new three-part test — dubbed the ABC test — that employers must satisfy to classify workers as freelancers or independent contractors. If even one part of the ABC test isn’t met, the worker is considered by the state to be an employee of the company engaging them.

So what are companies supposed to do? Set a policy and add the right technology to manage freelancers.

With the number of freelancers on the rise, companies need to take action to be sure they have visibility into and control of their independent workforce.

While companies continue to use VMS technology for certain worker management functions, there is now technology specifically geared to freelancer management. By adopting a cloud-based freelancer management system (FMS), companies can take a major step in reducing risk and meeting compliance requirements while managing their total freelancer population from a single platform.