Executing talent management strategies is a little bit of science and a little bit of art in today’s work environment. The fact is many leaders are faced with executing all the traditional talent management functions while managing costs. To further complicate the process, today’s total workforce is different. It’s more than permanent employees working in an office together. Nearly half of workforce spending is on external labor, with a majority of that toward contingent labor. So, there is a forced synergy between Procurement and HR leaders to ensure that the strategy for labor is sound, and the acquisition process and associated cost is appropriately managed. For those companies leaning into an external workforce as a key strategy for the business, cost is a critical component impacting decisions. How can you design the right workforce management strategy, manage costs, and ensure you are getting value out of your program?

 

Introducing a new partnership delivering the right strategy with the right focus on data are Jon Kesman, Workforce Procurement expert from QuantumWork Advisory and Sue Watts, President of Sapience Analytics.

 

What are the respective roles of QuantumWork Advisory and Sapience in this space?

Jon:

At QuantumWork Advisory, we recognize procurement is part of the overall complement of total workforce, which is traditional talent management and the extended workforce of contractors and labor-based services. Our services procurement practice is designed to help organizations understand where to start when unpacking the black hole of “services spend,” and why it matters. QuantumWork Advisory wants to appeal to procurement professionals trying to manage spend and have a unique angle to extended visibility to the total workforce, and enable those organizations as maturity gains around total workforce methodologies. We help guide companies to determine what type of labor is needed for the business. Objectively, we’re focused on making processes easier and enabling technology where possible to create a more fluid process, a wonderful user experience, and leveraging available data as a critical part of every buying decision.

 

Sue:

Sapience fits in the contingent workforce space by supporting the people, process and technology with the concept of “trust but verify.” Part of process is determining time capture, submitting invoices, billing, and paying for resources received. We set out to prove to companies that the historic supplier-provided timecards are a less than foolproof source of reliability to get accurate information for an accurate invoice. We automate the collection of worktime data and show our clients how to optimize their contingent spend.

 

What are some key external labor challenges companies are facing today?

Jon:

The traditional contingent side of things is relatively well-known and mature, but when you try to combine services as an extension of the workforce, we’ve found that a lot of organizations struggle to make that connection. The talent angle is usually through a managed program (typically an MSP model)—shared by Procurement or HR. When talking about services spend, Procurement owns the process through which services are acquired, or in some cases it’s disseminated out into the business. But most organizations struggle with the complexity of this category. Spend management is one thing, but the more strategic objective is to orient and enable organizations around total workforce methodologies to figure out what type of labor is optimal to do the work that needs to get done.

 

Sue:

It varies by company. For some, it’s the spend, which is a huge part of total labor costs. For some, it’s the ongoing source of capacity to fill labor requisitions; and for others, it’s dealing with expected demand of when to bring people on and how long to keep them. So, it’s important to have an entity like QuantumWork Advisory who can understand the objectives of the business and rationalize those with people, process, and technology. Combine that with the Sapience platform to gain visibility into actual time worked to help control costs and many of the challenges are addressed.

 

Why should your business care?

Jon:

There are a number of different reasons why companies would choose to bring either QWA or Sapience in and one of those is around cost-savings opportunities. Pairing our DocuSift® SOW diagnostic capability with Sapience, we can add another layer of very useful data and information into how effectively you are contracting and ultimately utilizing your external workforce. Sourcing and contracting are only half-baking it. Evaluating supplier performance on a strategic level is something companies should be focusing on to ensure they’re achieving optimal value and not over-paying. Our partnership with Sapience is a great enabler of looking at the strategic levers associated with cost management and utilization of the right type of external worker.

 

Sue:

Sapience’s data insights can help customers identify which option is best for them, either buying an hour of time or a specific output. It can change the way the customer discusses their needs with the supplier. What we’re doing is taking something intangible, a work hour, and making it tangible. We present accurate data to the customer regarding resource work time and enable a tangible comparison to the supplier provided timecard. As a result, companies can easily and accurately confirm whether the company is getting full value from their contingent workforce.

 

 

 

Why the QuantumWork/Sapience partnership now? How does it disrupt the market and add value?

Jon:

QuantumWork Advisory is a unique consulting firm exclusively focused on workforce problem areas and the associated, enabling technology. Sapience is the only technology solving for some glaring problems around spend within this space, yet very unaddressed. So, the marriage of the advisory capability and the technology delivers a comprehensive solution that is truly unique in the market. With the rising utilization of and dependence on the external workforce, not to mention the associated cost, this is the time! There is a talent problem and in these economic times saving money is paramount. Instead of cutting headcount as a knee-jerk reaction to cost pressures, there are other ways to save money, better utilize available talent, and optimize the acquisition and management process.

 

Sue:

Why not now? A big part of the information we provide relates to not paying for something you didn‘t get. But there is a bigger part that says the resources within your business carry a tremendous amount of domain knowledge about the company such as how it works, how stuff gets done, processes for workflow, and relationships within the organization. That tribal knowledge is hard to replace. We along with QuantumWork Advisory believe that with the right people, processes, and data in place, business leaders are able to put investment to better use.

 

QuantumWork Advisory and Sapience have come together to revolutionize how companies approach external labor spend. Our customers will benefit from the collaborative power of two experts, including strategic workforce design knowledge as well as innovative technology eco-systems and data analytics programs that enable maximum informed decision-making. Unlock your business’ potential with a state-of-the art procurement model designed by these leading authorities. Learn more about QuantumWork Advisory. Learn more about Sapience Analytics.

Jon Kesman
Global Practice Lead, Workforce Procurement

An experienced, innovative advisor delivering strategic guidance on workforce procurement, addressing all areas of the universal workforce, with a particular focus on the sourcing and procurement of contingent labor and labor-based professional services.

Sue Watts
President – Sapience

Sue Watts, President of Sapience is an effective builder of high-performance teams across ITO, BPO, Network/Telephony, and Apps Development/Maintenance, and lends a sharp global perspective, having led operations across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, India, and Asia Pac. Over the years, her career spanned across all areas of business, including finance and accounting, delivery operations, business transformation, human resources, consulting, and sales. Sue is also an experienced Board Member and Advisor with both public and private companies. Prior to joining Sapience, Sue was an executive at well-known companies such as Xerox, Capgemini, Orange Business Services and other global organizations.

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