An expert in software solutions for sourcing and managing the non-employee, extended workforce has outlined some key steps for optimising the work of all professionals engaged in procurement jobs.

Workforce solutions provider, Doug Leeby, suggests that thoroughgoing processes such as Total Workforce Management are not necessarily a one-size-fits-all business solution. This is especially true for companies who operate with a mix of permanent procurement professionals and shorter-term talent, such as procurement interims and supply chain interims. Instead, a simpler Total Workforce Optimisation (TWO) may be all that is needed.

TWO boils down to putting all the data of an organisation’s employee and non-employee base in one place and using analytics to calculate the right blend of both to reach the desired business outcomes.

The first step is placing all the workforce data relating to both permanent staff and procurement interims in one, easily viewable place. HR platforms usually hold employee information, but data concerning interims is rarely included on these records. The solution, Leeby suggests, is to use a vendor management system (VMS) to keep all the data of an organisation’s workforce, whether freelancer, contractor or permanent.

When the data is in one place, procurement staff need to be classified correctly at an individual level to protect against co-employment and statutory compliance risks. For example, these should list who is a temporary contractor, who is a permanent member of the organisation, who is an interim and who is a retiree, and so on.

Crucially, under TWO, both permanent procurement staff and procurement interims must be ascribed quality. Some companies shy away from assessing interims’ work performance for fear of creating co-employment risks but this, according to Leeby, is a misplaced concern. All workers and all work assignments can be assessed for quality without getting into co-employment difficulties.

The permanent and interim workforce data needs to be aligned so that they can be analysed and compared to facilitate modelling for forecasting or what-if scenarios. This allows maximum value to be delivered by creating exactly the right blend of permanent and interim staff for specific tasks.

With these steps in place, a workforce optimisation program can be executed – the final, most valuable step.

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