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

Recommended Procurement Webinars Jan 8-12: An ‘Ardent’ Start to the New Year

Happy New Year! We’re off and running – I added 11 new webinars to the calendar in January and February this weekend. Of all the new year’s resolutions, Ardent Partners’ were apparently the most resolute! They aren’t missing a beat, and as a result they dominate this week’s recommendations. 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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5 Ways a Purely Vendor-Neutral, Integrated Contingent Workforce Model Helps Companies Get Peak Value

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 Dec 11-22: Thinking Big and Living Large to Wrap up the Year


This is my final set of event recommendations of the year, but because the events push into early next week, I’m doing a 2-week post. Believe it or not, there are already some events on the calendar for January 2018 and beyond. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season! 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 Dec 4-8: Digital Transformation, the Future of Work, Real-time eProcurement

Another busy week on the Buyers Meeting Point events calendar. As an FYI: I will be recommending events this week and next and then breaking until the events pick back up again the week of January 8. In addition to this week’s webinars, Market Dojo is hosting an eAuction Strategy Masterclass at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. 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 Webinars for Nov 27 – Dec 1: Spend Analysis Tell All, Deconstructing AI, Supply Chain Performance

This week is really busy – there are no signs of a year-end slowdown yet! In addition to the webinars taking place, ProcureCon Marketing is happening in New Orleans, LA and Procurement Leaders DITX is happening in London. 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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2017 is a Year for Big #Gratitude

Five years ago, I started a tradition here at BMP – stopping to say thanks to all of the people and organizations that make it possible for me to live out my dream as a writer and procurement professional. This year is no different, although I can’t help but feel exceptional gratitude for the amazing year we are about to put into the books.

I am grateful beyond words (quite a feat given how much time I spend writing and talking) to all the people I crossed paths with this year – everyone I met in person and those of you that I will never meet but regularly engage with through the miracle of modern communications.

I wish you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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

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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What would you do? Social Responsibility Factors in Choosing Offshore Suppliers

Imagine walking into your office and being tasked with a new challenge: finding an offshore supplier in a region from which you don’t usually source.  Once you start, the task gets even harder: you have nagging concerns about social responsibility factors, including health and safety, as well as fair labor practices, even though initial audit results show nothing amiss. How do you select the supplier that provides the cost efficiencies you need, while also ensuring you maintain the high ethical standards of your business – and your profession? What would you do?

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Recommended Webinars for November 13-17: 2018 Prepping, the Supplier Experience, the BIG Finance Procurement Panel

We may be approaching the end of the year (scary!!) but the webinar topics and speakers in our calendar show no signs of losing steam. This week we have three very forward-looking topics, one that literally looks at the year to come, one that considers the supplier experience, and one that may finally break the ice between procurement and finance. 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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Procuring Lives in Puerto Rico

Before examining Hurricane Maria’s stampede through Puerto Rico, let’s take a glimpse of this Caribbean island before the natural disaster hit. 3.4 million U.S. citizens live in this commonwealth of the United States. After being “discovered” by Columbus, the island endured Spanish colonial rule, disease, African slavery, attempted colonization by the French, Dutch, and British, the Spanish-American War, and the unending ambiguity of territorial status.

This past May, Puerto Rico declared bankruptcy with more than $70 billion in debt, exacerbated by the Jones Act, which doubles the cost of goods due to American control of Puerto Rican ports. PREPA, the main electric company on the island, has $9 billion in debt, resulting in total absence of modernization efforts of the power grid in Puerto Rico and frequent outages.

And then, Hurricane Maria happened, inflicting widespread devastation where significant challenges already existed. There is an opportunity here for procurement to play a significant role in helping Puerto Rico cope and eventually recover: by delivering the right supplies and services at the right time for the right cost in the right amounts to the right places.

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

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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Recommended Webinars for November 6-10: AI for CLM, Design Thinking, Advanced Category Management

Whether it is by bringing in new technology, taking processes to the next level, or adopting a new approach to thinking through solutions, leading procurement professionals and teams are always pushing the envelope. This week’s webinars offer guidance and applied examples on all three. 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 I: Lease vs Buy?

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 Webinars for October 30-November 3: Procurement Apps, 2018 Risk Strategy, RPA

This week is a little slower than the last two, but the topics are fantastic! The three webinars I’ve recommended below are forward looking different ways. From getting smarter through the use of procurement apps, planning our your 3rd party risk management strategy for 2018, and getting a realistic grasp on RPA adoption success, the future looks bright indeed! 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 October 23-27: Bots, Branding, and things that go Bump in the Night

Another busy week of events! 11 webinars and ProcureCon Pharma in Philadelphia Oct. 24-26. I’m also presenting a webinar this week, along with Jaggaer and WNS Denali: How can you control rogue marketing spend? We will have an honest (and humorous) conversation about the challenges procurement commonly faces with Marketing and make some recommendations to address them. 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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The Secret of the Procurement Director

It had been a particularly hard week for the whole team. Factory audits had been going on with the accuracy of a Swiss watch (plane, factory, hotel, plane, factory, hotel...). That Friday night we were isolated by a storm that had canceled our flight home and left us stuck in an airport hotel, not knowing what day it was or when we would get back. Our ‘batteries’ were very low.

Only Avi, our expert sales agent, strengthened by a thousand negotiations, seemed to be fresh as a lettuce.

Around the crackling of the chimney, while the storm whipped outside, we all tried to shelter ourselves in hot cups of coffee, seeking the strength to recover our spirits.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 16-20: Extended supply partners, Supply chain risk ROI, the High-end gig Economy

After a quiet week last week, we’re ramping back up to a full schedule with 9 events taking place. And if you’re thinking a little further out, I’m presenting a webinar with Jaggaer and WNS Denali on October 26th: How can you control rogue marketing spend? 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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4 Buyer Types: Bureaucrat, Cost Killer, Innovator, and Business Developer

Can buyers create value for customers and reduce costs?

 

The two main objectives of a buyer in most organizations are:

  1. Reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or Life Cycle Costs (LCC)
  2. Creating value for Intermediate or Final Clients

 

Reducing Total Cost of Ownership or Life Cycle Costs

Often involves lowering prices, but not always; sometimes to save more you need to spend more on a per item basis. If you buy a razor for $1 and you can use it for 10 shaves, it is 100% more expensive than a razor for $2 that you can use for 40 shaves. This example is simple but true and captures the distinction between price and cost.

Sometimes involves reducing unnecessary or excessive consumption (i.e. waste). If companies roll out a course that trains employees with company cars to drive more economically and ecologically, it is possible to save money. A trained driver whose vehicle only consumes 7 gallons of fuel per 100 miles instead of 7.7 allows the company to reduce their fuel costs by 10% (excluding the costs related to the training, which are to be deducted).

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

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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How a world class Managed Services Provider can drive unmatched value in SOW Management

Services Procurement remains a point of significant pain to procurement departments as well as business managers due to the high volume of projects and the substantial number of vendor partners involved. There are typically multiple systems at play without a centralized repository for all elements of a project engagement. Catalog e-procurement solutions, ‘blanket purchase orders’, and A/P automation all offer limited visibility, governance, or compliance support. Procurement teams are often short-staffed and ill-equipped to manage all of the projects coming through the pipeline. This can result in all attention (not to mention compliance and savings) being focused on large projects while smaller/non-strategic projects go unmanaged or receive minimal oversight. This partial visibility extends to vendor performance as well as the benchmarking of project rates, milestones and deliverables, and even estimated project completion time. Project owners are often left to their own devices where they single-source with one vendor (bypassing the competitive bid process entirely), or selecting project vendors at high rates where staff augmentation work could be utilized at a much lower cost.

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