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The Point

"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

5 Ways a Purely Vendor-Neutral, Integrated Contingent Workforce Model Helps Companies Get Peak Value

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Companies today are spending significant amounts of money on contingent workers, with businesses allocating hundreds of billions of dollars for these engagements. As a result, the C-suite is increasingly interested in whether they’re getting peak value from their contingent workforce program. And they are right to be concerned - inefficient management, laggard technologies, and disaggregated solutions can thwart efforts to maximize value.

A purely vendor-neutral, integrated MSP and VMS solution provides an innovative way for companies to manage their contingent workforce. Pure vendor neutrality means the MSP or VMS has no affiliation with a staffing agency. Because no one staffing firm is unfairly prioritized, this creates a highly competitive playing field for the staffing firms sourcing talent for organizations that demand a higher caliber of talent.

Since suppliers are focused on providing clients with the best value — which may not be the case when the MSP can compete to fill requisitions — businesses receive the highest-performing talent at the most competitive cost.

Additionally, with an integrated model, the technology and human aspects are intertwined, making it easier for companies to achieve optimal results. Here are five key ways this approach will help businesses get peak value from their contingent workforce program.

 

1) Risk Management

Worker misclassification enforcement has never been greater than it is today. Between 2011 and 2015, the U.S. federal budget allocated $113 million to detecting and deterring worker misclassification issues. Continuing this trend, the 2017 budget “... expands funding for efforts to ensure that workers receive back wages they are owed and cracks down on the illegal misclassification of some employees as independent contractors …”

Given this uptick in enforcement, having an MSP team well-versed in the complexities of managing worker classification and co-employment risk management can make a huge difference in eliminating issues. To further enhance the MSP team’s efforts in managing business validation, co-employment risk, third-party payrolling of self-sourced contractors and more, organizations need to have access to an integrated, best-in-class VMS platform.

With an integrated platform, the MSP and VMS work in lockstep throughout the entire contingent workforce management process to ensure proper worker classification, onboarding, and worker management. And by pulling all workforce spend into one platform, clients reduce the risk of rogue managers spending randomly and managing contingent workers in an uncontrolled environment.

In addition, businesses with contingent workforces typically have hundreds if not thousands of workers utilizing proprietary corporate networks and systems while accessing their ideas and protocols. A proven MSP team helps ensure the proper nondisclosure agreements are in place to protect a company’s intellectual property.

 

2) Cost Savings

An integrated solution helps companies generate cost savings in a myriad of ways.

Consolidated invoicing through a VMS reduces instances of billing error, while the aforementioned MSP risk mitigation helps ensure clients avoid costly litigation and misclassification penalties.

Self-sourcing talent is another key way for clients to generate significant hard dollar savings in a large contingent workforce program — especially in more mature programs. A leading-edge joint MSP/VMS offering makes it easy. An expert MSP team can offer a breadth of experience across different industry segments, while an integrated, top-tier VMS will provide self-sourcing capabilities that give businesses the opportunity to avoid traditional supplier-sourced mark-ups and generate cost savings.

In my experience, a company that places 10 self-sourced workers over the course of a year will save, on average, a quarter of a million dollars.

 

3) Process Efficiency

A fully integrated MSP and VMS solution enables organizations to extract as much value as possible from the latter. With a joint offering, the on-site MSP team of recruitment and employment experts oversees the automation of contingent workforce management processes via the VMS. Users can then tap into the power of automation to reduce the average requisition process from weeks to days. Better still, users can do so knowing they’re getting superior talent at a lower price while managing risk. This efficiency extends through the entire contingent workforce management process, as it enables users to handle sourcing, onboarding, time/project approvals, e-invoicing, offboarding and more in a single application.

This effectiveness provides immediate relief across the entire organization. Human resources, finance, procurement, IT and legal have one system they can go into and extract relevant data to help them work smarter in their area of expertise. In addition, a more sophisticated VMS will be built on open architecture, offer integrations with every major ERP, HRIS and PPM, and have a framework in place for quickly creating custom integrations. As a result, integrations with security, IT, facilities and any other tech systems are simple to implement.

Since workplace efficiency today often involves mobile access, the best VMS solutions enable users to manage the full contingent workforce lifecycle from anywhere they are, powering total freedom of mobility and a seamless omnichannel experience. Top-tier platforms will also bubble up the new action items required to manage a user’s contingent workforce. This helps managers avoid overlooking critical tasks and get more done with fewer swipes and taps.

 

4) Complete Workforce Visibility

Capturing and harnessing data across each stage in the worker lifecycle is critical, and properly leveraging true business intelligence requires a combination of cutting-edge technology and human expertise. A VMS with real-time visibility into a myriad of dashboards provides executives and other power users with invaluable metrics around worker population, usage, billing, performance and more. With historical data pulled through a single system and presented in a visually friendly, intuitive fashion, clients can make smarter workforce decisions, anticipating and planning for future usage.

Another area that’s vital to managers is Total Talent Management reporting. With the most sophisticated VMS providers, clients gain total visibility into both contingent AND full-time resources across the entire organization. By importing specific types of ‘sanitized’ full-time data and viewing it right next to contingent data, managers can determine the best way to engage resources across all categories from a cost, quality and risk perspective.

With a leading-edge joint MSP/VMS solution, users with specific needs can work with the MSP team to create any executive dashboard desired. These customized dashboards can visually reflect the data points requested and enable the ability to interact with this data in a seemingly endless number of ways.

 

5) Talent Quality

In today’s business world there’s a war for talent. Taking a vendor-neutral approach through an integrated model is helping companies win every day.

Within a leading-edge VMS, built-in tools deliver additional supplier management assistance. For example, supplier scorecarding offers a mechanism for ranking suppliers, which not only provides valuable feedback but can also help inform future sourcing decisions. In addition, clients can work with their MSP to create a suppler-tiering system, so that new job requisitions are initially routed to first-level suppliers that have historically delivered superior talent.

 

Conclusion

Superior talent quality, cost efficiency, greater agility, and pure simplicity from a combined solution start at implementation and increase over time. These are wins that cannot be achieved when an MSP and VMS are used separately. A truly integrated and purely vendor-neutral provider offers a one-stop shop for users and enables businesses to realize peak value from their contingent workforce program.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars November 20-24: Digital Labor, AI, CPOs Rising

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I have a bit of a ‘bone’ to pick with this week’s webinar hosts. Usually the week of Thanksgiving in the U.S. is a sleepy time – at least professionally. We all wind down Monday and Tuesday so that on Wednesday we are ready to load up the car and head for Grandma’s house. I was assuming that this year would be the same – including a quiet week for me. Not so much! This week's hosts may be 'turkeys' but their topics and speakers certainly aren't. Not only are there four events taking place on Tuesday, they all look fantastic! Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

 

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Managed Print Services Models Part II: Actual Volumes or Allowance + Overages?

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In Part I of this series, Managed Print Services Models Part I: Lease vs Buy?, we looked at the key business considerations when making the lease vs. buy decision for acquiring copiers/printers. The other decision point within an MPS program is determining the service/maintenance agreement structure.

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Managed Print Services Models Part I: Lease vs Buy?

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In a world where everything seems to be moving to ‘digital’, many people may assume printing is going the way of the dodo. And yet, managed print programs and the costs associated with copiers, printers, and maintenance of these devices are still quite common - and even necessary - for many organizations. While this may be driven by specific industry needs or be the result of an organization’s comfort level with printing, managed print services (MPS) are evolving and continue to be an area of opportunity for procurement to review and help optimize.

Whether your organization is just now making the move to MPS, looking to consolidate your MPS supply base, or trying to better manage your current MPS supplier(s), there are two main cost drivers to focus on within the category: 1. obtaining the device and the associated financing model and 2. The cost per click (CPC) (or the maintenance/service component). [As a side note, the maintenance component goes by a variety of names (cost per page, cost per copy, service cost, maintenance cost, click rate, etc.) and may have slight variations depending on what is actually included in your service agreement. I will refer to all of the above examples as ‘CPC’ throughout this post for simplicity’s sake.]

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 9-13: IT Services and Superseding KPIs

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With the Columbus Day holiday (for some) in the U.S. on Monday, this week is a little quieter than last. There are four webinars this week and the rest of the month is already busy – so plan ahead! Click on the title of each recommended webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for July 17-21: Digital Innovation, Private Suppliers, 3 Measurable Goals

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After a two-week hiatus (because there have been very few events) our recommendations return this week with three great webinars. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

 

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for June 19-23: Hidden Savings, S&OP, and Services Complexity

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In addition to the live events below, Odesma is hosting a live event in London, “Making Procurement Transformation Deliver.” Confirmed speakers include Harry Wiltshire, Professional Athlete, Market Dojo, Provalido and Procurement PeopleCloud. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for June 12-16: Two Perspectives on Building an Agile Modern Workforce

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In addition to the virtual events below, ISM-New York is holding their annual meeting on June 14th at the New York Executive Conference Center. Join them to hear speakers from D&B, Bloomberg, and more. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Contingent Workforce Management: Advantages of an Integrated Managed Services Program and Vendor Management Software Model

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Organizations that are not leveraging a managed service provider (MSP) and vendor management system (VMS) may be paying too much for contingent talent and are at risk of noncompliance with various labor and benefit laws. They are also likely to have challenges involving time to source quality talent.

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Making an Informed Decision about Contingent Workforce Management Advice

Making an Informed Decision about Contingent Workforce Management Advice

Non-employee talent is getting more and more attention in the executive suite, as contractors, freelancers, and other knowledge-based contingent workers become increasingly important in achieving company goals. However, when management attempts to align its current contingent labor management program with corporate objectives, many companies find they are unable to answer the most basic questions about the effectiveness of their current practices.

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Making the Case for Self-Sourced Talent Pools

Making the Case for Self-Sourced Talent Pools

As organizations continue to expand the use of contingent talent to supplement their full-time workforce, they are also seeking ways to optimize their contingent workforce programs to generate additional cost-savings. Historically, this was done through supplier rate rationalization, improvements in workflow and cycle time, and engaging a Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management System (VMS) to drive efficiencies. While all of these measures generate cost-savings (particularly in first generation and early stage programs), more mature programs require the identification of other strategies like self-sourcing.

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Book Review: Confessions of a Professional Buyer

Book Review: Confessions of a Professional Buyer

“Buyers have a privileged position within companies and are exposed to innovative ideas from suppliers often developing their own sense of curiosity. Although not all buyers have realized it yet, they are expected to contribute to the innovation process.” (p. 25)

 

Confessions of a Professional Buyer: The Secrets About Selling & Purchasing Services, by Hubert Lachance, is something like a survival guide for suppliers dealing with procurement – and vice versa. Lachance has over a decade’s worth of experience managing indirect spend for a multi-national CPG company, and he applies that experience to help all buyers and sellers work together more productively.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars August 24-28

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars August 24-28

This week’s calendar filled up last week with some new additions. I’m leaning towards the first three as this week’s best bets for thought leadership and professional development. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and connect to their registration pages.

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Webinar Notes: A Primer on Robotic Process Automation

Webinar Notes: A Primer on Robotic Process Automation

“The bigger you are, the more likely you are to fail because of the change required in aggregate.” – Thomas Young, Founder and Managing Partner of RUMJog Enterprises

“This is real.” - Frank Casale, Founder of the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and the Outsourcing Institute

 

These webinar notes are from a May 28th event run by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA), which was founded by the Outsourcing Institute’s Frank Casale. Casale was joined in the event by a panel of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) experts: Raheem Hasan (CMO, IRPA), Pat Geary (CMO, Blue Prism), and Thomas Young (Founder and Managing Partner, RUMJog Enterprises).

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Webinar Notes: Building a Case for Managing Meeting Spend

I see this week's ISM event as being part of a recent increase in interest about the procurement of services.  I’ve worked in this category and it is truly a beast all its own. They mentioned visibility in their event description, and although that is a common enough concept in procurement it is the whole deal with meetings spend. While all services projects are complicated due to the relationships in place, addressing meetings spend has its own sensitivities. Not only is it a relationship-heavy category, but the times when meetings need to be managed are usually of high importance and high visibility.

You can listen to an on demand version of the event here.

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The Differences in Selling and Buying Professional Services

Last week’s featured event notes were focused on the challenges specific to the procurement of complex services. As a continuation of that, I did some reading on the differences in SELLING professional services.

One of my favorite places to go for sales white papers is Huthwaite’s resource library. If you are interested in more, you can download their whitepapers and read them yourself – no registration process required.

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Webinar Notes: Tackling the Procurement of Complex Services Emptoris/Forrester/ISM

I have a background in services, both professional and otherwise, and this is always an interesting topic. In my opinion, the most important take-away from the event is that more companies are breaking down the wall and not only addressing services spend but having success. Although there are complexities with services like legal and marketing that don’t exist with straightforward services like facilities maintenance or contingent (temporary) labor, procurement groups are more than capable of handling those complexities just like they have done with complex materials spend.

Last week’s event on sourcing complicated services is now available on demand by clicking here.

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